March Madness, Elite 8 Open Thread

The investments:

Ohio State -4½ over Wichita State (5 units), Marquette +4 over Syracuse.

Yesterday 2-2 ATS, + 0 units (31-23 ATS, +23 units for MM.)

Open Thread.

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    #14 from David Waldman (Kargo X) (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by MO Blue on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:31:49 PM EST
    GunFail XI

    GARY, IN, 3/21/13: We need armed security guards in our schools! Ones that will remember to stay armed! School security guard realizes mid-day that he doesn't know where his gun is. School gets locked down, but the gun is found. At home, where he left it!


    HARRISBURG, PA, 3/27/13: Concealed carry ninja robbed on the street, but shoots himself in the groin going for his own gun. Such. Major. FAIL.

    Left out all the instances when the "responsible" gun owners accidentally shot themselves or others.

    "It was a test of the human spirit." (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:10:06 PM EST
    After Alex Moore died unexpectedly 10 months ago of a pulmonary embolism, the members of the Westmont College women's basketball team stood resolutely by their widowed coach and her baby daughter. What subsequently happened this season will forever be part of school lore:

    Los Angeles Times | March 30, 2013
    For Westmont College women, sadness fueled an ardor on the court -- "Her final pep talk wasn't a pep talk at all. Kirsten Moore was beyond pep. Her final pep talk, given while surrounded by her Westmont College women's basketball team before the NAIA national championship game, was her chance to say thanks. Moore thanked her team for keeping her soul alive. She thanked them for sitting in the third row for her husband's funeral, for playing with her infant daughter in the third row of the team bus, for sharing her pain and embellishing her joy. She thanked them for their patience when she was weeping at an unseen memory, or staring blankly into an uncertain future, or disappearing just before tipoffs to nurse her child. 'Thank you for loving me,' she said. By the time Moore finished talking, most of her players were crying so hard they couldn't see. They couldn't focus. They couldn't move. They couldn't lose."

    Final score: Westmont 71, Lee 65.

    Congratulations to Coach Kirsten Moore and the Westmont Warriors, 2013 NAIA national champions.

    An interesting obit (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:31:02 AM EST
    of a trailblazing female rocket scientist:


    Best of both worlds (none / 0) (#1)
    by Coral Gables on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:17:03 AM EST
    for BTD last night. The Gators win by 12, and the Gators can't hit a free throw down the stretch allowing him to cash in his FGCU bet at +13.

    Just in (none / 0) (#2)
    by Coral Gables on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:53:32 AM EST
    UCLA basketball agrees to a contract with Steve Alford to be the new Bruins head coach.

    It's possible UCLA also talked to Butler's Brad Stevens and Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart before going with Alford. Hard to believe little Stevie Alford has been coaching now for 22 years.

    Just 3 days ago... (none / 0) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 01:38:51 PM EST
    Coach [redacted] (we Iowans don't say his name) had this to say about his big contract extension he signed to keep him at UNM through 2023...

    "I think it was a pretty big commitment, not only on the school's part, but it was a pretty big commitment on my part especially what's out there and the opportunities that are out there to show my loyalty to UNM and how much I appreciate UNM and how much I want to continue to build this thing."

    His buy out was $150,000--would have bumped up to $1 million on Monday.  

    Real classy guy.  I give him 4 years before UCLA figures out they made a mistake.


    Yeah he just signed.. (none / 0) (#4)
    by desertswine on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 03:07:08 PM EST
    that contract a few days ago...  but it didn't take effect until April 1. Alford is leaving a lot of bad feelings behind him for selling out in such a rude and abrupt manner.

    Pretty much how... (none / 0) (#6)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:12:07 PM EST
    he left Iowa.  It is getting to be a habit with him.  

    Classless, 5 and 7 in the NCAA's, hasn't been to the Sweet 16 this century and has never gotten past that--I don't know what UCLA was thinking.  Somewhere Coach Wooden is shaking his head.  

    At least he's got the hair and self-importance for Hollywood.

    If I were a Lobo fan, I'd rather have Craig Neal running the show anyway.


    Check. (none / 0) (#7)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 06:01:43 PM EST
    He does strike me as a coach who'll consistently get to the Thrifty 32 and maybe once to the Sweet 16, but beyond that I'm skeptical.

    Oh well, the deed is done and there are more important things to fret over -- like earthquakes, Asteroid Apophis and Obama negotiating away the New Deal --  than the continuing mediocrity of the once-great Bruin basketball program and sports generally.


    If you consider 26-10 and a Pac-12 ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:38:52 PM EST
    ... regular-season championship to be "mediocre," one simply shudders to think of the four-letter perjoratives you'd be compelled to use in describing the USC Trojans, who went 14-18 this season and finished in a four-way tie for 6th place.

    Mediocre was just a term (none / 0) (#37)
    by brodie on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 02:18:37 PM EST
    for me to suggest "not good enough" -- for UCLA basketball.  

    It should still be a program that measures success by national championships won.  Just winning a conference championship and winning 25 games and getting to the Sweet 16 would be admirable, contract-extending, stadium-filling accomplishments for 99% of schools, but UCLA has still higher goals to meet.


    Guess I'm alone on this (none / 0) (#9)
    by Coral Gables on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 06:09:31 PM EST
    Don't care about UCLA at all, but think Alford was a great hire for the Bruins.

    Only time will tell. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 06:19:55 PM EST
    I'll just say that Alford was the best A.D. Dan Guerrero was going to get and UCLA's lucky to get him, and leave it at that.

    But if the UCLA alumni's old habits die hard, it's going to be a lot harder to get a talented young up-and-comer interested in the Bruins' job, some four to seven years from now.


    He'll have to build a roster in LA (none / 0) (#12)
    by Coral Gables on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 06:33:31 PM EST
    because UCLA basketball is currently in shambles with I believe only 6 scholarship players expected to be on the roster.

    By comparison, Alford leave a stocked New Mexico roster to his longtime friend Craig Neal.


    Given that Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 06:13:29 PM EST
    "There's a sucker born every minute."
    - David P. Hannum, one of the perpetrators in the Cardiff Giant Hoax (1869)

    ... both quickly and publicly made it very clear that neither was interested, I seriously doubt that they talked long to UCLA A.D. Dan Guerrero, if at all. Guerrero very clumsily announced to the L.A. media on Thursday that Stevens was a target, prompting him to respond rather curtly via the media.

    Congratulations to Steve Alford, who summarily ditched New Mexico mere hours after betrothing his undying devotion, to run off with college basketball's equivalent of Elizabeth Taylor. In a meeting of man and moment, it's rather obvious that karma meant Alford and UCLA to be together. They deserve each other.

    I hereby predict that within five years, Steve Alford will be named the new coach at UTSA, and will tell a local press conference that he's delighted to be in San Antonio, and that the Roadrunners' goal is to win the WAC.



    Anyone kind of amused by the irony.. (none / 0) (#5)
    by magster on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 03:57:55 PM EST
    ... that on the day we celebrate the miracle of Jesus' resurrection from the dead that many of us will be watching the season finale of the Walking Dead?

    Looking forward to it (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 07:23:39 PM EST
    Josh did an advertising spoof on the Walking Dead called the Walking Feds.  He says it is a series for tea partiers, where the government becomes a bloated zombie feeding on the citizens.

    We will miss the Walking Dead but, Game of Thrones.  Trying to get a Zombie run organized on post.


    Me too... (none / 0) (#15)
    by magster on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 07:56:54 PM EST
    Haven't looked forward to a series finale for a while.

    Why, BTD, Why? (none / 0) (#8)
    by NYShooter on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 06:08:02 PM EST
    How could you go against The Orangemen, with their suffocating defense peaking game after game?

    The opponents all panicked & froze, they can't figure it out.

    final 4, baby!

    Anybody still want to say that ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 07:52:44 PM EST
    ... Wichita State's presence in the Elite Eight is a fluke? It's the Shockers by 20 over Ohio State with 11:48 to go, 53-33.

    Well it's no longer (none / 0) (#16)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:05:26 PM EST
    a 20 pt lead.  Shockers playing rather tight as the clock winds down, feeling the pressure.

    Wow, Shockers really (none / 0) (#17)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:21:40 PM EST
    unable to play in the clutch.

    If OSU had a scorer or pure shooter on the court, this game would be tied by now.


    It's going to go to the wire. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:30:18 PM EST
    We'll see who wants to go to Atlanta more.

    So, do the Buckeyes foul, down by 6 ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:33:49 PM EST
    ... with 40.9 seconds to go?

    ... for the Buckeyes to overcome. Who'd have thought three weeks ago that the team from Kansas that would ultimately go in the Final Four would be Wichita State?

    Congratulations to the Shockers, who draw the winner of tomorrow's Louisville-Duke game in next Saturday's national semifinals?

    Not enough offensive (none / 0) (#21)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:52:58 PM EST
    talent for OSU, else they'd have taken this one as Wichita seemed barely able to cope down the stretch.

    Whoever gets the Shockers next game, it's probably going to be a blowout.  


    Congrats though to Wichita State (none / 0) (#24)
    by brodie on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:33:09 PM EST
    which will be going to the Final Four for the first time since March 1965 -- when LBJ was about to sign the Voting Rights Act and was beginning to ramp things up in Nam, US television broadcasts were still mostly black and white, and one of the best years ever for popular music was underway.

    Back then the Shockers got unlucky in the semis, getting defending champ UCLA, which was their small full-court press and fastbreaking team of no one taller than 6'5".  Then, back in that time, they played a third place "consolation" game, and Wichita faced Princeton starring Bill Bradley with, I believe, equally negative results.

    I think they'll have a tough time of it again this time, against either Louisville -- my pick as ultimate champion -- or Duke.


    But cope they did. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:09:18 PM EST
    brodie: "Not enough talent for OSU, else they'd have taken this one as Wichita seemed barely able to cope down the stretch."

    To quote my late grandfather, "Yeah! And if the dog didn't stop to take a dump, he woulda caught that rabbit, too!"

    It was Ohio State that lost, not Wichita State. The Buckeyes were definitely within easy striking distance when they were only down 62-59 with 3 minutes to go, but with the game on the line, they couldn't make the necessary plays at the key moments, while the Shockers regained their poise and did.

    So, if anyone ultimately couldn't cope this afternoon, given the final score, it was clearly Ohio State. It doesn't matter that they almost caught the Shockers, because they didn't. Gonzaga almost caught the Shockers last week, too, but it's the Zags who were sitting home this weekend.

    Next week is next week. Obviously, either Louisville or Duke will probably be a prohibitive favorite against Wichita State.

    But given what the Shockers have accomplished thus far these past two weeks, both of those teams would be very foolish to start thinking that their ticket's already been punched for next Monday night's championship final. If nothing else, the Shockers have proved themselves to be a very resourceful and resilient bunch of young men. And if they truly believe, and if they can bring their A game to Atlanta, they have the talent to bring the hardware home to Wichita.



    So we saw the game (none / 0) (#36)
    by brodie on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 10:27:27 AM EST
    a little differently.  Let's not make a federal case out of it.

    I conclude that Wichita State -- the underdog I was strongly rooting for -- barely held themselves together enough to qualify as winners, but were shaky enough long enough down the stretch probably to have their confidence shaken as they approach the next game.  They know what happened as they nearly gave the game away repeatedly with the kind of errors and sloppy play characteristic of a team folding in crunch time.

    Again, if OSU just had one outside shooter on the court, they would have won.  As it was, because they had to expend so much energy scratching for baskets on second and third efforts underneath, they had nothing left for the final two minutes.

    I wish the Shockers the best next game but doubt their ability to even keep it close.  Hope I'm wrong


    Yeah... (none / 0) (#22)
    by ek hornbeck on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:04:16 PM EST
    now you feel like a dope for picking Marquette over Syracuse.

    Go Orange!

    And 5 units on Ohio?


    Not a good Saturday for you.

    Kinda like A-Rod in an ALCS game. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:22:58 PM EST

    The hallmark of the truly successful gambler is having the sense to quit while he's ahead, says the guy from Honolulu who doesn't gamble.


    Does Michigan play Florida next? (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:56:06 PM EST

    Who'd a thunk? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 12:13:03 AM EST
    Yes, the Wolverines take on the Gators (none / 0) (#26)
    by caseyOR on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:58:28 PM EST

    Google (none / 0) (#27)
    by Coral Gables on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 09:59:48 PM EST
    It seemed unreal. (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:33:13 PM EST
    USC: "Look, Mommy! A shiny new object!" (none / 0) (#29)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:17:02 PM EST
    According to Yahoo! Sports, sources inside the USC athletic department are saying that the school's now targeting FGCU's Andy Enfield as its leading candidate to take the reins of the hapless Trojan basketball program.