Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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

EAST:  1.  Villanova (16-5)  2.  Virginia (17-6)

MIDEAST:  1.  Michigan (19-3)  2.  Iowa (20-7)

MIDWEST:  1.  Baylor (21-1)  2.  Houston (21-3)

WEST:  1.  Gonzaga (26-0)  2.  USC (21-6)

By winning the WCC Tournament, Gonzaga becomes the fifth team since 1976 to enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated.  Here are the others:

1978-79  Indiana State:  One of the most famous college basketball teams of all time.  Finished the year 33-1 after losing the National Championship to another of the most famous college basketball teams of all time.

1990-91 UNLV:  Finished 34-1 after losing in the Final Four to Duke in one of the best games I ever saw.

2013-14 Wichita State:  The only team on this list not to make the Final Four.  The Shockers lost to Kentucky 78-76, as the Cats picked up their second NCAA Tournament win over an undefeated team.  This game is one of my absolute, all-time favorite UK victories.  The Cats had also beaten Indiana when the Hoosiers were undefeated in 1975.

2014-15 Kentucky:  Finished 38-1 after losing in the Final Four to Wisconsin.  I have never fully recovered from this game, and I"m not sure the country has either.

I think the key takeaway here is that you want to watch Gonzaga; the Zags are going to have a lot of drama over the next few weeks.  I also have a strong feeling that one way or another, this tournament is going to cast a long shadow over the next ten years of college basketball.

131 comments:

  1. Here are the final rankings for 2002:

    EAST: 1. Duke (31-4) 2. Maryland (32-4)
    MIDEAST: 1. Indiana (25-12) 2. Florida (22-9)
    MIDWEST: 1. Cincinnati (31-4 2. Kansas (33-4)
    WEST: 1. Oregon (26-9) 2. USC (22-10)

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  2. Here are the final rankings for 2003:

    EAST: 1. Pittsburgh (28-5) 2. Duke (26-7)
    MIDEAST: 1. Kentucky (32-4) 2. Illinois (25-7)
    MIDWEST: 1. Kansas (30-8) 2. Texas (26-7)
    WEST: 1. Arizona (28-4) 2. BYU (23-9)

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    Replies
    1. Syracuse, which went all the way in 2003, was the third-ranked team in the East. The Cuse had to beat Texas and Kansas back-to-back in the Final Four.

      Delete
  3. Here are the final rankings for 2004:

    EAST: 1. Duke (31-6) 2. Connecticut (33-6)
    MIDEAST: 1. Wisconsin (25-7) 2. Kentucky (27-5)
    MIDWEST: 1. Oklahoma St. (31-4) 2. Cincinnati (25-7)
    WEST: 1. Gonzaga (28-3) 2. Stanford (30-2)

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  4. Here are the final rankings for 2005:

    EAST: 1. N. Carolina (33-4) 2. Duke (27-6)
    MIDEAST: 1. Illinois (37-2) 2. Michigan St. (26-7)
    MIDWEST: 1. Louisville (33-5) 2. Oklahoma St. (26-7)
    WEST: 1. Arizona (30-7) 2. Washington (29-6)

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  5. Here are the final rankings for 2006:

    EAST: 1. Duke (32-4) 2. Connecticut (30-4)
    MIDEAST: 1. Florida (33-6) 2. Illinois (26-7)
    MIDWEST: 1. Memphis (33-4) 2. Kansas (25-8)
    WEST: 1. UCLA (32-7) 2. Washington (26-7)

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  6. Here are the final rankings for 2007:

    EAST: 1. N. Carolina (31-7) 2. Georgetown (30-7)
    MIDEAST: 1. Florida (33-5) 2. Ohio St. (35-4)
    MIDWEST: 1. Kansas (33-5) 2. Texas A & M (27-7)
    WEST: 1. UCLA: (30-6) 2. Oregon (29-8)

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  7. Here are the final rankings for 2008:

    EAST: 1. N. Carolina (36-3) 2. Duke (28-6)
    MIDEAST: 1. Wisconsin (31-5) 2. Tennessee (31-5)
    MIDWEST: 1. Kansas (37-3) 2. Memphis (38-2)
    WEST: 1. UCLA (35-4) 2. Washington St. (26-9)

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  8. Ken Pom has Kentucky ranked ahead of Louisville. In his rankings, UK is number 48 and U of L is number 56.

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  9. Here are the final rankings for 2009:

    EAST: 1. N. Carolina (34-4) 2. Connecticut (31-5)
    MIDEAST: 1. Michigan St. (31-7) 2. Purdue (27-10)
    MIDWEST: 1. Memphis (33-4) 2. Louisville (31-6)
    WEST: 1. Gonzaga (28-6) 2. UCLA (26-9)

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  10. Here are the final rankings for 2010:

    EAST: 1. Duke (35-5) 2. Syracuse (30-5)
    MIDEAST: 1. Kentucky (35-3) 2. Ohio St. (29-8)
    MIDWEST: 1. Kansas (33-3) 2. Kansas St. (29-8)
    WEST: 1. BYU (30-6) 2. California (24-11)

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  11. Here are the final rankings for 2011:

    EAST: 1. Duke (32-5) 2. Pittsburgh (28-6)
    MIDEAST: 1. Ohio St. (34-3) 2. Wisconsin (25-9)
    MIDWEST: 1. Kansas (35-3) 2. Texas (28-8)
    WEST: 1. San Diego St. (34-3) 2. BYU (32-5)

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  12. Here are the final rankings for 2012:

    EAST: 1. Syracuse (34-3) 2. N. Carolina (32-6)
    MIDEAST: 1. Kentucky (38-2) 2. Ohio St. (31-8)
    MIDWEST: 1. Kansas (32-7) 2. Missouri (30-5)
    WEST: 1. New Mexico (38-7) 2. Gonzaga (26-7)

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  13. Here are the final rankings for 2013:

    EAST: 1. Duke (30-6) 2. Syracuse (30-10)
    MIDEAST: 1. Florida (29-8) 2. Indiana (29-7)
    MIDWEST: 1. Louisville (35-5) 2. Kansas (31-6)
    WEST: 1. Gonzaga (32-3) 2. Arizona (27-8)

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  14. Here are the final rankings for 2014:

    EAST: 1. Virginia (30-7) 2. Duke (26-9)
    MIDEAST: 1. Florida (36-3) 2. Wisconsin (30-8)
    MIDWEST: 1. Louisville (31-6) 2. Wichita St. (35-1)
    WEST: 1. Arizona (33-5) 2. UCLA (28-9)

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  15. Here are the final rankings for 2015:

    EAST: 1. Duke (35-4) 2. Villanova (33-3)
    MIDEAST: 1. Kentucky (38-1) 2. Wisconsin (36-4)
    MIDWEST: 1. Oklahoma (24-11) 2. Kansas (27-9)
    WEST: 1. Arizona (34-4) 2. Gonzaga (35-3)

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  16. Here are the final rankings for 2016:

    EAST: 1. Villanova (35-5) 2. N. Carolina (33-7)
    MIDEAST: 1. Michigan St. (29-6) 2. Kentucky (27-9)
    MIDWEST: 1. Kansas (33-5) 2. Louisville (23-8)
    WEST: 1. Oregon (31-7) 2. Arizona (25-9)

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  17. Here are the final rankings for 2017:

    EAST: 1. Villanova (32-4) 2. N. Carolina (33-7)
    MIDEAST: 1. Kentucky (32-6) 2. Florida (27-9)
    MIDWEST: 1. Kansas (31-5) 2. Wichita St. (31-5)
    WEST: 1. Gonzaga (37-2) 2. Oregon (33-6)

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  18. Here are the final rankings for 2018:

    EAST: 1. Villanova (36-4) 2. Virginia (31-3)
    MIDEAST: 1. Purdue (30-7) 2. Michigan St. (30-5)
    MIDWEST: 1. Cincinnati (31-5) 2. Kansas (31-8)
    WEST: 1. Gonzaga (32-5) 2. Nevada (29-8)

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  19. Here are the final rankings for 2019:

    EAST: 1. Virginia (35-3) 2. Duke (32-6)
    MIDEAST: 1. Michigan St. (32-7) 2. Michigan (30-7)
    MIDWEST: 1. Texas Tech (31-7) 2. Houston (33-4)
    WEST: 1. Gonzaga (33-4) 2. Nevada (29-5)

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  20. And, finally, here are the final rankings for 2020:

    EAST: 1. Duke (25-6) 2. W. Virginia (21-10)
    MIDEAST: 1. Dayton (29-2) 2. Michigan St. (22-9)
    MIDWEST: 1. Kansas (28-3) 2. Baylor (26-4)
    WEST: 1. Gonzaga (31-2) 2. San Diego St. (30-2)

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  21. Where are we on live blogging and jinxes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's a jinx, but some years I care more about that than others. This year I don't care very much.

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  22. Vanderbilt won its basketball game last night. Still dancing.

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  23. Western, the Conference USA regular-season champion, plays tonight at 5:30 Central against Texas-San Antonio in the C-USA quarterfinals. WKU leads its all-time series with the Roadrunners, four games to two.

    That game is on Court A in the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Thirty minutes later on Court B, they’ll tip off Alabama-Birmingham and Rice. Then later in the evening, it’s Louisiana Tech against Florida Atlantic and Old Dominion against North Texas. The semifinals are set for 11 and 2 on Friday; the championship, 8 p.m. Saturday. And those three games are going to be on CBS Sports Network, which makes me happy because it’s up in the high numbers of our cable-TV package.

    This is WKU’s fourth C-USA tournament under Coach Rick Stansbury. The Hilltoppers have come in as the No. 8, 3 and 2 seed and never won the tournament in Stansdawg’s tenure; they are favored this year, and the bracket projectors for the networks expect the Tops to be a 12 or 13 seed in the NCAA tournament.

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  24. Last night, Louisville was eliminated from the ACC Tournament thanks to a 14-point loss to the number-10 seed. Today, UK trails the number-9 seed in the SEC by 14 points at the half. For years, the Kentucky media has complained about the fans in the Commonwealth. This year, we got to see what Louisville and UK look like without their fans, and it's a pretty pathetic sight.

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  25. In case you were wondering whether this UK team would have done significantly better with a healthy Terrence Clarke, the events so far suggest otherwise.

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  26. Kentucky loses 74-73 and this season is over. I don't care what Ken Pom says, it's not luck.

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  27. My least favorite play in college basketball is when you're down 1 and you shoot a 3 for the win. UK's 2-point shooting percentage was terrible this year -- but it was a lot higher than their 3-point shooting percentage.

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  28. Well, heck. I'm more bothered by the end of that season than I expected to be. I'm glad Dontaie Allen took the last shot.

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  29. Patrick Ewing gets (a measure of) revenge. His Georgetown Hoyas, the number-8 seed in the Big East tournament, pull a stunning upset -- beating the number-1 seed Villanova 72-71. What a game!

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  30. Kentucky lost four one-point games this year:

    12/12/20: Notre Dame 64, Kentucky 63
    01/20/21: Georgia 63, Kentucky 62
    02/09/21: Arkansas 81, Kentucky 80
    03/11/21: Mississippi St. 74, Kentucky 73

    Kentucky has never lost four one-point games in a single season.

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  31. Kentucky's Ken Pom Rankings (last update):

    Overall ranking: 50
    Offensive ranking: 76
    Defensive ranking: 32
    "Luck": 354

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    Replies
    1. What I really can't get over about this team is that they just never really got better. When the year started Ken Pom had them ranked number 12. By December 26, they were number 49. Now they're at 50. For the last 2 1/2 months of the season, they fluctuated between 47 and 62, never really getting better or worse. They were just mediocre from beginning to end.

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    2. That's why I think their biggest problem was a lack of talent. No matter how hard they tried, or how much they concentrated, they just weren't good enough to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. It's not going to be enough for Cal to coach these guys up; he needs better players.

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    3. I think you're right. Cal has very frequently in his career at UK had at least one guy who obviously--even to someone like me who doesn't really know what I'm looking at in basketball most of the time--got better in the course of a single season. DeAndre Liggins, Josh Harrelson, Willie Cauley-Stein, Wenyan Gabriel and Marcus Lee were among those guys. I kept hoping one would emerge this season, and it never happened.

      Delete
  32. This will be the first season since 1976 in which neither Kentucky nor Duke makes the NCAA Tournament. That was also the last season in which the winner finished the year undefeated.

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    Replies
    1. I genuinely wonder about a disproportionate impact of the pandemic and gathering restrictions on the freshmen-dominated teams. I know that I was more tribe-needy when I was a freshman at WKU than I was as a senior, and I think I would've been an even worse and more aimless freshman student had I not gotten to spend so much time in close proximity with my friends. So, it seems to me to follow that teams like UK and Duke who rely more on younger players would struggle more this season.

      Or it could be that older coaches who have already basically had their careers and established their legacies were more prone to distraction than were younger, maybe more single-minded colleagues. A 62-year-old coach probably has more old school chums who got sick and died alone with the virus in the last year than a 46-year-old coach does, and that'll wreck a guy.

      Just guesses.

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    2. Askew is coming back next year for UK.

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  33. It's Old School day in the Big East Tournament. Georgetown beat Villanova in the first game, and now Seton Hall and St. John's are tied with just a few minutes left in the second game.

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  34. The Hall takes down St. John's 77-69 in overtime, and they will play Georgetown tomorrow in the semi-finals.

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  35. Sergio Garcia shot a 7-under par 65 today to take the lead in the Players Championship.

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  36. Western Kentucky beats UT-San Antonio 80-67 in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament. Very solid performance by the Tops. Ken Pom thought they would win 78-73, and they did much better than that.

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    Replies
    1. For my money, Charles Bassey has been everything we hoped for at WKU.

      Delete
  37. Bad day for famous basketball programs. Michigan State was eliminated from the Big 10 Tournament by Maryland. UCLA was eliminated from the Pac-12 Tournament by Oregon State. Indiana was eliminated from the Big 10 Tournament by Rutgers.

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  38. Of course, Kansas won again. They will now almost certainly overtake UK for the all-time wins lead.

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    Replies
    1. My guess is that there is just enormous anger over this UK season, and that anger has been suppressed by the fact that no one can go to the games. But at some point, it will explode.

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    2. Carolina rolls over Virginia Tech, which won't help the mood in Kentucky.

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  39. UAB beats Rice 73-60 in their quarterfinal, and the Blazers will meet Western in tomorrow's semi-finals. That should be a cracker. Western is 19-6. UAB is 22-6. A great old rivalry, and should be a good one.

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  40. Hold the phone! I just realized that UAB is coached by Andy Kennedy, formerly the coach at Ole Miss. And Western is coached by Rick Stansbury, who was the coach at Mississippi State. Rivalry renewed!

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  41. I really dislike UAB, and I would be very happy if Western knocked them out. But I've never had much luck against that team.

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  42. Here are your semi-finals for the ACC:

    Virginia v. Georgia Tech
    N. Carolina v. Florida St.

    All those Big East teams that joined the ACC made a mistake.

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    Replies
    1. Even Florida State only made it because Duke was disqualified due to COVID.

      Delete
  43. Texas, down 66-65 to Texas Tech with less than 10 seconds to go, amazingly did not have one of their back-up players shoot a three for the win. Instead, they drove the ball, got fouled, made the free throws, and one the game: Texas 67, Texas Tech 66.

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  44. Here are the semi-finals for the Big XII:

    Baylor v. Oklahoma St.
    Kansas v. Texas

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  45. Here are the semi-finals for the Big East:

    Georgetown v. Seton Hall
    Creighton v. Connecticut

    It's good to see UConn back in the Big East. I miss BC, Syracuse, and Pitt, but we won't be hearing much from them.

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  46. And here are the C-USA semi-finals:

    W. Kentucky v. Ala-Birmingham
    Louisiana Tech v. N. Texas

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  47. Western and UAB have tipped off down in Frisco, Texas. By the way, if you want to make a WKU banner on your computer, here are the WKU colors in the RGB format:

    Red: 176
    Green: 30
    Blue: 36

    Try that on an Excel spreadsheet, and it will look just like WKU's color.

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    Replies
    1. I've made a scoreboard decked out in the colors for WKU and UAB, and it looks fabulous.

      Delete
  48. Georgia Tech advances to the final of the ACC Tournament, as UVA is out due to COVID. I don't know what this means for UVA's NCAA Tournament bid.

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  49. Here are the Pac-12 Semi-Finals:

    Oregon v. Oregon St.
    USC v. Colorado

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  50. Ken Pom has seven games today with a "Thrill Score" of higher than 75, which is a really high score. Here they are (all times Central) (AP rankings in parentheses):

    1 PM (Big Ten Network): (20) Purdue v. (9) Ohio State (thrill score 83.4)
    1:30 PM (ESPN): Tennessee v. Florida (76.0)
    7:30 PM (ESPN): (15) Florida St. v. N. Carolina (81.6)
    8 PM (Big Ten Network): (5) Iowa v. Wisconsin (80.7)
    8 PM (Fox Sports 1): (17) Creighton v. Connecticut (82.5)
    8:30 PM (the Deuce): (11) Kansas v. (13) Texas (79.3)
    10:30 PM (ESPN): USC v. Colorado (80.7)

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  51. UAB is wearing just about the ugliest possible uniforms. They are solid gray, wiht a very unpleasant font. Instead of UAB, they say "BIRMINGHAM," which I'm fine with. But the old green-and-gold uniforms were much better.

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  52. Western, of course, has one of the ten best uniforms in college basketball. They look great.

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  53. Mississippi State, which went to a lot of trouble to beat UK yesterday, currently trails Alabama 47-19 at the half. Great effort, Bulldogs! But that's not to take anything away from Alabama. They are one of the strongest SEC teams that's not UK or Florida in about 25 years, and they are a good bet for the Elite Eight.

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  54. Down 34-31 at the half, Western Kentucky comes roaring back to beat UAB 64-60. What a great win by the Tops! Ken Pom had them losing this game, 69-68, but he was wrong. WKU now moves to the C-USA Final, where they will face either Louisiana Tech or North Texas.

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    Replies
    1. I went to a funeral and missed the second half, and I was just delighted to see the result. Every time I get to see WKU on TV, the camera angles and lighting always feel like I'm watching The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh again on a Saturday afternoon on KBSI at my parents' house. It's a good feeling, but it doesn't exactly amp up my competitive zeal. And then I always feel like my chill vibe causes Western to lose, so maybe it was good for Charles Bassey and all that I only dialed back in to see the result on my phone in the funeral-home parking lot.

      Delete
    2. They were pretty intense. That was a very hard-fought game, and Western won mainly because Bassey was the best player on the floor.

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  55. Kansas's game today was cancelled due to COVID, so that will complicate their efforts to overtake UK in the all-time wins race. The Jawhawks are currently five wins behind the Big Blue.

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  56. At the half, Tennessee leads Florida 31-22. I haven't understood either of these teams all year.

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  57. Tennessee has a pretty easy time of it, rolling over Florida 78-66. The Vols will meet Alabama tomorrow in the SEC semi-finals.

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  58. North Texas beats LaTech 54-48, and the Mean Green will meet Western Kentucky tomorrow for the C-USA title. Western and North Texas did not meet in the regular season.

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  59. Georgetown survives a rock fight with Seton Hall, and beats the Hall 66 to 58. The Hoyas are now 12-12 on the year, and they will play for the Big East championship.

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    Replies
    1. Georgetown hasn't won the Big East Tournament since 2007.

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    2. Georgetown hasn't reached the Big East Final since 2010, when they lost to West Virginia (!) 60 to 58. This year they will play either Creighton or UConn.

      Delete
  60. This morning it looked to be fairly certain that Kansas would meet Baylor for the Big XII title. But KU was done in by COVID, and Baylor was done in by Oklahoma State. The Pokes went on an 11-0 run in the last few minutes of the game to give Baylor its second loss: 83 to 74.

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  61. Here is your Big XII Final:

    Oklahoma St. v Texas

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  62. Now we have Creighton v. Connecticut. I don't think I've actually watched a UConn game since the Huskies beat UK to win the title in 2014.

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  63. In the modern college basketball game, there are three critical plays:

    1. There's the play where you have a wild scrum under the basket, and then the ball is kicked out to someone who is open behind the three-point line.

    2. There's the play where a player is moving toward the basket, leaps into the air, and is hammered as he tries to score.

    3. There are free throws.

    The team that can score from these three scenarios will usually win close games in college basketball. Last year, UK was good in all three scenarios, and dominated the SEC. This year, UK was bad in all three scenarios, and went 8-9 in the SEC.

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    Replies
    1. Actually, UK wasn't that bad on free throws most of the time. But they had an incredible ability to miss free throws that really mattered.

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  64. Another big play is getting the rebound of missed three-pointers. If the defensive team can rebound missed three-pointers it will usually win.

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  65. FSU beats UNC 69-66. So here is your ACC Final:

    Georgia Tech v. Florida St.

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  66. Creighton survives a rock fight against UConn, 59 to 56, and makes it to the Big East Final:

    Creighton v. Georgetown

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  67. It's weird to see UConn lose a tournament game.

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  68. Here are the Big 10 semi-finals. They have two good ones:

    (4) Michigan v. (9) Ohio St.
    (3) Illinois v. (5) Iowa

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  69. Oregon State follows its upset of UCLA with an upset of Oregon. The Beavers will meet Colorado or USC in the Pac-12 final.

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  70. In the American Tournament, Memphis is wearing great "Memphis State" throwbacks. They look fantastic, and the Tigers should wear them all the time.

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    Replies
    1. And Memphis State is a better name than "Memphis" anyway.

      Delete
  71. Here are the SEC semi-finals:

    (6) Alabama v. Tennessee
    (8) Arkansas v. LSU

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  72. Colorado knocks off USC, which sets up the following Pac-12 Final:

    Colorado v. Oregon St.

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  73. And here are the semi-finalists in the American Conference:

    (7) Houston v. Memphis St.
    Wichita St. v. Cincinnati

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  74. Here are the high thrill score games for today (as chosen by Ken Pomeroy) (AP rankings in parentheses) (all times Central):

    Noon on CBS: (4) Michigan v. (9) Ohio St. (thrill score of 83.5)
    Noon on ESPN: (6) Alabama v. Tennessee (80.2)
    2:30 PM on CBS: (3) Illinois v. (5) Iowa (90.7)
    2:30 PM on ESPN: (8) Arkansas v. LSU (80.2)
    5 PM on ESPN: (13) Texas v. (12) Oklahoma St. (79.0)
    7:30 PM on ESPN: (15) Florida St. v. Georgia Tech (77.9)

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  75. This year's Big 10 Tournament is the first time any conference has had all four of its semi-finalists in the AP Top 10.

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  76. On Sirius/XM Radio, Casey Kasem is doing the countdown for March 9, 1974 on the 70's on 7 channel. At number 11, we have "Love's Theme" by the Love Unlimited Orchestra. This was, of course, the theme for ABC's golf coverage in the late 1970's, and is still one of my all-time favorite sports themes. Now I really want to watch Andy North battling for the lead at Cherry Hills in the 1978 U.S. Open.

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    Replies
    1. "LIVE -- from Cherry Hill Country Club, in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, it's the 78th edition of the United States Open, presented by the United States Golf Association, and ABC Sports. I'm Jim McKay, coming to you from just above the 18th green."

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  77. In the later rounds of any college basketball tournament these days, every team turns into the Bad Boy Pistons of the late 1980's -- a fact that will eventually cause trouble for Gonzaga, with all of its pretty patterns on offense. With 1 minute left in the first half, Michigan and OSU are locked in a typical defensive struggle. Michigan leads 25-23.

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  78. At the half in Nashville, Tennessee leads Alabama 40-31. That's a very disappointing performance so far from the Tide, who need to be generating momentum into the tournament.

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  79. UK just won the NCAA Rifle Championship!

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  80. Cam'Ron Fletcher has entered the transfer portal, and will apparently not be back at UK next year, according to reports on Twitter.

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  81. Ohio State builds a big lead in the second half, and holds on to defeat Michigan 68-67. Michigan had a shot at the buzzer that missed.

    Alabama woke up in the second half, outscored UT 42-28, and beat the Vols 73-68.

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  82. Calipari says that Fletcher is leaving and that he supports Fletcher's decision. So Askew is back and Fletcher is gone.

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  83. Illinois is up 45-37 on Iowa at the half, which is about what I expected. Illinois is really good.

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  84. LSU upsets Arkansas 78-71, so here is your SEC final:

    (6) Alabama v. LSU

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  85. Illinois, which probably is the best team in the Big 10, rolls over Iowa 82-71. The Illini will head into tomorrow's final:

    (3) Illinois v. (9) Ohio St.

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  86. Rick Pitino, who would now be known as the best college basketball coach since John Wooden if he had stayed at the University of Kentucky, just coached Iona to the championship of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. He did this even though Iona played no games from December 23 to February 12, and no games from February 20 to March 9. Going into the conference tournament, Iona had played only 13 games. Last year they went 12-17. Now they're going to the NCAA's. Pitino is amazing.

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  87. So here's the choice: watch Oklahoma State and Texas play for the Big XII title, or watch Houston play Memphis in the American semi-finals. I check the Houston game, and Memphis is wearing the blue version of the Memphis State throwbacks that they were last night. (Last night they were in white.) So I'm rolling with the Tigers.

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  88. If Louisville were in the American Conference, I would be a huge fan of that league. It has a lot of programs that I like, and the old Louisville/Memphis/Cincinnati rivalries were one of the best things in college basketball.

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  89. Cincinnati upset Wichita State 60-59 in the first semi-final. So the Bearcats will play Houston or Memphis State in the final.

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  90. A huge night for the mid-1980's. In the Big East Final, Georgetown is up 63-37 with 6:39 left in the game. In the American Semi-Final, Houston leads Memphis 72-71 with 1 minute to go. I hope they sell a lot of that Memphis State gear, because that's one of the best uniforms any college team ever had.

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  91. I know why Louisville joined the ACC, but I think it's silly for Louisville to be separated from Memphis and Cincinnati.

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  92. Houston, up 72-71, has the ball with 49.2 seconds left. They shoot a three -- and miss -- BUT GRAB THE REBOUND. Rebounding your own missed threes is huge in the modern game. Memphis has to foul with 27.8 seconds left.

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  93. Houston makes both FT's. Now up 74-71. Memphis shoots a three for the tie -- and misses -- but gets the rebound. Memphis shoots another three for the tie -- and misses again. This time Houston gets the rebound, and that's going to do it.

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  94. Houston wins a wild one, 76 to 74, and the Cougars advance to the American final against Cincinnati.

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  95. Texas beats Oklahoma State 91-86 to win the Big XII. I have no regrets about going with Houston and Memphis State.

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  96. Almost time for the Game of the Day: Western Kentucky v. North Texas for the C-USA title. Tip-off at 8 Central.

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  97. Georgetown CRUSHES Creighton, 73 to 48, and the Hoyas are going to the NCAA Tournament. They had a record of 9-12 when the tournament began, and they were the number-8 seed. But they beat Marquette, Villanova, Seton Hall, and Creighton to take their eighth Big East Tournament title. That is amazing. Congratulations to Patrick Ewing.

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    Replies
    1. "Everything dies, baby, that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies, someday comes back."

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    2. On February 3, Ken Pom had Georgetown ranked number 111. Today, after winning so many games, they were up to 68. But Ken Pom had them losing to Creighton by 8, and they won by 25, so I don't know what will happen now.

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    3. I haven't seen a turnaround like this since the American curlers came from nowhere to win the Gold Medal at the 2018 Olympics.

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  98. This is Western's third straight trip to the C-USA final. In 2018, they lost by one point to Marshall. In 2019, they lost by six to Old Dominion. Last year the tournament wasn't played.

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  99. Ohio U. crushes Buffalo 84-69 to win the Mid-American Conference.

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  100. Georgia Tech beats FSU 80-75 to win the ACC Tournament. That is incredible. What a strange week this has been.

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