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Off Topic: Did Emmert actually answer any of these questions?

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Last week, embattled NCAA head Mark Emmert appeared on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” morning show.

Some idiot at ESPN thought it’d be a wonderful idea to solicit questions live for Emmert via twitter using the #AskEmmert hashtag.

What followed was hilarity.  As pointed out by three different outlets (blog AwfulAnnouncing), UsaToday, and si.com), people went to full snark mode almost immediately.  Each of the three links here posted different collections of tweeted “questions,” but they were awesome.  My favorites (pulled from these various links):

  • “remember that time you mismanaged a $150 million building project at UConn so badly the governor ordered an investigation?”
  • “UCONN’s graduation rate is 8%. Are these really STUDENT athletes?”
  • “Why do athletic directors and coaches get bonuses based on player performance while the player gets nothing?”
  • “Can you explain amateurism and not paying players without using circular logic?”
  • “I run a non-profit, where can we apply to get free labor like you do?”
  • “When are you going to resign?”
  • “what’s it like to rule a organization of thousands of schools and millions of student athletes using “because I said so” as logic?”
  • “Why do student-athletes’ parents have to get permission from compliance office to take their kid’s teammate to McDonald’s?”
  • “hey, do you think we’re stupid, or do you really believe this stuff you say?”
  • “I once gave a football player some gum in my class. Who do I contact to have his scholarship revoked?”
  • “Do you think slavery would still be around if they called them “student farmers?”"
  • “Did you fly on a private jet to explain why the NCAA can’t afford to give athletes more than a scholarship?”
  • “NCAA President says athletes are “taking seats from a paying student.” Wow.”

That last one was from highly-vocal NCAA critic Jay Bilas, joining in on the fun.

There were a ton of other funny questions … the above only lists the “serious” questions about Emmert’s organization.  But creativity points to others; see the above links for more.

All I can say is, wow.  I once heard a funny anecdote about the time that folksy SI.com NFL writer Peter King was mercilessly made fun of during a live Q&A session on social media (instead of getting football questions, he was hounded with “questions” about inane topics … you kind of have to read the chat session).  This is what happens when the entire internet lives behind a curtain of anonymity sometimes.

All I can say about Emmert’s Q&A session is this: man I would have loved to be in the room to see the color drain out of his face.

Written by Todd Boss

April 21st, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Non-Baseball

Happy Holidays!

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Happy holidays to everyone who reads and (especially) participates here.  I really enjoy our conversations and I hope you do too.

I hope you and yours are well this holiday season.

Written by Todd Boss

December 25th, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Non-Baseball

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30 for 30 review: Big Shot

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(Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the film or if you don’t know the story).

We havn’t done a review of a 30-for-30 documentary in a while because, well, it had been since April since one was released.  Now there’s been a whole bunch that premiered this month, and we’re catching up.

Here’s some quick thoughts on Big Shot, the story of John Spano‘s incredible story of financial fraud and duplicity that enabled him to “purchase” and control the New York Islanders hockey franchise for a brief period in the mid 1990s.  This film was directed and narrated by Kevin Connelly, better known as the character “E” from the HBO show Entourage.  Connelly grew up on Long Island, is a lifelong Islanders fan, and had intimately followed this entire story during his childhood.

On the whole, I did not think this was one of ESPN’s best films.  I disagreed with Bill Simmons‘ effusive praise to Connelly when they appeared on his podcast The B.S. Report, though in fairness it could have been a case of “stroking the ego” of the star.  Connelly should have gotten a professional narrator; his voice overs were amateurish and lacked the proper cadence for a serious documentary.  The film was 1.5 hours, probably 30 minutes too long for the story that it intended to tell.  Even with an hour and a half, there are basic details on Spano’s wikipedia page that went uncovered.   On the good side, the fact that Connelly got Spano on film (freshly released from his second stint in federal prison for financial fraud) really helps this story; I think back to the 30-for-30 piece on Allen Iverson that never featured the star player and the film comes of lacking.  Also, the wide list of interviews the film shows (including basically every player in the drama, including the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman) gives the film a lot of credit.  The podcast interview goes into some detail about this: Spano was very hesitant to do the interviews until realizing it was 30-for-30; had this been any other documentary he likelihood of Spano’s character getting completely trashed was high.

The story itself is amazing; Spano got an $80Million loan with almost no due diligence on the bank’s part.  $80 million.  Think about how much paperwork you went through the last time you bought a house or a car or a business loan.  And, it is amazing to think about this story and see how close Spano really came to pulling it off; he was within a couple of days of finding someone to make his first $17M payment, and you’d have to think with a year to make the next payment he could have found a way to continue the charade.  Also amazing to think is this: he *owned” the team; the papers were signed despite the money not showing up.  Its like the analogy in the film; if you sign over the title of your car to some other guy … that’s HIS car, whether or not you got any money for it.  Spano could have made this really, really ugly for the league when push came to shove, despite Bettman’s hollow statements that “the league never would have let” Spano continue to hold the team.

The funny thing is this; if you leave out the clear fraud, the phony documents, etc; this transaction was almost like an old school leveraged buyout.  You get loans covering nearly the entire purchase price of a company, using that same company as leverage, and then make the loan payments from the coffers of the newly acquired company.  Think about how Malcolm Glazer obtained control over Manchester United: a very similar deal.  He “bought” his portion with tons of loans, put those loans on the books of the club, and financed the payments on the backs of the club’s profits.  Spano himself was halfway to a completely leveraged buy-out already, and came pretty close to taking at least the first step towards the next phase.

The team has never come close to returning to its early 1980s glory years; it has just one division crown since 1985.  It hasn’t advanced in the playoffs since 1993, and in the last 15 years had streaks of 8 and 5 straight playoff-less seasons.  Whether that has anything to do with the ownership snafus, bad luck with players, or (more likely) due to difficulties working with Nassau county officials over the years (a fact only alluded to in the film) getting needed stadium upgrades remains arguable.  As for Spano (as detailed in his wiki page), he got out of prison and was soon back for repeated financial fradulent behaviors.

All in all; a great story.  But the documentary left a bit to be desired.

 

Written by Todd Boss

October 30th, 2013 at 10:25 am

Is this a media/political correctness over-reaction?

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Is this really a racially insensitive statement, or a media overreaction?  Photo via usatoday.com

Is this really a racially insensitive statement, or a media overreaction? Photo via usatoday.com

I know that the whole “Redskins” name debate has dialed up in recent months.  Sometimes tacked on to that debate is the status of the Cleveland “Indians” moniker in general, and the racially insensitive logo (at least in some people’s eyes) in particular.

But is this picture really that bad?  Is this sort of reaction warranted here?

Are these guys really dressed up in “red-face” or are they dressed up more like a “clown-face” that happens to be red?  I mean, the team colors are “red,” as evidenced by the red lettering on their jersey.  I dunno.   I didn’t think twice about this picture until I saw the story repeated several times in my RSS feed today.  And my initial reaction is this: I didn’t think anything of it and certainly didn’t take it as insulting.  But then again I’m a) not an American Indian an b) generally cynical when it comes to the general over-reaction in today’s climate against anything that is funny, sarcastic or anything even remotely resembling a politically incorrect statement.

I mean, it isn’t as if they colored their faces like this:

Not good.  Photo via google images.

Not good. Photo via google images.

 

The two links that I posted happen to be from two websites that may be just trolling for readers.  One is the click-ad opportunistic BusinessInsider website; they often post incredibly argumentative headlines and lists of pictures that force you to click through 20 items to pad their hit counters.  The other is the USA Today, which has somewhat of a “stuffy” reputation in the sports reporting world for being overly “PC” in its columns and stances (see anything that Nancy Brennan has ever written or consider their relentless/continued coverage of everything Lance Armstrong when the other major sporting news outlets have long since let go of the coverage).  So perhaps I’m just getting caught up in these two website’s trolling activities and over-reacting myself.

What do you think?

 

Written by Todd Boss

October 3rd, 2013 at 2:29 pm

How much live action occurs in each sport? Ball-in-Play studies summarized

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How much live action actually occurs in each major sport?

I’ve never been the biggest NFL fan, despite living in a distinctly football town here in Washington DC.  But in the past 10 years or so, slowly my patience for watching an entire NFL football broadcast has ended.  Notice how games used to be slated for 1pm and 4pm on Sundays?  Now they’re 1pm and 4:15pm, with seemingly all that extra time now devoted to commercials.  Every time there’s a time-out, a break in play, after every challenge, there’s more commercials.

Ironically, the same distinct lack of action complaint is easily seen in baseball broadcasts.  So I can’t be casting too many hypocritical stones against my football-following brethren.

In any case, I’ve looked far and wide for “Ball in Play” studies for the 5 major professional sports to compare and contrast the TV viewer experience.  Here’s what I’ve found (all sources are listed at the bottom and referenced inline).  For some sports (Hockey and Basketball) it is relatively easy to assume that, if the clock is running, there’s action.  For the others, with either a lack of a clock (Baseball) or significant periods of inactivity while the clock is running (Soccer to some extent but especially in Football) the details are harder to come by.

  • Baseball: Per the 2013 WSJ study, Baseball games feature 17 minutes and 58 seconds of action.  Baseball games have been increasing in length (thanks in part to the eighteen annual 4-hour marathons between the glacial Boston Red Sox and equally glacial New York Yankees) over the years.   But, the amount of action has stayed roughly the same.  A 1952 TV broadcast showed about 13 minutes of action but just 9 minutes 45 seconds of commercials. The latest WSJ study found that fully 42 minutes and 41 seconds of between-inning inactivity would be purely commercial time on TV broadcasts.  That means there’s nearly 5 times as many commercials now than 50 years ago.
  • Football: Per the WSJ 2010 study, NFL games feature about 11 minutes of action.  The amount of action in football games has been roughly the same since the early 1900s.  There was roughly 13 1/2 minutes of action in 1912, and slightly less in the 2010 study.  Other studies have shown that football generally ranges between 12-17 minutes of action.  Personally I tracked one quarter of an NFL playoff game  a few years ago with these numbers: in 50 minutes of clock time we saw exactly 250 seconds of action (4 minutes, 10 seconds) accompanied by no less than 20 commercials.  And this turned out to be a relatively “easy” quarter: one time out, one two-minute warning and two challenges/reviews.  It could have been a lot worse.
  • Basketball: NBA games average 2 hours and 18 minutes in actual time.  Working backwards (since the clock only runs when the ball is in play and we know there’s exactly 48 minutes of play time) we know that there’s 138-48 = 90 minutes of “down time” of some sort in a typical NBA game.  Not all of that is commercial time but all of it is inaction.  I cannot find any documentation of typical number of commercials so i’ve just split the difference between on-screen inaction and off-screen commercials in the table below.  If you’re a big-time NBA watcher and feel this isn’t fair, please comment as such.
  • Hockey: The Livestrong piece below (why is Livestrong doing “ball-in-play” studies on Hockey??) quotes average NHL games being 2hours and 19minutes in the 2003-4 season.  Working backwards from this, you have three 20-minute periods and two 17 minute intermissions, which leaves 46 minutes of remaining idle time.  Given that the idle times in Hockey are not nearly as long as those in basketball, I’m going to estimate that about 2/3rds of that 46minutes is commercials.
  • Soccer: Per the Soccerbythenumbers.com website 2011 study, between 62 and 65 minutes of ball-in-play action is seen on average in the major European pro leagues per game.  For the table below i’ll use 64 minutes as an average.  The duration of pro soccer games is relatively easy to calculate: they fit neatly into a 2 hour window by virtue of its 45minute halves, 15 minute break and an average of 3 minutes added-time on either side of the halves.  45+45+3+3+15 = 111 minutes of a 2 hour/120 minute time period.  Thanks to a bit of fluff on either side of the game, you generally count a soccer broadcast to last 1 hour and 55 minutes.  In the table below i’ve assumed that a huge portion of the intermission is commercial; in fact it is a lot less since most soccer broadcasts have a half-time show and highlights.  So if anything, the # of commercials in soccer broadcasts is less than listed.  Post 2014 World Cup Update: Fifa estimates that the group stage games averaged 57.6 minutes of action per game (if i’m reading their stat page correctly).  We can add this to a future version of this post.

So, in summary, here’s how the five major sports look like in terms of Ball in Play and # of commercials the viewer is forced to endure in a typical broadcast:

Sport Clock Duration Amt of Action % of Action Amt of Commercial Time # of commercials # of commercials/hour
Baseball 2hrs 58mins 17mins 58secs 10.10% 42mins 41secs ~84 28.31
Football 3hrs 5mins 11mins 5.90% 60mins ~120 38.92
Soccer 1hr 55mins 64mins 55.60% est 19mins ~38 19.83
Basketball 2hrs 18mins 48mins 34.70% est 45mins est 90 39.13
Hockey 2hrs 20mins 60mins 42.80% est 30mins est 60 25.71

From this you can clearly see that watching Soccer gives you the most amount of live “Action,” though cynics and soccer-haters would probably claim that a lot of that action is “dead action,” defenders passing the ball around and not the type of action you see in other sports.  I’m a soccer fan and would rather have this type of “dead action” than what we see in the NFL: one 3 second running play then more than 30 seconds of watching players stand around before running another 3 second running play.

Soccer is easily the most predictable of the five sports to plan a viewing experience around; you know for a fact that a regular-season/non-Overtime game is going to be over within 2 hours.  All the other sports can go into over-time and lengthen the time commitment.

Professional Football is at the bottom of all of these Viewer-experience measures: it is the longest broadcast, shows the least amount of game action and forces almost 40 commercials an hour onto its viewers.  And the NFL is only getting worse; recent years have seen the introduction of new commercial breaks where none existed before (after a kickoff being the most ridiculous, but the mandated booth reviews at the end of halves now gift-wrap new commercial breaks to broadcasters at a game’s most critical time).

Thoughts?  If you have better information I’m all ears.  I’ve had this post in draft mode since December 2010 looking for better data and, with the latest WSJ post decided to just go with what I had.

Sources:

Written by Todd Boss

July 17th, 2013 at 8:20 am

Why is Paul Pierce wearing a Washington Nationals hat?

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http://www.thebiglead.com/index.php/2013/07/06/paul-pierce-is-piling-up-the-chips-at-world-series-of-poker-event/

No complaints.  Just seems a bit odd :-)  He has (as far as I can tell) zero connections to Washington (born in Oakland, high school in LA, college in Kansas, entire NBA career in Boston).

Good pub for the team I guess.

Written by Todd Boss

July 8th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

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….And we’re back

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If you’re seeing this, we’re live at the new host.  Upgraded version of WordPress, more stable server (it is no longer hosted on a machine that literally is sitting on someone’s desk).

I lost a comment on my forkball article; apologies to Frank M.  (I only saw it at the last minute before the cutover).

Let me know if you see any issues.

Written by Todd Boss

June 17th, 2013 at 9:02 am

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System Maintenance Notice

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Hello all.

A quick note: we’re moving the NationalsArmRace.com blog today (June 15, 2013) to a new hosting provider that will give us a lot more stability and should effectively end the downtime issues we’ve been having.  The new host also has a better WordPress configuration which should allow us to do some more plug-ins, have better tracking, etc.

We’ll be back soon.  Thanks.

Written by Todd Boss

June 15th, 2013 at 8:29 am

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Non-Baseball post: NCAA Tourney Trivia

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Despite not really being a big NCAA basketball fan, I’m as intrigued as the next guy about the tournament, 12-vs-5 seed match-ups, and other statistical oddities.  This year, with the alma-mater James Madison University making the tournament for the first time since 1994, I took a slightly increased interest in the tournament.  And each year it seems we add to the lists of amazing accomplishments when it comes to upsets (2013′s list is high lighted below in red), mid-majors making the final four, or top teams getting eliminated early.

Here’s some useless trivia on the tournament, collected over the years, updated for 2013′s tournamnet.

NCAA tourney Trivia

Seeding began in 1979, field expands to 64 in 1985 (I’m conveniently ignoring the “expansion” to 68)

Lowest seeds to make final four (since seeding began in 1979)
- #11: LSU 1986, #11 George Mason 2006, #11 VCU 2011
– #9: Penn 1979, Wichita State 2013
- #8: UCLA 1980, Villanova 1985, Wisconsin 2000, UNC 2000, Butler 2011
- #7: Virginia 1984
- #6: Michigan 1992, Kansas 1988, Providence 1987,Nc State 1983, Houston 1982, Purdue 1980
- #5: Florida 2000, Iowa 1980, Indiana 2002

Interesting that no #12 seed, despite 12/5 upsets every year, has made the final four.  Clearly its easier to make it out of a bracket from the #11 seed spot, who has to beat #6, #3, #2 and #1 seeds of a region in order, hence getting the #1 seed last.

Lowest seeds to win it/Non #1 or #2 seeds to win it
- #8: Villanova 1985
- #6: Nc State 1983
- #6: Kansas 1988
- #4: Arizona 1997
- #3: Michigan 1989
- #3: Syracuse 2003
- #3: Florida 2006
- #3: UConn 2011

Villanova and Nc State’s runs are among the two best tournament stories in history of course.

#1 Seeds that have lost in 2nd Round: Happened 15 times since expansion to 64 teams in 85

- 1985: #8 Villanova d #1 Michigan (Villanova wins tourney)
- 1986: #8 Auburn d #1 St. Johns (Auburn loses regional final)
- 1990: #8 UNC d #1 Oklahoma (UNC loses next round)
- 1992: #9 UTEP d #1 Kansas (UTEP loses next round)
- 1994: #9 BC d #1 UNC (BC loses next round)
- 1996: #8 Georgia d #1 Purdue (loses next round)
- 1998: #8 Rhode Island d #1 Kansas (loses regional final)
- 2000: #8 UNC d #1 Stanford (loses final four)
- 2000: #8 Wisconsin d #1 Arizona (loses in final four)
- 2002: #8 UCLA d #1 Cincinnati (loses next round)
- 2004: #9 UAB d #1 Kentucky (loses next round)
- 2004: #8 Alabama d #1 Stanford (loses reg. final)
- 2010: #9 Northern Iowa d #1 Kansas (lost next round)
- 2011: #8 Butler d #1 Pittsburgh (lost in national final)
– 2013: #9 Wichita State d #1 Gonzaga (lost in the final four)

I have a theory about college basketball in general, and it is sort of highlighted by the Butler and Wichita State results here.  And to a lesser extent VCU’s run a few years ago.  The theory is this; with fewer top guys staying all four years, the mid-major teams who recruit a nucleaus of guys who play together for four years end up being nearly as good a team as a team of high-end recruits who are freshman or sophomores.  Hence why we’re clearly seeing more mid-major teams working their way through to the later stages of the game.  Anyone who calls VCU a cinderella didn’t watch their games; they pounded teams, good teams, ranked teams on their way to the final four.  They were no fluke.  I talked about this in a March 2011 post with more details.  Wichita State this year was a very, very good team.  Butler nearly won the national title two years ago.

Why don’t these teams get more national press?  Because national writers just assume that because a team plays in the ACC or Big East, they’re better.  So we’ll continue to see these “upsets” until eventually we get more national parity in terms of press coverage.

Closest call 1-16 games
- 1985: Michigan d Farleigh Dickenson 59-55
- 1989: Georgetown d Princeton 50-49
- 1989: Oklahoma d East Tennessee State 72-71
- 1990: Michigan State d Murray State 75-71 OT
- 1996: Purdue d Western Carolina 73-71
- 2006: Connecticut d Albany 72-59 (Uconn down by 12 in 2nd half)
– 2013: Gonzaga d Southern 64-58 (tied later in the game)

I didn’t really think the Gonzaga/Southern game was *that* close … but everyone talked about how they “got a scare.”  This was no one-point win or OT win, like we saw before.  I remember watching the Georgetown-Princeton game; Princeton had a shot at the end to win it and the shooter was *clearly* fouled … but no call and Georgetown escaped.

Side note: why does Georgetown constantly have issues with these long-shot seeds?

#15 seeds that have won games (7): only FGCU has advanced.
- 1991 Richmond over Syracuse
- 1993 Santa Clara over Arizona
- 1997 Coppin State over South Carolina (then lost to Texas by 1 2nd rnd)
- 2001: Hampton over Iowa State
- 2012: Norfolk State over Missouri
- 2012: Lehigh over Duke
– 2013: Florida Gulf Coast over Georgetown (then won easily in 2nd round over SDSU, lost by 10 in sweet 16)

FGCU was no fluke; they cruised to wins over both Georgetown and San Diego State, and jumped way ahead of Florida in the sweet 16 before sound coaching from Billy Donovan took over and Florida was able to grind them down.  If FGCU had just one half-way decent rebounder I think they would have beaten Florida.

#13,14 seeds that have made it to the sweet 16 (6) (none made it beyond)
- #14 Cleveland State 1986 (then lost 71-70 to #7 Navy)
- #13 Richmond 1988 (blown out by #1 temple)
- #14 Tennessee-Chattanooga 1997 (Loses 71-65 Providence)
- #13 Valparaiso 1998 (Loses to #8 Rhode Island)
- #13 Oklahoma 1999
- #13 Ohio 2011

Mid-Majors to make Elite 8 since 1985 (expansion to 64).  11 times now.
- 1981: #6 Wichita State (MVC)
- 1986: #7 Navy (CAA); David Robertson
- 1990: #11 Loyola Marymount (WCC): Hank Gathers & Bo Kimble
- 1999: #10 Gonzaga (WCC)
- 2002: #10 Kent State (MAC)
- 2006: #11 George Mason (CAA)
- 2008: #10 Davidson (Southern): had Stephan Curry
- 2010: #5 Butler (Horizon)
- 2011: #8 Butler (Horizon)
- 2011: #11 VCU (CAA)
– 2013: #9 Wichita State (MVC)

“High-Mid” majors to elite 8 since 79 (Louisville in Metro/C-USA a number of times here)
- 1980,2,3,6: Louisville
- 1981: #6 BYU (MWC)
- 1984: #10 Dayton (A10)
- 1987-1991: #1, #4 UNLV (MWC)
- 1996: #1 UMass (A10)
- 1997: #3 Utah (MWC), Louisville (Cusa)
- 2001: #11 Temple (A10)
- 2004: #1 St. Josephs, #7 Xavier (A10)
- 2005: Louisville (cusa)
- 2007: #2 Memphis (C-usa)
- 2008: #1 Memphis (c-usa), #3 Xavier (A10)

Unlike other pundits, who divide the basketball conferences into “big 6″ and “mid-major,” I think there’s a third tier.  The big 6 conferences are obvious (Big East, ACC, SEC, Big10, Big12 and Pac10).  But basketball conferences like the old Metro Conference, Conference-USA, the Atlantic-10 and to a slightly lesser extent the Mountain West Conference have in many cases been just as strong as the big-6 conferences.  They’ve had #1 ranked teams, plenty of #1 overall teams (just see the list above), and i think a distinction between “mid-majors” and these “high” mid-majors should be made.

Mid/High mid-Majors to make final four: (Not counting Louisville pre-Big East here)
- 1979: #1 Indiana State (MVC), #9 Pennsylvania (Ivy)
- 1987, 1990, 1991: #1 UNLV (MWC)
- 1997: #3 Utah (MWC)
- 2006: #11 George Mason (CAA)
- 2010: #5 Butler (Horizon)
- 2011: #8 Butler (Horizon), #11 VCU (CAA)
– 2013: #9 Wichita State (MVC)

Years no #1 seeds didn’t make final 4
- 1980: #5 Iowa, #2 Louisville, #6 Purdue, #8 Ucla
- 2006: #4 LSU, #2 Ucla, #11 George Mason, #3 Florida
- 2011: #8 Butler, #11 VCU, #3 Uconn, #4 Kentucky

Teams to beat three #1 seeds in a tourney
- 1997; #4 Arizona

Conferences that have never won an NCAA game: Patriot


Only team from a “power” conference never to make the NCAA tournament?:  Northwestern

Biggest margin of victory in Final game
- 1990: UNLV over Duke 103-73
- 1992: Duke d Mich State 71-51

Highest combined seed count of any final four?
- 2000: 22 (Mich St 1, Florida 5, UNC 8, Wisc 8)
- 2011: 26 (Butler 8, VCU 11, Uconn 3, Kentucky 4)

Lowest:
- 1999, 1997: 7: 3 ones and a 4
- 1993: 5 (3 ones and a two)
- 2008: 4: all four #1 seeds made the final4

Teams to win NCAA title, finishing undefeated
- None since 1979 (when seeding started in the tourney)
- 1954: Kentucky (but barred form post-season for ineligible players)
- 1956: San Francisco
- 1957: UNC
- 1964: UCLA
- 1967: UCLA
- 1972: UCLA
- 1973: UCLA
- 1973: NC State (barred from post-season recruiting violations)
- 1976: Indiana (just voted best ever NCAA team)

Teams to enter Tourney Undefeated, but lose
- 1979: Indiana State: Lost in final to Michigan (Larry Bird’s team)
- 1991: UNLV: lost to Duke in National semis

Lowest Seeding ever given to a power6 conference team?
- 2008: Georga was a #13 seed
- 1999: #13 Oklahoma 1999

- 2013: Oregon, Cal and Ole Miss all given #12 seeds from power conferences.

Written by Todd Boss

April 9th, 2013 at 9:13 am

JMU to the Tournament!

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Non Baseball post.

Just a quick shout out to my alma mater James Madison University, who won the CAA tournament on 3/11/13 and returns to the NCAA tournament for the first time in nearly 20 years.   To say that JMU has not been an impact school in the basketball world is a slight understatement; they hadn’t even made the CAA tourney final since 1997.  They only managed to win the CAA tournament in 1994 by virtue of a last-gasp 3-pointer to win the game 77-76 by star-turned-states’ witness Kent Culuko.

Since JMU last was in the NCAA tournament, they fired Lefty Dreisell, who was brought in to revolutionize the program with his reputation and give it national credence but managed just one appearance in his 9 years at the school (he clearly could recruit better than he could coach, a statement many old-school University of Maryland fans probably agree with too).  Since Dreisell’s departure JMU has gone through a series of medicore coaches with even more mediocre results.  They are also in the midst of a horrid stretch against their biggest CAA rival, George Mason, who have won 9 straight versus JMU and an astonishing 18 of the last 19 meetings.  This is nearly a complete reversal of the series outcomes for the first decade or so of this rivalry and does a good job of stating just how far the two teams’ fortunes have diverged.

The CAA has grown up in the last decade without JMU’s involvement, with Mason and VCU making final fours and teams like ODU, UNC Wilmington and Richmond (now with the A-10) routinely reaching the tournament and getting marquee wins.  JMU was a great team in the early 80s, making three straight NCAA tournaments AND winning a game in each of those tournaments, but has just one NCAA appearance (in 1994) since.  That’s 30 years, one tournament apperance.

Lets hope they get a decent seeding and can take out a #3 or #4 seed.

Written by Todd Boss

March 12th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Posted in Non-Baseball

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