Posts Tagged ‘syracuse’

Penn State, Child Abuse, and Moral Standards

“What’s the fascination with this story?” The question was asked to no one in particular, just the whole room, really. It wasn’t asked in any pointed way, but just out of sincere curiosity. “It’s about football, right?”

I got the sense that most of the people in the room were not big sports fans. Of course, it wasn’t just about football. It was about football at Penn State, which was, as someone else in the room tried to explain, a well-respected institution, known for its “Grand Experiment” of emphasizing a higher ethical standard.

“Like the Catholic church?” he deadpanned, to general laughter.

“But wait,” someone else said, “isn’t Penn State like a huge party school?” It can’t really be about moral hypocrisy, or high standards, or even child abuse. We brush away stories about child abuse all the time. Really, it must be about football.

I didn’t say anything, because I wasn’t sure what exactly I disagreed with. Penn State was a party school; we had seen this all before with the Catholic Church; even the culture of cover-ups at athletic departments was old news.

But at least one thing seemed wrong to me: It’s not about football. Continue reading

The Double Bonus: Season Preview

The Double Bonus returns! With college basketball season officially underway–and Monday’s 24-hour marathon on ESPN being a reminder of how awesome college basketball is–John S and Tim return for their first ever in-person podcast! Together they break down their picks for each of the major conferences, discuss sleepers and POY candidates, and fondly reminisce about the good old days of the 2009 season. Click here to listen to the podcast that will change your life!

John S Picks The Thursday Games

1. Syracuse vs. 5. Butler

Original Pick: Syracuse over Vanderbilt

What I’ve Learned: Syracuse continues to be the best team in country when it plays well, making me continue to regret my decision to pick Kansas to win it all. With that said, this team has been thin all year, and they are even thinner without Arinze Onuaku.

I’ve been dead wrong, though, on Butler—the only 5-seed I picked to lose in the first round. Ever since a somewhat slow start, people who were high on the Bulldogs before the season—like Tim!—have let them fly under the radar, ignoring the fact that the last time this team lost was before Christmas. Matt Howard and Gordon Hayward are a dynamic pairing, and I can see them giving the Orange a serious run. In the end, though, I’ll go with favorite.

The Pick: Syracuse

Continue reading

Get to Know the Sweet 16

I understand your issues. You loved watching the exciting first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, but you’ve used up all your little tidbits of info, like “Murray State has won a lot of games this season.” So, to prep you for Thursday and beyond, here’s all you need to know about the Sweet 16.

9. Northern Iowa Panthers

Conference: Missouri Valley

Location: Cedar Falls, IA

How they got here: def. UNLV 69-66; def. Kansas 69-67

Biggest reason they got here: Ali Farokhmenesh took and made the ballsiest shot in the Tournament since T.J. Sorrentine buried Syracuse in 2005. Oh, and Xavier Henry missed that big free throw.

Last trip to Sweet 16: Never.

A great and recent Tournament game: Umm…did you watch on Saturday?

Tim’s favorite player in UNI history is: Current reserve Lucas O’Rear. You rarely see the combination of a great name, a shamrock tattoo, and mutton chops.

In Tim’s original bracket, the Panthers lasted until: Selection Sunday! I had them going out to UNLV.

You should root for Northern Iowa because: It’s Northern Iowa. QED.

Did you know? Northern Iowa has played eight games in the NCAA Tournament in its history. All eight have been decided by five or fewer points.

Were you aware? If you lined up the rosters of all 16 teams remaining in the Tournament and were told to pick which one comes from Iowa, 96% of people would correctly select the Panthers.

Fun Fact! Ben Jacobson is the best-looking coach in the Sweet 16. Continue reading

John and Tim Pick the West Bracket

Andy will lead a couple Raut-ins...

1 Syracuse vs. 16 Vermont

Tim: Behind Sorrentine, Coppenrath, and the surprising contributions of Germane Mopa-Njiala, the Catamounts will shock the world and the fourth seeded Orange in the 2005 NCAA Tournament!

John: Wouldn’t it be amazing if that happened again?

Tim: And if Gus Johnson called it again…

Tim’s Pick: Syracuse

John’s Pick: Syracuse

Continue reading

The Double Bonus: Thin Up Top?

With losses this week by the top two teams in the country, as well as Purdue’s loss of its best player for the whole year and Villanova getting its fourth loss in seven games, a popular refrain has settled in among the college basketball punditry: There are no elite teams this year! The front line is weak! No team is unbeatable!

Well, obvs. College basketball is not like college football, where dominant teams often do seem unbeatable. College basketball teams don’t go undefeated—not anymore—and therefore, they are all beatable. No. 1 seeds are going to lose at some point during the season, but that doesn’t mean the sky is falling.

It’s popular to compare this season’s probable No. 1 seeds with UNC from last year, the preseason favorite that coasted to a National Championship. But the idea that last year’s Tar Heels were unbeatable or invulnerable is revisionist history, stemming largely from the fact that UNC did not face a significant challenge in the NCAA Tournament.

At this point last season, though, UNC was the #4 team in the country, behind Pittsburgh, Oklahoma, and UConn. They started out 0-2 in ACC play, including a loss at home to an unimpressive Boston College team, and at this point in the season had three total losses—one more than Kansas, Kentucky, and Syracuse have this year. It’s true that the ACC was a stronger conference last year, and that the Tar Heels were generally considered the favorites throughout the year, but they were by no means an unstoppable behemoth, surviving close calls at Florida State and at Miami. Continue reading