Thursday, February 25, 2021

Music of the Week

Muse by Alycia Bella

Bella's debut album at age 31.  I would say this album is heavily influenced by Solange.  I really like her voice, but for some reason this album just falls flat for me.  

Cool & Easy by Sammy Johnson

This is the Australian reggae singer's fourth album.  It's an easy album to listen to  and to forget.  Definitely a clean the house album.  

Nobody is Listening by ZAYN

Zayn was the first member of One Direction to go solo.  Album doesn't do much for me.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The NCAA Rifle Championships

Kentucky has qualified as one of eight teams that will compete in this year's NCAA Rifle Championships.  The Big Blue won the title in 2011 and 2018, and has six runner-up finishes.

Here are the eight qualifiers for the 2021 championships, which will take place in Columbus, Ohio.  I'm sorry to see that Murray State (which traditionally has a strong rifle program) didn't make it:

Air Force
Alaska Fairbanks
Texas Christian
West Virginia

Monday, February 22, 2021

The Top Teams in College Basketball Today, in the Style of Sports Illustrated in the 1970s

EAST:  1.  Virginia (15-5)  2.  Villanova (14-3)

MIDEAST:  1.  Michigan (16-1)  2.  Iowa (17-6)

MIDWEST:  1.  Baylor (17-0)  2.  Houston (18-3)

WEST:  1.  Gonzaga (22-0)  2.  USC (18-4)

Gonzaga and Baylor are both trying to do something that hasn't been done in a while.  Since Arizona won the NCAA Tournament in 1997, only one team from outside the Eastern Time Zone has gone all the way.  That team was Kansas, who beat Memphis for the 2008 title.  That Kansas team was pretty good -- they had to beat Steph Curry (of Davidson) and Derrick Rose (of Memphis) to win the title.  Since then, all the champions have been from the Eastern Time Zone.

College Baseball

 I'm going to get more serious about college baseball this year.  Vandy, who begins the year ranked number 4 in the country, just won its opener.  The Dores, playing at home, beat Wright State 14-1.  That's a good start.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Hilltopper Haven

 From the February 17, 1969 issue of Sports Illustrated:

Down home is the place to be in the Ohio Valley Conference, especially when home is Bowling Green, Ky., where Western Kentucky plays.  In a shoot-out with Murray State for the OVC lead, the Hilltoppers scored the winning basket on a tap at approximately the same time the final buzzer sounded.  No goal, said Murray Coach Cal Luther.  The goal counts, said Referee Charles Fouty, after conferring with Timekeeper "Big Six" Henderson, a longtime Western rooter.  Luther's objection was reasonable, since the ball was fumbled, shot from 25 feet and tapped up twice, all in the last six seconds of Western's 84-82 win.

I'm very impressed at whoever it was at SI that decided to track down that much detail on this game, including the nickname of the timekeeper.  Based on my own knowledge of the rivalry between Western and Murray, I'm going with SI on this one.

But it didn't work out for Western, at least that year.  Murray won the OVC in 1969 -- the last time it would win the league until after Western decamped for the Sun Belt.  The Racers would finish second in 1971, 1973, 1977, and 1981.  They would finish either tied for first or in first in 1980, 1982, and 1983.  But they would not return to the NCAA Tournament until 1988.