Archive for March, 2007

Florida routs UCLA, again

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

76-66, final. So it'll be Florida vs. Ohio State in the title game, and Arash Markazi vs. Scott Robertson for the pool championship.

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Florida is killing UCLA, 56-40, with eight minutes left. UCLA sucks.

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

More than 10 minutes into the game, it’s 9-8 Florida. Heh.

Final Four underway

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

It’s early yet, but so far the OMG Best Final Four Ever!!! isn’t exactly living up to billing. It’s been a sloppy first ten minutes of Ohio State vs. Georgetown, with a number of missed open shots and layups (especially for the Hoyas) and 10 of the Buckeyes’ 14 points coming off Georgetown turnovers. Greg Oden picked up his second foul less than 3 minutes into the game (it was a legit offensive foul, IMHO, but man, if that call had been made in the Florida-Butler game, the Bulldogs might be in this Final Four instead of the Gators), and Hibbert hasn’t done much of anything, so the much-ballyhooed matchup of big men is a bust so far. The score is 14-7 Ohio State, which puts the teams on pace for a scintillating 56-28 final score. Thank God there were no Cinderellas in this tournament, so we can be assured of such high quality of play in the later rounds! ;)

Incidentally, here again are the pool scenarios for who will still be alive heading into the title game, depending on what happens today:

If Ohio State and Florida win: Scott Robertson (OSU) vs. Arash Markazi (UF)
If Ohio State and UCLA win: Ginny Zak (OSU) vs. Sören Hammerschmidt (UCLA)
If Georgetown and Florida win: John McBride (G’town) vs. Arash Markazi (UF)
If Georgetown at UCLA win: John McBride (G’town) vs. Ryan Dalidowitz (UCLA)

UPDATE: 27-23 Buckeyes at the half. So now they’re on pace for a 54-46 final. Who replaced Ohio State and Georgetown with Butler and Southern Illinois? ;)

UPDATE 2: Ohio State wins, 67-60. So we’re now a Florida victory away from the nightmare scenario, a rematch of the football title game. Ugh. It kills me to say it, but: Go Bruins!

The Buckeyes’ win means that, with just two games left, a record four contestants — the maximum possible at this point — are still alive in the 12th annual Living Room Times men’s pool. Scott Robertson needs Florida to win tonight, then lose to Ohio State in the title game; Arash Markazi needs Florida to win tonight and win the title; Ginny Zak needs UCLA to win tonight, then lose to Ohio State in the title game; Sören Hammerschmidt needs UCLA to win tonight and win the title.

Robertson is a University of Utah grad student and Irish Trojan blog reader since Hurricane Katrina. Markazi is a 2004 USC alum and a Sports Illustrated writer; he would be the first Trojan ever to win a Times pool. Zak is Becky Loy’s mother and a resident of Gold Canyon, Arizona. Hammerschmidt is Zak’s son-in-law, and a one-time exchange student at the university he now needs to win two straight games, UCLA.

Two contestants were mathematically eliminated by Ohio State’s win: Ryan Dalidowitz, a Newington High School senior, and John McBride, who, contrary to previous reports, is not a current student at the University of Iowa. (He earned his Master’s of Social Work from Iowa in 1980, after earning a Bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University and a previous Master’s and Ph.D. in from the University of Illinois.) Dalidowitz’s elimination guarantees a non-Newington winner for the third consecutive year; from 1996-2004, eight of the nine men’s pool champions were Newington High School students, alums or teachers.

I’m heading over to a friend’s house to watch UCLA-Florida, so any further updates will be cell-phone posts, and I may not update the blog at all until after the game is over and I get home.

Becky is pretty

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Last night at Barrister’s Ball (a.k.a. law-school prom):

Good times.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take as many photos as I usually would, because my beloved Canon PowerShot A95 has been experiencing the dreaded E18 error. I discovered yesterday that the problem can be temporarily solved by putting the camera in a freezer (or similarly cold environment) for a few minutes, but all three times I did this (the third time was actually at the ball, and since there was no freezer available, I put the camera inside a plastic cup and put the cup in a pitcher of ice), the effect quickly wore off and the E18 error returned. So as a result, like I said, my photo collection is decidedly limited. But after the jump are a few more shots.

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Durant, Bennett win AP honors

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Texas freshman phenom Kevin Durant is the AP player of the year, making him the first frosh ever to win that award. Durant also won the Rupp, Naismith and Robertson awards. But will he come back for another crack at maybe winning those awards again, and possibly a deeper tournament run than this year’s second-round loss to USC? Most people assume he’s going pro, but Durant says it’s a tough decision and he truly hasn’t decided yet. Texas fans certainly hope he stays.

Also winning AP honors Friday was Washington State coach Tony Bennett, named coach of the year. Which reminds me of something I’ve been thinking in the wake of Notre Dame’s first-round loss to Winthrop and Georgetown’s run to the Final Four. If the Big East Coach of the Year was being awarded today, instead of before the Big East Tournament, who would win it: Mike Brey or John Thompson III? Just asking! ;)

Oh, by the way, in case you haven’t heard, the men’s Final Four is tonight. :) It starts at 6:00 PM. Go Georgetown and… uh… well, I’m not really sure who to root for in the fUCLA-Florida game. I really dislike both teams. I think I’ll root for the Bruins for the sake of Pac-10 pride, and so I don’t have to hear that infernal “dah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-GO-GATORS!” song any more than absolutely necessary. I’ll root for fUCLA especially if Ohio State wins the first game, since another Florida-tOSU championship game would be just ridiculous, whereas a fUCLA-tOSU championship game would set up the highly amusing Zak-Hammerschmidt family feud on Monday. That said, if the Bruins lose, I’ll totally make fun of Mike Tran regardless.

Britney, K-Fed reach divorce settlement

Friday, March 30th, 2007

America, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief: there will be no Britney vs. K-Fed divorce battle. I know we’ll all sleep better at night now.

UPDATE: Details here:

Britney Spears has reached a $1 million divorce settlement with her ex-husband Kevin Federline. …

Federline will walk away with much less money than expected because of the airtight pre-nup Spears’s lawyer devised. The final deal also means Spears, 25, and Federline, 28, will have joint custody of their sons – Sean Preston, 18 months, and six-month-old Jayden James.

Dean O’Hara responds to drop in rankings

Friday, March 30th, 2007

[Bumped to top. -ed.]

With 54 comments and counting on my previous post about Notre Dame Law School’s precipitous drop in the U.S. News rankings (which became official today), it’s clear there is considerable concern among students and alumni about what’s going on. So perhaps it’s not a huge surprise that Dean Patty O’Hara, in an e-mail to students today, gave a much lengthier and more nuanced response to the news than she did to the rankings drop two years ago.

What is a bit surprising is how Dean O’Hara chose to spin her decision to give such a detailed response. She writes, “I thought a few more words might be in order this year because the direction of the movement is negative” — but the movement was negative in 2005, too, and yet she used the same boilerplate e-mail in both ’05 and ’06 (when the movement was positive). Both the 2005 and 2006 e-mails were just three paragraphs long, and neither contained any of the language about “examin[ing] the data behind the criteria” and “determin[ing] in what ways we may be able to improve” that appears in today’s e-mail.

Whether Dean O’Hara’s departure from her standard annual rankings response is simply a reflection of the magnitude of this year’s drop (six spots, versus four in 2005), or whether it reflects a broader reality of increasing pressure on her from students and faculty, is anyone’s guess. Anyway, the full e-mail, which went out this morning via the law-school listserv, is after the jump.

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Amnesty International’s shameful silence

Friday, March 30th, 2007

And here I thought the Geneva Conventions were really, really important. Apparently not:

I just checked Amnesty International’s web site for to get a copy of their demand that the Iranians release the British prisoners and condemning the statements made under coercive conditions and the broadcast of the images of the prisoners.

Surprise. There isn’t one.

There is, however, a report titled “USA: Justice delayed and justice denied? Trials under the Military Commissions Act.” I eagerly await the report similarly condemning the show trials Iran may be planning for the kidnapped soldiers.

Speaking of useless international organizations, the U.N. has expressed “grave concern” over the standoff between the U.K. and Iran — but heaven forbid it go further and, you know, specifically condemn the Iranian action and demand the soldiers’ immediate and unconditional release. That would be taking sides! Nevermind that one side is violating international law, and the other isn’t…

The Security Council’s statement was a watered-down version of a stronger draft sought by Britain to “deplore” Iranian actions and urge the immediate release of the prisoners, primarily because Russia and South Africa opposed putting blame on the Tehran regime, diplomats said.

As I said: useless.

All the transcribed press releases that are fit to print

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Mickey Kaus: “Do [New York] Times reporters talk only to the interest group that hands them the study?”

West Virginia misspelled on NIT championship t-shirts

Friday, March 30th, 2007

What’s wrong with these pictures? Look closely at the spelling of the word “Virginia.”

Teehee. (Hat tip: AOL Fanhouse.)

How are you? Who cares?

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Heh.

R.I.P. Kerri Donlin, NHS Class of 1998

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Another tragedy has happened in Newington, and this one strikes at the heart of the Boisvert/Donlin clan that produced so many fine athletes and wonderful people during my time at NHS. I am just devastated to learn that Kerri Donlin, a member of the Newington High School Class of 1998, has died at the age of 27.

I didn’t know Kerri terribly well, but I attended many of her soccer games (she went on to play for the University of New Haven), and her cousin Tara is one of my best friends in Newington. That whole extended family is just great, full of so many genuinely nice people, and it’s horrible that they’re dealing with a tragedy like this. (Kerri’s death may have been caused by a heart condition of some kind, but it’s still not entirely clear. Anyway, it was totally unexpected.)

The wake is Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Newington Memorial Funeral Home, and the funeral is Monday at 9 a.m., I guess starting at Newington Memorial and then processing to the Church of the Holy Spirit for a Mass at 10 a.m. The obit says that memorial donations can be made to the American Heart Association, 2550 U.S. Highway 1, North Brunswick, NJ 08902.

Friends can share a memory and leave messages of condolence for the family on the Newington Memorial site. You can read what others have written here.

Rest in peace, Kerri.

P.S. Here is Kerri’s MySpace page, which has now become something of a tribute page as well.

Gary Kirby wins NIT Pool

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Gary Kirby, a.k.a. “Gahrie,” won the 3rd annual BrendanLoy.com NIT Pool when West Virginia beat Clemson in the championship game Thursday night, just as Kirby’s bracket predicted. He is the only contestant to successfully predict both finalists and the champion.

Last year’s runner-up, Kirby make just five mistakes in 31 games this year, finishing with 268 out of a possible 317 points. He erred on 2 of the 16 first-round games, 2 of 8 regional semifinals, and 1 of 4 regional finals. Although the numerical scores can’t be compared directly to previous years’ pools because of changes to the NIT’s format, Kirby got 84.5% of the available points, which easily beats the previous winning totals, Tom K.’s 48.4% in 2005 and Brad Miller’s 73.1% in 2006.

Kirby, who attended USC from 1983 to 1987, is the second Trojan to win a BrendanLoy.com NIT pool. K., the champion of the first annual pool, is a 2003 ‘SC grad.

I figure a pool championship is worth a gratuitous blog link, so… please check out Kirby’s blog, Gahrie’s Grumbles and Groans. :)

Colleen Duggan, a 2005 graduate of Sacred Heart University, finished second with 234 points — a record 34 points behind Kirby. (K.’s and Miller’s margins in ’05 and ’06 were 2 and 16 points, respectively.) She would have won the pool if Clemson had won Thursday’s title game.

Michigan senior Cam Thomas finished third with 218 points. TCU grad Dana O’Shea was fourth with 213. Notre Dame law student Stephen Leys rounded out the top five with 211 points.

Full final standings are here and after the jump.

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So close to a turkey

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I thought I had it when it left my hand. I wuz robbed!