Since I was being mean to Buffalo yesterday, I figured I should do something nice for a Buffalo native this morning. And, conveniently enough, one of Becky’s high-school classmates needs my, and your, help!
Sara Crowther (nÃƒÂ©e Alpsan) is competing in the "Be a Milk Rock Star with Rascal Flatts" contest. She uploaded a video of herself singing "God Bless the Broken Road," and it’s currently ranked 14th out of 219 entries, based on viewers’ votes. That’s up from like 85th or something when I first checked! You can help keep that momentum ("Crow-mentum"?) going by clicking the above link and voting for Sara!
Sara doesn’t need to finish first — she just needs to crack the Top 10 by April 15. Then Rascal Flatts and MilkRocks.com will pick the winner from the Top 10 entries. Whoever they choose will, according to the contest rules, "win
a trip for them, and three friends, to see the band live and perform
their song entry onstage with Rascal Flatts; a Gibson Les Paul Studio
Guitar autographed by Rascal Flatts; their own backstage dressing room,
a meet and greet with the band; VIP accommodations to and from the
concert on the Gibson Guitar Tour Bus and a webcast featuring their
performance aired for 30 days on MilkRocks.com."
So anyway… vote for Sara! Here’s her video:
#5-seed Notre Dame and #4-seed Oklahoma — playing in West Lafayette, Indiana — are tied 72-72 in overtime in the second round of the women’s tournament. Winner gets Tennessee in the Sweet Sixteen. GO IRISH!!
UPDATE: IRISH WIN!! Notre Dame is Sweet 16-bound!! Wooo!! GOOOO IRISH, BEEEEAT LADY VOLS!!
I’ll update the pools in the morning.
U.S. News and World Report’s 2009 law-school rankings aren’t due to be officially released until Friday, but there are scattered reports of leaks. (Hat tip: yea.) Specifically, law blog The Shark has published a PDF scan of an apparently Xeroxed copy of the alleged list (purportedly found at an unspecified “newsstand”); Xoxohth poster “Gerbil21″ claims he saw the magazine on display early at a local Barnes & Noble and wrote the rankings down by hand; and poster “m1″ on Law School Discussion took a digital picture of the alleged new rankings page.
If the leaked list is accurate — a big “if” — it would mean Notre Dame Law School has recovered from last year’s drop from #22 to #28, climbing back into a tie for #22. However, I can’t vouch for the accuracy of these purported leaks in any way, shape or form. I’m just passing on the links. You can consider them sort of like the early unweighted exit polls on election nights: lend them whatever credence you feel is appropriate, with “none” being a perfectly valid answer. We report, you decide.
Oh, and insert your own rankings-don’t-matter disclaimer here. :)
P.S. For example.
Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly is reportedly considering a run for Congress as a Republican.
Let’s see: he can serve in the House for four years, run for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat in 2012, win in a stunning upset, make a national name for himself, and then in 2016, when President Obama is termed out…
…can you say Kelly-Norwood ‘16?
You may scoff, but the ticket has some major built-in political advantages. First of all, they’d win the normally Democratic state of New York in a landslide, by uniting nostalgic Bills fans and grateful Giants fans. And secondly, they’d have no problems motivating the conservative base. After all, nobody knows how to aim for the right like Scott Norwood! It’d be a vast wide-right wing conspiracy!
(Hat tip: Hugging Harold Reynolds. To all my Buffalo readers, including my wife, I apologize. I couldn’t resist.)
The Notre Dame men were eliminated by Washington State yesterday, but the Notre Dame women are still alive, headed for a Tuesday second-round matchup with Oklahoma after beating #12-seed Southern Methodist this afternoon. Go Irish!!
In my women’s pool, there’s a five-way tie for the lead among Kay Torg, Ken Stern, Tom Caputi, Chuck Wessell and F.X. McGahee — and, in a tournament that has seen only two upsets in 24 games, those co-eaders are also tied with the “all favorites bracket.” Complete standings here and after the jump.
In the battle to determine my rooting interest for the remainder of the tournament, Tennessee leads Butler, 53-49 with 7:53 left.
In the other games still ongoing, it looks like Texas, Western Kentucky and Georgetown have the edge (though I’m still hoping for a Davidson comeback in the latter game). And earlier, Villanova beat Siena. I’ll post a pool update after the conclusion of all four of the games currently underway.
UPDATE: What a great bunch of games those turned out to be!! Texas survives a furious Miami comeback, Western Kentucky does the same against San Diego, Tennessee wins a thriller in overtime over a game Butler squad, and Davidson rallies to stun Georgetown! WOO!!!
I realize it’s easy to second-guess the committee after the games have been played, but man, Butler is way better than a #7 seed, eh? They should have been able to reach the Sweet Sixteen without playing a team as good as Tennessee (which arguably should have been a #1 seed). But alas. Great win for the Vols. They certainly had to earn it. I’ll be rooting for them from here on out — unless they meet Davidson in the Final Four (not totally implausible) or Western Kentucky in the title game (umm, kind of implausible), in which case I’ll probably revert to my usual mid-major lovefest.
Anyway, pool update coming shortly.
Wazzu 61, Notre Dame 41, final.
You don’t win too many games scoring 41 points, least of all in the NCAA Tournament.
So all three of “my teams” are gone within the tournament’s first three days. All four if you count UConn. Harumph. I guess now I’m rooting for… Davidson? The Butler-Tennessee winner? And of course, whoever’s playing UCLA. :)
Meanwhile, we’ve got a thriller in overtime between Marquette and Stanford. Go Pac-10!! GO DRUNKEN TREES!!!
UPDATE: Stanford wins!! Brook Lopez hit the game-winner with 1.3 seconds left. One of the best games of the tournament for sure. And the Trees won despite losing their coach in the first half.
P.S. Incidentally, Notre Dame’s loss knocked Khalil Aboukhaled out of sole possession of first place in the pool, back into a four-way tie with Liz Janelle, Alex Whitfield and Ryan Morgan. That’s still the situation after Stanford’s win, which all four of the co-leaders predicted. Full update coming after the Kansas-UNLV game ends.
I kid, I kid! :) But Notre Dame clearly isn't playing too well, down 32-19 at the half. Though we missed almost the entire first half because Purdue-Xavier took so long to finish. Speaking of which,
Khalil Aboukhaled (a.k.a. fezafou) now leads the pool.
UPDATE: Harumph. With the Irish trailing 38-28 with 14:08 left, CBS has switched us over to the closer Stanford-Marquette game. Off to MMOD I go.
The first wave of Friday games is underway. ESPN.com’s writers are hoping for some excitement: “Day 1’s 16 NCAA tournament games were decided by an average of 16 points. Will Day 2’s slate bring a return to the Madness?”
You know, if South Alabama beats Butler later this afternoon, Tennessee might have to beat American and USA to reach the Sweet 16? Unpatriotic bastards! :) Right now, though, they’re struggling with American, which is outrebounding them 12-4. Huh?
Also underway: Gonzaga-Davidson. GO ZAGS!!!
Also, Drake-Western Kentucky and Miami-St. Mary’s. It’s mid-major hour! Only two BCS-conference teams are in action at the moment.
P.S. The latest NIT Pool standings are up, after last night’s wins by Syracuse (over Maryland) and Arizona State (over Southern Illinois). Mark Gardner is still perfect, with an 18-for-18 record and 132 points. Ginny Zak is now alone for second place at 17-for-18 and 125 points. Eight contestants are tied for third with 118 points.
Conquest Chronicles: “One and Done…Are you Kidding me?”
All Things Trojan: “Was O.J. Mayo’s freshman campaign a success?”
Also, let the “will they stay or will they go?” speculation — about not just Mayo, but also Jefferson and Gibson — begin in earnest.
George Mason will not be this year’s George Mason. Or even this year’s Winthrop, for that matter. :) Hurrah! Admire Mike Brey!
Don’t fret, Coach! You won!
Up next: Wazzu, Saturday at 6:40. GO IRISH!!
Well, hey, my bracket may be shot, and I may be tied for 242nd out of 245 in my pool, and I may have seen all my major predicted upsets come and go without happening… but at least one of my alma maters won today!
Notre Dame and George Mason are underway. Go Irish! I want my alma maters to at least go 1-for-2 today…
P.S. Also: Go Fullerton!! The #14-seed Titans are about to tip off against #3 Wisconsin. After all this carnage in my bracket, is it too much to ask that I get my one totally absurd upset pick right? :)
UPDATE: Good news: Notre Dame has jumped out to a 23-7 lead over George Mason. Bad news: CBS has deemed the game a blowout, and sent us out to a different game. Good news: The game they sent us out to is Wisconsin-Fullerton; the Titans lead by 3!
UPDATE 2: 33-21 Irish at the half.
UPDATE 3: And 30-28 Wisconsin. Go Fullerton!!
UPDATE 4: Damn. The Badgers are on a 15-3 run, and just like that, it’s 45-34 Wisconsin with 12:19 left.
Meanwhile, USC is hanging in there with Kansas State, but with Taj Gibson now having four fouls this early in the second half, I’m not too optimistic. Nevertheless: Fight on!! Beat the Wildcats!!
UPDATE: Okay, so USC is totally going to lose. Arrrrgh.
But Belmont leads Duke by 1 with 1:40 left, and they have the ball! GO BELMONT!!!
UPDATE, 9:15 PM: AAAAHH!!! Duke by 1, Belmont ball, 4 seconds left!!!
UPDATE 9:17 PM: ARRRRRRGH.
UPDATE, 9:19 PM: Missed free throw! Timeout! Another chance! Two-point-something seconds left, Duke by 1, Belmont ball on the opposite end of the floor… one shining moment, anyone?? Either Duke is about to win, or we’re about to witness an all-time NCAA Tournament highlight.
UPDATE, 9:21 PM: It was the former. :( Duke wins, 71-70. Damn.
Oh, and Kansas State beat USC, 80-67. :(
Belmont had better either: a) fade soon, or b) win. If I miss the whole USC-Kansas State game just to watch Duke pull out a narrow victory, I’m going to be super-annoyed.
Now, to try MMOD…
UPDATE: MMOD is working well, but the USC Trojans are not. They’re down 8 with four minutes left in the first half, and — far more devastatingly — Taj Gibson just picked up his third foul. When the foul was announced, I said: “That’s it, they’re going to lose.” Argh.
The trouble with living in a state that has five NCAA Tournament teams is that you’re locked into watching a lot of first-round games involving those teams, whether or not they’re the most exciting game in progress. I mentioned this before with relation to Duke-Belmont pre-empting USC-Kansas State tomorrow night, but it’s an even bigger issue on Friday, when all four time slots will occupied by games involving Tennessee teams, only one of which (Vanderbilt-Siena at 7:20, a 4-13 game) figures to be potentially competitive. The other games are: #2 Tennessee vs. #15 American at 12:15, #2 Texas vs. #15 Austin Peay at 2:50, and #1 Memphis vs. #16 Texas-Arlington at 9:40.
According to the local CBS affiliate, "At the network’s discretion, all
games BUT the Kentucky vs Marquette game [Thursday at 2:30] and the Tennessee vs American
Game can be switched from/to during play to a better game of the
network’s choosing." (The Kentucky game gets higher "regional" priority than any of the non-UT teams from Tennessee? Weird.) So, once Texas and Memphis open up big leads, they’ll take us out to other games at some point (like maybe Butler-South Alabama in the 2:50 slot). That’s a relief. But I’m doomed — unless I go to a sports bar, which is a chancy proposition when you’ve got a baby — to have virtually zero chance of watching any of Gonzaga-Davidson, Miami-St. Mary’s or Drake-Western Kentucky, all of which I really want to see, but all of which are scheduled opposite Tennessee-American. Arrrgh.
(I tried MMOD at home the other day. It works okay — better than it did with our ridiculously slow connection in South Bend — but I still don’t think it’ll be acceptably smooth for live, fast-moving basketball action. It’s a wee bit jerky, to an extent that might not be bothersome in some contexts, but will, I think, be problematic for watching live sports.)