March Madness Sweet 16: The Law Of Gus

4 games are on tap tonight in the Sweet 16 portion of March Madness.

Kicking it off is the Florida-BYU game. BYU guard Jimmer Fridette is the likely Player of the Year in college basketball. His range for tonight's matchup in New Orleans begins from Lake Ponchartrain. (BTD sidebar: I was born in New Orleans.) A year ago, these two teams played a 2OT thriller in the first round of the NCAAs with The Jimmer going for 37 in leading the Cougars to the win. Both teams are markedly better this year. Another thriller in store tonight? The Law of Gus suggests so. Gus Johnson is calling the Florida-BYU game and when Gus calls a game, any game, the chance seem to rise markedly that it will be a thriller. More . . .

Both BYU and Florida played well in their first two games of the tournament. BYU seems to have found its rhythm again after its best big man Brandon Davies was suspended for engaging in sex out of wedlock. BYU demolished Gonzaga 89-67, draining 14 of 28 3-pt attempts to just 2 of 9 for the Zags. Gonzaga dominated BYU on the boards by a margin of 11.

Florida's frontcourt is clearly superior to BYU's and should dominate the boards. Vernon Macklin has a nice low post game and Chandler Parsons is a very good all around player at the 3. Alex Tyus is up and down but should be able to be a force on the boards. A year ago, Florida also dominated the boards against BYU.

Florida's backcourt of Erving "Big Shot Erv" Walker and Kenny Boynton have been playing quite well in the second half of the season. Boynton sprained his ankle in Florida's tough win over a good UCLA team but is expected to go.

Florida's bench has been a huge strength all year, with Patric Young, Scotty Wilbekin and Eric Murphy making big contributions in key games and in pressure moments.

Florida is a 3 point favorite. The Law of Gus tells me to pick BYU (+3) (2 units.)

In the second game in New Orleans, Wisconsin faces Butler. The pace will be slow. I think Wisconsin is better but Butler has won its last 11. The line is Wisconsin (-4 1/2). I'll take the Badgers (-4 1/2) (2 units).

Dadler's San Diego State team faces UConn in Anaheim. The theory is SDSU will have a home court advantage because of the proximity. SDSU probably has the better athletes. And they won close games in the first two rounds. Nonetheless I like Kemba Walker, the star UConn guard, to make some plays at the end. The line is UConn (-1 1/2). I'll take the Huskies (-1 1/2) (2 units).

Duke plays Arizona in the second game in Anaheim. The performances of Washington and UCLA have made me a believer in the PAC 10. Duke is an 8 1/2 point favorite. Duke is not that good. And the PAC 10 champions, playing relatively close to home in Anaheim where many Zona alumni reside, are better than most people think. I not only like Arizona (+8 1/2) (5 units), I am also taking Arizona (+340) (2 units) on the money line to win the game outright.

Let's Go Gators!

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    With all due respect to (none / 0) (#1)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 10:56:26 AM EST
    basketball, I think we need a post on "Miranda Madness," in light of the Obama administration's weakening of Miranda rights.

    [But I hope you're right about Duke]

    I did not know (none / 0) (#2)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 10:58:42 AM EST
    BYU had such a strict honor code.

    Doubt it is strict (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:07:00 AM EST
    in the sense that the only reason we would know he violated the code is because his girlfriend got pregnant.

    Kind of a joke really.


    Well (none / 0) (#5)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:13:49 AM EST
    he did get kicked off the team for premarital sex, right?  My impression is the girlfriend was not pregnant.  I'm sure the code is a joke but the college appears to enforce it, however ridiculously.

    I thought she was (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:23:34 AM EST
    How did anybody find out? Don't tell me he self reported. Did someone snitch? Really?

    BYU player (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:25:41 AM EST
    Doesn't say (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:29:33 AM EST
    he self reported. I assume he was asked or his girlfriend was pregnant.

    And I would be shocked if he did.

    I would be hocked if he was not having sex regularly with his girlfriend.

    And I would be shocked if other players at BYU are not having sex.

    The whole thing is a charade imo.

    I don't really care. Not my business. About the charade I mean. Of course it is no business of mine if they are having sex either.


    i never heard anything (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:33:46 AM EST
    about the girlfriend being pregnant, but every single article about it states that Davies confessed to having premarital sex in violation of this Honor Code:

    We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men. ... If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things (Thirteenth Article of Faith).

    As a matter of personal commitment, faculty, administration, staff, and students of Brigham Young University, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Brigham Young University-Idaho, and LDS Business College seek to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will

    Be honest

    Live a chaste and virtuous life

    Obey the law and all campus policies

    Use clean language

    Respect others

    Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, and substance abuse

    Participate regularly in church services

    Observe the Dress and Grooming Standards

    Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code

    Yeah (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:36:23 AM EST
    He confessed when the story about his girlfriend being pregnant got out.

    I mean, come on.


    Like I said (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:44:04 AM EST
    You could be right, but until you posted that linnk, I never heard anything about a pregnant girlfriend.

    Doesn't really matter - he knew the Honor Code when he signed on the dotted line.  We can like it or think it's stupid, but that's the agreement he  made.


    I agree on that (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:55:06 AM EST
    Doesn't change the fact that it is a charade.

    IMO (none / 0) (#19)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 12:15:29 PM EST
    some agreements are just too stupid to honor.

    Anyway, the story is just too weird.  How would anyone definitively link Davies to someone who was pregnant?  It seems clear that somebody snitched.

    Whatever, BYU is ridiculous.  All homosexual behavior (not just sex) is prohibited by the Honor Code.


    Have times changed enough that (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 12:35:22 PM EST
    BYU did not remove her as a student (if she was)?  

    I don't think the gf (none / 0) (#22)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 12:56:31 PM EST
    was a BYU student.

    That may be (none / 0) (#23)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 01:20:53 PM EST
    some agreements are just too stupid to honor.

    But then what's the point of signing any contract if people canjust randomly decide to do whatever the heck they want to when they want to?

    If you know exactly what you're signing, then you should be expected to uphold your end of the bargain. Otherwise - don't sign or get out and pay back what you owe.

    And don't forget - besides growing up in the faith, and living basically across the street from the school, he took a scholarship to play there.

    If he didn't like the terms of the contract, he was free to do business elsewhere with a less restrictive code.


    I do understand (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 02:03:52 PM EST
    why he was dismissed from the team.  I don't have a problem with that really.  I just think believing that 30000 students are going to completely abstain from premarital sex, alcohol, etc. during college is an unrealistic expectation.  I'm sure the college is well aware of the fact that premarital sex takes place on the campus and off the campus.  When a contract is unrealistic to the point that it dooms people to failure there is also a problem with the contract, not just the person.  

    It's more than a contract (none / 0) (#25)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 02:07:17 PM EST
    It's their faith and way of life.  To them, this is similar and sacred as Jews not eating pork, or Muslims not partaking of alcohol.  You may not agree with those beliefs, or find religion silly, but most people on this planet have some kind of religious affiliation, sacred rituals, and faith in a higher power.

    I'm not talking about the religion (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 02:13:53 PM EST
    I'm talking about the contract, which you have to sign regardless of whether or not you share their religious beliefs.  Two separate things.

    True (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 02:30:34 PM EST
    But it's not like it's a surprise to anyone who goes to BYU.

    Also true (none / 0) (#34)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 03:37:46 PM EST
    anyway I'm still thinking someone snitched on him.  Unless he's having a shotgun wedding?

    He confessed to it (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:24:34 AM EST
    Because he was raised in the area (and as a Mormon, I believe), and he knew the rules going in when he signed on to play for BYU.  He was actually the one who brought the issue to the attention of the coach, full knowing the consequences that could happen.

    That took a lot of guts.


    You got a link for that? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:26:54 AM EST
    Cuz I don't believe it for a second.

    see above (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:27:44 AM EST
    Doesn't answer the question (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:29:53 AM EST
    In fact (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:31:46 AM EST
    this seems much more plausible.

    All's I know... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 03:39:53 PM EST
    ...is I'm selectively thankful religious hypocrisy exists in D-1 college basketball to the benefit of San Diego State.  

    And the only reason I don't think Jimmer's probably committed the same, um, personal foul, is 'cause I don't think he sleeps with anything that doesn't have Spalding embossed on it. Does Spalding make nighties?


    SDSU vs. UConn (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:04:35 AM EST
    Obviously we're fortunate to be playing in Anaheim, only a hundred miles or so from campus.  San Diego has never had a championship in any major sport,the whole city (from what my friends tell me, stuck here in soggy San Fran as I am) is amped up for this game, and I hope our fans have bought every StubHub and Craigslist ticket out there to be had.  That said, we had BYU at home in that conference rematch and tanked, so I'm hoping they learned from that game, when they were far too wound up and played way outside themselves.  Defense, defense, defense is how they start their offense, and they better swarm like bees this afternoon.  

    Ball it up, boys.

    Go SDSU! (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:49:48 AM EST
    I freakin' can't stand UConn, especially Coach Calhoun.

    But that Walker kid from the Bronx can play man...shut him down and ya got 'em Dadler.  No easy task though...he's been especially en fuego and can really take over a game.


    Hope you had a good trip, bro (none / 0) (#28)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 02:30:10 PM EST
    I'm like a wet rat here, never stops raining.  And Kemba Walker is a beast, no doubt, we'll be playing a man and a half on him at least.



    Too good... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 02:46:31 PM EST
    and glad I wasn't hear to see my Johnnies get schooled...I hear it was ugly.  Knew Gonzaga was trouble.

    Oculus was kind enough to send me some good news...Ollie Perez getting cut from the Mutts.  And Louie Castillo too...double hallelujah!

    Having said that Castillo will surely bat .320 for the Phils this year:)


    You must be in agony being in the Bay area (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 12:36:45 PM EST
    at this crucial moment.

    Yep, can't stand it (none / 0) (#27)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 02:28:52 PM EST
    And it would help if 1) our new house in the bay area wasn't leaking water up through the foundation and 2) that we didn't have to take our old SD landlord to court over the security deposit he thinks is supposed to be redecorating fund.  Good times, good times, go Aztecs!

    It will not be full of SDSU fans (none / 0) (#31)
    by progrocks on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 03:11:43 PM EST
    because Arizona travels well and is also driving distance, and the big money Duke fans will buy every good ticket there is.  Those two will still be anti-UConn though, because they know UConn is the tougher match up in the next game.

    If we don't have more fans... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 03:23:48 PM EST
    ...than any other school there, I will be surprised.  I think we also probably have more alumni in the area than any other school also. But you could be right and it may just be an even split.  

    Taking The Nate Silver Projections (none / 0) (#33)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 03:29:20 PM EST
    Here are the winners tonight:

    San Diego State

    Theresa, if you are out there reading (none / 0) (#38)
    by caseyOR on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 05:59:21 PM EST
    this, please know that in your honor I will be cheering for a big Duke defeat tonight. You taught me well, last year. Never root for Duke basketball.

    San Diego State has happy hands right now (none / 0) (#39)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 06:51:42 PM EST
    Just can't get a clean handle on too many interior passes, giving away way too many easy points on their own offensive end because of it.  Hard to do that and beat a team like UConn.  And Kawhi Leonard getting an early technical for his second personal, just stupid.  UConn now cutting loose and up 5 with 4:21 left in the half.  

    frustrating tournament for me (none / 0) (#40)
    by desmoinesdem on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 09:40:43 PM EST
    First time my championship team (Pitt) was eliminated on the first weekend.

    However, I don't seem to be doing "that badly" now. I had UConn and Florida in final 8 (I wrongly guessed Temple would beat UCSD, but I was right about UCSD being weak).

    No Iowa teams in the tournament for the first time in many years, so I picked North Carolina (with Iowa native Harrison Barnes) to reach final four. I figured everyone else in my pool would have predicted Ohio State from that part of the bracket, so I either look like an idiot or gain a lot of points on them.

    One of my iron-clad rules is never pick Duke to get to the final 4. I have them winning tonight but losing to UConn.

    UCSD currently competes in Div II (none / 0) (#42)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 10:45:13 PM EST
    SDSU is the team you mean (UC is my alma mater).  And weak the Aztecs were indeed, in the head mostly.

    yes, thanks for that (none / 0) (#44)
    by desmoinesdem on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 07:41:47 AM EST
    As you can tell, I don't follow college basketball closely except during the tournament!

    Butler v. Florida (none / 0) (#41)
    by bordenl on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 10:41:29 PM EST
    Butler will get its chance for revenge after having lost to Florida twice. I still remember the heartbreaker of 2000 in the first round.  

    I could be wrong (none / 0) (#45)
    by CoralGables on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:17:07 AM EST
    but I believe that game was played late afternoon on St Patrick's Day (eastern time)and the damn happy hour drunks were distracting from my ability to enjoy the game until Florida won with a buzzer beater. Florida went on to play in the Championship game which was played on opening day of baseball season that year leading to a great double header for a Gator/Marlin fan.

    Note - Mike Miller who hit the winner against Butler in 2000 now plays for the Miami Heat.


    Butler by 20! (none / 0) (#43)
    by bordenl on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 10:48:17 PM EST
    Unreal! Nate's Big 10 bias was getting to him :)