Saturday, March 03, 2007

NIT Bound

East Tennessee State qualified for this year's NIT, with a 92-67 blowout loss on their homecourt to Belmont in the finals of the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament.

For the second year, regular season conference champions automatically qualify for the NIT, if they do not go to the NCAA tournament. So, the Buccaneers become the first team to qualify for the NIT.

I'm sure they're really excited about that in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Friday, March 02, 2007

First Invitation

The first invitation to this year's NCAA tournament was clinched tonight by the Penn Quakers, who clinched the regular-season Ivy League championship. The Quakers whipped Yale, 86-58. The Ivy is the only conference that does not have a post-season tournament.

Four more bids go out on Saturday.

In the Big South, juggernaut Winthrop hosts high-scoring but 14-18 VMI in the finals of the conference tournament.

Austin Peay takes on Eastern Kentucky in Nashville for the championship of the Ohio Valley conference tournament. The cheer "Let's Go Peay" will be heard early and often at the Gaylord.

In the Atlantic Sun, East Tennessee State hosts Belmont in the finals of the conference tournament.

And, in the Southern Conference, regular season champion Davidson takes on the College of Charleston at the North Charleston Coliseum. The Cougars, coached by ex-Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins, upset favored Appalachian State tonight in an overtime thriller.

Half the fun of March Madness is getting to the Tournament.

UUOTD-Spring Training Edition

Spring Training is underway now, and exhibition games began yesterday. Spring has sprung in warmer regions of the country, and opening day is not far away.

An alarming feature in baseball uniforms is being modeled by Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals. Several teams are wearing a colored stripe down the side of their jerseys. The Royals' spring training partner, the Rangers, are wearing a red stripe with royal blue. That is not a good look. The different colored jerseys (like blue for the Royals) are fine from time to time, but these wide stripes, or whatever they are, need to go.

I use the Royals as an example due to these caps. They keep the standard royal blue, with the "KC" logo, but have these little gray wing-looking things above the ear. I can't tell if it's supposed to be the wings of Mercury, or Goodyear. Or, if it's just supposed to be a rounded edge above the ear. Either way, I hope other teams aren't copying it. The Royals' blue caps with the white "KC" have been just fine, even when their team has been horrible.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

An Unbalanced League

The SEC, home of last year's national champion and one other Final Four participant, finds itself as a very unbalanced league this year. The conference's power lies in the East division, where Florida, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Tennessee reside. Georgia, with an 8-7 conference record after tonight, would be in first place in the West division. No wonder some bracket analysts have Georgia as a bubble team, in spite of their 17-11 record. And, two-time defending NIT champion South Carolina most likely will not be back to defend that crown.

The West division is in serious danger of not qualifying any teams for the NCAA tournament. Alabama has the best post-season chances on this side of the league, as they moved back into a tie for first place tonight with a win over Ole Miss. The Tide won their 20th game of the season, but are only 7-8 in conference play. Ole Miss and Mississippi State are also tied with Bama at 7-8.

The SEC, as usual, is underrated and underexposed in hoops.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


The Cotton Bowl today made official their attempt to reinvent their bowl game. As has been rumored for the last month, the Cotton Bowl board of directors voted to move their game to the new Cowboys stadium in Arlington, effective in 2010.

The Cotton Bowl will now attempt to crowd into the BCS bowl rotation. It is one of the traditional New Year's Day bowls, but suffered in recent years from a decaying and decrepit stadium. The game was in danger of being passed up by other cities in the pecking order of Big XII and SEC teams.

The new Cowboys stadium would be a great place for a BCS bowl game, and a national championship game. It would also benefit the Big XII, as the Big XII often finds itself playing in a hostile environment for national championship games (see Orange Bowl-OU vs. Florida State, Sugar Bowl-OU vs. LSU, and Rose Bowl-Texas vs. USC).

I am excited that the Cotton Bowl has made this move. I hope that OU and Texas follow suit and move the Red River Rivalry to Jerry's Palace on Johnson Creek.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


We're still going back in time, but only to the 1990's.

In 1996, the Kentucky Wildcats were kings of the hill, winning another national championship. Rick Pitino could have been elected governor, before taking off to coach the Knicks. This was a great team.

The Cats normally wear a classic royal blue. The blue is synonymous with a basketball tradition that takes a back seat to no one.

Someone was not thinking straight at Converse, when they designed this denim uniform. I love denim, but it does not go on a basketball uniform, especially one for a traditional powerhouse like Kentucky. Kentucky had a great blue road uniform. They did not need to throw it away for this.

Thankfully, this uni was thrown on the ash heap of history, and the royal blue uniform was brought back. The Cats will gladly keep that national championship, though.