Here’s a question for y’all: when the final USA Today coaches’ poll rankings are released, after the NCAA Tournament ends, where should Davidson be ranked?
I think it’s pretty obvious that the top 4 teams from the final regular-season poll will remain the same, in whatever order, in the post-tournament poll. After all, they all made it to the Final Four. But after that, then what? Who else, if anyone, should be ranked ahead of the Wildcats?
Davidson, which was ranked #23 in that final poll, knocked off #26
Gonzaga, #8 Georgetown, and #5 Wisconsin en route to the Elite Eight,
and damn near beat #4 Kansas. And that’s on top of almost beating North Carolina, Duke and UCLA in the regular season, and going 20-0 in their conference.
Snipergate: the gift that keeps on giving!
SARAJEVO, Bosnia - The Bosnian girl who famously read a poem to Hillary Rodham Clinton during her 1996 visit to the war-torn country is shocked - and her countrymen infuriated - that the former first lady claimed to have dodged sniper fire that day.
Emina Bicakcic, now 20 and studying to become a doctor, told The Post she stood on the tarmac at the air base in Tuzla, greeted Clinton and even had time to share the lines of verse she’d written - all without fear of attack from an unseen enemy.
In other news: Heh.
If you think the men’s tournament is Chalk City, check out the women’s bracket: the Elite Eight consists of four #1 seeds and four #2s. (Admittedly, chalkiness is more common on the women’s side, where parity is less pronounced than among the men. But still.) #1-seed Tennessee sealed the deal last night with a 74-64 win over #5 Notre Dame, which is now 0-16 all-time against UT.
The Irish gave the Lady Vols a much better game than they did in an 87-63 loss back in January at the Joyce Center. In this one, ND led at halftime, 33-31. But between about the 18-minute mark and the 13-minute mark of the second half, Tennessee went on a 17-1 run, and Candace Parker wound up with a career-high-tying 34 points. That was just too much for the Irish to overcome.
In my 11th annual women’s pool, six contestants correctly predicted the "all chalk" Elite Eight: Ken Stern, Kevin Pilz, Tom Caputi, Carol LaPlante, Joseph Hiegel and Lisa Velte.
Stern currently leads the pool with 316 out of a possible 352 points. He took first place from Chuck Wessell when #3 Texas A&M beat #2 Duke last night. Wessell, who had picked the Blue Devils, is now second with 313. Pilz is third with 311. Those three contestants are the only ones ahead of the "all favorites bracket," which would have 309 points. Complete standings here and after the jump. Information on who’s still alive to win the pool — 21 contestants in all — here.
Incidentally, I forgot to mention this before, but in the men’s pool (presented by the UCLA Bruins, blah blah blah), 28 contestants got the "all-chalk" Final Four right. Their names are listed after the jump.
Meanwhile, alas, Obama is going to get in trouble for this remark regarding his opposition to abstinence-only education:
Look, I got two daughters Ã¢â‚¬â€ 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at age 16, so it doesn’t make sense to not give them information.
I boldfaced the part that’s being, and will continue to be, gleefully taken out of context by “outraged” conservates. In reality, as the context makes obvious, Obama’s not talking about abortion at all, nor is he saying that teenage parents ought not love their babies. He’s merely acknowledging an obvious reality that everyone understands (teen pregnancy is a bad thing), and proposing something that he believes would help reduce teen pregnancy (”comprehensive” sex education that includes information about birth control and protection). His comment is entirely defensible, and indeed, 100% correct in my view. But it was also clumsily worded, and will make great fodder for some anti-abortion 527 group. (The linked blogger, Mike Allen, asks whether “this comment opened the door to trouble, or are conservatives twisting an innocent observation?” Um, both?)
Notre Dame and Tennessee are about to get underway in a Sweet Sixteen showdown. The #5-seed Fighting Irish are the last chance to prevent an “all chalk” Elite Eight in the women’s NCAA Tournament; so far, all the #1 and #2 seeds have won.
For the first time ever, the men’s Final Four will feature four #1 seeds. And for the first time ever, a Living Room Times NCAA pool will enter the final weekend with a different potential winner for each remaining scenario — meaning eight people are still mathematically alive to win the contest.
Currently, Alex Whitfield (a.k.a. “CORNHUSKERS 94 95 97″) leads the 13th annual Times men’s pool presented by the UCLA Bruins with 327 out of a possible 412 points. But Whitfield will only win the pool in one scenario: if Kansas beats Memphis in the title game. In the each of the other seven scenarios, someone different will overtake him.
The other contestants still alive are Joseph Hiegel (currently in 2nd place), Chuck Wessell (3rd), Robert Dokes (4th), Amy Greca (T-9th), Chris Mulvey (T-9th), Shari Long (T-9th) and Keith Evans (T-20th).
Will we finally get a close, entertaining regional final game, courtesy of Kansas and Davidson? It looks good so far. After starting the game with good defense and ice-cold shooting — it was 4-2 Kansas six minutes in, and at one point Davidson was 1-for-10 from the floor while Kansas was 2-for-10 — the Jayhawks and Wildcats are both making big plays (on both sides of the ball), and it’s 28-28 with 2:00 left in the first half.
UPDATE: Kansas 59, Davidson 57 with 36.3 seconds left. GO WILDCATS!!!
UPDATE 2: 16.8 to go, Davidson ball, still Kansas by two. Curry for 3 at the buzzer?? C’mon, I want to hear Gus Johnson so NUTS!!!
UPDATE 3: ARRRRGH. Not a good final possession at all by Curry and Davidson there. Good defense by Kansas, I guess. But, argh.
For the first time ever, all four #1 seeds are going to the Final Four!
With Memphis looking nigh unstoppable early — they’re up 39-24 over Texas with 2:00 left in the first half — it’s looking increasingly likely that Stephen Curry and the #10-seed Davidson Wildcats will be the last hope for the non-#1-seeds.
It was #1-seed Kansas that blew the chance for an first-ever “all-chalk” Final Four last year, losing to #2-seed UCLA in the second game of the Elite Eight. (#1-seed North Carolina subsequently lost, too, to #2 Georgetown.) But that was against a Bruins team that effectively had home-court advantage and arguably should have been a #1 seed itself. Losing to tiny Davidson, when a win would put four #1 seeds in the Final Four, would be a much bigger upset — and a much bigger stain on the already oft-smeared record of Bill Self and the “Rock Choke Jayhawks.”
And yet, would anybody really be stunned if Davidson pulled it off? At this point, who dares doubt Stephen Curry?
UPDATE: Memphis wins, 85-67. Davidson is our last hope!
The Goreacle Option picks up steam.
(Hat tip: InstaPundit.)
The idea of rejecting Clinton and Obama, and turning to Gore instead, entered the mainstream conversation with some intriguing comments by a Florida congressman on Monday, and this Joe Klein piece on Wednesday.
Cue some Rovian snark: “You know you got a problem if the answer is Al Gore.”
Is the key to Davidson’s success Kyle Whelliston’s tie?
On a more serious note, here’s Whelliston’s ESPN article on Stephen Curry, who, it bears repeating, is not only a transcendent superstar, but just a really nice and humble guy. Apropos of which, Whelliston’s Mid-Majority blog post about the Wildcats’ win over Wisconsin concludes:
We haven’t had a breakout basketball star like Curry in a generation, and he’s helping undo the damage that the past 20 years have done to the idea of basketball stardom. There are kids out there who are now 10, 11 years old, spending this afternoon in driveways copying the fallaway 3-pointer that gave Davidson that early lead at 13 minutes of the first half. Here’s hoping that they’ll keep emulating him, carrying themselves with perfect humility.
P.S. After Curry, who is a sophomore, led Davidson to their first-round victory over Gonzaga — that’s two upset wins and 63 points ago — Rush the Court wrote a post titled “Is Stephen Curry becoming a March legend?” which noted:
[Curry] isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a big-time NBA prospect (according to scouts) because he isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that tall, strong, or athletic. In fact his biggest attributes are his shooting and intelligence, which are two things the NBA scouts donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem to care about these days. We are assuming that his family is doing ok financially given the fact that his father (Dell) had a long and distinguished career in the NBA. When you combine all of that, it seems like he might be one college star who remains in college all 4 years. In this day and age, that might be enough to make him a legendary player in March by the time he finishes his college career in 2010.
I’d say Curry is well ahead of schedule on the “legendary player” bit. But it can always get better. Three years of this? Pinch me.
One year after rising to the #1 ranking in the country only to be stunned by Michigan State in the NCAA regional final, the #12-ranked Fighting Irish of Notre Dame got their revenge tonight, beating the Spartans 3-1 (after previously upsetting the top seed, New Hampshire) to advance to their first Frozen Four in school history! WOOHOO!! (Hat tip: NDLauren.)
Now… can the Fighting Irish women’s basketball team pull off an even more monumental upset tomorrow by upsetting #1-seed Tennessee in the Sweet 16? The Irish are 0-15 all-time against the Lady Vols. How does two milestones in 24 hours sound? GO IRISH!!!
P.S. Speaking of women’s basketball, the ladies are now halfway to the Elite Eight after another quartet of non-upsets. In my pool, Chuck Wessell continues to have the lead. Complete standings here and after the jump. Information on who’s still mathematically alive to win the pool here.
So… we head into the second day of the Elite Eight facing the still-active possibility of all four #1 seeds making the Final Four for the first time ever. Last year, that prospect still existed at the start of the Elite Eight’s first day, but #2-seed UCLA’s win over #1-seed Kansas on Saturday night guaranteed that it wouldn’t happen. Now, after tonight’s wins by #1 seeds UCLA and North Carolina, only #2 Texas (vs. #1 Memphis) and #10 Davidson (vs. #1 Kansas) stand in the way of the all-chalk Final Four.
Pool update shortly.
UPDATE: Ryan Morgan still leads the 13th annual Living Room Times men’s basketball pool presented by the UCLA Bruins, but he’ll be eliminated if #1-seeded Memphis beats #2 Texas tomorrow.
For now, 12 contestants — Morgan, Mark Gardner, Joseph Hiegel, Chris Mulvey, Keith Evans, Lisa Velte, Chuck Wessell, Alex Whitfield, Shari Long, Steve Hartranft, Amy Greca and Robert Dokes — are still alive to win the pool.
But Morgan, Gardner and Hartranft would be eliminated by a Memphis win, while Evans would be eliminated if Memphis wins and Davidson beats Kansas. On the other hand, Hiegel, Mulvey, Whitfield, Long and Greca would be eliminated by a Texas win; Velte would be eliminated if either Texas or Kansas wins; Dokes would be eliminated if either Texas or Davidson wins; and Wessell would be eliminated if Davidson wins, regardless of the Memphis-Texas outcome.
If both of the #1 seeds, Memphis and Kansas, win tomorrow, the pool will be as wide-open as is mathematically possible heading into the Final Four, with eight scenarios remaining and a different winner in each of them!
Apparently John McCain is American.
P.S. Meanwhile, it seems Hillaryland considers Indiana a must-win. Also, predictably enough, their line of attack against the growing Hillary-should-withdraw chorus (about which, more here) is to play the gender card: Leahy, Dodd, Richardson, etc. are the “big boys” trying to bully a woman. Ugh. What a shameless b.s. artist she is, truly.
For the second straight year, I let IrishTrojan.com expire this morning. BrendanLoy.com was unaffected. I have now renewed IrishTrojan.com. It may take a while to start working again, but in the long run at least, all is well.
Why/how did this happen? Basically, I’m an idiot. Actually, it’s a bit of a long story, but I don’t really have time to tell it right now, as I’m in the car with Becky, Loyette, Auntie Barb and Auntie Marissa, heading to The Lost Sea in Sweetwater. More later, maybe.
On an unrelated note, GO XAVIER!! BEAT UCLA!!