It’s official: as predicted, the BracketBusters game at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse on February 17 will pit the #13-ranked Bulldogs against Missouri Valley Conference co-leader Southern Illinois. It will be the marquee game of the entire BracketBusters event, as indicated by the fact that Kyle Whelliston, creator of midmajority.com and ESPN’s mid-major guru, will be there. And so will Becky and I, with front-row tickets near the SIU bench that we bought back in November. Woohoo! Go Salukis!
Here is Whelliston’s take on the game:
A dream matchup between two nationally ranked, giant-killing at-large candidates in the place where Hollywood shot the “Hoosiers” title game. Will Butler’s best-in-the-nation ball control vs. SIU’s sticky, sweaty pressure defense produce the best 35-33 game ever? Best to film this one in black and white.
The tip-off time has not been announced yet.
P.S. Incidentally… it’s Loy 1, Lunardi 0. :) My predictions were completely right, across the board. w00t!
P.P.S. David Mihm of The Bracket Blog says of SIU-Butler: “The winner probably earns a protected #4 seed.” I think that’s assuming too much, at least in the Salukis’ case; the Missouri Valley Conference is way too topsy-turvy to assume they’ll win enough games from here on out to make that a realistic possibility. But yeah, it certainly could happen.
UPDATE: A list of all 13 televised matchups can be found on the official BracketBusters site. The schedules will be matched up with the games as soon as they’re announced. I’m guessing the Butler-SIU game will be either the 6:00 or 8:00 game on ESPN2.
March Madness All Season takes a look at this week in college basketball. Lots of big games coming up.
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In a bid to deprive Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party of yet another Excuse for refusing to join in a coalition government, Gerry Adams’s Sinn Fein has voted to Support its Local Peelers ;} ~
DUBLIN (Reuters) - London and Dublin will push this week to revive power-sharing between Northern Irish Catholics and Protestants after Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein reversed decades of opposition to the province’s law and order system.
Sinn Fein’s mostly Catholic membership voted on Sunday to back a policing and justice system in Northern Ireland that it has long viewed as biased in favour of the majority Protestants.
The landmark vote removed a key obstacle to the restoration of a Belfast-based regional power-sharing government by a March 26 deadline set by the British and Irish governments.
…The IRA killed nearly 300 police officers during the conflict and was responsible for nearly half the 3,600 deaths in its struggle to unite the northern province with Ireland.
While London and Dublin may yet achieve their goal of restoring a regional government in time for Blair’s departure from office and an Irish election, both later this year, the DUP is still far from being on board.
Party leader Ian Paisley has yet to overcome years of vociferous opposition to Irish nationalists on his own part* and signs of serious resistance from hardliners within his party.
“Dr. Paisley’s authority and political direction is under assault within the DUP,” the Irish Times said in an editorial.
However, it noted he had said repeatedly he would “not be found wanting” if Sinn Fein moved to support the police.
[*Let us pray that Dr. Paisley finds the strength to Overcome at least his Own vociferousness :>. ~ the guestblogger]
“Yesterday we did see a piece of history being made,” political analyst Harry McGee wrote in the Irish Examiner.
“With it came an acceptance that it was all over as far as the IRA was concerned, bar the shouting, of course. And be assured, with Ian Paisley and the DUP involved, there will be plenty of that over the next few months.”
No, really: Heh.
The Associated Press reports Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was euthanized this morning, according to one of the horse's co-owners. Visit CNN for the latest.