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Wednesday Happy Hour Reminds You That Bad Basketball Can Still Be Exciting Basketball

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Hey guys, let's try to keep it under 30 turnovers tonight, alright?  Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Hey guys, let's try to keep it under 30 turnovers tonight, alright? Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Anyone catch those play in games last night? If you are a fan of high quality basketball you probably passed out somewhere around halftime of the first game. That would be too bad because you would have missed WKU storming back for the win despite turning the ball over a whopping 27 times. Directly after that Iona raced out to a 25-point lead helped by a 55-point first half then promptly forgot how to play basketball. At least that's how it looked when Iona put up only 17 points after halftime.

March Madness, y'all. It doesn't have to make sense.

Michigan basketball team hears the NCAA tourney upset talk, not worried about it

"At this point, if you need motivation to play in the NCAA Tournament, you've got bigger issues than Doug Gottlieb not picking you to win a game." surveys the mood in the program surrounding the idea of a first-round upset. I keep waiting to find out that the Big Ten killed Doug Gottlieb's pet dog when he was younger --- that would be the only thing to explain the level of hate he has for the conference.

March Madness 2012: The Ohio Bobcats are Dancing in the NCAA Tournament - Jason Lisk from the Big Lead profiles the Bobcats, and yes, he mentions the upset potential.

Senior class finally reaches goal - It isn't just the men's team that is dancing this spring, as the women's team made the tournament after a few close misses recently --- a particularly meaningful milestone for seniors Courtney Boylan and Carmen Reynolds.

NCAA Tournament 2012: Previewing Big Ten Matchups - UMHoops surveys the Big Ten games in the first round. Understandably the predictions are all chalk (sorry, Purdue).

The Wild Wild West

The biggest theme in the West bracket is up-tempo play. Almost everyone (Missouri being the exception, but they're still a smaller, guard-oriented team) ranked near the top of their leagues in pace. Memphis and Marquette both ranked second in their respective conferences. And MSU's first opponent, LIU-Brooklyn, is the paciest team in the whole field (second paciest in the whole land, in fact). KenPom projects 91 points for MSU Friday night.

The Only Colors breaks down the West Region, one loaded with seven of KenPom's top 20 teams.

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke reveals Ricky Barnum is moving to center, other spring position changes

Hoke said junior Michael Schofield, who filled in for Barnum at left guard, will slide back to his natural position of right tackle. He can play anywhere but center on the line, but his 6-foot-7, 299-pound frame makes him an ideal fit at tackle.

News along the lines comes straight from the Hoke's mouth. As expected, Ricky Barnum will get the first crack at center while Michael Schofield will slide back out to right tackle. Lot's of moves on the defensive line are discussed as well.

Michigan Museday Pulls Bazooka - Part three in Seth's football philosophy breakdown. This one focuses on vanilla defenses and the struggle between offensive and defensive coordinators to dictate what the other team does.

The topic du jour lately has been the use of strength of schedule to choose NCAA tournament teams --- namely the selection of Iona over Drexel by the committee. Here are three separate takes.

- How To Schedule In College Basketball - MGoBlog

- Why The Selection Committee Should Stop Using Non-Conference Strength of Schedule - Sippin' on Purple

- NCAA Tournament 2012: Strength Of Schedule Flaws Allow Undeserving Teams Into Field - Bill Connelly

Aside from the cupcakes, however (and the idea of judging a team for reasons beyond "How good are they?"), the problem with this line of "Team A should be punished, while Team B should be rewarded," of course, is the idea that, in advance, you know with certainty who is going to be good or bad from year to year. Last year, a schedule featuring Notre Dame, California, Villanova, Illinois and Old Dominion would have been considered reasonable. This year, four of those teams regressed, and the fifth (California) did not live up to expectations.

Of course there is always an alternative to all this messy bracketology stuff:

What If The BCS Ran College Basketball?: The Bowl Match-Ups - Yup, Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician filled every bowl match up with teams based on conference bowl tie ins. There are some pretty good games, but overall it makes about as much sense as filling thirty-some exhibition games with football teams while staging a one off game for the national title. That's zero sense. Zero.


ULYSSES S. GRANT (7) vs. JOHN BONHAM (10) Fought a war completely drunk, and then drank himself into bankruptcy in the 19th century, a feat not unlike eating yourself to death in a warehouse full of rice crackers. Bonham had something equivalent to thirty or forty shots of vodka on the day he died. Only the ending of that sentence is a weakness on his resume.

Both these guys are criminally underrated, and it is a damn shame that they are matched up in the first round of this totally subjective and hypothetical bracket. The rest is pure awesome.

Run of Play, The Soccer Mom

Back in 1996, no one was really sure what a Soccer Mom was, at least in the context meant by Castellanos. Stripped of all socioeconomic trappings, the phrase is self-explanatory. But in the arena of American politics, there was significant disagreement over just what constituted the fabled Soccer Mom demographic. Were Soccer Moms affluent housewives with time to spare and a laser focus on kids and family? Were they working moms shuttling kids to and from soccer practice while juggling a job and stretching every family dollar? Or were they something in between, both professional and domestic?