As the 'Bag gets amped for Wednesday's Sunflower State Showdown between Kansas and Kansas State -- the last undefeated teams in the Big 12 -- we begin this week's column on a note of reader cynicism:
This may sound crazy to you, Evan, but I do think Beasley, Mayo and other likely one-and-doners care. I've spoken to Beasley and Mayo for more than two hours each this season, and I'm convinced that both players sincerely want to win. What have you seen either player do or say that would suggest otherwise? In fact, I'd argue that K-State and USC are two of the hottest teams in the country over the past three weeks in large part because Beasley and Mayo have performed at high levels while involving their teammates more than at any time in the season. What's more, both players could be on the verge of a huge week with Kansas State aiming to take down the Jayhawks at home and USC hosting the Arizona schools in Pac-10 play. Even if they were thinking only about the NBA (and I don't think that's the case), wouldn't they have a big financial incentive to succeed in the marketing bonanza that is the NCAA tournament?
Great idea, Evan. Help me out, readers, the 'Bag can't come up with any other doubles. In fact, the only other single current examples we can think of who qualify are Arkansas coach
Would there be unintended consequences? Probably. But I like this idea. How many times do you find yourself watching a game and saying "good no-call" in a similar situation? If you're like me, it happens a lot.
Great story, Laurie. Which reminds me, if any readers can submit a Youtube clip of a college team practicing flops we'll be happy to link to it in a future column.
If we can say the same thing a week from now, I'm with you. The blowout of Vanderbilt in Gainesville was a nice win against a Commodores team that was probably overvalued due to carrying an undefeated record for so long. Still, the Gators' only road wins came against SEC bottom-feeders Alabama and South Carolina, which makes us wonder if Florida will come crashing back to earth with upcoming games at Arkansas (on Saturday) and at Tennessee (Tuesday).
Excellent. So if Diebler is this guy and Pitt's
I always find conference-vs.-conference debates to be overblown, but let's be honest, everyone: perplexing RPI numbers aside, no reasonable observer can argue that the Pac-10 isn't the best league in the country right now. It's not even close. That comes from watching games, which should count for something. The ACC has a tremendous history and has been the nation's best conference more often than any other, but this is a down season for the league, which is not meeting its previously high standards. ACC fans tend to be smart and know their hoops, but I sometimes encounter a sense of entitlement that just because the ACC logo is on the floor it means the teams playing on it are elite. And that's not always the case.
If you're wondering, I think the NCAA tournament is the best way of deciding a champion. That said: If the match-ups were all decided by seven-game series instead of by single-elimination knockout games, in which years would we have had different champions? I'd argue: 2006, 2005, 2003, 1999, 1997, 1993 and 1991 (going back to 1990). That's "often" to me.
Did the average age of the 'Bag reader have an unexpected drop this week?
The 'Bag recently enjoyed a Q&A with
Less than a week later they were driving to Louisville to sit down with