Sponsor note. Well now you've gone and done it. You hugged a police horse after Jordan Poole's shot. The police horse enjoyed it. And now you have to extricate yourself from an uncomfortably long hug while a fairly upset policeman glares down upon you. We have all been there. (We have not. Just you, the guy who gets in situations with police horses.) On the bright side, now you have an idea for a company that sells a watch that periodically reminds you that you have been barred from approaching within 50 feet of any police horse in the state.
Well, have I got a lawyer for you.
Richard Hoeg will help you incorporate, and get your contracts right, and get that small business up and running. He will also allow you to write ad copy that becomes a long-running saga of a man who just can't quit police horses. This latter probably won't come up if you engage him, but if it does you are going to be super happy that you picked Richard.
First weekend slice of life. The university has an extensive photo gallery with a lot of behind the scenes stuff from the first week of the tourney. They've apparently decided the David Turnley model is a good one to extend. Jaaron Simmons eats a potato!
Moe Wagner temporarily grows to extraordinary size!
And so forth and so on.
Spring game. It's at 7 PM again on April 14th. The time is unfortunate since there's a 50/50 chance that takes the weather from fine to Not Great, but at least its not on April 1st like a couple of Hoke spring games. Also it will be an actual competition, insofar as that is possible, and not a punting exhibition. It'll still draw a ton of people if Shea Patterson is declared eligible in the next few weeks here.
Various videos. While it's unfortunate that the replay feature is gone from MMOD, there is a small compensation from the NCAA's youtube page, which has various items of note, like oh I don't know, the last 90 seconds of the Houston game.
We'd be talking about that tip-in miss and MAAR going up with his right hand for a while if not for Poole's shot. There's also an every-make video from the Houston game…
Some A&M scouting from the same source. If you'd like to get an idea of what a couple of A&M's prominent players are like, here's PF/C Tyler Davis:
And PG TJ Starks:
They left out eight turnovers between the two, because it's a highlight video. I've watched a couple of A&M games from earlier in the year and they are heavily dependent on Starks to create shots, thus explaining his usage and sky-high TO rate.
Beat all the A&Ms. LeMoyne, coached by one Patrick Beilein, takes on Mini A&M today in the D-II Elite Eight:
1pm today , Elite 8 game for the LeMoyne College Dolphins. Patrick's team vs West Texas A&M and his wife Kristen expecting their 1st child yesterday
Ironically we play Texas A&M Friday! Exciting time for LeMoyne , Michigan, + Beilein family . Carpe Diem ! #Gophins #GoBlue https://t.co/5VD7DDeW1Q
— John Beilein (@JohnBeilein) March 20, 2018
Almost cruel to nickname a college in upstate New York the "Dolphins."
"For me, it was really simple," said Bassett, the athletic director at Le Moyne. "When you get into the process and you have to get into some details about salary range and things like that, Pat was interested in talking about other things. His comment at that point was he knew Le Moyne would be fair with what they could do, and he wasn't overly concerned with that.
"You never hear an answer like that."
If he succeeds at his (presumed) next stop he'll be in the conversation when Beilein decides to hang it up.
Slow vs fast. In the wake of That Upset, a lot of folks are wondering about whether slow teams like Virginia—and Michigan—are more vulnerable to upsets.
There is good reason to think that, all other things being equal, superior teams should play at a higher pace. Pomeroy quotes Roy Williams who puts the theory well: pic.twitter.com/YuW55Aqn5C
— Bart Trvik (@totally_t_bomb) March 20, 2018
Torvik then suggests that Virginia's glacial place is a way to conserve energy so they can go all out on defense. That's perfectly reasonable, and maybe that does help Virginia compete against better athletes.
Personally, though, I think the tempo thing is pretty overblown. The difference between Michigan's tempo and that of FSU, the fastest team left in the tournament, is 65 possessions versus 72. A ten percent increase in possessions doesn't seem like it's going to swing more games to the hypothetically better team. And Michigan fans are no doubt aware of what slow tempo implies: open shots and scanty turnovers on offense and a lack of transition on defense.
Virginia might be enough of an outlier that they are more vulnerable to upsets because of their tempo. They are dead last in the country at 60 possessions per game, three fewer than the next-slowest team. The difference between #330 Michigan and Virginia is the same as the difference between #121 Morehead State and M.
Starting to notice. Tom Izzo's brand of on-court football isn't helping anyone's draft prospects. ESPN's draft experts on Miles Bridges:
Bridges certainly hasn't made the jump scouts would have hoped when he elected to return for his sophomore season. …hasn't done much this season to convince teams that he belongs firmly ahead of positional peers Mikal Bridges and Kevin Knox.
And Jaren Jackson:
Plenty of questions have been raised about the decisions Izzo made down the stretch, as this is the third straight season in which the Hall of Famer has been unable to advance out of the first weekend of the tournament. From an NBA standpoint, most of those questions revolve around the outdated lineup configurations and overall style of basketball the Spartans played all season. Izzo's insistence on having six different centers on the roster and playing all of them (two at a time) in virtually every contest -- despite the obvious toll that took on the team's spacing, ball movement, shooting and aesthetic appeal -- makes it difficult to draw too many conclusions on Jackson's NBA outlook.
At 6-11 and 240 pounds, with a 7-5 wingspan, it is unlikely that Jackson will see much time at the power forward spot in the NBA like he did all season, certainly not next to a non-shooting center who lacks relative athleticism. How much better would Jackson have looked playing in a more up-tempo system at his natural position when surrounded by more skilled teammates? NBA decision-makers will have to decipher that on their own.
Looking forward: It is important to remember that Jackson is the youngest prospect in this class and was clearly not being utilized to his full potential.
Bridges dropped from a guy projected 6th last year to one projected 12th in ESPN's most recent mock draft. Ain't enough bag in the world to justify that.
FWIW, A&M C Robert Williams is also in the lottery:
Williams reminded everyone why he was such a highly touted prospect entering the season with a tremendous opening weekend in the NCAA tournament, helping Texas A&M reach the Sweet 16.
Despite playing out of position all season, he has shown that his game is tailor-made for the NBA as a rim-running, pick-and-roll-finishing, shot-blocker/offensive rebounder in the Clint Capela mold. With DeAndre Jordan in the final year of his contract, the Clippers could certainly look to Williams as a potential successor.
Wagner checks in at 49th, FWIW.
ENDORSE. 40 of these 42 ways to fix the NHL—and hockey in general—are excellent suggestions. I was standing and applauding by the end of this bravura section:
5) Leaving your feet to block a shot is a penalty. I hate when sports reward no-talent try-hards, and hockey rewards them more than any other sport. It boggles my mind when people get pumped about a fourth-line penalty killer sliding to block an Alex Ovechkin bomb from the face-off circle. Seriously? You don't want to see where that slapper was headed?
This would increase goals and reduce injuries. You can dive to take away the puck if you're in chase mode, but no more squaring up a shooter and sliding in front of the shot. Remember when John Tortorella took over the Canucks and people were excited about the Sedins blocking shots? The Sedins! Get out of here with this nonsense.
6) Bigger nets. Let's go three inches vertically and horizontally and see what happens. I've heard the argument against this idea because goalies would eat more blasts in the mask but whenever that happens, it's always by accident and it's always with the goalie on his knees well below the crossbar. If anything, creating more room around the goalie's skull would reduce those instances but really, shots to the mask are always accidental and wouldn't go anywhere either way. More goals, though. Let's get more goals.
7) Puck off the netting is in play. If there's one general thing I'd change about the NHL, I'd reduce the number of whistles during games. Hockey sells itself on flow and speed, but man can there be a lot of whistles. I don't understand why shots that hit the protective netting above the glass can't be played when they bounce back onto the ice. Everyone has had time to adjust to the netting over the years and everyone knows when a puck leaves a stick if it's headed toward the netting. When it bounces behind the goal line, go get it. Keep playing.
For the sake of fairness, anything off the netting and into the net off the goalie doesn't count.
8) No more offside. This also means no more offside reviews. Everyone is happy. Why do we even have offside? If I could go back in time, I'm killing Hitler and kidnapping the guy in 1898 or whenever who was so passionate about an offside line. It's not like the offside line makes the game safer; it's there to give the defense an advantage against oncoming opponents. Why?
Removing offside is another way to get some whistles out of the game and help with flow.
Yes. All of that. Beyonce picture dot gif.