Both Mike Tran, a classmate of Kiolbasa’s at Notre Dame Law School, and Andrew Long, the USC grad whom Kiolbasa edged for the pool championship last year, have a shot this year at breaking Kiolbasa’s record, which itself broke Lou Ruggiero’s 1996 record of 354, set in the first-ever Times pool.
Tran needs a Florida win to stay alive to break Kiolbasa’s mark. Long needs a win by UConn to stay alive — for both the pool championship and the record.
If both the Huskies and Gators win, Tran and Long will both head into the tournament’s final weekend with a shot at the record. If George Mason and Villanova win, Kiolbasa’s record will be safe for this year.
There are six teams still standing in the men’s NCAA Tournament, and six contestants left with a chance to win the 11th annual Living Room Times men’s NCAA pool: an Irish Bruin, a Trojan, a Trojan Husky, a Yellowjacket Tiger, a Duke, and a Husky Cavalier.
Kirby Bullard, Matt “LaundraMatt” Scarborough and Jay “DrawingDead” Johnson were mathematically eliminated when UCLA beat Memphis, leaving Mike Tran, Andrew Long, David Kreutz, Matt Wiser, Ben Eng and Logan Pugh as the “Stupendous Six” (hat tip: Matt’s brother Mike :) who still have a chance to win the pool.
Tran, a UCLA grad and Notre Dame 2L, is the undisputed leader at the moment, with 301 points out of a possible 382 thus far, and a 56.2% chance of winning the pool (assuming all individual game outcomes are equally likely). Tran is 9-for-10 in the tournament’s second weekend so far, and he would win in 18 of the 32 remaining scenarios. In two of those scenarios, he would ultimately score 381 points and break Brian Kiolbasa’s all-time men’s pool record of 368 points, set last year.
In second place, both points-wise and scenario-wise, is 2002 USC grad Andrew Long, who has 289 points and would win in 5 of the 32 scenarios (15.6%).
Ben Eng, who graduated from James Madison University (home of the Dukes), is third with 282 points, but he would only win in one scenario (3.1%). His odds of winning are less than Logan Pugh, a Virginia student and Connecticut native who roots for UConn, in fourth place with 272 points; David Kreutz, a Washington grad who attended USC for a year, in fifth with 267; and Matt Wiser, a Rochester grad and current LSU student, in 15th with 250 points. Pugh, Kreutz and Wiser all have a 9.4% chance of winning, owning 3 of the 32 scenarios.
Long and Kreutz are the “Great Trojan Hopes” in this pool. No USC-affiliated contestant has ever won a Living Room Times pool, though numerous Trojans have competed in the pools since 2000, and several have come very close to winning. Long would have won last year’s men’s pool if Illinois had beaten North Carolina in the title game. Mike Wiser, Matt’s brother, would have won the 2001 women’s pool if Purdue had beaten Notre Dame in the title game.
Complete standings here and after the jump. Scenario info to follow soon.
A minute and 20 seconds into the second half, Memphis has only scored 22 points, but UCLA’s lead is only 6 points because the Bruins are 6 of 19 from the free-throw line. If UCLA doesn’t go to the Final Four, they’ll know why.
UPDATE: Okay, both of these teams are sucking it up, big-time. Can we please put some other team into the Final Four instead? How about Washington? Or perhaps Boston College? Hell, even Texas deserves it more than these clowns, based on how they’re playing right now.
UPDATE 2: Worst. Game. Ever.
UCLA wins, 50-45. It’ll be Bruins vs. Tigers, instead of Tigers vs. Tigers, in the Final Four.
Pool update to follow after I walk the dog.
P.S. Greg Gumbel got it right: “So, UCLA played less poorly than Memphis did.” Heh.
Incidentally, yes, I will update the women’s pool too, at some point. But for now, a look at the nine contestants who are still alive to win the men’s pool. (I tried to think of a catchy alliterative term for them — e.g. “Elite Eight,” “Spectacular Seven,” “Final Four,” etc. — but I couldn’t really think of anything appropriate. The Nefarious Nine? The Nebulous Nine? The Nerdy Nine? Heh.)
The Olympian of Olympia, Washington reports:
Speculation about Mark Few’s interest in leaving Gonzaga for Indiana increased Friday when Few’s lawyer repeatedly rejected opportunities to deny that Few will meet with the Hoosiers about the head coaching vacancy for Indiana men’s basketball.
“I just talked to Mark,” said Brad Williams, a Spokane attorney who handles contracts for a number of college basketball coaches. “We just kinda had the position that we’re not going to make any comments at all. I’ll just leave it at that.”
Asked later whether Few would be interested in talking with Indiana representatives, Williams said, “No comment. I don’t know what we’re going to do.”
Later, asked if ESPN.com was accurate in reporting that Few, through Williams, turned down a request to meet with Indiana’s hiring committee, Williams said, “No.”
Williams later clarified that comment, saying that neither he nor Few has talked with any Indiana officials. Williams said Atlanta’s Dan Parker, who has contracted with the Hoosiers to aid in the coaching search, called Williams last week and asked if Few would talk with him about the Indiana job.
“Mark said, ‘I don’t want to talk to him now,’ ” Williams said.
Interesting side note: among the “number of college basketball coaches” represented by Williams is Wichita State’s Mark Turgeon, also a hot commodity in the current coaching-carousel sweepstakes.
Anyway, stay tuned.
With Duke gone and UConn and Villanova looking vulnerable, there may not be a prohibitive favorite in the NCAA Tournament. But in the Living Room Times NCAA men’s pool, Mike Tran is beginning to look like an unstoppable juggernaut.
Tran increased his lead to 12 points and his odds of winning to 42.2% when #4-seed LSU reached the Final Four in Saturday’s first regional final — just as Tran predicted they would. He is now 8-for-9 in the tournament’s second weekend, with his only error stemming from a first-round upset that eliminated one of his Final Four teams, Michigan State. His other Final Four teams, #2-seed UCLA and #3-seed Florida, are still alive. Those teams are also his predicted finalists, with UCLA winning it all.
Tran, a UCLA grad and Notre Dame 2L, has 286 points out of a possible 367, and is still alive to break fellow NDLS 2L Brian Kiolbasa’s all-time men’s pool points record of 368 points, set last year. He would need a perfect record from this point forward, with the exception of the UConn-George Mason game, where he picked the long-eliminated Spartans.
Andrew Long, a USC alum who would have beaten Kiolbasa in last year’s pool if Illinois had won the championship game over North Carolina, is second with 274 points. Long also has a chance to break Kiolbasa’s record, if UConn and UCLA reach the Final Four, with the Huskies beating the Bruins in the title game.
James Madison grad and Los Angeles resident Ben Eng dropped to third, with 267 points, when LSU won. He had picked Duke, which lost to the Tigers on Thursday. Eng still has a chance to win the pool, however.
Complete standings here and after the jump.
LSU’s win eliminated five contestants who had been depending on a Texas victory to stay mathematically alive to win the the pool: Edward Jackson, Paul Lucht, Tim Huffman, Peter Timbrell, and 2002 pool champion Tom Greca. Greca’s elimination guarantees that this year’s pool will have a first-time champion.
That leaves nine contestants still alive. In addition to Tran, Long and Eng, the other six are Logan Pugh, David Kreutz, Matt Wiser (a.k.a. “Mike’s brother Matt”), Jay Johnson (a.k.a. “DrawingDead”), Matt Scarborough (a.k.a. “LaundraMatt”) and Kirby Bullard.
Tran, Long, Eng, Pugh, Kreutz and Wiser are “safe” for today. Johnson, Scarborough and Bullard need Memphis to win in order to stay alive. A UCLA win would leave just six contestants with a chance to win the pool heading into the final day of the Elite Eight.
In a rarity, eight of the nine contestants who are still alive are in the Top 9 in the standings — indicating a great deal of diversity of predictions among those who have done well in the pool thus far. The exception is Johnson, currently tied for 21st but still alive because he picked Memphis to win it all. The only contestant in the Top 9 who is mathematically eliminated is Kevin Hauschulz, tied for sixth but unable to pass Long because their remaining picks are too similar. That extends Hauschulz’s record of most Times pools participated in without a victory, a dubious distinction he shares with fellow Newington High School Class of 1999 grad Josh Rubin.
Complete scenario info here.
Apparently the screaming lady who was rooting for Gonzaga has adopted Memphis as her new team. (If you’ve been watching the Gonzaga games on CBS, you know what I’m talking about.) I guess she’s bitter about the UCLA loss. She was just screaming while a Bruin player shot free throws. Heh.
UPDATE: In other news, these announcers STILL haven’t figured out how to pronounce “Gonzaga”! Argh! They mispronounced “Farmar” as “farmer” earlier, too. Jeez!
LSU leads Texas, 50-47 with 3:41 to go. I have them in the Final Four, the one pick I could potentially still brag about (since having UConn in the Final Four isn’t exactly an accomplishment). Hook the Horns!
UPDATE: WOW, can they put an entire possession in One Shining Moment? There were like 3 blocks and 3 loose ball scrambles in there! And it ended with a three-point swish for Texas, which is now tied with LSU, 52-52 with 32.1 seconds left. But the Tigers have the ball.
UPDATE 2: A poor final possession for LSU; they didn’t get a very good shot. And so, we have another overtime game!
UPDATE 3: LSU wins… and “Big Baby” uses some decidedly non-baby-appropriate language, caught on camera saying “motherf****r” during his celebration. Heh.
In other news, Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas are awesome. They are definitely my favorite announcing team. I did take issue, though, with their complaints about how LSU was taking quick shots in overtime. Umm, isn’t that exactly what every analyst and his brother was saying Gonzaga should have done against UCLA: keep playing their offense, don’t slow it down and get overly cautious? I thought that was a good strategy by LSU.
Either way, congrats to the Tigers! I told you Texas wasn’t going anywhere. :)
“We got tapeworms in our belly. We gotta still eat.” –Big Baby. Heh.
Connecticut’s kindly, calm & avuncular Saint Joe is getting a wee bit Testy over the Primary challenge from rich Greenwich liberal Ned Lamont.
Joe has a Point here: the Quote in Question has long been ripped from its Context & misused to portray him as a Supressionist of Free Speech. / But Still: when Joe Throws an On-air hissyfit at Local Liberal Icon Colin McEnroe, he throws Red meat (i.e., his Arse :) to the ravening blogospherical Blue Beasts and thus Harms himself for August.
It’s a bit of a Dilemma, for a Dyed-in-the-Wool Harry Truman/Jack Kennedy/Scoop Jackson/Tom Dodd Democrat.
We shall See whether St. Joe can Solve it. / Prediction: this upstart Challenge to him is going to Prove Serious. (And, I think he Knows it. )
Oh, so it’s Fuel smuggling izzit.
Cannot make this stuff Up:
News Summary: Tommy “Slab” Murphy. Bigfat Oglaigh na h’Eireann man. Alleged kingpin of Fuel-smuggling empire. Cash & Computers seized from beneath bales of Hay in the fambly Barn on the fambly Spread in the Border Banditcountry. (Coincidentally, Fuel-laundering equipment also found.) / Slab was not at Home at the time, probably awa’ making holy Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick. He remains In the Breeze at present. / Following decades of nervous Surveillance, hundreds of Gardai went in Heavy, with Backup from British & Irish Armies ~ and this after IRA Decommissioning, prior to which the place was, your Correspondent Infers, a veritable Arsenal. (Read the story closely; you’ll See why.) / Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams sez yer man is “not a criminal” but rather “a good republican.” Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams appears to Purport that in his view the Two are mutually Exclusive. “To me right fol too ra laddie, too ra lee / There is no one who can Tell a Lie like me…” ~ from, “The Liar”, Hibernian edition.
What’s the point of being Irish if you don’t Read it & Laugh & Weep.
Reviews for the Toronto stage production of The Lord of the Rings (previous post here), which opened on Thursday, have been, um, pretty bad, for the most part. See, for example, the devastating New York Times review. On the other hand, the Detroit Free Press liked it, as did Canada’s National Post. But most critics have been less kind; more examples here.
That said, there are some indications that the show may be “critic-proof.” Time will tell.
P.S. The Boston Globe liked it, too.
The Seattle Times’s Bud Withers looks at Gonzaga’s future, including the “possibility [of] a game with Duke in December at Madison Square Garden” next season. Oh, that would be SWEET!!! A year too late for a Redick-Morrison duel, but still sweet! I would so be willing to pay a lot of money for tickets to that. :)
Eugene Volokh: “It’s not Islamophobia when there really is something to fear.” Worth reading, not bigoted, and guaranteed to start a flame war in 5… 4… 3…
Stanford women’s basketball player Jillian Harmon says: “We love the Tree. And we wish the Tree was here with us.”
The Tree: “I think the NCAA’s ‘No Fun Allowed’ attitude is wrong, and I will lobby to have it stopped. If there are cameras on me, I will dance again.”
Looking back at this post, it occurs to me… if Gonzaga had won on Thursday, I’d still be mathematically alive to win my pool.