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[ Day Ten of the NCAA tournament open thread ]
2007-04-02 13:59
by Bob Timmermann

At 6:18 pm (supposedly), Ohio State and Florida will tip off for the NCAA championship. For a game between the two best teams in college basketball this year, this doesn't seem to be an eagerly awaited matchup. The Gators are going for their second straight title and are favored over the Buckeyes. Neither team gives off a warm and fuzzy feeling and this final somewhat reminds me of the 1984 final when Georgetown played Houston.

There are idiot sportswriters who think that Florida could beat the worst teams in the NBA. That would be hard to believe, especially if the game were played under NBA rules. Actually, under NCAA rules an NBA team would likely bury the Gators under a barrage of 3-pointers. There's also the not insignificant matter of the NBA players being older, stronger, and generally better.

A tip of the cap to the new members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, which includes Phil Jackson, Roy Williams, and the 1966 Texas Western (UTEP) national championship team. And four people you may have never heard of: Mendy Rudolph, Van Chancellor, Pedro Ferrandiz, and Mirko Novosel.

The Griddle's contest comes down to two.

If Ohio State wins, current leader (by one point), Trojan Ron wins.

If Florida wins, Suffering Bruin takes the prize.

The winner gets:

1) his name on the sidebar until next year.

2) four tickets to a Dodgers game (since I believe both people live in Southern California) courtesy of ToyCannon.


Comments (94)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-04-02 14:40:15
1.   Bama Yankee
Wow, I didn't know you were serious about the Dodger tickets. Of course, the best I can do now is second place and it would have been a long drive for me from Alabama to Chavez Ravine anyway. What about those steak knives for second place?
2007-04-02 14:55:49
2.   Bob Timmermann
There were alternate prizes for people from out of the LA area.

You could have won a book!

But I confirmed with ToyCannon that he is indeed willing to give out the tickets.

For second place, I could send a butter knife.

2007-04-02 15:09:21
3.   Ken Arneson
I've heard of Mendy Rudolph. Didn't he do one of those Lite Beer (Tastes great! Less filling!) commercials back in the day?
2007-04-02 15:14:39
4.   Bob Timmermann
Indeed, Mendy Rudolph kicked Tom Heinsohn out of a bar.

Rudolph worked for CBS as announcer back in the day when the NBA Finals were shown on tape delay at 11:30 pm.

2007-04-02 15:18:49
5.   Bama Yankee
2 Yeah, a butter knife would actually be better for me. If Florida wins, I probably don't need more sharp objects around the house...

It is probably a good thing that I got eliminated with that UNC loss the other day. I am not sure that I could face having to pull for the Gators to help me win the contest. Although it might have been worth it to get my name on the sidebar for a year (and the book, of course).

BTW, thanks for having the NCAA contest this year. I really enjoyed it. I usually hang out over at the Bronx Banter blog, but during the tournament I have been reading your blog. You do a nice job and the people posting over here are very funny. I'll try to stop by more often.

2007-04-02 15:32:04
6.   D4P
Comment #6. This thread is now closed.
2007-04-02 15:32:56
7.   Bob Timmermann

I hope you don't mind our West Coast Bias when it comes to basketball. Even though we're all off getting manicures like Mike Freeman thinks.

2007-04-02 15:43:50
8.   bhsportsguy
Bob, it may be just based on circumstantial evidence but my guess is that Bronx Banter and Dodger Thoughts get pretty much the same amount of comments on their Game Threads but DT gets more whimsical comments during non-game times and the off-season.
2007-04-02 16:03:47
9.   bhsportsguy
Mendy Rudolph and Arnold "Red" Auerbach are now both members of the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Jewish American Sports Hall of Fame.
2007-04-02 16:07:24
10.   Suffering Bruin
That would be "Suffering Bruin" without the plural. :)

And I, too, did not know about the Dodger tix. My wife and kid now have a serious rooting interest in Florida. As I said from the beginning, I'm in it for the sidebar.

Seriously, Bob, this has been fun. And lest people think I'm some kind of prognasticator extraordinnaire, check the archives for the World Cup pool Bob had going on. That was something I took far more seriously and I think I finished above someone who pulled team names out of a hat.

I'm off to a Bakersfield dog park but I'll be back by gametime. Again, this has been very, very fun.

2007-04-02 16:24:03
11.   Bob Timmermann
I don't wish to rank blogs on WORP (whimsy over replacement poster).

Trojan Ron is going for the Griddle double as he won the Pac-10 tournament contest.

If you're looking for an omen, Trojan Ron won the Pac-10 tournament by picking against USC.

Suffering Bruin would win by picking against UCLA, although a round earlier.

2007-04-02 17:35:28
12.   Eric Enders
"and the 1966 Texas Western (UTEP) national championship team."

These guys deserve a shout out by name: David Lattin, Willie Worsley, Harry Flournoy, Orsten Artis, Nevil Shed, Willie Cager, Dave Palacio, Jerry Armstrong, Louis Baudoin, Dick Myers, Togo Railey, and the late, great Bobby Joe Hill.

I will leave it up to the reader to decide whether it's impressive or pathetic that I can recite all 12 names from memory.

2007-04-02 17:37:34
13.   Eric Enders
Anthony Atkinson update:
"So far, he and his parents have been driven by limousine to Raleigh for a Monday appearance on ESPN's "Cold Pizza." Sports Illustrated has called. At least one NBA scout has phoned his coach, and agents are contacting him -- fueling his professional dreams.

There's a possible team invitation to the White House in the works and hope that he might be on Montel or Letterman."

2007-04-02 17:58:32
14.   bhsportsguy
13 That's pretty cool.

For those not plugged in so to speak, here is what is messageboarded out in UCLA land.

1. According to an NBA draft site (maintained by people probably as close to the NBA as you and I), Darren Collison and Josh Shipp will explore their NBA potential but not hire an agent.
2. According to Sonny Vaccaro, Arron is a "sure first round pick" after talks with several NBA front office people and scouts, while Darren is sure fire NBA point guard.
3. Sonny also added that UCLA is in the hunt for a very good addition to their recruits, look for something in the next 2 weeks. It is unknown if Sonny was referring to this year or next year. If this year, Alex Legion is the favorite (if Michigan lets him out of his LOI), if next year than Jrue Holiday would be the one.
4. UCLA's strategy of doubling the post was ill-conceived (Bruce Pearl, most ESPN folks) or that was there only choice (Tom Izzo).
5. Finally for those who say opposites attract, Kevin Love and O.J. Mayo are roommates in Chicago for tomorrow's Roundball Classic (according to Sonny, the promoter of the event).

2007-04-02 18:21:43
15.   Bob Timmermann
I thought if teams were the same number seed, the team with the better record got to wear the white unis.

I am not correct in this assumption.

2007-04-02 18:36:29
16.   Bob Timmermann
I sixteen was the limit, not six.
2007-04-02 18:45:11
17.   Suffering Bruin
One of the many annoying things about Billy Packer and a minor annoyance with Jim Nantz is their reluctance to criticize the officials. The crowd reacts to bad calls, the players react to it, the replay confirms the bad call but Packer and Nantz seem like they take pains to avoid talking about it when everybody in the building can't help but notice.

End of rant.

2007-04-02 18:47:35
18.   Suffering Bruin
Like that last play. There was contact and if a foul was called, it's "There it is! Oden with the first foul going for that block" but with no whistle it's "great block by Oden!"

Their perspective is ruled by the whistle.

2007-04-02 18:55:54
19.   Bob Timmermann
I should have started a count on how many times Packer says "MOP."
2007-04-02 18:59:10
20.   Bob Timmermann
Suffering Bruin starts checking his calendar to see which game he wants to go to.
2007-04-02 19:03:21
21.   trainwreck
I wish the Lakers could get Brewer.
2007-04-02 19:04:30
22.   Suffering Bruin
Ah, Humphries!
2007-04-02 19:09:45
23.   Suffering Bruin
If you're Greg Oden, do you come back for more? He'll be the number one pick in the draft if he comes out. If he doesn't, he risks injury and getting beat up on a nightly basis for nothing.

If he were a swingman like a player down in Austin, I'd say sure, come back and play. But Oden is going to be punished physically next season and he's gotta be thinking he should get paid for it.

2007-04-02 19:09:57
24.   Bob Timmermann
The category for "Best supporting performance by an Ohio State player" has no eligible nominees.
2007-04-02 19:10:42
25.   Suffering Bruin
And Bob? You're right. Oden looks 35 years of age.
2007-04-02 19:13:02
26.   Bob Timmermann
And Thad Matta is two years younger than Billy Donovan.
2007-04-02 19:16:08
27.   Suffering Bruin
I learn a lot from Billy Packer. Joakim Noah has "the eyes of a competitor that really wants a challenge" when he guards Greg Oden. Noah can't guard Oden but you look at those eyes and you just have shout out "competitor!"

I hate Billy Packer.

2007-04-02 19:18:08
28.   Suffering Bruin
24 should be read by anybody who's just showing up. It's the story of the game.
2007-04-02 19:22:50
29.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, Oden is outplaying the Florida guy he's matched up with. However, Florida has a lot of guys.

Brewer is heading for a MOP.

2007-04-02 19:37:04
30.   Suffering Bruin
Ah, Humphries!
2007-04-02 19:41:09
31.   Bob Timmermann
Why did Donovan call a timeout to give Oden a longer break?

I thought Donovan was the smartest coach in the business.

2007-04-02 19:42:02
32.   Suffering Bruin
I'm assuming that's a TV timeout?
2007-04-02 19:43:09
33.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, Donovan called a timeout with 15:16 left I believe and then the next dead ball would be a TV timeout.

Although Donovan signaled for a 30-second timeout, the first timeout called in any half is always a long timeout.

2007-04-02 19:44:57
34.   Suffering Bruin
I'm wondering what UCLA with Oden does against Florida. Yes, I'm dreaming...
2007-04-02 19:49:11
35.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA would still have the problem of not having any outside shooting, just as Ohio State is having tonight.
2007-04-02 19:52:42
36.   Uncle Miltie
Just got back from class.

14- if Collison leaves, UCLA is screwed. I would love to see Collison on the Clippers, but not next year. He needs to stay in college one more year.

Looks like Ohio State is making a comeback.

2007-04-02 19:57:08
37.   Bob Timmermann
I predict that no one of consequence will foul out for Florida.
2007-04-02 19:59:10
38.   Bob Timmermann
Florida is playing well tonight, but how could the a--hole who writes for Sportsline think that they could keep up with an NBA team?
2007-04-02 20:00:13
39.   Bob Timmermann
Greg Oden looks older than his own mother.
2007-04-02 20:00:22
40.   nick
ok, Odem's mom looks ten years younger than him...
2007-04-02 20:01:41
41.   Suffering Bruin
This has the makings of a turning point, no?
2007-04-02 20:01:53
42.   nick
39--Cursed slow dialup!
2007-04-02 20:02:35
43.   Suffering Bruin
Ah, Humphries!
2007-04-02 20:03:21
44.   Suffering Bruin
Or is it Humphrey? Did I make a factual mistake? I know, it's a shock...
2007-04-02 20:06:18
45.   Bob Timmermann
I called you Suffering Bruins, so I'm in no position to criticize, but it's Lee Humphrey.

And I don't know if he's the greatest three-pointer shooter in NCAA tournament history as much as he is the most prolific.

In the 1993 Final Four, Donald Williams hit 14 of 20 3s in two games.

Humphrey is presently 8 of 15 for 3s in the 2 games.

2007-04-02 20:08:11
46.   Suffering Bruin
45 Make 35 more of those and you'll catch up to me this week.

Nobody ever talks about Donald Williams anymore. He was unconscious.

2007-04-02 20:09:19
47.   Uncle Miltie
40- Oden looks old enough to be his mom's father.

These announcers are so biased in favor of Florida.

2007-04-02 20:09:55
48.   Suffering Bruin
It's been a pretty mundane game. It's Oden vs. Florida and the sunshine state is winning.
2007-04-02 20:11:19
49.   Bob Timmermann
Why is Packer so intent on Oden having to get a rest? He's their entire offensive attack!

He can rest tomorrow.

2007-04-02 20:11:21
50.   Uncle Miltie
Ridiculous...the refs call the foul on Richard instead of Horford. They did the same thing with Noah earlier in the game.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-04-02 20:12:52
51.   Uncle Miltie
That might be the game...
2007-04-02 20:13:22
52.   Uncle Miltie

Horford is amazing

2007-04-02 20:13:29
53.   nick
let's see, 10/18 vs 2/18 on 3s--I think I hate the stat of the game...
2007-04-02 20:13:41
54.   Suffering Bruin
50 Richard hacked him on the arm.
2007-04-02 20:13:41
55.   Bob Timmermann
2 for 18 on threes matches Oklahoma's mark against Indiana in 2002. There are teams that were worse in the Final Four.
2007-04-02 20:15:08
56.   Suffering Bruin
Is it me or has Noah spent an inordinate time on the bench? I know he's got four fouls and all but, man...
2007-04-02 20:15:09
57.   Bob Timmermann
Actually the record for worst 3-point shooting can't be broken since it's held by LSU which missed all 6 three-pointers last year against UCLA.

The NCAA record book has LSU playing UNLV in that game.

2007-04-02 20:15:26
58.   Suffering Bruin
55 Trivia time! Okay... a few minutes to check the memory banks.
2007-04-02 20:15:58
59.   Bob Timmermann
Not only has Noah had foul trouble, but he was pretty bad out on the court. Oden is a lot better than him.
2007-04-02 20:16:25
60.   Suffering Bruin
57 Okay, but you had two other teams in mind, right? I'm assuming the teams made at least one three...
2007-04-02 20:17:33
61.   Suffering Bruin
I think Noah cost himself plenty wampum by staying in school this season. He would've been the number one pick in the last draft. If Oden and Durant come out, he will be no better than third overall.
2007-04-02 20:18:26
62.   Suffering Bruin
Okay, you're the Florida kids. Do you stay?

Three straight titles. That's plenty rare.

2007-04-02 20:19:23
63.   Uncle Miltie
I feel sick right now and I just won 3 or 4 brackets.

Noah's going to do his little dance even though he did absolutely nothing in this game.

2007-04-02 20:20:08
64.   Bob Timmermann
Two teams went 1 for 11 on 3s in a championship game loss.

Hint: they were part of all-around bad performances.

2007-04-02 20:22:48
65.   Bob Timmermann
Ohio State is now 2 of 20 on 3s. That's the worst of any team in the Final Four except for LSU's Ofer against UCLA last year.
2007-04-02 20:23:17
66.   Bob Timmermann
Wait, 2 of 20 is not worse than 1 of 11.

Somebody on Ohio State, go miss a 3!

2007-04-02 20:23:24
67.   nick
OSU could still mangage, say, 2 of 23...
2007-04-02 20:24:43
68.   Bob Timmermann
Yea! 2 for 21!
2007-04-02 20:24:54
69.   Suffering Bruin
64 A wild guess here because I'm not getting it... Duke when they got blown out by UNLV and Michigan when they got blown out by Duke.
2007-04-02 20:25:06
70.   Bob Timmermann
Just two more misses!

That shouldn't be hard.

2007-04-02 20:25:28
71.   Suffering Bruin
Okay, speech time...
2007-04-02 20:25:42
72.   Bob Timmermann
Everything is coming up Suffering Bruin tonight! You got both right.
2007-04-02 20:28:15
73.   Bob Timmermann
Why would Oden be the MOP? He didn't do all that much against Georgetown.
2007-04-02 20:29:28
74.   Suffering Bruin
First of all, I want to thank Bob for putting on a wonderfully enjoyable contest. Secondly, I want to thank the Griddle readers for their eloquent commentary which unfortunately I could only view rather than be a part of because of my job. Mostly, I want thank my job as a teacher. It has made me intensely cynical, coldly factualy and on a particularly tough day, I filled out my bracket. That is the only reason why I chose Florida to win it instead of UCLA. Next year, I promise to be more emotionally attached.

Seriously, a great contest by Bob who should, on our behalf, take a bow and we should all provide him with a standing ovation. Terrific job by a terrific writer on a terrific blog.

2007-04-02 20:30:41
75.   Suffering Bruin
69 LOL!! I'm equally proud of that as I am of the winning this contest. I just pulled that from air. Thanks again... this was fun.
2007-04-02 20:33:07
76.   Bob Timmermann
Thank you very much, SB. Do you have ToyCannon's email address to claim your prize? If not send me an email, I will send it on to you.

Ken is rearranging my sidebar and when that's done, your name will be duly enshrined.

Thanks also to bhsportsguy for setting things up.

2007-04-02 20:33:18
77.   Suffering Bruin
74 And most definitely, thanks to Toy Cannon! No greater prize can be given and you provided it. I don't know who you are but thanks is all I have. My wife and kid are beaming right now and it's more because of the tix you've provided than my ability as a prognosticator.
2007-04-02 20:35:21
78.   Suffering Bruin
And this is for Greg Brock. My final thanks go to the four keys to my victory:

1. Luck

2. Dumb Luck

3. Pure Luck

4. Sheer Luck

I couldn't have done it without them.

I'll send you that e-mail, Bob, hopefully after I put the kid to bed. If not, I'll get it to you tomorrow. Best to all...

2007-04-02 20:38:57
79.   Bob Timmermann
Suffering Bruin wins with 174 points.
Bama Yankee was second with 165.
Uncle Miltie was third with 156.

I finished in a tie for 63rd.

Monterey Chris finished tied for 42nd.

Suffering Bruin picked 53 of 63 games correctly.

He missed on:
Purdue beating Arizona
Kentucky beating Villanova
VCU beating Duke
Indiana beating Gonzaga
Michigan State beating Marquette
Boston College beating Texas Tech
USC beating Texas
North Carolina making it to the Elite Eight
UNLV beating Wisconsin
Oregon making the Elite Eight

2007-04-02 20:39:54
80.   Uncle Miltie
Hey I finished 6th in the Griddle pool...not bad.

Anyone know where we can find the score we predicted? I know I came pretty close.

2007-04-02 20:43:04
81.   Bob Timmermann
You finished third, not sixth.
2007-04-02 20:46:00
82.   Uncle Miltie
81- are you sure? I see myself in 6th place. I really want to see the score I predicted. I think it was 83-78, so I came pretty close.
2007-04-02 20:52:33
83.   twerp
76. Bob Timmermann
Thank you very much, SB.

Good thing Suffering Bruin doesn't use Oliver as a middle name...

2007-04-02 20:54:41
84.   Bob Timmermann
The standings weren't updated yet on the website.

If you use the "scenario generator" you get the final standings.

2007-04-02 21:01:54
85.   Uncle Miltie
Nevermind the pools hadn't updated.

I was in the top 10 at my entire school and won all three of my facebook pools.

It almost feels like I'm the valedictorian.

2007-04-02 21:10:17
86.   Daniel Zappala
Hey, I tied for 55th. Yay me.
2007-04-02 21:12:18
87.   Greg Brock
I'm really glad Suffering Bruin took the Gold.

And screw Florida. That is all.

2007-04-02 21:19:09
88.   Bob Timmermann
Florida goes off to take on the Memphis Grizzlies and wins in the deluded mind of Mike Freeman.

Mike Freeman to me = Frank Robinson X Russ Ortiz X Billy Packer

2007-04-02 21:23:42
89.   Eric L
Now that Billy Donovan has 2 titles in a row, does he take them and run to Kentucky?

Is Kentucky that much of an upgrade over Florida? Granted, basketball is always going to be second fiddle to football to the Gator faithful, but is the Kentucky job that much better?

2007-04-02 21:25:56
90.   Bob Timmermann
Weird coincidences.

The UCLA women's gymnastics team is in the NCAA tournament. It starts with six regionals.

UCLA will travel to ... Morgantown, WV.

The #1 ranked women's gymnastics team is ... Florida.

2007-04-02 21:27:00
91.   Bob Timmermann
Both Kentucky and Florida have an unlimited supply of wealthy boosters to assist you with cheating, so Donovan should be in good shape regardless.
2007-04-02 23:34:42
92.   Eric L
91 I guess you made my point for me better than I did...

I just don't see the upside of going to Kentucky, unless the younger guys stink at Florida. The perception is that Kentucky is a better program, but I'm not sure about that.

I would understand him leaving for the NBA and a boatload of money rather than leaving for Kentucky.

2007-04-03 00:37:26
93.   grandcosmo
>>>Mike Freeman to me = Frank Robinson X Russ Ortiz X Billy Packer

My God that is Johnnie LeMaster/Karl Malden territory!

2007-04-03 00:55:21
94.   Bob Timmermann
I will not rest until all of Freeman's dreams go unfulfilled.

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