Sports Blog

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date

Print
Email
|

Mid-Week Sports Buffet: Conference Tournaments

Mid-Week Sports Buffet: Conference Tournaments

by Fan Man Dan danb@whas11.com

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 9, 2011 at 12:01 AM

It’s conference tournament week baby! Is this week even better than NCAA tournament week one? I think so, here’s my case:

Talk about a buffet! Plenty to choose from here.There are games everyday that mean a whole lot to a whole lot of teams. With the Big East expanding to the 5 day tournament format, there is big time college hoops on TV all day starting Tuesday and going through Sunday. The games that are not “big time” are of absolutely vital importance to the teams that play them in these smaller conferences. Heck, I’ve got VCU and Old Dominion on as I write. Number of total minutes I’ve spent watching these two teams prior to today? Zero. Number of minutes I’ll watch tonight? 40.(maybe even 45- Oh the madness!)
So enjoy, I’ve moved all the conference tournament related stuff up today. If you're looking for the dad stuff or food stuff, scroll on down! After a week off due to a concussion I suffered (and want to write about in a blog when it isn’t madness season) your mid-week buffet returns!
Sports Observation:
With the conference tournaments being set for days now, there is little to nothing new I can tell you about the local teams’ draws. UK is in a good spot, U of L earned a couple of byes, but have a couple of problem match-up staring them down for their first game and Indiana will be lucky to win one. So I’m not going to spend a lot of time writing about these games. 
Honestly, with the inconsistent skill UK has shown, any result from losing to Mississippi Friday to winning the whole thing on Sunday would be unsurprising. Louisville’s grit and timely play could have them cutting down the nets in MSG Saturday night. The Big East’s power could put them out Thursday. Let’s just enjoy this week and worry about taking a loss next week when the losses crunch your teams out of the tourney. 
Personally I’ll be cheering for some combination that puts UK and Louisville in a 4/5 match-up in the second round with Ohio State and Florida in that same bracket, whatever that combo is(but it's probably quick exits- so Im not certain the off chance I get my dream bracket is worht the pain.)
Stat of the week:
If a post on famed blog www.Kentuckysportsradio.com is right, and having seen the game I have no reason to suspect it is not, UK grabbed the last 11 rebounds in their win Saturday at Tennessee. This included several key offensive rebounds.
Sports Hypothetical of the Week:
Would you rather have your team earn byes (or multiple byes) in their conference tournament, thus theoreticly increasing their chances to advance and win said tournament or would you greedily rather see your team play more games?
Plusses for earning the bye: Your team had a better regular season and you can brag about how good they were. Your team will play fewer games and reduce the amount of chances they have at taking an additional loss. Your team should be more rested to play games against teams that should be more tired from playing prior games; thus decreasing your team’s chances at taking another loss.
Plusses for playing the additional games: You get to watch your favorite team play more games- provided they keep winning- and you know they will. If you are going to the games, you get take a longer vacation. Chances at additional wins to add to the win total.
Are there other factors I am not considering? In my opinion, I would totally rather watch my team play another game. If they keep winning-which I know they will- I get to watch 4 or more days of hoops staring my team, and that is AWESOME. As long as they are assured a berth in the big dance the next week, come in 9th in the Big East for all I care.
Memory Lane:
Let’s look back at what I argue are the best conference tournament runs for each of the local teams, starting with Kentucky’s 1995 classic with defending national champion and eventual national runner up Arkansas. 
This was the second classic game played between the two teams, with Arkansas winning a dramatic game earlier in the season in Fayetteville 94-92. Nolan Richardson and the 40 minutes of hell were at the height of their powers behind Scotty Thurman and Corliss Williamson. Rick Pitino’s team, also in their heyday having won the three previous SEC tournaments, had a fabulous freshman by the name of Antione Walker leading the way.
The 3rd ranked Cats swept through Auburn and Florida to reach the first ever final played in the Georgia Dome. The fifth ranked Razorbacks slid past Vandy before thumping Alabama to get there. 
Then they played one of the most memorable SEC Tourey games ever. The twists and turns of the game, including big comebacks for the Cats in regulation and in OT can be found here: http://www.bigbluehistory.net/bb/Statistics/Games/19950312Arkansas.html
On deadline, I was unable to locate video of this game on the internet. If you find a link, please share in the comments section below.
As for the Cards, it would be hard to choose anything other than the 2009 tournament which saw the then #5 Cards sweep three games in NYC and enter the Big Dance as the number 1 overall seed. It’s not hard to think back just two seasons, but Earl Clark, Terrence Williams and the rest of the guys beat Providence, Villanova and  a Syracuse team that had played in 7 overtimes the two prior days to get there. Despite the Orange’s extra play, they took an 8 point lead at the half, but Louisville proved too much and the Cards cut down the nets for the only time in MSG.
Curiously, the Hoosiers have only made the finals of the Big 10 tournament one time, in 2001, where they lost to a Reggie Evans led Iowa Hawkeyes team.
Bold Prediction:
Each week I peer into the WHAS11.com crystal ball (kept in Taco Bell Fan of the Week host Joann Dickson’s desk) and I foresee the future! I had to look not once, not twice, not 3 times, but 4 times and I still couldn’t believe what I saw! The crystal ball says the Cards go out of the Big East Tournament Thursday against a team wearing blue and yellow! Don’t worry it says you’re still a 4 seed when the NCAAs tip next week.
Dad Corner:
 So a question for all you dads out there: How old is too old for your son to have a pacifier? Now, he doesn’t overuse it, I’m not talking about a pacifier everywhere he goes, looking less and less like a child with attachment issues and more and more like an extremely small adult with an LSD issue. No, he uses it at night time and anytime he gets a little too upset. I suppose I should mention he just turned two.
And really this question isn’t just about pacifiers, it is a question about all things growing up. When is he too old to fall asleep in our bed and he needs to go to bed in his own room. When is he too old for the baby swings? Etc etc. etc.
Will he let me know by changing his behavior? Should I “guide” him into changing his behavior? Does it really hurt anyone that he puts in a pacifier at night? Won’t he do lots of things that don’t really hurt anyone, but still he shouldn’t do? These are the things I think about as a pop.
FMD Café: 
Today, something that irritates me to NO END. Why do restaurants EVER serve appetizers in odd numbers. Why?! Don’t they know we split these things with people we are trying to impress? I think they do this on purpose. Italians do it in 7s.(ravioli, mozzarella sticks, bruschetta) Japanese and Chines tend towards five(spring rolls, pot stickers, crab rangoon). Beigniets come in 3s, tuna tartar 5s, and on and on and on.
If there is a delicious pot sticker in front of me, I want it! But wait. I already ate two, she already ate two- who gets it? Is there even possibly a right answer to this?
Man this portion choice puts the squeeze on us. Now I’m forced to choose between being a good husband and allowing my wife to eat the extra bruschetta or being the lucky one who gets to eat the extra bruschetta. And I want it. Seems the gentlemanly thing to do would be to offer this to your date, doesn’t it?
But is it? Will she or he find it offensive if I insist that they eat the extra samosa? “Oh he thinks I’m too fat and need the extra food.” Tears flow, the night is ruined- you get the picture. “But I was just being nice.” And you know your date/client/boss is thinking the same gash dang thing.
I implore the food service industry to serve all sharing based foods in even numbers to avoid this “odd snack out” scenario. Quit putting me in this no win situation and throw the extra slice of tartar on there. And don’t think of cutting these portions back. That’s the wrong way out of this problem you created. One extra, same price.
 Applebee’s sampler has it right. Four items of each. Easily split. If your group has some odd number- that’s your group’s problem, people who share food show up in twos.
And stop putting guacamole on every texmex item on the menu. I like guac, but it is too far from mainstream. It needs to be on the side or an additional option like sautéed mushrooms or grilled onions. 
That is all. (for now).

Print
Email
|