Lady Bears in Final Four

On March 29, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

What a season. Tonight, the Lady Baylor Bears defeated Duke in what was a potential sweep for the Blue Devils in Elite 8 play. Hats for both schools having both men’s and women’s in the Elite 8. As most of the nation knows, BU men fell to Duke on Sunday 78-71 in a game that went to the wire where, likely, the team with much more experience in big games closed the deal vs. the the team who as just as talented, but not as used to being on the big stage. It takes a lot to win at this level. Hats of the men for a season where they were picked to finish 10th in the Big 12 conference, but went to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament. Barring defections to the NBA for two of the players, these guys will be a force next year with the nations no 3 (www.rivals.com) player coming in.

But hte Bu women, well, with 6’8″ Briteny Griner the media rage, they wer picked to win the Big 12 in pre-season polls. Instead, their youthful team just reeked in Big 12 play. However, tonight, they earn a birth to the Final 4 in NCAA tourney with a win over Duke. This after mowing oer 1 seed Tennessee. next up, Connecticut, with a 80 something win streak, I do not expect the Lady Bears to get pass them. But then, I did not expect them to be anywhere close to the the Final 4 as well. So, hats of to them. I will have my happy fat ass in a seat in San Antonio this weekend. Baylor Nation, you need to be there as well. What a great season!

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Elite 8 Duke vs. Baylor

On March 27, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

Is it just me, or is there, or should there be, something to the fact that both men’s and women’s teams for Duke and Baylor must face each other in the road to the final four? Any school that gets both men and women teams into the sweet sixteen deserve accolades…this is a tall order. And the Elite 8? All the more! This is the improbably situation as the tourney moves to the Elite 8. Of course the Baylor men thumped St. Mary’s Friday in a game which I think included one of the best halves of basketball I have ever seen played at the college level. Now they face Duke in Houston, which pretty much translates into another home game for BU with the Texas fan support. Now BU did only knock off lower seeds in route to this trip. More improbable I have to say, was the Lady Bears. They handed number 1 seed Tennessee a loss in the sweet 16 in a game that basically was a home event for Tennessee since this was played in Memphis. I never thought I would see the BU womens team in the Sweet 16, let alone knock off a 1 seed to get into the Elite 8 to face, Duke. Of course, it is no secret that Duke’s basketball programs on both sides of the gender fence have been top notch. Duke is one of these “branded” schools I speak of. You would never know what a Duke is if not for the basketball program. Mostly on the men’s side with Coach K and company. And on the Baylor side of the equation, well, everyone still loves to talk about the Scott Drew (Skippy) turn around from the men’s morbid past. We will not regurgitate this here. Drew deserves great credit as do those players in the early tenure of Drew who signed on to BU in spite of coming sanctions. Those players are hardly mentioned these days. But Curtis Jerrells, Henry Dugat, Aaron Bruce, Tim Bush,and Kevin Rogers signed and/or stayed with the program when a bunch of other players hit the road when given a chance (yeah, thats you John Lucas). It was their commitment that began the healing process in both talent and the other.

But Baylor has been in the spotlight as well. An improbable run int he Big 12 tourney last year led to a loss in the NIT finals. And the women, lets not forget that Mulky and crew won the 2005 national championship against Joann P. McCauley’s Michigan state. This was a game after, where McCauley would not credit Baylor talent in the loss blaming only on their poor play. Not so good blood on this one. And of course, back to the subject of the Duke vs. Baylor square off, it is the same MacCauly now coaching Duke women in this Elite 8 match up. Hmm. Should make for interesting game.

But in the end, I do believe it is interesting that both men’s and women’s teams face off for Duke and Baylor in the Elite 8. I think it is a new line. Mulky agreed in a interview today. I will enjoy my seat in Houston to watch the men play Duke Sunday. Good times.

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March Madness Update

On March 26, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

March Madness resumed last night. The games were truly amazing once again. Another top seed fell to a number 5 seed. A number 6 seed gave a 2 seed all they could handle in K State’s double overtime win Xavier. One Cinderella story team sees the glass slipper drop and shatter at the hands of a number 1 seed. Truly March Madness is living up to its name this year. The games continue tonight with interesting story lines of their own. There is still a 10 seed in the sweet sixteen. St Mary’ plays Baylor, a 3 seed, tonight in Houston. Of course, Baylor has a story all of its own as a program that has risen from the ashes of near death penalty to being in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history. BU also can boast of having mens and womens teams in the Sweet Sixteen this year as well. Just when you think, however, that the ‘branded’ school basketball programs have fallen out due to the extreme number of lower seed teams going deep in the dance this year, there still are those branded teams still in the waltz. Purdue squares off with Duke tonight. Duke is the other remaining 1 seed in the tourney beside Kentucky. Of course, regular powerhouse Tennessee is still in and playing this evening as well, albeit, seeded lower this year than normal. The other lower seed underdog is Northern Iowa, a 9 seed. Again, interesting year indeed. I do hope to see the Cinderella story continue for at least one of these lower seeds to make it to the Elite 8, I just do not wish it to be St. Mary’s against my BU team. A relative home court advantage for Baylor will certainly help. And I do know, in spite of some of the reports that BU fans cannot support the team in numbers, even in their own back yard in Houston, I beg to differ. I believe you will see a outcry of support at the game tonight. Tune in. I know I will be with my favorite beverage and pizza of choice. Mine will be our new Chicago style pizza joint nearby that is, well, truly Chicago style pizza.

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March Madness Withdrawal

On March 24, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

All right, yesterday’s post was, I must admit, not well received. It is curious how the subject of healthcare has spun so many out of control. Fear not. We will get back to more enjoyable subjects like March Madness. But do give me a break. March Madness is on hiatus until this coming weekend, so there is not much to report currently. Even the Ladies NCAA March Madness has been largely set. So I wait with anticipation for Friday. I will loose a family to the regionals in Houston, hoping Baylor wins, so I may join them on Sunday. I will try to hold back any political discussions in the interim. There are a lot of conservatives out there who are apparently buying pit bull dogs.

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My NCAA Bracket Is Standing On Its Head

On March 22, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

While the nation sits around whining about passage of the health care bill, I choose to prioritize on much more important things, namely, the sad state of my NCAA March Madness bracket. What a year this has been. With the number of upsets in ranks, I cannot remember a year where so many lower seeds have ended up in the Sweet Sixteen. Good for those programs. It must start somewhere, and going to the Sweet Sixteen really can lift a program if they can capitalize on it consistently year after year. Schools can be branded through this process. You have millions in the nation hearing your schools name, sometimes for the first time. How many of us would know of Marquette, a small engineering school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin had it not had been for the Al McGuire era basketball program that put them on the map to stay. And what is a Gonzaga? If not for basketball, few of us outside of the State of Washington would know of the school. Marist? St. Mary’s? And a host others. And on the women’s side, Liberty? (from a few years back) San Diego State and South Dakota State? At the end of the day, you can put your school on the map with a great basketball program.
I am happy as well to see some of these underdogs in the Sweet Sixteen. While the above branding takes place, the powerhouses return year after year resulting from years of consistent play and branding leading to great recruiting. So when the little guy gets in, it may not make for as great of TV ratings as CBS would like, but I am pulling for the underdog and appreciate their presence in the Sweet Sixteen, and maybe the hope they can return and build some recruiting momentum in their programs.
So just not to go too far on the above, I do feel compelled to shorten my support of the underdog when it comes to my Baylor Bears. Yes, they play St Mary’s in the Sweet Sixteen on Friday, a 10 seed. BU is a 3 seed. So before you make me sound hypocritical, let me just say, I thought that those who do the seeding were especially kind to BU putting them as high as a three, and playing close to home. Not that they do not have the talent, but I thought this was generous especially since they checked out of the Big 12 tournament much quicker than I think they should have. They should have taken Kansas State in the Big 12 Tourney. But, BU has always been an underdog program. Where do you think I learned my support of the underdog role?
So it will be an enjoyable run on the Sweet Sixteen. A lot of good basketball to watch. So maybe the nation can quit whining about other things and focus on some good ole basketball.

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Have You Filled Out Your Brackets Yet?

On March 16, 2010, in Uncategorized, by admin

Now with the NCAA tournament upon us, everywhere you turn you find contests with bracket predictions.  Have you filled your bracket out yet?  First, you must choose what contest you choose to participate.  Many require you to submit some level of personal information to sign up before you may participate. Great.  More junk mail on increasing my size, meds from Canada, whatever. I need a lot more junk mail in my inbox. Of course, if I am that interested in participating in a certain contest due the prize or some other attractive feature, I then sign up by using any number of disposable e-mails that I have set up on Yahoo mail, Gmail, or the like. I then participate worry free. Another approach is to participate in one of the  many contests tied to some community you are already a part of.  Trusted source, if you will. Mine is on the Baylor Fans Board .  This is a board that I rarely participate in anymore  because I found the most of the fans there were getting on my nerves, and in some cases, just plain aggressive.  (I have all but withdrawn from Facebook posts for the same reason). I get that aggravation at work, I do not need it at home.  But, despite my lack of everyday participating in posting, truth is, our Baylor teams are well represented in the tournament, and of course, the board made it really easy to participate.  The bracket was right there when I clicked on e-mail link.  The main issue was the fact you have to logically follow the brackets from your previous round of selections, a level of detail I rarely like to get into. But it was quick fun, and easy.  At the end they request you to log on, and it automatically submitted to the contest without having to go through the actual board.  Good going guys…hats off to you for creating a friendly site for Dopey to participate.  Without it this ease, I would have never participated in any of the NCAA bracket games….

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March Madness Is Upon Us

On March 8, 2010, in Other Interests, by admin

Every year, the basketball regular season winds down and my trips back and forth to see Baylor Basketball in action ceases.  By the end of the year, I have worn out that drive down I-35, growing very tired of it.  The grueling season finally winds to a close, and March Madness is upon.  The first thing to note about March Madness is that I automatically loose my family for a week. They are off to a week of college hoops at the Big 12 tournament every year.  And every year, it seems I must watch college hoops on TV as I either do not have time off to join them, or projects at work just cannot support leaving for a week. My priorities must be messed up. After the Big 12 tournament, then March Madness really settles in with the NCAA tournament.  We, as modest and humble Baylor fans have a lot to celebrate the last few years as the basketball programs, men’s and women’s, have grown into top notch programs led by great coaches passionate about the sport and good for the somewhat tenuous and political Baylor climate.  (Yes, I did say that about BU, remember, I once worked there).  Now we have teams each that are ranked in the top 25.  The men were picked to finish 10th in the Big 12. They finished third, with a first round bye in the Big 12 tournament.  The women have not performed to their initial pre-season Big 12 coaches opinion, finishing as sixth seed. I personally thought they would finish with a Big 12 conference record of 9-7, right where they finished.  Too many freshman….bodes well for the future.

Anyway, as we come upon the season of March Madness and the Big 12 tournament, I am resolved to loosing my family once again for a week, to manage the beasts of the household by myself, and watch college hoops on TV. A right of passage of sorts. And you can bet on one thing, it will be with a vodka firmly in hand most of the way.

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