Monday, March 15, 2010

And They Are Indisputable

These are the facts:
  • If you look at the current season relative to past seasons, which show has been more disappointing this year: The Amazing Race or American Idol? The Amazing Race is pretty awful this year. Tonight, nobody tried hard, everybody complained, and a team made a really, really bad strategic move. I think the weakness of the season is especially apparent when you take into account that Survivor is having one of its best seasons ever.
  • The Pacific, much-hyped, premiered tonight on HBO. The first episode was fifty minutes long. I thought we were maybe fifteen minutes in when the episode ended. It really is that freaking good.
  • ESPN is ridiculous. From 5-6PM today, the analysts picked NCAA tournament games. Wait, you say, the brackets weren't announced until 6? No, they picked the games that Joe Lunardi had projected in his final bracket. How many of Lunardi's thirty-two first-round matchups were in the actual bracket? One, New Mexico vs. Montana. They could have just showed dead air for that hour. Speaking of dead air, ESPNU is running nothing but tourney breakdown from now until the games start. No, seriously. It's about 1AM and I'm watching them provide live coverage that includes a) a guy delivering pizza and picking a bracket in which he had Siena losing to Florida in the title game; b) a fat guy with no shirt dancing around as someone tries to shoot a nerf basketball; and c) the analysts spinning a wheel to choose which 12-seed they'll break down and spinning the same team three times in a row.
  • I'm taking my time in breaking down the bracket, so I'll give some more thoughts tomorrow. My biggest complaint is in the 2-seed line. It makes no sense that Ohio State is with Kansas and West Virginia is with Kentucky, but Duke gets Villanova, who fell apart down the stretch. I have my Final Four set for the left side of the bracket, but I'm not quite yet sure about the right side. As I've been saying for a while, there are so many inconsistent, mediocre teams that I wouldn't be surprised by any number of upsets. I'm this close to picking two different 13-seeds to advance, maybe one even to the Sweet 16.
  • Who do I like? Same as ever. Who has more than one option offensively? Who can rebound? Who can play defense? Who has a steady point guard that can protect the ball and run the offense in the tight spots? Here are some stats regarding recent national champions from an ESPN article. Only one team in the field meets these criteria. Who? More to come throughout the week.

All 10 had at least two future first-round NBA draft picks on the roster
• 9 of 10 had at least one winning streak of 10 games or more prior to the NCAA tournament
• 9 of 10 finished the season with a scoring margin of plus-14.1 ppg or better
• 9 of 10 had an opponents' field goal percentage of .410 or lower
• 8 of 10 had a percentage of .480 or better
• 8 of 10 were ranked in the top four of the preseason AP poll
• 8 of 10 won at least a share of their conference's regular-season title

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