Posts Tagged ‘tennessee’

Talkin’ Basketball: Michigan State vs. Tennessee

Well, Tim and John combined to go an impressive 1-3 yesterday. Guess which one of us got the only game right! Here’s a hint: It was Tim. Hopefully we will fare better today. The first game on the docket features two of John’s favorite coaches, Bruce Pearl and Tom Izzo, going head-to-head in a game that will hopefully wash the stink off of last night’s Bob Huggins-John Calipari duel.

TIM: John, I’ve had a lot of fun at your expense these last few weeks, from your decision to knock Butler out in the first round to your incredible ability to pick games incorrectly on second and third tries. But, there has been one thing (and one thing only, it seems) that you have been right about where I was wrong: You just don’t pick against Tom Izzo in March.

JOHN S: Well, first of all, some of my incorrect second or third tries were not what I had originally said, so that’s a little unfair. For example, I had West Virginia in the Final Four in my original bracket so….basically I’m a genius.

But yeah, it’s hard for me to really take credit for the Tom Izzo thing, because by now everyone should realize that Michigan State almost always outperforms expectations in the Tournament. Only three times in the last decade has MSU lost to a team seeded lower, and once was in the Final Four to national runner-up Arizona and another was to a George Mason team that would end up in the Final Four. Just as often, the Spartans have made surprising runs of their own, including one to the Elite Eight as a 7-seed in 2003, to the Final Four as a 5 in ’05, and to the National Championship game last year as an unheralded 2-seed. Izzo simply knows how to coach in the Tournament. So it’s not really surprising that Michigan State is once again in the Elite Eight, even in spite of the injury to Kalin Lucas. 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 Midwest Bracket

Man...Bobby Knight Loves This Guy

1 Kansas vs. 16 Lehigh

Tim: Lehigh has one really good player named C.J. McCollum. Kansas has seven or eight players who are better than him (Tyrel Reed I’m not sure on).

John: Yeah, I’m not drinking the Mountianhawk Kool-Aid like everyone else.

Tim’s Pick: Kansas

John’s Pick: Kansas

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What Lane Kiffin Wishes He Said

New USC head football coach Lane Kiffin has taken a lot of abuse over his departure from Tennessee. In an NPI exclusive, Kiffin told us he was really torn up about the criticism, and that he wishes he could have done the noble thing and told the Trojans’ brass the following (verbatim):

Look, I’m honored, USC. You guys gave me my first legit job in football, and it’s on the strength of my work with you that I was hired not only for the Raiders’ job but also at Tennessee (because, I mean, who would hire me based on what happened in Oakland? Did you SEE that professionally presented Powerpoint? Or what Art Shell did before me and Tom Cable after me? Al Davis was right: I was the disgrace.). It’s here that I should apologize for my woeful lack of credentials; I was pretty surprised you’re even considering me after I went 5-15 with the Raiders and 7-6 at Tennessee. It’s not like I’ve proven I can recruit or anything, and I certainly don’t have the sparkling resume Pete Carroll brought in here, particularly on the college level. I know that most 34-year-olds have accomplished more than me, and quite frankly, you probably shouldn’t have even offered me the job.

I know that Southern California is one of the few schools that has a better football tradition than Tennessee. You guys have won several national titles, even in the last decade, and you’ve got like a boatload of Heisman winners, not to mention the Song Girls. Plus, you’re in Los Angeles, which I know from experience is even nicer than Knoxville, which is so nice I even named my son after it. I even know that you’re gonna offer me more money in this better location to have a better job. That’s really cool of you.

But here’s the thing: I like gave my word. Continue reading

Live Blogging ESPN’s 24 Hours of College Basketball: Evening

We’re in the homestretch now. This is Part IV of IV in our epic live blog of ESPN’s Season Tip Off Marathon. We’ve been covering it since 2 AM. You can check out the Overnight here, the Morning here, and the Afternoon here. For the Evening, both John S and Tim will cover Duke vs. Charlotte, then Tim will bring you his thoughts on Gonzaga at Michigan State and Memphis at Kansas.

12:20: Well, roughly 22 1/2 hours after we’ve started, it’s time to wrap up our live blog of the college basketball marathon. Can’t complain about those last two games: The No. 1 and No. 2 teams were taken to the wire. We discussed rust, the career of Timmy Chang, Jerry Glanville, what constitutes an X-factor, and if Temple and Georgetown played the worst half in the history of sports.

From the recliner in my parents’ basement, good night, and good luck.

12:18: After the pick with Coleman, Williams had a look from the right wing that looked pretty good–just a tad long. Can’t kill him for going for the win as the underdog.

I must admit, there was a small part of me that wanted Collins to hit both, Memphis to push the ball, and Williams to hit a game-tying three at the buzzer to send it to OT.

12:17: Tired legs: Sherron Collins comes up short on his first free throw. Memphis is out of timeouts, so you have to expect Elliot Williams and Coleman to run a pick-and-roll down the other end here. Kemp and Mack for kickouts.

12:13: Okay, Elliot. Don’t show off too much to your new friends. KU’s lead is one.

By the way, even though it didn’t work, I love how Pastner threw a zone at the Jayhawks last time down. And I love that Collins knew exactly what to do when he saw it.

Continue reading