Thursday, January 31, 2008

Free Throws are Hard

After seeing that Illinois shot 7-19 (.368) on free throws in their loss to Michigan State last night, and remembering the wonderful 11-21 Minnesota put up against Indiana, I was wondering if the Big Ten just sucks at free throws or what, so I took a look at all six of the BCS conferences free throw percentages, and noticed something interesting.

Free throw percentage almost perfectly correlates to conference RPI. All you'd have to do is flip flop the Big 12 and the Big East, and you'd have it exactly. How very interesting.

ConferenceFT %RPI Rank
PAC 1070.4%2
BIG 1268.1%4
BIG EAST67.8%3
BIG TEN67.3%6

So free throws are a pretty damn good indicator of success, unless you're Memphis in which case you can shoot 58.7% and still be the Jessica Alba of the NCAA.

In conclusion, the fact that the Gophers can't shoot free throws for shit really pisses me off.

Boston College +19.5 @ North Carolina (L)
Notre Dame -8.5 vs. Providence (L)
Minnesota -4.5 @ Michigan (W)
Western Kentucky -13 vs. AR-Little Rock (W)
South Alabama -5 @ North Texas (L)
NC State +18 @ Duke (L)
Indiana +4 @ Wisconsin (L)
Cal +10 @ Washington State (W)
Washington +3 vs. Stanford (L)
Arizona St +13.5 @ UCLA (L)
Arizona +4 @ USC (W)

Yesterday: 7-6
Season: 268-248

Nazi U comes to Minnesota

Sorry about the photo, but it was the best photo I could find of "hot" co-eds from UND. The one in the Sioux green isn't that bad I guess? Bogart...would you?
Thats right, the University of North Dakota and their traveling band of racists visit the the University of Minnesota for a weekend series in the WCHA. Both games are at 7 PM this weekend.

If you read the paper and look at the college hockey polls you will be led to believe the North Dakota is coming into this series red hot. They have recently been ranked #3 in the country which is comical seen as how they are the 3rd best team in the WCHA. UND is also riding a 7 game win streak, which is impressive, but those 7 wins have come against the 3 teams tied for 7th place in the WCHA and the last place team in the WCHA. Like I said, a seven game win streak is always impressive, but beating up on a bunch of cupcakes rockets your team to a #3 ranking in the country??? WWWWWWWWWWW, this would be similar to the Gophers football team being ranked #3 in the counrty after the first four games each year during the Mason era.

The Sioux's top line is always a concern. The Gophers must keep them off the scoreboard like they did a few weeks ago in Grand Forks. If North Dakota has to rely on their #2 and #3 lines the gophers will keep the games close and have a shot to steal a game or two. As always TJ Oshie will be hot!

North Dakota's defense has stepped up its play in the past couple of weeks and that has been the biggest reason for their 7 game win streak. The Sioux have only surrendered more than 1 goal once in their past 6 games. No matter how pathetic the competition, that is an impressive streak. Hopefully the Gophers can open up a lead each game and make the Sioux open up their play a bit more. If the Sioux can sit back the Gophers will only muster their normal 1-2 goals per game.

As stated above, the biggest concern for the gophers this weekend will be generating goals. The gophers actually looked dominate last saturday vs Wisconsin but could only muster two goals and had to settle for a tie in a game they should have won going away. The Gophers must find a way to score 3 to 4 goals minimum in both games if they want to have any chance at gaining points this weekend. As usual, North Dakota leads the WCHA in penalty minutes, but Gophers PP is so pathetic this season that they most likely won't take advantage of it.

Lucia did reunite several lines last weekend and it seemed to spark the level of play (still didn't lead to more goals though). Barriball is back on the top line with Wheeler and Gordon. Carman, Flynn and Lucia are on the 2nd line and Howe, Hueffel and White have been reunited on the 3rd line. The Howe line totally dominated the Sioux back in December. Much of the same will be needed this weekend for the gophers win as the lower lines will most likely determine how(e) this weekend goes.

As much as it pains me to say this, I see a tie and a loss for the Gophers this weekend. Friday night 3-3 tie and Saturday 5-2 loss. Either way the Sioux will leave Minnesota as a bunch of Criminal Racists and still suck.

**Dawg will be writing up a review of Fridays game as he will be taking the game in live from Mariucci. Look for that early next week. Dawg, will you be wearing a #95 gophers jersey?**

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gophers vs. Wolverines

The not so mighty Gophers head to Ann Arbor to take on the bottom of the barrel Wolverines on Thursday evening, and I'm terrified. If the Gophers lose this game, and there's no reason they should except that they're the Gophers, it's time to pack it in for the season.

I don't even know why I'm terrified. Michigan is horrible, with their lone conference win coming against Northwestern. They even lost by 8 at home to Iowa, so really, there's no reason to be nervous. Except that they are an athletic team, and the Gophers have struggled with that.

The three scariest players for Michigan are DeShawn Sims, Manny Harris, and Ekpe Udoh. Sims is 6-8, very athletic, and can score inside or out. He's like Dan Coleman with more athleticism and less scared of contact. I am guessing these two will guard each other, and may be one of the biggest keys to the game tomorrow night.

Harris is the superstar freshman who has burst onto the scene to lead Michigan in scoring, assists, and steals (and turnovers), and has put up 20+ points in three big ten games already. He's tough to stop, particularly for a team like Minnesota who doesn't have a small forward capable of playing defense, unless you count Damian Johnson. Expect to see a healthy dose of DJ on Harris tomorrow, as there's no way Blake or Shamala can handle him, and he's too tall (6-5) for any of the three guards.

The final guy who scares me is Udoh, and although he doesn't score much, only 6.0 per game, he's a tall, long, athletic center who could get Tollackson/Williams in foul trouble if they look to get him the ball. The team overall is deep as well, as they play 11 guys 10 or more minutes per game. Look out for Kelvin Grady or Anthony Wright getting hot from three and ruining this trip.

Of course, all that being said, the Wolverines are 1-7 for a reason. They aren't very good. At all. They rank 317th in the country in defensive efficiency, as well as 313th in preventing offensive rebounds, 329th against the three, and 209th against 2-point shots. Simply put, Minnesota should have plenty of open looks, and even if they miss, they should have opportunities for offensive rebounds and second or third chances. Basically, they're trying to run the system Beilein ran at West Virginia, but they don't have the players. They love to shoot the three (38.1% of attempts are three pointers) but can't make it (32.1% is 277th in the country). They don't rebound (10th in Big Ten), but don't score enough to make up for it (9th in Big Ten).

Minnesota is a good enough offensive team to be able to take advantage of Michigan's poor defense, and a good enough defensive team that they should be able to force Michigan into plenty of turnovers and bad shots, and should win this one easily. Westbrook, McKenzie, Nolen, and Hoffarber should have open shots on the perimeter all day, Coleman should be able to get to the rim whenever he wants, and Tollackson should be able to get great position deep on Udoh.

So why am I terrified?

Ken Pomeroy predicts a 73-67 Gopher victory, and he's smart. I'll say Minnesota 65, Michigan 62, and a lot of frustration and terrifying moments before the end.

Purdue -11 vs. Iowa (L)
Virginia +6.5 @ Maryland (L)
Dayton -8 vs. St Louis (W)
Cincy +13.5 @ West Virginia (W)
St Joe's -6.5 @ George Washington (L)
UNLV -3 @ TCU (W)
Drake -4 vs. Creighton (W)
Missouri -5 vs. Nebraska (L)
Memphis -10 @ Houston (W)
Arkansas -2.5 vs. Mississippi State (W)
Michigan St -9.5 vs. Illinois
Texas +3.5 @ Texas A&M
Kansas -7 @ Kansas State (L)

Yesterday: 3-0
Season: 261-242

Adios Johan + Site News

So it's official, Johan to the Mets, and the Twins didn't get back top prospect OF Fernando Martinez, or top young pitcher Mike Pelphrey. Superb. Not to mention no Wright and no Reyes, but I think we gave up on that bit a long time ago.

The guys they ended up getting are a solid package but not getting a marquee name like Martinez, Phil Hughes, Jon Lester, or Jacoby Ellsbury hurts.

OF Carlos Gomez has the best combination of potential and major league ready right now abilities. He was the Mets #3 prospect, and is a top flight center fielder and a very fast runner. His hitting isn't quite major league ready yet, but because of his other skills the Twins might very well try him this year. He never did hit for a very high average or take very many walks, even in the minors, but he can steal bases like a MoFo. Baseball Prospectus projects him as a .260-.280 hitter with 20-50 steals and a .700-.750 OPS each season. Sounds like the perfect throw-in to a big trade, not the freakin' center piece.

P Deolis Guerra was the Mets #2 prospect, and might be the most intriguing. He's only 18, and already has a major-league ready changeup. However his fastball is inconsistent, and he doesn't have a reliable curve as yet. He did post a 1.17 WHIP at the Mets high A league last season. He'll need to develop into something special to make this trade even close to worthwhile.

The other two pitchers, Kevin Mulvey and Philip Humber, were #4 and #7 in the Mets organization, but it's not clear how much upside they really have. Mulvey pitched well in the minors the past two seasons, posting a 1.07 WHIP between rookie and AA two years ago and 1.21 last season between AA and AAA. According to scouts, he has three good pitches, but no great pitch, which limits him to an upside of back of the rotation type. Hopefully, scouts are wrong. Humber used to be looked at as a #2 pitcher type, but after Tommy John surgery he's lost command of his curveball and looks to be a 4/5 type pitcher as well. Oh good. That's what we need. Two more back of the rotation guys.

I have no idea how real the Red Sox and Yankees' offers as reported by the media were. It is very possible that those were never on the table, and were just rumors. It is also very possible, that Billy Smith was trying to play them off each other, and get other teams involved, and he bluffed the wrong guys. Either Red Sox offer (Lester or Ellsbury plus others) or the Yankees offer (Hughes, Cabrera +, even without Kennedy) would have been preferable to this. The best pitcher in the game, and they get very little back. I know there were few teams willing to pony up the money, but it just seems wrong.

So here's the rotation now:
1. Francisco Liriano (IF he's back - key to the season)
2. Boof Bonser
3. Scott Baker
4. Kevin Slowey
5. Kevin Mulvey/Phil Humber


SITE NEWS: Starting next Wednesday, there will be a PGA post each week from our new PGA guy, looking at the weekend that was and previewing the upcoming tournament. Look for it next week.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Santana to Mets

Johan has reportedly been traded to the Mets.

No Martinez in the deal is the suck. Either Sidler or I or both will break it down in more detail later, but I have to go drink beer now.


Thank God Snacks is back from his honeymoon, maybe he can pick a game or two right. God knows I can't.

Ohio State -7 @ Penn State
Tennessee -6 @ Alabama
Miami +2 @ Wake Forest
Virginia Tech -5.5 vs. Florida State

Yesterday: 1-3
Season: 258-242

Wait Until Next Year

With this year looking more and more like an NIT bid is the ceiling for success, my thoughts have turned to next year more and more. With the exciting new class coming in, and another year with Tubby on board, I can't help but look forward. I was checking to see where rivals ended up slotting the Gophers' class, and to see if there was an update to their ranking, and see they ended up 20th. Nice. But then I
noticed Wisconsin was 29th, Indiana was 15th, Michigan State 17th, and Ohio State 6th. With Purdue having one of the top classes last season, and likely not losing anybody early, how good can Minnesota be next year, even with a top 20 class?

Keeping in mind we still have the late signing period, so a few things could change, here's a quick look at how I see it:

1. Michigan State: These guys are ridiculous. Losing Drew Naymick and especially Drew Neitzel will hurt, but Michigan State doesn't even bother rebuilding or reloading, they're just always good. Assuming Raymar Morgan doesn't turn pro (he's ranked the #59 pro prospect right now so he shouldn't), they are going to be a top 10 team nationally. Morgan, Goran Suton, and Travis Walton back for another year is three returning starters. This year's freshmen Chris Allen, Kalin Lucas, and Durrell Summers are already contributing and will have another year of experience. An excellent recruiting class (#17) will only make things more difficult on the rest of the Big Ten. The highlight is Delvon Roe, the #4 PF and #14 overall in the country, as well as another great combo guard in Korie Lucious, #91 in the country. A lineup of Walton, Lucas, Roe, Suton, and Morgan is just scary. Their second five would probably finish 5th in the Big Ten.

2. Ohio State: Losing Othello Hunter and especially Jamar Butler would be a huge loss for most programs, but once again Matta has a great class coming in to offset big losses (#6 nationally). They may lose Kosta Koufos as well, currently ranked the #18 pro prospect and possible lottery pick, but even that won't hurt them too much. David Lightly, Evan Turner, and Jon Diebler will all be back and all are big contributors. I expect Lighty to make another big jump from this year to next. The recruiting class is sick. They bring in yet another big 7 footer, in BJ Mullens (#1 center and #4 overall), a 6-5 shooting guard in William Buford (#19 overall), another shooting guard in Walter Offutt (#24), and pure PG Anthony Crater (not in Rivals top 150, but Scout has him as the #8 PG in the country). They are also still in the mix for #1 QB prospect in the country Terrelle Pryor, who also happens to be the #10 small forward in the country. With or without Pryor and/or Koufos, Ohio State will once again find themselves in the Big Ten race.

3. Purdue: Add a couple of three star guards to last year's incredible class. Only loss will be G Tarrance Crump, which will be offset by the new guards. Another year for the freshman to mature and learn, as well as Chris Kramer and Keaton Grant means this team could be scary.

4. Minnesota: Hard to evaluate objectively. Losing a lot of scoring and rebounding with Coleman, Tollackson, and McKenzie leaving. Hoffarber, Nolen, Johnson, and Westbrook are all good players who have roles to play, but who knows how good they can be. I think the key to Minnesota's class is that it's so deep. It's top 20, but that's because of five guys who can all contribute immediately, not one superstar top recruit. The key recruits will be JuCo SF Devron Bostick, who is ranked the #4 JuCo player in the country and will be expected to be a top scorer immediately, and C Ralph Sampson (#74), who will need to play right away with only Jon Williams and Damian Johnson (undersized) back as in the paint type players. How good can Devoe Joseph be (#82)? I have high hopes.

5. Wisconsin: Departures of Brian Butch, Greg Stiemsma, and Michael Flowers will hurt, but #29 recruiting class will help. Butch and Stiemsma take most of the Badgers' size away, and they will have to count on sophomores Jon Leuer and little used JP Gavinski or freshmen Jared Berggren and Ian Markoff. Travon Hughes is back to run the point and will have freshman Jordan Taylor there to help. Marcus Landry also unfortunately returns. Wild card is raging alcoholic Kevin Gullikson and if he'll be back.

6. Indiana: No team will be hit harder by departures than the Hoosiers, losing DJ White, Eric Gordon, Mike White, and AJ Ratliff. The #15 recruiting class will help offset that somewhat, highlighted by 6-8 SF Devin Ebanks (#13 overall in the country) and PG Terrell Holloway (#100). Holloway joins the Hoosiers' strength in the backcourt with Armon Bassett, Jordan Crawford, and JaMarcus Ellis. Indiana's concern is in the paint. Other than returning senior DeAndre Thomas and his 12 minutes per game, every other option is a mystery.

7. Michigan: Only losing Ron Coleman, so having the second worst recruiting class in the Big Ten won't hurt too badly. Picked up a 3star center and 3star shooting guard. Since the center, 7-0 Ben Cronin, was Beilein's number 1 target, I'm going to assume he shoots threes. With Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims back, as well as the rest of the team, and another year in Beilien's system, they should be much improved. Also in the running for Terelle Pryor, which would obviously help.

8. Iowa: Losing Justin Johnson, Seth Gorney, and Kurt Looby is not going to help. Have a solid, if unspectacular, class coming in. Andrew Brommer will need to help out right away, as Gorney and Looby take away most of the size the Hawkeyes have. A trio of SGs coming in is highlighted by 4-star Matt Gatens, whose bio at says he's "laced with intangibles" which means he's going to annoy the crap out of fans. Tony Freeman is back, which is good.

9. Northwestern: Will have their top three scorers back in Michael Thompson, Kevin Coble, and Craig Moore. Add a couple of bodies, both ranked three stars by Rivals. Ahead of Illinois? Yep, that's right.

10. Illinois: This year's most disappointing team, to me at least, is going to lose both starting big men in Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle. Their only signing right now is 6-10 C Stan Simpson, who is a good player and will help out with the departures of Pruitt and Randle. doesn't have them with any other offers out, so unless somebody unexpected steps up, I don't see great things in their future.

11. Penn State: Losing Claxton and Mike Walker, with Cornley back. Only one signing thus far, a two star. Still in the running for many 1 and 2 star guys. They are in the running for Pryor, who would be a very good get for both programs. Without him, expect PSU to be at the bottom of the Big Ten next season.

So there you have it. There could be signings in the late period, such as hopefully the Gophers get Verdell Jones, which could change things up. Obviously whichever team lands Pryor would get a boost, especially if it's Michigan or Penn State. I flipped Minnesota and Wisconsin a bunch of times, having trouble deciding there, but I think the top three in the conference are pretty set. Hard to put Illinois 10th, but I don't see any reason not to.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pete Rose's Big Choke Job

Just want to point out here that not only did Brett Favre, the Pete Rose of football, make a horrible throw in the NFC championship game, but it was a horrible decision as well, as 3 out of the 4 receivers on this play were open, and he threw to the one who wasn't. Nice quarterback, guys.

Ok, that's the biggest I can get it on this thing, go here for a bigger version.

Either way, nice QB.

Seriously though, I hate gambling

This is how things are going lately:

I have Michigan State -16.5 vs. Michigan. With about two minutes left they are up 20, but go 1-4 from the free throw line so end up with a 17 point lead, Michigan's ball with forty seconds left. Michigan misses, gets an offensive rebound, misses, gets a rebound, misses, gets a rebound, and misses, finally MSU gets the board. They should just dribble out the clock and end it, but it's a long rebound, they have a three on one, so they do an alley-oop, giving them a 19 point lead, Michigan ball with 12 seconds left - a three pointer loses the bet for me.

Luckily for me, the Michigan guy shoots a two pointer instead and makes it, Meaning MSU is up 17 with 4.0 seconds left, game should be over. Lazy guy for MSU makes a horrible inbounds pass, stolen by Michigan. They MISS the shot, but with 1 second left get another offensive rebound and put it back in as time expires for a 15 point Spartan win, and another lost bet for WWWWWW. That is how things are going right now.

Louisville +1.5 @ UCONN
Oklahoma -8 vs. Oklahoma State
Boise State -1 @ Fresno State
Western Carolina +3.5 vs. Georgia Southern
Cal Poly +11.5 @ Pacific

Yesterday: 2-2
Season: 257-239

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I hate Gambling

Northern Arizona -5 @ Idaho St
Duke -5.5 @ Maryland
Xavier -4 @ UMass
Michigan State -16.5 vs. Michigan

Yesterday: 3-7
Season: 255-237

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Still Going

Dammit that sucked, but I still have a bunch of beer, and thanks to my sports package I can still watch UCLA/Oregon State and St. Mary's/San Francisco, the last two chances I have to try to salvage an absolutely horrible gambling day. I'll keep drinking and posting and try to not kill myself.

- I guess it's a testament to how far the program has come, in that I care so much and actually believe in this team. It was clearly a huge mistake. They play tough defense, and they hustle on both ends, but they just don't have the players (thanks Monson). Even Nolen and Hoffbauer looked like freshman tonight. Give a lot of credit to Ohio State's defense, they basically stifled the Gophers the whole way.

- I always considered Jamar Butler a shooting guard, and even though he went off tonight for 27 points and 9 assists, he also turned it over five times. I maintain he's still a shooting guard forced to play point, Gopher shredding aside.

- Looks like Tubby has given up on Shamala and Payton, and I think that's the right call. I think Shamala can contribute against certain teams where his lack of athleticism isn't a liability, but I'm not sure where you can play Payton. At first, I was thinking that some of the combinations Tubby had out there tonight were horrible coaching decisions, but after thinking about, there aren't that many good players on this team at all, so you're going to end up with bad combinations no matter what. However, I still think having Nolen and Hoffbauer in the backcourt together against a defense like Ohio State's for ten minutes is a mistake.

- UCLA/Oregon State isn't on yet because Oregon and USC are in overtime. I'm guessing this is much more better. Except it wasn't because USC blew them out in overtime and won by 9.

- In case you're wondering about that YMCA league that Dusty Rychart is playing in in Australia, here are the other people who play in that league who are interesting: Derrick Alston (also known as "The guy from Duquesne on NBA Live 95"), Larry Abney (Fresno St), Mike Chappell (Michigan St), Ebi Ere (Oklahoma), Orien Greene (Flordia/UL-Laff), Rod Grizzard (Oklahoma), Shane Heal (giggle), Julius Hodge (NC State - and he got shot), Nick Horvath (Duke), Alex Loughton (ODU), Kirk Penney (Wisconsin), Rick Rickert (Rickert and Rychart reunited), Joe Shipp (Cal), Wayne Turner (Kentucky).

- Ebi Ere and Kirk Penney are the top scorers in the league (Rickert = 16th), Rickert is also second in rebounding, while Rychart is ninth in rebounding and first in offensive boards. Told you in was a YMCA league. Also, Orien Greene leads in turnovers and is second in fouls. He should probably be an accountant or something.

- San Fran is down 25 and Oregon State is hanging with UCLA. It seriously looks like I'm about to go 2-8-1 tonight. Not good times.

- Ferris Bueller's Day off was a great movie. I wonder how many poor kids got named Ferris after that.

- It seems the name Ferris has never ranked in the top 1000 boys names, ever. So I guess not that many. Rico was 664th most popular in the 80s before dropping out of the top 1000. I expect that number to rise soon.

- You know what puts a whole weird spin on Ferris Bueller's Day Off? The fact that the principle takes off his whole day to try to track him down, including breaking in to his home, and then that actor turned out to be a chomo. Weird.

- Back to basketball. These are the people who play in France with Mike Bauer: Chevy Troutman (Pitt), Alan Wiggins (San Fran), Justin Doellman (Xavier), Tony Skinn (GMU), LaVell Blanchard (Michigan), Terrell Everett (Oklahoma), Vince Grier (I didn't know he landed in France), Marcus Slaughter (SDSU), Marcus Sommerville (Bradley), Sam Clancy (USC), Zabian Dowdell (VA Tech), Brandon Heath (SDSU), Theron Smith (Ball State - was going to be an NBA star until hurting his knee two straight years), Taj Gray (Okla), Je'Kel Foster (Ohio St), Terence Dials (Ohio St), Antonio Graves (Pitt).

- And the French league is broken up into three divisions, and Bauer starts for a team in the upper division, so he's doing fairly well. I'd also like to let you know that the team he plays for is called Nancy. Insert your own joke here.

- I'd love to tell you how Grier is doing, but again, it's a pay site and I'm not paying just to get his stats. I can tell you he's starting for an "A" League team.

- Oh, that picture up there is some cheerleader at a Russian basketball game. I searched for "European Basketball Cheerleader" and she came up.

- I still think it's weird that Lorenzo Mata changed his last name to Mata-Real. I wonder if his mom just bitched at him constantly or something to add it.

- 29 points with 14 minutes left for Darren Collison on only 10 shot attempts. That ain't bad.

- I think Darren Collison might actually be Earl Watson, come back for four more years. Seriously.

- Oh, I forgot to mention that Mike Chappell holds the all-time record for points in a game in Dusty (and Rick's) Australian league with 44.

- He Got Game was a pretty damn good movie.

- Have a shot at 3-7 rather than 2-8. That would be good. Don't F me UCLA.

- Sweet, UCLA covered to put me at 3-7. What a horrid streak. I'm going to watch Varstiy Blues and pass out.

- I just want to add, I love everything about this movie except the ending. PUKE n RALLY!

Gophers v. Suckeyes, Part II - Live

6:44 - Just finished up some Leann Chinn's (Mongolian Chicken), have a few beers (assortment of a few Sam Adams, several Miller Lites), and am ready for the game. Also, my mom and wife are in the same room, babbling about all kinds of things and my mom just asked me "Are you blogging with your friends?" This could be distracting.

6:52 - For some reason we're watching "Never Been Kissed" before the game starts. Shoot me.

7:01 - It's nice to see Morneau and Cuddyer locked up for a bunch of years. Morneau, Mauer, Cuddyer, and Delmon Young is a very nice little foursome to build around. Now trade Santana.

7:04 - Line on this game opened at +8 and has dropped all the way to +6.5. People are listening to me.

7:06 - My cat's eating a cream cheese Wonton. That's weird.

7:08 - Turner abuses Shamala. Get him out. Shamala turnover. Get him out now.

7:09 - Jesus Christ. Shamala's guy loses him and hits a three. 8-0 Ohio State. Gophers have managed one shot.

7:11 - Shamala has position for a rebound and gets out muscled. Finally Tubby puts in Damian. 11-0 OSU.

7:13 - Busch attempts a three and of course misses. What the hell is going on here?

7:16 - Bogart texts me, "I took the moneyline. Thanks Jackass." I feel like a jackass right now.

7:20 - 17-2 OSU, 12:43 left. Watching the Gophers try to deal with this matchup zone is like watching Monson's teams try to figure out Northwestern. Even worse, they have no idea how to deal with this halfcourt trap. Really, really unimpressed with Tubby's preparation right now.

7:22 - Travis Busch getting heavy minutes. Is this a fucking joke here?

7:30 - Ok, so I was just reminded that after Snacks wedding at the hotel, I was in the bathroom and I fell over into the bathtub. I forgot that. Go me.

7:32 - Gophers on pace for 20 points this game. Less, actually. Now 19-8. Gophers have outscored OSU 6-2 in the last 4 and a half minutes. Silver Lining.

7:37 - Westbrook with two threes. Over half the team's points. Still 23-11.

7:38 - Another for Westbrook. Heat it up L-Dub.

7:40 - Nolen can't handle Butler. I did not factor that into my analysis.

7:51 - Damian Johnson with a great block, great steal, great assist, and completely dumbass foul to end the half, giving Jamar "I've made 35 free throws in a row" Butler two free throws to push the lead out to ten, 35-25 at half. Second half keys:
1. Keep hitting the boards. Seems pretty even thus far
2. Keep attacking the zone. They got back into the game by being aggressive on offense, driving and getting it in to the big guys. Koufos and Hunter have some blocks, but keep attacking at it will work.
3. Defensive pressure has to keep up, but also has to stop allowing easy shots. OSU shooting 48%, but was at 55% at one point late. Everything is starting to move in the right direction, it just needs to keep up. The first four minutes are very key here.

8:08 - I don't think Damian taking a three is the shot they wanted to start the half.

8:10 - Great steal, horrible pass. STOP DOING STUPID THINGS.

8:12 - Tollackson breaking out a new free throw style, and goes 1-2, but the second one was a good looking shot at least. It's an improvement, in any case.

8:18 - McKenzie might be heating up, stay tuned.

8:22 - Coleman can't seem to make a move without travelling, but the defense is playing well, and we have a three point game.

8:23 - Wow, Kevin Payton is in. That's weird.

8:23 - No McKenzie or Westbrook. Not a huge fan of this right here.

8:25 - Under 12 timeout, five point OSU lead. They're getting the turnovers, just need the offense to keep scoring.

8:26 - I'm actually swearing at the TV. I can't remember the last time I did that. I actually care, man, I actually care. Tubby brought me back.

8:28 - Why Travis Bush? Why? I guess he's got a little Zach Puchtel in him. Get it?

8:31 - Tubby is HOT. I think he's going to kill somebody.

8:33 - Where are McKenzie and Westbrook? Tubby is blowing this game. Finally a timeout after eight million turnovers by Hoffbarber and Nolen. Jesus, it's like they don't want to win.

8:40 - This team is too stupid to win. Seven point game, under 8 minute timeout.

8:45 - Butler finally misses a free throw, and the Gophers knock the rebound out of bounds instead of grabbing it, leading to a wide open three for Butler. TOO STUPID TO WIN.

8:50 - I quit. For life.

Go Indiana!

Oops, sorry. Wrong Indiana team (by the way, if you want to know what The Sidler looks like, just picture that kid, aged about 5 years, with glasses).

Anyway, big game for the Hoosiers against UCONN today. Even though UCONN suspended a starting guard and his backup for the game, this still means a lot to Indiana, the Big Ten, and, by extension, the Gophers. The Hoosiers are ranked number 7 in the country, and really have gotten there more by not losing than by beating anybody. The only really good team they've played is Xavier, and they lost by 15. Their best wins are at home versus Kentucky and Georgia Tech - not exactly impressive. And while a win against UCONN wouldn't exactly be tip top quality, a loss would be devastating, and a blowout win would validate the team, and the conference.

Today's Card:
UCLA -16.5 @ Oregon State
San Fran +9 vs. St. Mary's
Temple +1 vs. St Joe's (P)
Cal +1 vs. Stanford
Minnesota +8 @ Ohio State
Purdue -1 vs. Wisconsin (W)
Memphis -12.5 vs. Gonzaga (L)
Villanova -2 vs. Notre Dame (L)
Texas A&M -1.5 @ Oklahoma State (W)
Washington +8.5 @ Arizona (L)
Indiana -9 vs. UCONN (L)

Yesterday: 2-1
Season: 252-230

I'll be back with thoughts on afternoon games as I watch them.

and I'm back:

- Memphis up 10-0 on Gonzaga with just 2 and a half minutes gone. Memphis super athletic, fast, and attacking. Gonzaga slow, white, unprepared. I'm sure they'll settle a bit and make a game of it, but right now this isn't even as close as 10-0.

- I haven't seen enough of Kansas to put them in here, but Memphis is a lot better than North Carolina, UCLA, Duke, Tennessee, or anybody else you want to throw in here.

- Derrick Rose is sick. Please, please let the Wolves get Rose.

- Wow. Give Gonzaga credit, as they just took the lead with two minutes left in the first half. I still think Memphis is the best team in the NCAA though, they seemed to lose interest a bit.

- Indiana looking good on the offensive boards, despite being very undersized to UCONN. That was the biggest concern for them I thought, and they're getting it done. DJ White is so much the man.

- Eric Gordon definitely knows he's on national TV. He's trying to do WAAAAAAAAAAY too much. He's no Derrick Rose.

- Here's why I hate myself sometimes. All year, and before the year even started, I said Villanova sucked. So today they were at home against Notre Dame, a team who has sucked on the road, in a game they really, really need, so I go ahead and take Nova -2. Well, ten minutes left and Notre Dame is up by 16. I need to stop overthinking.

- Gordon can't stop A.J. Price on the dribble. Didn't expect that.

- Girl scout just stopped by to sell cookies. I did not ask if they were made from real Girl Scouts. Pregnant wife commanded I order 8 boxes of thin mints, seems excessive. I also just realized that having a girl, which we are, means selling girl scout cookies. Which means walking around, talking to people, in the cold. Super.

- Indiana shooting 25% with four to go in the first half, after starting 3-3. If they don't turn it around in a hurry, expect a whole lot of "The Big Ten is Overrated", "The Big Ten Sucks", and "Should the Big Ten be a Mid-Major" stuff coming up.

- Indiana looks like absolute garbage. Down 29-24 at half, shooting less than 25%, falling into going one-on-one instead of running an offense, and getting killed on the boards. Embarrassing.

- Memphis pretty much has this one locked up, but they aren't going to cover, giving me a nice 0-2 start, and likely 0-3. I've gone deathly cold.

- I'm officially worried about Memphis in March due to their 58% free throw shooting as a team.

- Indiana down nine with fifteen to go. Let's see, they've stopped driving to the basket, they don't bother to pass into the paint, they don't really run an offense. They sit around passing around the perimeter and then chuck up a three or try a one-on-one move and shoot a fade away. I have money on them and care about the Big Ten and I'm pissed, I can't imagine how I'd feel if I was an actual Indiana fan. This is brutal.

- None of Indiana's guards can stop any of UCONN's guards, and UCONN is missing two of their top four guys. This is depressing.

- Absolutely, without question, the worst game I've seen played by anybody this year, as Indiana loses to UCONN 68-63, in a game that wasn't even that close. Complete and total embarrassment. I'd be shocked if Indiana even wins in the first round of the tournament this year. Be back later for Gophers game.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Niagara -5 @ St. Peter's
Weber State -3 vs. Northern Arizona
Canisius/Fairfield UNDER 126.5

Yesterday: 4-9
Season: 250-229

Bucky Time...Yawn!

It's "Board Battle" time in the WCHA. The Gophers and Badgers will face off this weekend at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wi in a battle of 5th place teams. If either team sweeps this weekend the other will most likely spend the first weekend of the WCHA playoffs on the road.

MN is coming off Defensively their best weekend of the year. Last weekend vs UMD the Gophers only allowed 2 goals the entire weekend. A lot of this had to do with the Gophers below average defenders playing simple and smart hockey instead of trying to make plays. Another reason for only allowing 2 goals was Jeff Frazee only touched the ice when he came out to slap Kangas on the ass at end of each period. The highlight of the weekend was FSN zooming in on Frazee in his suit friday night and the uncomfortable smile Frazee forced out as he tried to look normal. What a turd!

My lasting memory from last weekends tie was the goal Derek Peltier should have scored Friday night. For those who missed the play here is a recap. A wing (I believe Barriball) skated down the right side of the ice towards the UMD goal. Once UMD's goalie committed to the puck the winger slid the puck back in front of the goal for an easy tip in. The only problem was the guy trying to tip the puck into a completely wide open net was Stone Hands Peltier. This is one of the few times in sports that I can say "even I would scored that goal" and it is no exaggeration. WWWWWWW missing this goal is the equivalent of you missing a dunk on the nerf hoop that hangs on your bed room door.
Note to Peltier: Please remove the captains "C" from your jersey and just step away from the team. You are an average player at best, a terrible leader, have stones for hands and have the same attitude as those guys in high school who where on the football team but never played and still thought they "kicked Ass." Live it up while you can Derek, next year you will be selling me my peanuts at games.

This weekends series will most likely be a low scoring affair similar to last weekend. No matter how much talent Wisconsin has their coach (Mike Eaves) plays a defensive system that makes the MN Wild look the Oilers of the 80's. If either team scores 3+ goals in a game they will win.

Wisconsin does have some very high end talent on their roster led by Kyle Turris. Turris was the 3rd overall pick by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2007 NHL Draft. Turris leads all Wisconsin players in scoring with 24 points in 20 games. Ryan McDonagh (Cretin Grad) and Brendan Smith were also 1st round draft picks last year and anchor the Badger defense. Junior Ben Street the other big threat for Wisconsin. Street has already matched his goal total from last year (10) and currently is the team leader. Wisconsins powerplay sucks like Dawg in volleyball. But even that level of sucking still puts them at a higher percentage than MN. Take that Wisconsin...we suck better than you!

Basically this has potential to be the most boring hockey series in 100 years. I would expect a split with both teams being so similar and shitty. MN wins 3-1 tonight and Wisco wins 2-1 tomorrow. With few goals and the style of play you are going to watch, this is going to have the feel of a soccer match, not a hockey game. Both games are live on FSN this weekend.

- This struck me as funny so I attached it for your reading pleasure. The article was taken from

Bucky Badger took a tap on the shins from a North Dakota hockey player on Saturday and now the University of Wisconsin mascot will receive an apology.

WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod said Sioux defenseman Joe Finley was captured on videotape slashing Bucky Badger played by UW student David Blanchard before Saturday's game, which North Dakota won 3-1.

The commissioner made no ruling on a separate incident in which Blanchard and Sioux goaltender Jean-Phillippe Lamoureux bumped into each other.

Finley must write a letter of apology to Blanchard, McLeod said.

Notice it is another Sioux player getting in trouble. Nice program! When Finley is done beating up fury mascots he should move to the handicapped section and start hitting mouth breathers. F'ing no talent twat!

- WWWWW, You are a communist pig for never watching Rocky 4. Possibly the greatest sports movie ever!

Gophers vs. Suckeyes

See what I did there? I took Ohio State's nickname, and changed only one letter, and made it derogatory. That's good writing folks, take notes.

So I've had some time to relax and reflect after the Week of Doom, in which I was not very optimistic about the Gophers' chances this season, and I feel a lot better. Michigan State and Indiana are clearly the two best teams in the conference, and I think both legitimate top 10 teams in the country. And the Gophers hung with both of them until the end, and probably should have won the Indiana game. If you're used the doom and gloom I'm usually spewing forth, get ready for a change. This time we're going with a ray of sunshine and lollipops because guess what? The Gophers can win this game. And will.

Ohio State has been pretty much accepted as the fourth best team in the Big Ten. My question is why? They're currently 4-2, with wins @ Illinois, vs. Illinois, vs. Iowa, and vs. Northwestern. That is very much not impressive. They've played a good schedule, but have lost every meaningful game other than winning against Syracuse, including losses to Texas A&M by 23 and Butler by 19.

The toughest thing about winning in the Big Ten is doing it on the road, and normally the Gophers going into Columbus, even against a mediocre Buckeye squad, would be an automatic loss, but not this year. The Gophers showed they can win tough games on the road this year, with wins at Penn State and Iowa State. Neither team is as good as Ohio State, but they gave Michigan State all they could handle at the Breslin Center, a much tougher place to play and a much better team.

The scariest thing about Ohio State is guard Jamar Butler. He can absolutely go off on you at any point, but he has been very inconsistent. Since conference play began (with the game @ Tennessee mixed in) he has scored 32, 0, 8, 26, 21, 8, and 7 points. Good news for the Gophers, is that his high games have all been on the road. I think the Nolen/McKenzie/Westbrook combo can keep him under control.

The other big time scorer for OSU is freshman center Kosta Koufos. He's big, at 7 feet tall, but he plays soft (think Rick Rickert). The big man has taken almost as many threes (32) as free throws (48). I can't decide if this bodes well for Spencer or not. On the one hand, he won't have to worry about fouling out, but on the other, I'm not sure if he can handle a big guy out on the perimeter. I can't remember him ever having to guard one. The closest thing I can think of is Brian Butch from Wisconsin, and I don't remember him ever lighting Spencer up. Should be interesting.

A guy who really worries me is David Lighty, a 6-5 sophomore who is averaging 9.7 points per game after doubling his minutes from last season. He's an inside/outside/slasher guy, who is inconsistent but seems to be getting better and better. He's not as good as Raymar Morgan from MSU, but he's a similar player and I'd hate to see him go off here like Morgan did that first game the Gophers played the Spartans.

The key offensive player for Minnesota will be Dan Coleman. Coleman is a bit of a matchup problem for Ohio State, and hopefully they can take advantage of it. If the Buckeyes put Lighty on him, Coleman has a height advantage, and if the put Othello Hunter on him (likely) Coleman should be able to pull him away from the basket and use his perimeter shooting and ball handling/driving abilities to score. Look for Coleman to have a big game (please).

But the biggest reason the Gophers will pull this one off, comes from Minnesota's defense vs. Ohio State's guards. Ohio State turns the ball over on 20.9% of their possessions, which ranks 125th in the country. Minnesota's defense turns their opponent over on 27.8% of their possessions, first in the country (thank you Tubby). This is not good news for the Buckeyes - who, by the way, don't have a point guard. OSU has played three other teams who rank in the top 20 in defensive turnover percentage: Tennessee (loss), Purdue (loss), and Northwestern (turned it over 20 times but NW shot 31%). Added bonus that doesn't seem like a bonus at first: Ohio State is #1 in the country at not sending opponents to the free throw line. If that doesn't play right into the Gophers hands, I don't know what does.

What does all this mean? It means take the Gophers and the under, because Minnesota is about to let the Big Ten know that they are a contender (kind of) this year.

Minnesota 62, Ohio State 57.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Today's Picks

Dayton +11 @ Xavier (L)
Arizona State -5 vs. Washington
New Mexico State -4.5 vs. Nevada
Michigan State -10 @ Northwestern
Siena -2 @ Loyola-Maryland (L)
Northern Colorado -1.5 vs. Montana St
Duke -8.5 @ VA Tech (W)
Davidson -23.5 @ Citadel (L)
Youngstown/UW-Milwaukee OVER 137 (W)
Mid Tenn St/UL-Monroe UNDER 135.5 (L)
Tenn-Martin/Samford UNDER 122.5 (W)
UC Davis +10 @ Cal Poly
Oregon +4.5 vs. UCLA

Yesterday: 3-3
Season: 246-220

The Absurd

You know how sometimes you're watching a movie, and there's a sports scene in it and you think "That's ridiculous and totally fake. Way to go stupid movie?" Well, here's the top ten absurd sports moments I can think of in an hour of thinking I did. A couple of things first:

1. I only thought about this for about an hour and I didn't rewatch these movies/parts unless I could find it on YouTube. I'm sure there is a lot I missed or got slightly wrong. Feel free to tell me.
2. I haven't seen every sports movie, and there are a lot I haven't seen enough to really remember. I have never seen Remember the Titans because it looks like stupid crap for overly sentimental idiots. And I saw Blue Chips so long ago, I don't really remember it. There are plenty of other examples.
3. Obviously, Shoeless Joe appearing in a cornfield, a kid breaking his arm and developing a wicked fastball and playing for the Cubs, and a kid becoming General Manager of the Twins are pretty absurd. But that's not the kind of absurd we're talking about.
5. True stories are exempt. So even though it's absurd that a little weiner like Sam from Lord of the Rings could somehow walk on to Notre Dame and get a sack in his last ever game, I had to leave it off.
4. I tried to find clips of these moments whenever possible.

Now, the top 10 most absurd sports moments, as chosen by a panel of me, from least absurd to most absurd.

10. Bad News Bears in Breaking Training: Now, I really like this movie, quite a bit, but there are two pieces that just can't be ignored as far as absurdity goes. The first is the whole, thirteen year olds outsmarting all their parents and organizers of the big game at the Astrodome, using an old van and a 50 year old mentally challenged lawn guy. The second is the entire Astrodome chanting "Let them Play." Seriously, if I was at a doubleheader for the Twins, and a bunch of stupid kids came out to play, and they took too long and had to have their game cut short there's no way in hell I want them to get to play longer. And if that coach comes out and tries to start a chant, I'm thinking he's a loony, not that I want to join in and help out. Good movie though.

9. The Natural: The big homerun. Seriously, have you seen how high up those lights are? Plus, he had been shot. Plus, they totally changed the ending from the book. Still, this scene gives me chills just watching it on YouTube.

8. Zapped: I'm guessing most people haven't seen this, and it's not an actual sports movie, but there's one part that always drove me crazy as a kid, and it's baseball related. The movie centers around Scott Baio and his friend played by Willie Aames, and Baio's character somehow figures out a secret formula to create a potion to freeze time, kind of like Evie from Out of this World. He uses it to pause time in a baseball game against the big rival, and becomes the hero, hitting a homerun against the scary pitcher who is supposed to be awesome.

There's only one problem, they went ahead and got a big, giant guy to play the pitcher, but he has clearly never thrown a baseball - like ever. And he looks like he's about forty. We're supposed to think he's awesome, but it is clear he couldn't get a fastball to go even 40 mph unless he put it in his car. It drove me crazy then, and it drives me crazy now. I can't find a picture or a video, but if you knew what I was talking about, you'd totally be nodding your head right now.

7. Jerry Maguire: Yes, this whole movie is pretty absurd, and there aren't even many sports scenes, but the one they have is totally ridiculous. It's when Cuba Gooding's character gets hurt, then gets up and dances for half an hour, magically making the crowd love him and the owner decide that now he needs to pay for a big contract, even though up until then, he wasn't going to pay. See below:

First off, I think the footage is off Jake Plummer to Rob Moore, and it's pretty clear that the receiver Moore/Tidwell/Gooding comes down on his back, not his head. It should be obvious that he just has the wind knocked out of him and nothing more. Then he gets up from this supposedly scary injury, and dances around for a full minute. And supposedly throughout the whole movie, he was like Jeff George, and getting the wind knocked out of him turned him into Chad Johnson x Steve Smith. And somehow this makes the crowd fall in love with him. AND somehow this makes the owner decide to pay him a truckload of money? I'm getting angry just typing this. Maybe this should have been higher on the list. Let's move on.

6. Tin Cup: I couldn't find video for this one, but I'm of course talking about how Tin Cup doinks his shot on the 72nd hole of the U.S. Open into the water five or six times before holing out, taking him from contending to win to second place or worse. I like this movie, and the scene is actually pretty entertaining, but that's only if you refuse to acknowledge the fact that continuing to attempt that shot, instead of taking a drop up closer, is something only a complete pig-headed, stubborn idiot would do. Way to blow your chance at winning the US Open, Jackass!

5. Varsity Blues: A whole lot about this movie is absurd (such as banishing the coach at halftime, the entire state of Texas, and how hot Ali Larter is) but the very ending almost ruins what is otherwise a pretty fun movie. If you're familiar with this movie, at the end, the team needs a touchdown to win with one play left, and they decide to run a hook-and-ladder/hook-and-lateral, and they have the pitch man be their 350 pound offensive lineman, Billy Bob. Now, not only is this dumb enough, but then to add "drama" they have him bobble the ball about six times before he finally pulls in the lateral, in which time nobody on the defense bothers to get over to him. Finally the defense gets to him, and he carries three defenders on his back into the endzone. Just stupid. Did I mention they're like 30 yards out? So no defensive players could catch the 400 pound lineman until he had ran 20 yards already? This makes me upset. I tried to find video of the play, but I couldn't, so instead here's Ali Larter in a whipped cream bikini from the movie:

4. Major League 2: Major League was an awesome movie. One of my favorites. I can pretty much look past everything from that, other than, of course, Cerrano's inability to hit a curve ball. Seriously, if he was that bad at hitting the curve, he never would have been in the majors to begin with. Everyone would just throw him a curveball every pitch, and he'd hit .000 with a 100% K/AB ratio. I can look past that though, because it's a great movie and they're pretty much just exaggerating to make a point.

Major League 2 however, petty much pisses me off on all levels. I haven't seen it more than a couple of times, because it sucked so bad. Basically, ML 1 did so well, that the executives wanted to make a second one, and couldn't figure out how to make a winning team into lovable losers, so they used stupid, horrible ideas to try to make it the first one all over again, and added in some useless, idiotic crap.

If I remember correctly, the young stars Rick Vaughn and Willie Mays Hayes, get cocky and conceited and, surprise surprise, Vaughn loses his control and Hayes tries to do too much at the plate, and they struggle and have to come together as a young team to try to rise above and win the pennant. Give me a break. It's the same god damn movie, just done poorly. Add in a catcher who couldn't throw the ball back to the pitcher, and you have the world's worst movie of all time ever. I know there was an issue with real-life catcher Mackey Sasser throwing it back to the pitcher at one point, but this movie takes it to such a ridiculous extreme it makes me want to kill the guy who played that role and his whole family.

3. Teen Wolf: The whole reason for this column. Obviously, a movie where a kid turns into a werewolf isn't to be taken too seriously, but there is one glaring problem with the end of this movie's basketball scene, and I've never been able to get over it. This was on the other day, and I watched the last half hour in order to get to this scene, just to make sure it was as bad as I remembered. It was. It is clear that nobody associated with this film in any way had ever played, watched, or heard of basketball.

Unfortunately, I can't find a clip of it anywhere, but Teen Wolf gets fouled with no time left and his team down one (well, Teen Wolf in his human form because we learn the valuable lesson in this movie that you don't have to be a werewolf be good at sports.) He has two free throws, so they clear the lane since the clock reads 0:00, except for the "bad guy" of the movie, who gets to STAND RIGHT UNDER THE HOOP. Like it's practice and he's the rebounder for TW's free throws. After he hits the first, the guy GRABS THE BALL AND THROWS IT BACK TO TW. Not a ref in sight. Seriously. An absolute travesty that nobody caught this in editing, writing, directing, or acting. Ruins an otherwise completely believable movie.

2. The Program: Sure, some college football programs are pretty corrupt, and it's likely almost all major programs are corrupt to some degree, but ESU in The Program is completely corrupt, and extremely unlucky. They have exactly five good players:

1. QB Joe Cain (Heisman Candidate) - Alcoholic, borderline suicidal, daddy issues, goes into treatment after getting in a fight in a bar, season down drain
2. LB Alvin Mack - top linebacker in country, breaks leg. Will never play football again
3. DL Steve Lattimer - on steroids. Rapist.
4. RB Darnell Jefferson - head case, academically challenged, gets in fights with fellow RB
5. OL Something Something - seems like a good guy

So out of five good players, four of them get messed up. On top of this, is the constant giving of cash to the players by alumni, the back up QB getting the coach's daughter to take his test for him because they're humping, and infraction upon infraction. If this movie's point was to show every single thing that could every possibly go wrong, well done. Otherwise it's a completely over the top ridiculous look at college football. Just to make sure you don't take it seriously, the final play where ECU wins is a combination of Steve Young's run versus the Vikings and Mike Vick's run vs. the Vikings, but with a fumble and a touchdown pass mixed in as well, instead of something that, you know, might actually happen - ever. But Kristy Swanson was pretty hot. Here's the final play. Just horrible.

1. Summer Catch: Absolutely, without question, the worst ending not only of any sports movie ever, but any movie ever period ever in the history of ever. If you haven't seen it, don't, but I'm going to give away the ending so if you have a big bad Freddie Prinze boner, look away. If you have a Jessica Biel boner, stick around.

Prinze is some dipshit pitcher, and gets to play in the Cape Cod league (a very big deal) as the local boy. He also ends up falling for Biel's character, some rich chick whose Daddy doesn't want her dating the local pool boy - a plot that's been used in more movies than Zombies have. Prinze is also full of talent but self destructive because his mommy left him when he was young - again, a huge cliche.

After struggling most of the summer, the ace pitcher gets booted off the team for setting the press box on fire (seriously) so Prinze gets his shot in the biggest game of the summer season, while Biel is heading off to somewhere for some scholarship or internship or something I can't remember, and they'll never see each other again.

Prinze finds his inner talent, and pitches a perfect game through 8, with major league scouts all over the place, basically his big break and everything he's been working for. At the beginning of the ninth, HE TAKES HIMSELF OUT OF THE GAME TO GO CHASE DOWN THE GIRL HE'S KNOWN FOR ALL OF TWO MONTHS. Seriously. Perfect game. Ninth inning. Two months.

This is what happens when you try to take sports and make a girl movie out of it. I seriously had to explain why the ending was so stupid to my wife, who thought it was sweet. Luckily, she had me there to explain it to her, and she now understands how stupid it was and still refers to it as the worst ending ever. But all those stupid girls with their crushes on Freddy Prinze probably think it was awesome. It wasn't. I tried to burn down the theater that was showing this movie after I left, but I don't know how to make fire with sticks and twigs so I kicked the side of the building instead. So angry. Here's Billy Simmons' review of Summer Catch, if you're looking for something a little more indepth. And here's a video of Jessica Biel from that movie, so we can all feel better instead of bitterly angry and ready to kill.

Thanks for reading all these 8 billion words. I feel slightly better now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A statistical look at the Gophers

Since The Sidler doesn't have the Big 10 Network, I haven't been able to watch much of the Gophers this year. If nothing else, it is obvious that this is a different team than the sad-sack Dan Monson-led teams of recent memory.

But I wanted to look at what kind of team this is and who some of the standout players are using some different metrics than the standard points/game, assists, FG%, etc. Check out Ken Pomeroy's site for more information about the stats I'm about to bastardize. I couldn't find a true shooting % calculation for the NCAA, unfortunately.

Here's what I learned about the players:

I really don't know who Damian Johnson is, but apparently he's an elite shot blocker in the Big Ten, ranking third in the conference in block percentage. Nice. He really makes a difference during his 20 minutes/game.

Blake Hoffbauer is one of the most efficient scorers in the country. His effective FG% of 71.5 is ahead of the man currently leading the nation, Texas' Connor Atchley (71.4). To qualify for the leaderboard, a player needs to have played in 60% of his team's minutes; that's the only thing keeping the HOFF off the board.

On the other end of the spectrum, JAS sucks and sucks hard. His eFG is 43.9, the second-lowest on the team and lower than Brian Butch and Ekpe Udoh. But Kevin Payton is even worse, his 33.3 eFG is ridiculously bad.

Tollackson is extremely effective, 8th best in the Big Ten, at getting to the free-throw line. Too bad he's terrible once he's there.

Dan Coleman and Hoffbauer are in the top 12 when it comes to not turning the ball over; on the other end of the spectrum, Al Nolen turns it over like a fiend.

But what Al Nolen giveth, he also taketh away—the dude leads the Big Ten in steal percentage. Who is second? None other than Damian "Dennis Rodman" Johnson. Wisconsin's Trevon Hughes is the first non-Gopher.

Seeing 4 Gophers in the top 20 (Westbrook & Tolly are 19/20) in steal % is probably a good segue into the team itself—how is this year's squad better than last year's?

Let's start with the bad compared to last year—other teams are more effective when they get a shot off, albeit very slightly. And teams are hitting a higher percentage of their free throws.

That's it for the bad.

The key phrase was "when they get a shot off" because this Gophers squad leads the nation in turnover percentage—a whopping 27.8% of all their defensive possessions ends in the other team committing a turnover. 15% are by the way of a steal, as evidenced by Nolen & Johnson leading the Big Ten in larceny. In case you were wondering, the Gophers ranked 295th in the nation last year, only forcing a turnover 18.7% of the time. Thank you, Tubby.

For starters, this is probably a more entertaining team since they average an additional 4.5 possessions per game.

On top of that, they have gone from the 296th most efficient offense to the 61st.

There are a few glaring improvements—they are grabbing offensive rebounds 30% better, have gone from 219th to 80 th in eFG (Hoffbauer), they are turning the ball over 7% less than before, and the offense actually depends on players passing too each other—the assists/FG made ratio is up to 22nd in the country vs. 315th last year.

Some of these numbers are bound to change once there are more Big Ten games in the mix, but damn, it sure looks like Tubby has made a difference.

Nolen and Hoffbauer are impact freshmen in two very different ways. Sid reminds you to thank Monson for these guys.

For f*cks sake, why can't Tollackson hit a free throw?

JAS sucks only slightly less than Payton.

Tubby has transformed this team by bringing a high-pressure defense that generates more turnovers than anyone else in the nation. To put on my Mr. Obvious hat, that's the key to a mid-pack Big Ten finish and a shot at the NCAA Tournament.

Rod Will Report

My good buddy Dawger heading to Cooper last night to check out the Cooper/Benilde tilt, and was kind enough to send an exclusive report to DWG:

WWW- You should have come to the Cooper/Benilde game last night. I walked
in at the same time as the Great Tubby Smith. I also shook his hand and
told him how lucky MN was to have him (and if he wanted to he could have
his way with me or my girlfriend).

Rodney thoroughly dominated Jordan Taylor and Armond Battle. Cooper was up
by 23 at halftime. I think Rodney had at least 25 pts and was hitting from
all over the place. Jordan Taylor is a humongous (build wise) point guard
and I'm sure he'll do great at Wisconsin. He has a nice shot and is
extremely quick. Armond Battle has signed with Tulsa and looked pretty
solid as well.

Besides Coopers gym looking like a Snoop Dog video the game was awesome and
I highly recommend going to watch Rodney play a game.

Suck it, Dawg.

Thanks for the report Dawg. Hopefully Williams can get his grades where they need to be, and he can help with the great turnaround for the program Tubby is busy engineering.

Rutgers +9.5 vs. Villanova
NC State -2 vs. Georgia Tech
Purdue -2 @ Penn State
UCONN -2.5 @ Cinncinnati
Iowa +16 @ Indiana
UNC-Wilmington -4 vs. Northeastern

Yesterday: 2-2
Season: 243-217

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Brandon Smith to Disappoint TCU

Took a break from dealing with the basement, and wanted to see what kind of reaction TCU fans were having to the incoming transfer of former Golden Gopher Massive Disappointment Brandon Smith. Found a message board called "Killer Frogs", and this post makes me almost want to jump in and say something.

Contained within:

"This got burried on the basketball board, but I am very pleased about the transfer of Brandon Smith coming in from Minnesota next year. The guy had offers from UCLA, Oklahoma, and several other top tier programs. He is going to look really nice out their next year paired with Salter and Langford at our 2-3 spots."

I just really want to help out the poor fans, and let them know they are not about to get a top player. Although it's going to help him a bit going down a tier in conferences, and to a team with little to no expectations, I don't see anything in him that leads me to believe that he's the next Lee Nailon. I'd let the TCU fans know not to expect much, but you have to register and I'm just not going to take those 8 seconds out of my life.

No, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go suck sewage out of my basement using a 200 year old wet/dri vac.


So my basement's flooded. That's great.

Note: That may or may not be my house in the picture.

Northern Illinois -2 vs. Ball State
New Mexico -5 vs. Utah
Ohio State -7.5 vs. Illinois
Drake +5.5 @ Creighton
Tennessee -6.5 @ Kentucky

Yesterday: 2-2
Season: 241-215

Monday, January 21, 2008

And we're back

Just when the Gophers make you believe they might be a NCAA tournament level team, they lay an egg of this past week. Yes, I know both Indiana and Michigan State are the top two teams in the conference, but if you are an NCAA team, and you get both of them at home, you HAVE to win one of those games. It is just too hard to win on the road in the Big Ten to let winnable games slip away against teams like that.

I don't understand why this team refuses to cover white guys from three. First Stemler, which is sort of understandable I guess, but not in that situation, and now Neitzel. The guy is a career forty percent shooter, and he gets five wide open looks in the second half. The Gophers pressure defense is working well, as both Indiana and MSU had a whole bunch of turnovers, but they both also shot nearly fifty percent.

I don't even know what to say anymore. They made me believe, and then they shot me in the face. It was nice to McKenzie be more aggressive offensively, but Tollackson is still not a good offensive player and Dan Coleman disappeared again. Having Nolen wouldn't have made much of a difference. This is too depressing to even keep writing, so instead please enjoy the picture of Natalie Gulbis. It cheered me up.

And here was my votes for the Big Ten Power Poll. Minnesota should be lower, but the rest of the teams in this conference are a total suckfest:

1. Indiana
2. Michigan State
3. Wisconsin
4. Purdue
5. Ohio State
6. Minnesota
7. Iowa
8. Penn State
9. Illinois
10. Michigan
11. Northwestern

Syracuse +12 @ Georgetown
Santa Clara -9 vs. Pepperdine
Texas -2.5 @ Oklahoma State
Rider -11 vs. Iona

Weekend: 6-7
Season: 239-213

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'm Still Drunk

I'm still drunk.

UCONN -2.5 vs. Marquette
Michigan State -1 @ MInnesota

Yesterday: bad
season: something.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Wedding

No preview for Michigan State, since I had a groom's dinner last night and a wedding today and don't have time, but I'm sensing a repeat of the Indiana game, sorry. Spartans 72, Gophers 66.

Also, good luck to Snacks today. Only 7 hours left of freedom.

Michigan -4.5 vs. Iowa (L)
Syracuse -4.5 vs. Villanova (L)
Notre Dame +9 @ Georgetown (L)
Vanderbilt -12.5 vs. LSU (W)
Purdue -4 vs. Illinois (W)
Tennessee -11 vs. Ohio State (L)
Cal -1.5 vs. Arizona (L)
Alabama PK vs. Miss State (L)
Rutgers +11.5 @ DePaul (W)
Ball State -2 vs. Eastern Michigan (W)
Kentucky +7.5 @ Florida (L)

Thursday: 3-6
Season: 233-207

Friday, January 18, 2008

Arf-Arf-Arf! Gophers vs Dawgs Preview

The Gophers travel to the twin ports this weekend to take on the UMD Bulldogs. Just like when the Gophers travel to UND, this is like the Superbowl, World Series and Olympics all rolled into one for the people of Duluth. This always makes for a good an environment but always leaves me wondering why someone would get excited about beating a 7th place team. That would be like someone getting excited for beating Northwestern and Penn State in basketball right?

I am not going to put much effort into breaking down what the Gophers need to do this weekend because I am tired of writing the same shite and trying to put a new twist on it. They also gutted me last Saturday so I refuse to give my best effort. So here you go. Score a couple power play goals, don’t give up goals from the blue and red lines, don’t wet yourself when you have a lead in the 3rd period and play physical for three periods. Hopefully that covers it for you.

One positive going into this weekend is Jeff Frazee has finally been told to "F off" by Lucia, at least I hope so. If you missed last Saturdays game here is a recap of Jeff’s one period of work. Frazee gave up a first period goal from between the blue and red lines. Drinky then followed that up by getting beat from the far blue line as the horn sounded to end the 1st period. Luckily two SCSU players where busy enjoying the song "Cotton Eyed Joe" as it was being blared into the arena for the tenth time that period and forgot they where offsides. Lucia gave Frazee a death stare and promptly yanked him from the game. This should mean we will finally see Kangas for the majority of the games down the stretch. "Jeff, you suck, drink to much for a 20 year old kid and I want you to!" If Lucia would have listened to me months ago we wouldn’t be having these problems every weekend. God I should have his job.

UMD is currently sitting in 4th place in the WCHA. That sounds good, but they suck and have played 2 more games then all of the showers of shit that are behind them in the standings. UMD has been a fairly good team at home this year with a 6-1-4 record, this is not a good sign for the Gophers who have struggled over the years at the DECC. Also, if Brandt Nicklin is reading this blog, I still hate you and think you are a complete douche bag.

The Bulldogs rank near the middle of the pack in most key conference statistics, including scoring offense (5th) and defense (5th). Their key players are????? Well they really don’t have any key players, just a bunch of solid guys who work hard. Alex Stalock can be dominant in the net for UMD and has improved from his freshman season. Stalock currently has a .909 save percentage and a 2.43 GAA. Stalock can be very fun to watch and has a little flair to his game. He can also have a bit of Frazee to his game so lets hope we see the latter this weekend.

My prediction is a split this weekend, because neither team is really that good. UMD wins on Friday night 3-2 and the Gophers rebound 4-2 on Saturday.

On a positive note, the Gophers received a commitment this week from Zach Budish (Edina). Zach had narrowed his list of schools down to UND and MN. Obviously this shows Zach has taste and is not a racist. Below is a description of Budish I stole and plagiarized from another blog.

The Gophers landed a big recruit yesterday. 6'2, 210 lbs. Edina forward Zach Budish has given a verbal commitment to play for the Gopher hockey program. Budish is well known as being one of the top players of his age group in Minnesota and his recruitment has been a much discussed situation on the message boards during this past year. The final battle for Budish came down to the Gophers and UND. He had visited both schools in November and had been mulling over the decision ever since.

Budish is a physical forward with soft hands and good play making ability. His skating is above average for a player his size but I would imagine that improving that aspect of his game will be a main focus for future improvement. He is strong on his skates and works well in the corners and around the net. But his biggest asset could be the intangibles he brings to the table. He is very much known as a leader and I have heard more than a few of his peers speak highly of him in regard to his effort and leadership. He is a kid who could very well wear the "C" for the Gophers someday.

On a national scale, Budish performed well at the Selects during the past two summers and was been chosen to be a part of the USA Selects team that would play in an international tourney in the late summer (Three Nations tourney in Rochester, NY in 2006 and the Five Nations tourney in the Czech Republic this past summer). He was one of (roughly) 45 of the best 1991 birth year players invited to try out for the USA National Development Program in Ann Arbor this past spring but he was not extended an invite when all was said and done (only former Chaska HS defenseman Nick Mattson made the team out of the MN kids invited to the tryout).

Congrats to Coach Lucia and the staff on landing another important recruit during a rather frustrating season. Welcome aboard Zach!

* An interesting side note for those who aren't aware of it, Zach's father (Kim) played football at the University of Minnesota back in the 1970s. (According to the records I see via Gophersports, he was in the football program in 1972 and 1973). So Zach is following in his dad's footsteps to some degree. Fortunately, I think Zach's college team will be far more successful than any of the Gopher football teams since the 70s!

Lastly, Congratulations are in order for UND. UND finally swept a home series last weekend breaking a streak that lasted 15 months! Also, congratulations to Snacks on his wedding this weekend.WWWWW, will you be blogging live from the wedding?

Special thanks to for writing my Budish comments.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I made it!

I made it back for the game. The Superpit is not very impressive, and those teams suck. I would rank the Superpit as better than UIC's arena, DePaul's Dumpster Arena, and Weber State's arena, and that's it.

And, yeah, those teams aren't good. Guess how many points Bo McCalebb scored while I was there? Not a god damn one in the 16 minutes I was there for. This is the guy who's lowest scoring average in his four year career is 19 ppg, and the only reason I was at all excited about this game. Thanks Bo.

If you can't make out the picture, it's a man in his forties, wearing a full UNT uniform, with his long shaggy hair dyed green, as well as his fu manchu mustache, and a green sailor's cap to top it off. That guy said good bye to his dignity a long time ago.

If Vandy would just give up already, we could get to the game.

8:10 - Finally. And Minnesota leads 4-3 with 17:42 left.

8:11 - Gordon called for a charge, and it seems that's his second foul. That'll help. Barn sounds loud tonight.

8:12 - Three offensive rebounds with a Tollackson put back in the end. Energy is high. Will be interesting to see if they can sustain it all game.

8:12 - McKenzie attacking. I'm loving everything about this so far. I can't believe how fired up I am. I missed this. Thanks Monson, you jackass. I hope his house burns down.

8:16 - Oof. Williams should not try to attack DJ White. Talk about your all-time mismatches.

8:19 - This is brilliant. A high-pressure, attacking, man-to-man actually seems to be causing issues for Indiana. With all good guards, I would have guessed they'd eat it up. Nope, 7 Hoosier turnovers in 6 minutes. Hell, yes.

8:21 - Apparently Minnesota is concerned about Jamarcus Ellis' great length. I know it's immature, but it makes me giggle.

8:22 - Blake still hot. $nake thinks he's "hot" if you know what I mean. I'm not even making that up.

8:25 - Spencer shouldn't take it at White either. He's just swatting shots left and right. Spencer should also give up that jumping hip bump celebration thing or whatever that is.

8:29 - Gordon back on the floor and already making a difference. I hate that guy.

8:32 - One thing that makes me nervous, besides Eric Gordon and DJ White, is the fact that it seems every gambling person in the world is on the Gophers. That usually never works. Also, note to fans: just because a guy is on his back with the ball, it's not automatically a travel.

8:37 - They're making a Saw 4? I didn't even know they made third one. Isn't that about enough? The only series of movies that could sustain excellence throughout a run that long or longer were the Friday the 13ths - Jason X (in space) and Jason goes to hell not included. Also, Freddy Krueger was kind of a fairy.

8:41 - Foul number three on Gordon, and it's a dumb one. Way to not be coordinated Kevin Payton, you're a contributor now. Indiana is very different without him.

8:42 - Naturally, Payton misses the free throw

8:44 - White might be hurt. Do not want. Even though it would make this an easier win, obviously, nobody will care if the Gophers beat Indiana without White. That would be like beating the Hickory High team without Jimmy Chitwood.

8:49 - Indiana up 11 and I'm getting nervous. I'm afraid what I was afraid of might be happening (17-0 Indiana run) - That the Gophers are a tough team, and a good defensive team, but just don't have the players to keep up - even with White and Gordon on the bench.

8:56 - Halftime, Indiana up 40-32, mostly due to the 17-0 run by the Hoosiers led by Jordan Crawford, who the Gophers had zero answers for. Thoughts:

1. Keep up the energy, keep up the toughness. Yes, the Hoosiers have 40 points at the half, but the defensive pressure is making them make mistakes. I think the last stat I saw was 14 turnovers by Indiana. They're shooting 56% right now, and 58% from three. That won't last. Nobody stays that hot forever.

2. Keep hitting the boards, and keep running in transition. I don't have rebounding stats, but it seems like the Gophers are doing an excellent job, particularly on the offensive boards, this must continue. And keep running, whether off a turnover or a rebound, keep running.

3. More Blake? We haven't seen all that much of Hoffbauer or Shamala, but Hoff has seven points on four attempts. They aren't good defenders, but it's worked. Tubby has clearly identified Jamarcus Ellis (he of great length) as the offensive weak link of the Hoosiers as whenever either of the white shooters are in, they're matched up on Ellis. It's working, as he has zero points so far. Ellis averages 8.6 a game, and can put up double-digits in a hurry, but it might be worth seeing if instant offense Hoff can get a little something going.

4. McKenzie aggressiveness - Keep it up. Six shots at the half, and the Gophers are going to need him to have any shot to win this game. Unless White is hurt.

9:14 - Also, it's not good to go 3-10 from the line. At least McKenzie can make them. Five straight to start the half. Good start.

9:16 - Getting out and running after a missed free throw, and McKenzie has two attempts already in the half. I bet they read DWG at halftime of the games to figure out what to do. Hi Tubby!

9:17 - Pressure is also still working, as Indiana with three turnovers in the first two minutes. If Indiana was shooting at a normal percentage, or the Gophers were, Minnesota would be on top. One point game. Keep it up.

9:20 - Did you know the guy who played Clue Haywood in Major League was former big league pitcher Pete Vuckovich, AL Cy Young winner in 1982? Learn something new everyday.

9:22 - Here's what's going to happen: Minnesota will be down by 1-5 for the rest of the half until about 3-4 minutes left, when McKenzie gets hot, and the Gophers win by 5.

9:24 - Tollackson 0-6 on free throws tonight. That would make a pretty big difference. If I'm Tubby, I tell him to stop missing those.

9:29 - I'm probably a racist, but I really don't like female announcers. They should be on the sidelines and be hot like Erin Andrews.

9:32 - Coleman guarding White. Not sure I like this one bit.

9:33 - They go right to him. Turned it over on a double team from Damian Johnson (I REALLY like him), but the next time he abuses Coleman for an easy 2. TV Timeout. Hopefully they put in one of the fatter guys to guard him.

9:35 - Sportscenter after the game will be showing The Best of Brett Favre. Set your Tivo for the Pete Rose of football!

9:43 - 7:27 left and the Gophers take the lead. Tubby switched to a zone, and even though the Hoosiers are getting open shots, they've cooled off. The zone is also taking White away, can't remember the last time he attempted a shot. If Sampson's smart, he'll get White attacking from the high post instead of distributing.

9:47 - Back to man-to-man after the TV timeout. Tubby = genius.

9:48 - Coleman coming up huge with a three point play, and 15 on the game. I take back everything bad I ever said about him.

9:51 - Four fouls on White, over the back on a great rebound by Coleman. This is good stuff.

9:52 - Spencer misses ANOTHER free throw, making him 0-7. Indiana should just foul him everytime the Gophers have the ball.

9:54 - Nolen almost being too passive in not looking for a shot and just looking to dish.

9:56 - Final TV timeout, Gophers up 2 with Gordon going to the line. I'm going to assume he makes both. The Gophers NEED to score on the following possession.

9:58 - Indiana only has 14 points this half? Wow. The defensive change from Monson to Tubby is off the charts. I mean, we knew it would be, but still. Wow. F off Monson.

9:59 - Horrible, horrible turnover by McKenzie. I'm scared right now.

10:01 - Son of a whore. Indiana leads by 2.

10:02 - Idiotic foul by Great Length. McKenzie, not Tollackson at the line. Makes both. Tie game. Team just 11-21 from the line.

10:03 - Tollackson with the reverse for the lead on a great pass by Nolen. He loves that move, but as long as it keeps working, keep doing it. Also, the announcers mention The Barn is 80 years old for the 8 millionth time tonight.

10:06 - White guy wide open from three and buries it for a Hoosier lead with 1:10 left.

10:08 - They get no shot, coming out of a timeout with under a minute left. Completely unacceptable.



10:09 - McKenzie misses a wide open three pointer for the hundredth time tonight. Jesus fucking christ. What is wrong with him this year? This sucks. I hate basketball. I hate indiana. I hate all of you. I quit this blog.

Get Fired Up!

Want to get fired up for the game? Check out the video below.

Butler -6.5 @ Cleveland State
North Texas -7.5 vs. New Orleans
Utah State -5 vs. Boise State
Northern Colorado +3.5 @ Eastern Washington
Louisville -2.5 vs. Marquette
St Johns +16.5 @ West Virginia
Vanderbilt +10.5 @ Tennessee
Rhode Island -5 @ St Louis
Indiana -2 @ Minnesota

Yesterday: 6-8
Season: 230-201

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day 2

Sitting in my room with some beers, watching Duke/FSU. I said at some point in some post somewhere that Duke was really flying under the radar, and their only weakness was a lack of size. Now I see they have two. They can't handle the quick, athletic guards from FSU, and that lack of size is compounded by it because they don't have a defensive presence in the middle. Maybe I'll pull back a wee bit on my Duke love this year.

- Also, this hotel doesn't have ESPN2. What kind of crazy shit is that? And the ice machine on my floor doesn't work. Nice hotel. And this seminar I'm at recommends it. They're going to get a sternly worded evaluation from me at the end of the class.

- Oh, and Dayton and Xavier are frauds.

- Jay Bilas just said the winner of this game will be whoever is tougher. Personally, I think it'll be whichever team is better.

- Greg Paulus is a giant sissy.

- This Carolina/G-Tech is really entertaining. Neither team can stop the other, but not because of bad defense, just because both offenses are on fire.

- Ty Lawson can't shoot. It's ok, because nobody can guard him, but he really can't shoot.

- Tech has an interesting point guard named Matt Causey. He looks like a very smart, pure point guard, and looks exactly like Dan Dickau.

- Ok, nevermind. Causey is a senior, after playing for Georgetown in 2003-2004, he sat out three years for some reason and now is at G-Tech. He would have interesting if he was a freshman, which is what I thought, but now he's just the weird old dude who's still in college.

- One of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard, from whoever is announcing. "The Tar Heels are just a different team without Hansbrough in there. This is where the lack of depth after Frasor got hurt really hurts them." Um, Hansbrough is a PF, Frasor is a PG. How in the hell are those two things related? He also said, "The weather outside might be frightful, but the ACC basketball tonight is delightful." Seriously, he said that. I couldn't make it up if I tried.

- Ty Lawson reminds me of Skee-lo.

- So, like, now would be a very good time for Carolina to go on a run and win by 12.

- I'm starting to dislike Causey now. He uses the jump pass more than Snacks with Jacque Vaughn on Coach K. Three people who read this will understand that reference.

- How can I get Down with Goldy on Wikipedia? I tried to figure it out but after two minutes when it hadn't become blatantly obvious I gave up.

- Carolina escapes. Fun game to watch, even though I had Carolina -11. Just another miss on a crappy gambling night.

- There are seriously only 13 channels available here. Why do I always travel to backwater cletusville, USA? I'm going to watch Superbad on my computer instead.

- I'm not going to do a full on preview of the Gopher/Indiana game because I don't want to. But how big is this game? If the Gophers pull this one off, it's such a huge, huge win for the program, and doesn't guarantee a NCAA berth, but puts them in the right direction. And it just shows that Gophers are back to being relevant again. God, it would be so awesome. It will be very interesting to see how Nolen and McKenzie and Westbrook handle Gordon and the other eighty good guards the Hoosiers throw at you. I have no idea how they'll handle DJ White. He's so good, and hopefully Tollackson and Williams can be physical enough to handle him. Call me crazy, but I believe in the Barn, and I believe in the team. Gophers 73, Hoosiers 69.

- So from most hated, we go to favorite Gophers of all-time:

PG Arriel McDonald
SG Bobby Jackson
SF Sam Jacobson
PF Travarus Bennett
C Willie Burton (we're going small)
Honorable Mentions: Vince Grier, Eric Harris, Melvin Newbern, Rico Tucker, Mo Hargrow, Steve "Sunshine" Esselink - I kid, I kid.

- Pretty bummed I have to miss the game. I'm going to attend the North Texas/New Orleans game here, which starts at 7. Good chance I leave at the half to catch the Gopher game.

- North Texas 12-4, 3-2 conference. New Orleans 12-5, 2-3, but they have Bo McCalebb, who is averaging 22 points a game this season.

- You have got to be kidding me: "The Fox network affiliate in Green Bay doesn't want to report on a Packers loss during its 9 p.m. news broadcast. It's doing its part to prevent that from happening.

WLUX Fox 11 normally airs a "Seinfeld'' rerun at 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays. But when it heard that "Seinfeld'' was Eli Manning's favorite show, it decided to pull this Saturday's broadcast in a promotional stunt.

"Why give comfort to the enemy," station vice president and general manager Jay Zollar said. "Green Bay Packers fans do not want any of the New York Giants to get a good night's sleep, and FOX 11 will do its part."

Fans can vote on the station's Web site,, on what to replace "Seinfeld'' with. The choices are "M*A*S*H,'' an infomercial, a Vince Lombardi special, or a rerun of Inside the Huddle with Packer Donald Driver.

"That's why the good Lord created laptops and DVD players," Giants PR director Pat Hanlon said."
Holy hell.

- I don't know, I got nothin.