Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
- Member for
- 2 years 5 weeks
- View recent blog entries
|1 week 1 day ago||Title IX||
Title IX is a convenient scapegoat, but for most schools, this couldn't be further from the truth. Suppose Michigan wanted to have 125 students on football scholarship, instead of 85. They could either remove 40 scholarships from other mens' sports or add 40 women's scholarships to compensate.
Even if you believe that the athletic department is giving the school $60K per player per year to cover the cost of the scholarship, all this does is double that cost to $120K -- $60K for the player that you actually want to come to your school, and $60K for the additional women's bowling scholarship that was created to balance the books.
In fact, setting scholarship limits is just another way to set a salary cap, and it has all of the same implications that it does in pro sports (supports competitive balance, ensures a minimum salary for every player on the roster, and caps the total outlays by the owner, to name a few). Of course, the NCAA will never call it a salary cap, but if a scholarship costs $60K and there are 85 in football, then the football salary cap is $5.1MM, end of story.
Anyway, don't be fooled. Setting scholarship limits is strictly in the purview of the NCAA -- in fact, you could argue that it's their primary responsibility. You can find the specific limits here:
|1 week 2 days ago||"nothing"||
Many of these students are poor enough that they would qualify for substantial financial aid, if they could be admitted to the university in the first place. I think it's fair to say that many of them are playing for "nothing."
It's nearly impossible to compute the true value of a scholarship. College is (intentionally) priced so that it will be just slightly out of reach for all but the very rich.* The value proposition sold to parents is that they should sacrifice elsewhere in order to provide this education -- or, better yet, that they should complain to the government and attempt to get additional tax incentives for education.
Jordan Morgan got a good value from his Michigan scholarship, with two degrees in engineering. Many players don't do so well for themselves.
* Here I define the "price" of college as the total out-of-pocket expense, which scales greatly with income.
|1 week 2 days ago||Because it's against the rules||
The only reason I need to want Michigan not to do this is "it's against the rules." I am fully in favor of changing the rules. I'd like to start with the ridiculous scholarship cap: "So, what you're saying is, if Michigan wants to sponsor scholarships for 400 young men, many of whom can't afford tuition otherwise, the NCAA will stand in the way of educating these children?" Then I'd like to allow the players to be compensated at whatever level the school thinks is appropriate, like they would for any other on-campus job.
However, until we get rules in place that allow these things, Michigan absolutely should not do them. I would rather see Michigan lose with honor than win with dishonor, any day. And there is no honor in breaking the rules to win, even if the rules don't make sense. Work within the system to change the rules, or exit the NCAA and create your own rules, but don't break them because they're not convenient.
|1 week 5 days ago||Other Schools||
Yeah, I see Alabama plates (gah!) all the time. I've even seen a Sparty plate (blecch). The website includes plates for most major Texas universities and a few other schools, mainly from the southeast. Big Ten representation includes Sparty, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, and Purdue, so it's a little unclear as to what, exactly, the criteria for inclusion are. :-)
BTW, I clicked through one of the UT plates, and the base prices appear to be $55 for a single year, $195 for a five-year term, and $295 for a ten-year term; they go up from there if you want a custom plate instead of random text. They also mention that you may have to pay extra when you register the vehicle so that the expiration date on the plates and vehicle sticker match up.
I added my name to the list, but I'm not entirely sold... that's a pretty pricey way to show pride.
BTW - the registration form assumes that your state is Texas. I don't know that they're going to be verifying addresses or anything, but I doubt having out-of-state users sign up is going to make much of an impression upon TxDMV, so those of you who aren't in Texas can feel free to save your spam folder. :-)
|1 week 5 days ago||*Three Games*||
Michigan won the Big Ten championship by *three games*. Indiana won last year's Big Ten championship by a missed layup and missed putback. It is entirely reasonable to judge the two seasons differently. If Michigan had been upset by Wofford, then, fine, Wisconsin would have had the better season. As it stands, the answer has to be Michigan this year *and* Michigan last year. If Wisconsin had won the national title, yes, that would trump a Big Ten title. As it stands, they'll hang a banner at Trohl, but nobody really remembers the national semifinal losers anyway.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Down 2 with the ball||
If MIchigan wanted to be down 2 with the ball and a chance for the last shot, they could have pulled it back out after one of the offensive rebounds in that epic stretch just before this. (Admittedly, maybe JB would have wanted to do that, but the players didn't consider it; still, he could have called a time-out. It's not like they're all that limited in basketball).
Having said that, I'd have been in favor of fouling in many circumstances, but not when Kentucky was getting so many offensive rebounds. Even with Michigan being given inside position by rule, I would be very worried about Kentucky scoring a point and then getting the ball back on a missed second free throw.
Still, one shot away from a back-to-back Final Four. It's nice to be upset about this instead of Evan Turner. :-)
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Powerade||
I was at a game in some small gym one time -- I think it was at Yale. They had a giant Powerade cooler on the sideline. On top of the cooler were the bottles of Gatorade that they were pouring into the Powerade cups. The whole thing is a silly exercise in corporate marketing, and just slightly Orwellian.
I applaud any attempts to show the NCAA's hypocrisy. Yes, the journalist knew the rules, but the rule is asinine precisely because of the official stance on amateurism. If the NCAA wants to run amateur athletics competitions, they should follow the same rules themselves and divest themselves of all "corporate partners" (as opposed to incorporate partners, I suppose?), event sponsors, and the like.
Instead, they regulate cream cheese on athletes' bagels and the cups that may be used on press row. They're ridiculous.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||Chance of getting the ball back||
I think the problem here is the assumption that any missed free throw is rebounded by Michigan. Although the non-shooting team has automatic advantages when it comes to rebounding, given the fact that Michigan rebounded fewer than half of Kentucky's misses, I can't see this being any higher than 75%, and I think this makes the traditional approach correct. The worst possible scenario is one made free throw, a miss, and an offensive rebound, and that was a sadly realistic scenario.
Thanks for putting this together though. :-) I applaud the measurement of non-traditional approaches.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||No other games...||
This is the one thing that drives me nuts about attending NCAA tournament games. I went to the first-round games in San Antonio this year, and while we did get a fairly prompt update after Mercer beat Duke, most of the arena was either glued to their smartphone or to somebody else's report from their smartphone. There's so much downtime due to the interminable tournament commericals, it shouldn't be hard to have CBS's feeds pumped in.
(In fact, they did have highlights this year, which I don't remember from the past -- but no live feeds).
|2 weeks 5 days ago||J-Mo did win a title||
J-Mo did win a title. Two, in fact -- the shared Big Ten title from 2012 and the outright title this year (by three games!)
That's two more than anybody on the Fab Five got. I mean, I wanted this team to keep winning as much as anyone, but I don't want to fall victim to the trap of measuring the season by a single-elimination tournament at the end of the year. Fluky things happen, like a poor-shooting team hitting 7/11 3s. Winning the conference takes hard work and determination, day in and day out, and that's Jordan's legacy as much as anything.
|2 weeks 5 days ago||LMU||
I'd like to see that too -- they were a great offensive team -- but obviously a lot of their scoring came from their pace. I'm not saying that they wouldn't have surprassed 1.24 adjusted points per possession, but I'm not sure it would be a slam dunk either way.
I took a quick look at a box score from the 1990 game. It doesn't list turnovers -- there must have been plenty, both ways -- but it looks like there must have been at least 90-100 possessions in that game. And the 149 was an outlier, even for them (at least against major competition).
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Class||
I logged on to post the exact same thought. Izzo said he didn't want to take anything away from his opponent. Beilein -- and the team -- actually didn't take anything away from them. In fact, Coach Beilein even said he thought it was well-officiated, which is nuts but very classy. It's not the fault of Kentucky's players, fans, or coaches that the officials called the game the way they did, and I appreciated the fact that Michigan's coach would express such sportsmanship immediately after what must have been an infuriating loss.
What a team! I'm already looking forward to 2014-2015. Go Blue!
|2 weeks 6 days ago||This year vs. last year||
Last year, as soon as Michigan got to the Sweet 16, I figured it was house money. After the Kansas win, the Florida game was gravy. I walked into JerryWorld fully expecting to lose but wanting to enjoy the experience.
This year, Michigan won the Big Ten and performed to its seed expectation. I think we're back in "house money" territory. I want to see this team win, because I want to see Jordan Morgan, Nik Stauskas, and GR3 continue their Michigan careers. But if this game goes poorly, I still think it's going to have been a successful season.
Having said that, let's get back to Dallas!
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Had to neg you||
Sorry, had to neg you here. That's a Sparty attitude. I'm glad that Sparty lost, but if Michigan loses today, this game doesn't mean a thing. I won't really be able to enjoy this result until Michigan wins.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Who touched it last?||
It was pretty obvious to me that it was off of UConn, live and on the replay. I assume, then, that UConn gets the ball? That's how these things work, right?
|2 weeks 6 days ago||It's a major award||
Plus, Izzo has won a Major Award! I wonder if his wife is jealous of the 2000 NC trophy.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Credit where it's due||
UConn looks completely discombobulated on offense. Part of the credit for that has to go to Sparty's defense, but I think it's also possible that UConn isn't really all that good...
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Sparty Bench||
They've got a bench! That's where all the weird guys sit.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Sparty Excuses||
And, "Are you sure that was a regulation court? Trice said it was a little narrow."
|2 weeks 6 days ago||"Foul" on Napier||
Agreed -- it seemed like incidental contact to Napier's face. I hate Sparty as much as the next guy, but I prefer to save my outrage for legitimate cheap shots. (I'm sure one will arrive in the next few minutes. :-). However, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how that was a foul on Napier. It looked like a clean steal to me.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Jobbed by the Refs?||
If the referees are bad tonight, I think it will have more to do with Kentucky's home-court crowd and general referee quality than any plot by some mythical NCAA overlords. To the extent that the NCAA cares about what teams are in the Final Four, which is probably rather little, Kentucky and Michigan seem fairly equivalent -- both big names who will be big draws.
Save the conspiracy theories for Spartan Bob. ;-)
|2 weeks 6 days ago||*These* are Elite 8 teams?||
These are Elite 8 teams? This is some of the worst basketball I've ever seen, and I even watched part of that Arizona / Wisconsin "game."
Sparty apparently thinks they're playing Purdue and will hit 100 3s, and UConn, well... perhaps the baskets are a little bigger in Storrs. I've never seen so many wide-open shots clang off of the rim -- at least, not from a team that's allegedly among the best in the country.
Here's hoping for regression to the mean, and maybe for the referees to call a few of the more obvious fouls...
|2 weeks 6 days ago||Streaming Audio||
Streaming audio, on the other hand, should work fine. Assuming that you don't mind paying whatever exorbitant fee the airline charges, I'd DVR the game, listen to it on the flight, and then make an informed decision after you land about whether or not you want to watch or to delete the game when you get home.
|4 weeks 19 hours ago||Textbook charge||
That was a textbook charge by Texas. No call, and three offesneive rebounds later, two points.
|4 weeks 21 hours ago||Hancock||
You've got to be a special kind of fool to get a lane violation when the opponent doesn't have any players on the lane.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Ticket Strips||
First-weekend tickets are set up as three sessions -- Thursday morning, Thursday evening, and Saturday. There will be tickets available Saturday, as fans of the losing schools will sell them cheaply. Having said that, since Michigan and Wisconsin are both in that pod, there may be fewer cheap tickets available than usual.
Last year in Dallas, my wife and I threw out our tickets for Sunday's game and bought two in the "first row" (behind the basket, the bands, and a whole bunch of people with terrible floor seats" for $15 plus StubHub fees.
[edit: $1->$15. But still a good deal. :-) ]
|4 weeks 6 days ago||Tripping||
He did, and I hope he gets in trouble for it. It was absolutely uncalled for and could have been very dangerous if he succeeded. I'm glad he missed.
|5 weeks 1 day ago||Cheering for Sparty||
Oh, I won't cheer for Sparty. I may just cheer slightly more against Bo Ryan than against Tom Izzo tonight. Besides, Izzo's got his team healthy and won't have to play weird guys, so they should be able to beat Michigan by like 150 points or something. I think they'll set records. I mean, weird guys, ya know???
|5 weeks 1 day ago||Games that may affect seeding||
Honestly, there aren't many. Depending upon the source you choose to believe, most projections have Michigan on the 2-line, with Arizona and Florida being locks at #1 and Wichita State already crowned MVC champion. So, you're looking for teams on the 2 and 3 lines to lose. If the final #1 seed is available, the most likely team to win it would be the ACC tourney champ, if it's Virginia or Duke, or the B1G champ, if it's Michigan or Wisconsin. So, here's your list:
Pitt vs. Virginia 1 PM
|5 weeks 5 days ago||Too many variables||
I think you'd need to eliminate some variables -- control for opponent (or possibly even for the player fouled), first half vs. second half, and opponent vs. home shooting. (First half vs. second half on the assumption that the student section is seated behind one basket but not the other one). It's possible that (Flint?) Northwestern High School and The Bank just have difficult shooting backgrounds or something. It's also possible that Sparty's home games featured better-shooting free throw teams, or Sparty is worse when it comes to choosing dudes to foul, etc.