Nick and I are back, no worse for the wear. We break down each of the Final Four teams. In bullets:
• Why do we, and by we I mean I, hate Duke so much? There’s more in there than just them being white guys. Not much more, but more.
• We talk about why nobody picked Michigan State to go to the Final Four, yet everyone is talking about Izzo’s 6 of the last 12 Final Fours. Why didn’t we think of that three weeks ago? Someone, I think Whitlock, said that Izzo is the best basketball coach in the country at any level. Is that fair? Is it true? Or is he a great TOURNAMENT coach?
• We talk about Tennessee shooting too soon on their last possession in that game, and as Chris Littmann tweeted today, we disagree on the idea of ever shooting too soon when your team is losing. He thinks you take the lead as quickly as you can. I think, with a team like MSU doing the same thing to Maryland last week, you milk the clock and either win or lose with the ball in your hands. I would have called timeout and ran the play to leave less time on the clock.
• I’m rooting for West Virginia. The team, not the state. I mean no ill will to those who live there. I bet I like a bunch of people from there. But let’s not turn a bunch of NYC area kids winning a few games into some grand statement about the people from that state. I’m looking at you, Dan Wetzel’s Yahoo column.
• Butler is a great story, but will there be THAT MUCH of a home-court advantage for them? Sure it’s at home, but don’t people root for the underdog everywhere? Will there be that many more fans rooting for them in the stands in Indy as there would be in New Orleans? Will Hoosier fans be so quick to jump on the Butler Bandwagon when their team is in shambles?
Inside the Press Box:
We discuss two notes from Press Coverage this week. The story on Mike Penner in the LA Times, and the PFT story about Tim Tebow’s autograph session and the role the Palm Beach Post played in sponsoring and covering it.
Huge show today. And long shows always lead to short write-ups. Today’s show features conversations (here comes a list of bullets that all start with ‘in which’):
• In which Nick gets me fired up about local radio hosts thinking Erin Andrews’ wearing skimpy outfits on DWTS is tantamount to getting peeped.
• In which Chris Dobbertean from SB Nation’s Blogging the Bracket talks about his prognostication prowess (or lack there of) when it comes to the field of 65 and their respective seeds.
• In which Dobbertean and I (and later Nick and I) equate the concept of Bracketology to an SAT Prep course, in that he’s not trying to figure out who will win the national title, but rather who will make the field of 65 and where they will be placed.
• In which Nick and I wonder if the selection committee pays attention to the likes of Joe Lunardi when filling out the final bracket and some of the seeding quirks are really a dig at all the Bracket Gurus out there.
• In which Jon Tannenwald of Philly.com’s Soft Pretzel Logic drops the biggest bit of Temple-Cornell knowledge you’ll ever need to know to pick that game.
• In which Tannenwald and I (then Nick and I) discuss what the heck to do with Villanova.
• In which Nick and I look at the week in SAS. Yes, our friendly-neighborhood general columnist is taking on the Temple Owls, with such delights as: “Before one captures glory, he must believe he can do it first. To believe it, he must envision it. And after four years at the helm of Temple, considering the legacy he was handed by the irascible one himself, John Chaney, along with the record and accomplishments of this 2009-10 team, Dunphy can hope for the best all he wants.”
• In which we ask you to click here to listen to the show.
Skeets had to postpone his (heavily plugged) appearance for a trip to the ER, so rather than ask Nick about the Basketball Jones, we talk some Grapefruit League baseball.
And while we’re talking about Stephen Strasburg’s impact on the Nationals, our D.C. friend and resident GOPerative Phillip Stutts calls in to talk about the crazy insane Eric Massa media tour yesterday. Stutts is a pretty connected guy, so he shares some Inside the Beltway insight into how the White House feels about Congressmen and what the whole shakedown of Massa’s resignation really means.
Somehow this turns into a conversation about discussions in the shower which the leads to a HARD LEFT TURN back to baseball to discuss Bill Conlin’s claim that the Phillies have the best infield of the modern era. Is it better than the Yankees? Could the two best infields in the last 50 years both be playing right now?
Nick and I start the show with a conversation about Allen Iverson’s leave of absence from the Sixers to be by his four-year old daughter’s side. She’s sick. They aren’t sure what it is. Iverson could be done with the Sixers, and in theory, with the NBA if nobody else picks him up.
First and foremost, we wish his daughter a speedy recovery. Being a parent of a child around that age, you spend every minute of every day thinking and worrying about their safety. Second, Nick points out that Iverson’s career may end with a whimper, like most stars that shine bright…then burn out. But if he leaves the game to be with his family, doesn’t that illustrate that Iverson has his priorities straight. That a player everyone called selfish is hanging it up so he can take care of his kids? It’s bittersweet, perhaps.
Josh Zerkle joins the show to promote our curling tournament tonight. There may or may not be spots left, so email me if you’re interested. And we talk about curling in the Olympics, and if it will actually spill over to become a recreational sport in America, not as popular as bowling, but somewhere higher than crab soccer. What, you’ve never played crab soccer with your friends on a nice summer afternoon? You’re not livin…
Our good friend Zach Harper from Talkhoops.net joins the show, at 4am eastern time, to talk about the All-Star Weekend in the NBA. But first…
Nick and I talk about the Olympics coverage thus far. First, we put on our Al Roker costumes (yes, I totally wish I had an Al Roker costume) to discuss the weather in Vancouver and how it’s really starting to screw with the quality of the events. But then, our ire is shifted toward NBC. How in the world can a media company spend more than $800 million and not show all the events when they happen? And how in the world do they think that we’d rather see a human interest story by Mary Carillo — who I like, by the way — interviewing Polar Bears more than 1,000 miles away from Vancouver. Just because it’s “CANADA” doesn’t mean it has anything to do with the Games going on in VANCOUVER.