Busy day as activity ratchets up in preparation for the basketball team's trip to Philadelphia. I'm wrapping up a podcast extraordinaire this morning and should have it up by about lunchtime. You'll hear from Dan Hoard, NBC Sports' College Basketball Talk Senior Writer Rob Dauster and assistant coach Darren Savino as well as my guy Tommy G talking all about Creighton, The Dance and so much more.
You'll want to hear this. Huge thanks to all of the above for joining me, tons of great stuff that should make for a must-listen for UC fans getting ready for Friday.
This is tournament week. While I love to typically fill your ears with a combination of 90s hip hop and Pearl Jam, this is all about One Shining Moment. Here's the 2011 version. Is there anything better than the shots of players dancing in the center of the huddle before games? As far as I could tell, Titus Rubles has been this team's preferred dancer this season, but alas, don't worry, I'll get the for sure answers from the players today. Spot the Bearcats!
As always, send any comments, questions or suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter @pauldehnerjr.
OK, let's eat ...
--- UC holding an open practice this afternoon at Fifth Third Arena starting at 1 p.m. The gates will open at 12:30 p.m. The Bearcats wanted to do it as a thank you to fans for supporting them all season. They would have preferred Wednesday, but an early flight out to Philly forced those plans to change.
Cool idea. I think many fans would love to know how practices run and will have one final chance to send off the team before they leave.
If you are there and see my bald head reflecting off the lights, give me a shout.
--- Time to take a look at the recent history of 10 vs 7. Historically, the 7 wins 58 percent of the time over the 10. As far as how it has gone the last three years, though, it's a coin flip -- here's the results:
10 Xavier 67, Notre Dame 63
7 Florida 71, 10 Virginia 45
7 Gonzaga 77, 10 WVU 54
10 Purdue 72, 7 St. Mary's 69
7 Washington 68, 10 Georgia 65
10 Temple 66, 7 Penn State 64
10 Florida State 57, 7 Texas A&M 50
7 UCLA 78, Michigan State 76
10 Georgia Tech 64, 7 Oklahoma State 59
7 BYU 99, 10 Florida 92 (2OT)
10 Missouri 86, 7 Clemson 78
10 St. Mary's 80, 7 Richmond 71
TOTAL: 10 seed 7 wins, 7 seed 5 wins.
--- If there is one expert out there you want picking your team, it's Jay Bilas. Congrats, Bearcats fans. Trill is riding in red and black. You can check his bracket out here.
--- Scott at Bearcats Blog posted his initial thoughts on Friday's game. He discussed who will guard McDermott, which is the question of the week. Rubles would seem to be the best physical matchup. His length and ability to track McDermott around the floor will be key. Remember, you need to put your best OFF THE BALL defender on McDermott, because he moves as well without the ball as anybody in college hoops. He's not a one-on-one type, except he has nice moves in the post.
--- Mike DeCourcy has been all over every media outlet this week, here was him talking with Lance. He also likes the Bearcats to pull the upset on Creighton. Mike also ranked the teams 1-68 in order of chance they can win entire tournament. He checks the Bearcats in at 39 while ranking Indiana over Louisville at the top.
--- I hate every team in the South Region to make a deep run and love every team in the MIdwest Region to make a deep run. My bracket stands no chance.
One I will call here and now, Syracuse will upset Indiana in the Sweet 16. I think the Hoosiers struggle with that zone and the Orange showed the signs of breaking out of the offensive slump of the last few weeks in NY. Just feels right.
--- Jason Lisk from The Big Lead with fantastic analysis of scheduling and its effect on your tourney resume, specifically playing the bottom quarter of Division I teams. This has been why UC's RPI tends to be lower than it's other metrics, the cupcakes they've played (as everyone does) in recent years haven't been from the 220-275 range, rather too many in the 275+ range. In the end, it's a matter of paying money for those teams to show up. And those back end teams really anchor down the RPI number.
As Lisk points out, playing Division II teams, which doesn't factor into the RPI at all, seems to be a better way to go in order to increase your number. The Mountain West with their 14 games against D2 teams and five bids serve as the perfect example.
Hate that manipulating an archaic metric is still a part of how we choose the field of 68. Just when you think the committee takes steps in seeing the light, you realize 36 of the top 37 at-large RPI teams made the tournament. Much of it due to stupid manipulation like this.
--- President Santa Ono has a brother who is a professor at Creighton. Of course, some discourse has gone on between the two of them.
--- Extra Mustard ranks the 68 teams based on the coolest person who went there. Sandy Koufax takes the nod for UC and places them in the top 25.
--- Nate Silver weighs in with his "science" and his "math" and his "use of intelligence" to allow these observations on the NCAA Tournament. You'll want to read this.
--- As much success as Gonzaga has had, they haven't made the Elite Eight since 1999 despite being in the tournament every year.
--- True look at who is hot entering the tournament. Great research to help pick upsets. By this, I'd say Miami and Michigan could be in trouble early.
--- Randomness ...
--- When you read the headline, "Monkey fights goat at zoo" you only hope there will be video, even if it is rather disappointing. Happy Day.
--- I just watched a compilation of 26 buzzer beaters right here -- Cash vs. Bama makes the list -- and midway through I was already mad the full tournament doesn't start until Thursday.
--- Everybody knows these seven people in your office pool. And you know if John Kreese were in your office, he would definitely be the poster child of No. 1.
"Fear does not exist in this office pool, does it? NO SENSEI!"