Thursday, March 08, 2007

how my couch is my heaven

on television, currently and all day long:

ESPN: the big east conference basketball tournament
ESPN2: the big ten conference basketball tournament
FOX SPORTS: the pac-ten conference basketball tournament
ESPN PPV1: the atlantic coast conference basketball tournament
ESPN PPV2: the big twelve conference basketball tournament
ESPN PPV3: the southeastern conference basketball tournament
ESPN PPV4: the western athletic conference basketball tournament
ESPN PPV5: the mid-american conference basketball tournament

ass, meet couch.
couch, meet ass.

here's my running blog. you might want to print this up and bring it with you to the crapper.

with georgetown up 25 in the first half, it's a good time for me to get me some food. it's such a shame that georgetown's in the middle of a fantastic run at the end of the season. i've been tracking them since the start as a team to watch, but now, everybody's onto them. damn you, talented and well-coached teams that play up to their potential. side note: it's great to see gary prager as a referee in a big east tournament game. he used to ref my high school games, and we always knew when we were on the court with gary, we had no doubt it was gonna be well-officiated. i'm kinda proud of him.

i hadn't seen him play yet this year until today, but i'm really impressed with the seminoles' al thornton. the guy's superathletic and with a real nice feathery jump shot. he kinda reminds me of josh howard during his senior year at wake forest, except howard seemed to have a little more savvy out there. then again, that might just be the difference between having skip prosser as a coach and leonard hamilton as a coach. florida state has waaay tooo much talent to be scrapping for a tournament bid.

there's 57.1 seconds left, and how the hell is villanova down by 7? they were dead in the water in the first half against a team that you shouldn't come back from, but they do seem to be running out of steam. here's another note: i don't think i'd be wanting to play villanova either in the first round. good guards, a great forward, solid coach. yeah, i wouldn't want to play them. now they're down 5, and forcing georgetown into hitting free throws down the stretch. it's odd how g'town and syracuse are always terrible foul shooting teams. that's just random, you know?

i'm just including this because it's weird watching kentucky in a play-in game in the SEC tournament for the right to play mississippi state. i've watched them play a bunch this year. a new york cop could adequately describe them as "please disperse. nothing to see here".

11:14am NEVADA vs. IDAHO
i read a blurb about the draft prospects of nevada's all-american nick fazekas as being strained because of the odd way that he runs the court. to be honest, i've seen him play some and never noticed it. but i have noticed that he's just as charmin soft as duke's josh mcroberts. soft players don't make it in the nba unless they have season tickets. i'm gonna keep this blowout on until i get a good look at the nick fazekas running experience....okay, he runs labored. it's not an easy style. it's as if he's pulling something behind him, and it's tied to his waist. is it a reason for him to be frowned upon in the nba? no. by the way, don't sleep on nevada. ramon sessions is a great point, and marcellus kemp and fazekas are top-notch college players. this team can do damage, although nobody's really talking about them. they're more than just the gangly white guy with a strange stride.

the irish are one point guard away from being ultra dangerous - which makes it even more of a shame about staten island basketball legend kyle mcalarney. without him, they're down seven against a team coached by jim boeheim.

i'd be watching this game fully - especially with the hurricanes up to a shocking 12 point lead - but i really have no stomach for billy packer. even joe buck thinks this guy is an arrogant jerk. anyway, back to the game. the terrapins' ellena ibekwe just got fouled hard on a breakaway dunk, and bill nantz and packer just had a discussion on whether it was an intentional foul or not. look, just because someone takes a nasty fall doesn't make a foul intentional. in this case, it wasn't, and the refs got it right. and, i hate to say it, so did packer. i just died a little by typing that. it's something i might never get over.

jay bilas just said something to the effect that the irish are one point guard away from being ultra dangerous - which makes it even more of a shame about staten island basketball legend kyle mcalarney. stop stealing from my blog, jay. how many times have i told you this?

12:4pam MIAMI vs. MARYLAND
i just noticed that the acc tournament is being played in tampa bay. you know, because nothing is as invested in the acc tradition as the tampa/st. pete area. so, i'm guessing that greenville, south carolina was booked for this weekend, so they had no other choice than west central florida, where acc basketball is truly the hotbed of all sports. dean smith must be rolling around in his grave. what's next? the acc expanding to boston?

since when did the big ten invite a cyo rec team into their tournament? i haven't seen a team as slow and plodding like northwestern since nba tv ran a retrospective on the 1950s. and yet, they almost beat the spartans. this ain't the year for them, although i do dig watching drew neitzel play.

as much as i want to ink maryland down for the final four, i also see them completely not showing up for what should be an important game. you know, like this one. from boneheaded decisions to having four players on the court to dropping easy passes to catch to not rotating on defense - these are things that a gary williams coached team does not do, but this team has a habit of. whatevs. hence, a loss to a team it had no business losing to, and sleepwalking through the whole game. miami deserved to win just by being there. today, that's all it took.

there's something about this arizona team that just ain't working. i can't understand what. they've got a steady point, an explosive two-guard, an athletic three, a big guy with range and enough bigs to keep teams honest. and yet, they just can't get going. on another note, the guards from oregon are very good. porter's a whip with the ball, and brooks seems to be in control this year, and that has elevated his game immensely. guards rule college hoops, and the ducks have two real good ones. just sayin'.

hawai'i coach riley wallace is sporting the hawaiian shirt on the sidelines. now that's dedication, folks. even in his last game.

3:26pm UCLA vs. CAL
ucla is one of those teams that's easily one of the best in the nation, will most likely be a #1 seed, and yet i have no hesitation to knock them out early on my march madness predictions. they just don't have the bigs, and these 8 and 9 seeds are gonna be dangerous. afllalo and collison and shipp are the very best guard tandem you'll find in college hoops, but guards can be stopped. i know, i said that guards rule college hoops, but they can be stopped. as for this game, cal's shooting the lights out right now, and they're up 16. ucla's having trouble matching up with ryan anderson, who's too big and too rangy. that's gonna be a problem when they match up with better teams in march. i just feel it. (on a side note, i really like ben howland and ben bruin as coaches. they're bentastic).

illinois is slowly blowing a fifteen point lead on the nittany lions who, by the way, in december were soundly defeated by the mighty seawolves of the state university of new york at stony brook. makes you wonder how stony brook would have done in the big ten. probably a lot better than their last place finish in the america east. yes, this is how my brain works.

4:30pm DUKE vs. NC STATE
as i stated before, i just don't get josh mcroberts. i really don't get what nba scouts love about this guy. he's soft, he doesn't really defend, he gets pushed around, he doesn't finish by the hoop and he has no inclination to take a game over. yeah, that's exactly what i want in a 6'10" big guy. oh, but he handles the ball well and is a good passer. well, unless they score and rebound, guys like that don't have a place in the nba. sorry. two of the top players in the nba are white, so we can stop looking for the great white hope. they already exist. enough with mcroberts. by the way, sidney lowe in a wolfpack red jacket looks like a mobile mcdonalds.

5:03pm UCLA vs CAL
when i said that ucla is primed to be upset, i meant in the ncaa tournament and not by a cal team that's headed nowhere but is now two wins away from somewhere wonderful. huge win for the bears.

if i had a son, and if he were old enough and good enough to play high level college basketball, i think i'd like for him to play for john belein in morgantown. i just love watching the mountaineers play ball. athletically, there's no way they should be anywhere near louisville, who is also well-coached (obviously), but here they are, within a point with four minutes to play. i never come away unimpressed. never. then again, if i had a son, and he told me that he wanted to spend his four formative years into adulthood in west virginia, where pacman jones and chris henry became grown men, well...umm...well...

5:50pm DUKE vs NC STATE
nc state is just a much tougher team than duke. nelson and mcclure are plenty tough, but i'm not sold on paulus and scheyer and mcroberts. it's a one point game now with three minutes left. let's see what the dukies are made of.

tie game. 1:26 remaining. two young teams on the court, both relying on the three. both well-coached. interesting? hell yeah. west virginia needs this win, louisville wants it...beilein calls a time out with :17 left, tied game. there's few teams that execute as well out of a timeout than the 'neers...

5:58pm DUKE vs. NC STATE
tied with 1:32 left. i've been relying on the "last" button on my remote control to navigate my way through this day. don't fail me now.

...wvu guard runs perfectly off a high screen for a layup to put them ahead with :04 to go. rice high school alum edgar sosa dribbles down the length of the court and hits his own layup with :00.5 left to play. wonderful basketball. tie game. headed to overtime, pending official's verification...this might not count. the clock might not have started immediately when inbounded, looks like he took two quick steps, but how do you quantify that? we're in overtime. don't fail me now, "last" button.

6:02pm DUKE vs. NC STATE
tied with :40 left. lord, i love march, and it's not even the madness yet. state's running the clock down, here we go...missed shot by state, offensive rebound, missed deep three by state, offensive rebound, time out, :03.3 to go...the guy who missed the three had hit his last seven, but he took that one from about 28 feet away, rushed...jumper from the corner, no good, tip just missed, overtime. don't fail me now, "last" button.

these overtime games are staggered. thank you, god. louisville is gonna be a beast next year. they're already damn good, and they're all frosh and sophs, and i'm sure pitino has some more studs coming in. by the way, i'm starving, but there's no way i'm leaving my seat right now. time out.

6:13pm DUKE vs. NC STATE
mcroberts just rammed the ball down with authority. i'm surprised he didn't bring the backboard down with him. whoa. and now, a sweet little jumper. is it me, or is he taking over? who kidnapped josh mcroberts and replaced him with this aggressive dude? don't fail me now, "last" button.

louisville up 1, :36.2 left. cardinal ball. it's a free throw contest now. made one, louisville up two, wvu on the drive with :21.2 left. sosa reaches and fouls out. that's huge. they need him. bad play by the frosh point. tie game, :16 left. time out. short jumper off the rim, and we're in double OT.

6:18pm DUKE vs. NC STATE
state up four with the ball and with :12.8 left. mcroberts driving to the hoop and fouled. it's his first trip to the line tonight. really?!? are you kidding me? he's 6'10", plays the whole game, and this is his first trip to the line? he missed the second. state up three with :11.7 and on the line. brandon costner nails both, and he has 30 for state. of course, the clock didn't run when duke inbounded. you know, we're in tampa, and somehow duke still somehow tries to get away with that. how does that happen? does a clock malfunction ever not happen in a duke game? state wins by 5. don't fail me now, "last" button.

i think west virginia's spent. they played last night, and louisville didn't. they just ran the ugliest offensive set season long, and louisville is just fresher. cardinals up nine with 1:15 left. by the way, i really like len elmore as a color commentator. he's understated and he's one of the few guys out there that actually breaks things down without promoting himself in the process. he's enjoyable to listen to.

6:46pm BOISE ST. vs. FRESNO ST.
4:48 to go and it's tied in their first round matchup of the WAC tournament. i believe watching this game is the first sign of realizing that you're an addict. actually, these teams are good, and this conference isn't disgusting. still, i need to take a breath.

no time for breaths.

the best basketball has come late in the day. right after the two overtime games comes a back-and-forth affair between these two behemoths. i watched marquette beat my st. john's squad last night, and although the game was close, they were really impressive. when dominic james has it in his head to be a point guard, he might be the best in the nation. wesley matthews is solid, dan fitzgerald can sink it from three, and they've got a bunch of interesting parts on the team. when jerel mcneil comes back, they'll be even stingier on defense. and, of course, since they are coached by tom crean, they work harder than most teams. and here's pitt, who is the deepest team in the country, full of gritty new yorkers, physical, talented, athletic and with big-time players inside and outside and a damn good coach. am i high on these teams? hell yes. this game is going back and forth with good hard ballin'. got the potential to be the best game of the night. really nice stuff here.

7:59pm STANFORD vs. USC
lawrence hill, fred washington, brook lopez, robin lopez, mitch johnson. does that sound like the roster for a basketball team or for your local geek squad? that's what i thought too. but they're doing a good job on a very athletic trojan team. i'm digging the game of usc point guard daniel hackett. he's really aggressive and physical and just imposing his way on the court. you know he's there. on another note, the hooter's commercial with dick vitale is easily one of the worst written, directed and acted spots that's ever been produced. then again, for a restaurant that taunts their "assets" but always winds up disappointing you in person, they sure casted some prime talent.

everything about pitt's center aaron gray screams stiff - except for his game. there's a place for him in the nba, just less so in today's up-tempo style. it's a shame he was born ten years too late.

8:15pm STANFORD vs. USC
daniel hackett just hit a four point play to put USC up two with 3:05. they were down by 15 at the half. from what i've seen, this freshman has led them back. impressed? yeah. the other thing that sticks out at me is that tim floyd is a very good coach. usc doesn't seem to be the easiest team to manage. they're almost too athletic for their own good. but they play disciplined, smart basketball. they're missing something to make a big run, but they're not bad at all. athletically, they might be too much for a small school. but they're missing something. stanford, on the other end, is swatting everything. having seven foot twins that can play is a nice asset.

it's something else to watch a shooter who's feeling it. and dan fitzgerald from marquette is feeling it.

8:24pm STANFORD vs. USC
stanford's bench is truly the a/v club. but they're up two with :23.7 left...nick young hits a big shot off balance to tie...okay, stanford's got the ball and no timeouts left. ball goes out of bounds with :05.4 left, so floyd from usc calls a timeout. why? you're giving stanford a chance to calm down and set up a play. i know you're setting up your defense, but that's a hand signal. i don't get it, but it happens all the time...anthony goods drives past his defender who falls, he shoots...and it's swatted away. we got OT.

8:30pm LSU vs. TENNESSEE
i haven't been ignoring this game, but the "last" button on my remote only serves two channels, and this is third on my list. tennessee's got one of my favorite players in the nation in chris lofton, who is a fantastic shooter and is the craftiest player in the country. and what happened to LSU this year? i mean, there was such a big buzz over glen davis losing all his baby fat, but that hasn't really translated. plus, it doesn't seem like it would be fun to play for john brady. they just ran a great stat: tennessee is 37-2 under bruce pearl when they have a lead with 5 minutes to go. and after lofton's long three from the corner, they're up five with 4:20 to go.

8:42pm STANFORD vs. USC
with some tough defense, it looks like usc's gonna win out here. they just willed their way to it. teams with a clear athletic edge have that ability to just turn it on. consider it turned.

8:51pm LSU vs. TENNESSEE
all 6'1" of chris lofton just out tapped one home in traffic to tie the game. he just produces. he's just one of those great college basketball players that nobody really talks about. anyways, his tip is followed by a world class flop with :07.3 left to give the ball back to the vols. and guess what? we're in OT. again.

pitt's up by 16 with 1:32 to go. wtf happened here? see what happens when i'm preoccupied with two games that went into overtime?

9:08pm LSU vs. TENNESSEE
glen davis is gassed, but not too exhausted to lose. make that stat 37-3.

in case anyone's still reading, this is twelve straight hours of college basketball. that's why this is in bold. it's a bold move by me, especially with eight channels playing games pretty much non-stop. if i were self-congratulatory, i'd buy myself this trophy and put it on my mantle.

lest you think i'm giving up,

okay, i might not make it to the end, but i've got enough to last me through halftime. i haven't seen wazzu play this year, but i've heard and read nothing but fantastic stuff about them. my first impression is that they look like they were pulled out from a phish concert. the chick they have playing point is pretty good. and they play this, well, i think it's a zone, but it's got man principles, and they all seem to help but know exactly where their guy is, even if he's left the area. so they seem like they have seven guys out there instead of five. it's rather cool to watch because they're damn good at it. but, honestly, they ain't going far in the tournament. they seem like an adequate ballclub. in fact, i can't figure out how they got this much mileage, a #2 seed, in the pac-10. (then again, it is just the pac-10). on the flip side, there's no reason why washington should be this poor. they are loaded. what the hell happened to them? anyone? hell, they've got more than their share of good bigs.

then again, guards rule college hoops.

i'm not sure that last paragraph made sense. so that's it. i'm done. no overtime for me.

good hoopin', everyone.

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