Monday, March 31, 2008

Funny Video

Well, no great musings for this evening. I will however, link to this video from comedian Bob Nelson. It's one of the funnier standup comedy routines I've seen. This does contain profane language, which is a drawing card to some and a warning to others.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thoughts on the wknd games

Holy Cow! As much as I thought Davidson was "for real", I still was surprised to see them with the ball and a chance to tie/win at the end of the game. Curry is a stud. The team is well coached and Curry's not the only kid that can play on that team. I did think that towards the end of the game, too much of the action flowed through was like he was clearly their number one option (duh!) but they seemed really out of synch when going to a second option. That part kinda surprised me. Not to bash them at all, it was a great ride. Hats off to Kansas for representing the Big 12. Another bonus of this game was having Gus Johnson do the play by play. That man is fun to listen to.

Texas, on the other hand, did not play well today. Memphis dominated most of the game. Memphis is just good. They were taller at the guard position, and just as quick. Texas was uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball in the first half, and couldn't catch up. Memphis did a good job of containing Abrams while the game was still at risk.The Horns had a nice run this year. They lost an all world talent in Durant, but Augustin stepped his game up and they had an excellent year. A 2 seed is supposed to lose in the regional finals, so they are what we thought the are, in the words of Dennis Green.

North Carolina, winner over L'ville, to me is the cream of the crop. They defend well and they have a lot of options scoring. In most seasons, I would probably be a Tyler Hansborough fan. However, what Jay Bilas and Dick Enberg did to him is still illegal in some states. They were just slobbering all over the guy. Nantz will be calling him by his first name by the final.

UCLA is like watching paint dry, with the exception of Kevin Love. That team just sucks the life out of people. Three final fours in a row is impressive.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thoughts On Fri Games

It's been refreshing to see Wisconsin and Michigan State get DRILLED this evening. It's cute and all to have those gritty, defensive teams, but at some point, you have to figure out how to put the ball in the basket. Kansas and Memphis look VERY good.

All Hail Davidson

Davidson is only the fourth team to score 70+ on Wisconsin; others were Duke, Purdue and Marquette.

This team is no fluke. In November, the Wildcats led UNC with less than 6 minutes left in the game, and lost by six to Duke later that month. A trip to LA to play the Bruins resulted in a 12 point loss, but the Wildcats led at the half.

My wife pointed out there are fewer students at Davidson than Coppell High School. So they've got that going for them, which is nice.

One little known fact about the Wildcats is they are one of the few teams remaining in the tournament that doesn't have a former OU player or signee on their roster.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cash Machine Gridiron Bash

Earlier this month I learned about the gridiron bash, an event combined with spring football games to make money. concept is to bring in some popular music, partner with the college football team to make a big event. for cash machine U, the folks at Gridiron Bash chose...ZZ Top. Ya know, I kid the fine folks at TAMU, but several of my closer friends have Aggie ties. I would be offended if I were an Aggie.

As a public service message to our readers, I have reviewed the ZZ Top colleciton and have the following recommendation for the playlist, with accompaniment by former Aggies.

I'm bad, I'm nationwide, drum solo by Martellus Bennett
I've got the six, by NFL official Red Cashion
Got me Under Pressure, special sing a long with Stephen McGee
Breakaway, with Dante Hall
Ten Dollar Man, solo by Reggie McNeal
Hey Mr Millionaire, led by Jason Webster
I need you tonight, guitar solo by Governor Rick Perry
Just got paid, with Dennis Franchione
Two ways to play, solo by Phil Gramm
Waitin for the bus, special appearance by Jamaar Toombs

So many of the ZZ top songs are "adult themed" , and it was nice to see so many of them have a translation into football as well.

Today's News you should know

South Carolina's alleged interest in Jeff Capel just cost the OU Athletic Dept ~$4 million. Capel was given a $300k raise and extended 3 years.

Do you remember Testigate? The attempt by Michael Beckett, aka the Scrotum Ripper, to have the charge reduced from felony assault to a misdemeanor. Next court date: April 16.

If your concerned about the trauma your pet may encounter for being neutered, be sure and check out Some people way want to cure world hunger, others want their neutered pet to have some fake jewels.

Former Sooner Drew Lavender was 3-6 from 3 point range and dished out 7 assists (only one turnover) in the Musketeers win over West Virginia.

Davidson is picking up the tab for its students to gp to the games this weekend.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Some HouseKeeping Items

  • I asked Reveille to compose the 2008 All Big 12 team. Check it out here.
  • Sean Sutton is tired of the NIT. Maybe that's why he loses in the first round every year?
  • I found a new site to enjoy last night. has some great info out there. I particularly enjoyed the analysis done last summer on success of underachiever and overachievers in the NCAAs, and top performers.
  • Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg was a major league whiner when the Hokies were omitted from the NCAAs. I have to tip my hat to the Hokies though, they've gone out and kicked the stuffing out of their competition to date in the NIT. I am often amused about teams that bemoan being left off the bubble come tourney time, and turn around and lay an egg in the first round of the NIT.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Rooting Hierarchy

It's a slow newsday here at LandThieves. I could give you my breakdown of the Sweet 16, but you can read a couple thousand of those out there on the interwebs.

I could break down the women's tourney for you, but the limited readership is already at risk.

Yesterday, I was watching the Horns play Miami (FL), and was trying to figure out who to cheer for. Answer: Germans. No, seriously, the idea then came to me that as a public service to the Sooner faithful, I shall provide a breakdown of the pecking order of when to root for a conference rival. Please note that this analysis excludes the fact that a given order of standings in a sport that matters (Football, Mens BB) may override said pecking order. For example, as much as the Baylor Bears are a cute, lovable bunch, I'd throw them under the bus in a heartbeat if they were in the way of a Big 12 championship.

Now, on to the my rooting hierarchy:

1. Sooners – well, that’s obvious. What did you expect?
Other teams I care about:

2. Baylor – they’re fairly harmless, we’ve never lost to them in FB and haven't lost to them in Men’s BB since Dec 1977, my daughter wishes to go there, I've been abig Art Briles fan since he coached at Stephenville H.S. and I have several close friends have Baylor ties. To me, it’s like rooting for the Chicago Cubs. Except the Cubs did win something in 1918. If they got good at one of the two favored sports, I might have to take them down a notch or two.
3. Nebraska – in the days o’ the Big 8, the OU-Nebraska rivalry was always fairly classy. There’s a mutual respect there. Except for that Bill Callahan "----ing hillbillies" thing. I think we can now unite with Huskers about our dislike for Callahan, since he drove the FB program into the ditch and . When they were beating the snot out of us during the desert era, the Husker fans that had taken over the section my season tix were in were fairly gracious victors.
4. Texas Tech – I’m a Leach fan; my boss is a Tech alum; when Bob Knight retired they probably jumped from 5 to 4 here. In FB, the offense is fun to watch.
5. Texas A&M – I have some good friends that went there, and in my Big 8 school days, I never gave them a second thought. We were brethren in that Joe Paterno seemed to want to outlast Switzer and Sherrill. There’s a lot to like about TAMU, but the traditions are just a little bit too weird for my taste. Reveille is a perfect example…somebody ran over a dog 70 years ago and it survived. I had a dog that was run over and survived, too. His name was Gomer. I didn’t petition the U of O to make a shrine, bury him near the stadium or anything. I was just glad my dog lived. I moved on.

6. Kansas – I could rank 6-9 anywhere in those slots and not upset myself too much here. Kansas probably gets the nod as the 6th seed due to 2 factors; 1) they are good at basketball, and typically play it up-tempo, which I prefer; and 2) Shamangino is the head coach.
7. Kansas State – They should probably be lower, since they’ve beaten us a couple of times in big FB games, but overall I’m fairly indifferent towards them.
8. Missouri – if I would’ve done this 20 years ago, they woulda been lower. The Antlers were vicious. I hated Jon Sundvold and Steve Stipanovich. Norm Stewart-Billy Tubbs was a good (but clean) rivalry. The football team still hasn’t recovered from canning Warren Powers. The basketball team hasn't recovered from not canning Quinn Snyder soon enough.

9. Iowa State – totally indifferent to these fine folks. The Johnny Orr and Larry Eusatchy years were good basketball watching times. I was able to get over David Archer and Dwayne Crutchfield’s brief dominance of the Sooners in the 80s to not bump them to the

Take Al-Qaeda and give the points
10. Colorado Buffaloes – I just always thought their fans were jerks when I encountered them. I’m sure many a person could come up with an example of the Sooner fans being less than favorable ambassadors, and they would be valid. This is just from my perspective. Also, in the late 80s, I grew sick of the canonization of Sal Aunese. While I was sad for him and his friends and family, the media and football team at the time seemed to make him out to be a great hero. If memory serves me correctly, he got the coach’s daughter pregnant while he was playing at CU. While that does demonstrate an interesting combination of bravado and indiscretion, I’m not sure that makes him a hero.
11. Texas Longhorns – I would’ve had them at 12, but in the Rose Bowl a couple of years ago, I found myself rooting for the Longhorns instead of the USC “we’re about to win three NC’s in a row – oh, just one” Trojans. I found that night that Vince Young was much more fun to watch if you rooted for him. Also, I must admit I’ve got a fair amount of respect for Mack Brown. Nonetheless, most of the time when they play another hated rival, I just root for some sort of stadium implosion.
12. Oklahoma State Cowboys – see me wearing Cowpokes paraphernalia and I’m either drugged or there are icicles in h-e-double toothpicks. Prior to 2001, I would have ranked them middle of the pack…they were that cute instate rival that didn’t really pose a threat to anyone. Probably much like Ohio State views Ohio, Cincinnati, Akron or Toledo. Then, I was a good son-in-law and invited my stepmother-in-law to the OU-OSU game. Little did I know that Nate Hybl would play so horribly (22-48 for 220 yards, three picks and seven sacks), that Roy Williams stop playing defense, and Derrick Strait would mistime a jump. The S-M-I-L made us stay until the Aggie alma mater song – or whatever the !@#* they call it – was sung. I think if the Sooners were playing Al-Qaeda, she’d take Al-Qaeda and give the points.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Cardinals avenge their 1988 NCAA loss (108-98) by thumping the Sooners 78-48. The Landthieves research department just discovered it was the most lopsided #6 vs #3 game since 1981, when Lefty Driesell's Maryland team was annihilated 99-64 by future champion Indiana. It's always good to set records. Or not. I was driving back from Oklahoma during this game, so I didn't block out an afternoon watching that exhibition, thankfully.

'Twas the worst loss for the Sooners ever in the NCAA tournament. The Sooners shot 32% and allowed the Cards to shoot 59%. We sure could've used Damien James, Scottie Reynolds or Drew Lavender on Sunday, who all helped lead their teams to the Sweet 16 this weekend.

The remainder of the tourney remains exciting. You've got 3 double digit seeds in the sweet sixteen.

Breakdown of the Sweet 16 by Conference

Big East - 3
Pac 10 - 3
Big 12 - 2
Big 10 - 2
SEC - 1
Atlantic Coast Conference - 1
Atlantic 10 - 1
Conf USA - 1
Southern - 1
Sun Belt - 1

Friday, March 21, 2008

Today's Musings

In the early games, I expense Tennessee to drum American. Sorry Patriot League fans. Davidson vs Gonzaga should be an entertaining game. I have a Zags T-shirt, but will probably be pulling for the Davidson Wildcats today. St. Mary's CA will go against the Miani Hurricane today. We'll be rooting for the Gaels. I just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out what a Gael is and am still not certain. It has something to do with Irish. I guess Firghting Irish was already taken. Finally, we'll be pulling for the Drake Bulldogs to eviscerate the Hilltoppers.

the afternoon games have the Butler Bulldogs taking on the South Alabama Jaguars. We're taking the favorites in these four games. (Butler, Georgetown, Texas and UConn).

If I weren't a Sooner, the four early evening games would put me to sleep. UNC will trounce Mount St. Mary's; Siena vs Vandy doesn't get my heart beating, and Oregon and Mississippi State should be in the NIT. The 6th seeded Sooners are a 1.5 to 2.5 pt favorite over 11th seeded St. Joe's, so it should be a close one. If the Sooners can make an o/s shot, (or remember to go inside if they can't hit an o/s shot) they should advance.

For the late night games, I'll be pulling for the Hogs to vanguish the fading Hoosiers; Boise State to upset Louisville; Scottie Reynolds (another Sooner for a month) and Villanova to beat Clemson, and Memphis to trounce UT-Arlington. Sing it with me now, "I'm so glad, I went to the U of M...."

If this all works out, the Sooners would play Boise State in the second round, and we could be subjected to highlights from the 2007 Fiesta Bowl again. On the bright side, there'll only be about 40 hours between the games, if it happens.

On the LandThieves Network...

Pistols Firing! chronicles the latest in the Pokes' NIT run, and Reveille weighs in on the Aggies performance last night.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thurs Recap

Overall, a good day for the Big XII today. Kansas looked sharp, K State beat the 6th seeded Men of Troy handily, and Cash Machine U beat the Fighting Mormons. The Baylor Bears couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in the first half, so the 52 points they scored in the second half were not enough to overcome Purdue. The Bears had an historic season, with lots of reasons for hope for 2008-09.

The game of the day (so far, late games just starting) was the Belmont Bruins versus the Duke Blue Devils. Belmont was up 71-70 with with 48 seconds left in the game and 29 seconds left on the shot clock. Belmont did nothing offensively until there were 10 seconds left on the shot clock, then with Duke plaing addressive defense, were only able to throw up a runner that barely hit the rim. Gerald Henderson grabbed the rebound, drove the lenght of the floor and made a finger roll layup to take the lead with around 11 seconds left.

The end of this game embodied one of my pet peeves in basketball. Belmont did not have anything to gain by draining the clock. Duke was going to get the ball back - even if there was a made basket - with 10+ seconds left. As G Henderson demonstrated, it only takes about 3 seconds to get down the court and get a shot off. All that was accomplished by draining down time was Belmont allowed a sixth defender, the shot clock, to come into play. Had Belmont ran their offense and taken a shot in rhythm, sure they would have given the ball up earlier, but there was plenty of time to either way. Belmont had a chance to wreak havoc on brackets everywhere, but was unable to finish the job.

Alright, enough beating up on them. A #15 seed gave a #2 seed all they wanted and then some, and I tip my hat to the Belmont Bruins for giving us an entertaining game.

Thur of March Madness Leanings

Pretty much ignoring my bracket for predictions, here are the teams I'm pulling for today.

Early games - Drew Lavender's (Sooner transferred away from Sampson) Xavier squad over Georgia; Kansas over Portland State; Michigan State over Temple; couldn't care less about this last game.

Afternoon games - Marquette over Kentucky; Baylor over Purdue (skeptical the Gent Bears will pull his off, but here's to hope); Kent State over UNLV; Oral Roberts over Pittsburgh. A victory by the Scott Sutton coached ORU Golden Eagles would further anger Poke fans, so I'm all for it.

Evening games: Stanford vs Cornell; CBS was kind enough to put this on CBSC channel, so we don't have to watch it; Duke over Belmont; K-State over USC; Winthrop over Washington State; Cash Machine U over the Mormons (I know several Baptist's like a holy war for them).

Late games - Arizona over WV; Wisconsin over CSF; George Mason over FishEaters; UCLA over Willie Totten's alma mater.

Best wishes to your team(s) today.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Texas Tech Snubbed by College Basketball Invitattional

Coach Pat Knight expressed dismay yesterday about the team's exclusion from the inaugural College Basketball Invitational. "We beat UTEP, and they got in, and we scored just as many points against Kansas as Brown University, and Brown made it in. C'mon, what can Brown do for you that the Red Raiders can't?"

Mutt or PureBred

The debate rages on with our Aggie faithful. I would like you, my faithful reader(s?) to contribute in a survey to help better define the solution here:

Should the next Reveille be:

a) a mutt

b) a purebred

c) Aggie Lyle Lovett, shaved and walking backwards?

Play ESPN tournament challenge

Time is running out to join the LandThieves group at espn's tournament challenge (password: landthieves). To set you up for success, here are some handy tips to ensure a middle of the pack bracket.

  • Pick your Kevlin Sampson coached alma mater to beat a double digit seed. Guess that won't help you this year.
  • Outsmart yourself. Pick several upsets, and expect one or two of them to get to the Elite Eight. It happened to George Mason two years ago. I had been projecting something like that for YEARS.
  • Go out on a limb. Those people that pick the favorites to win the games, they don't know anything.
  • Pick a 7 seed to make it to the Final 4. When it finally happens, you will look like a genius.
  • Pick Kansas to defy history and make it to the Sweet 16.

Best of luck to all.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

NCAA Selections

#1 Seeds - UNC - East; Memphis in the South; UCLA in the West; Kansas Jayhawks in the Midwest. No shocker here.

Boy, watching the selection show is a beating. They seem to try really hard not to tell you the information you showed up to watch. It's like watching an American Idol episode for an hour to find out the results of a vote that ended 21 hours earlier. Now, the East region...

  • 1UNC plays the winner of Coppin St and Mt. St. Mary's.
  • 8 Indiana plays the Arkansas Razorbacks
  • 5 Notre Dame plays George Mason
  • 4 Washington State plays Winthrop
  • 2 Tennessee plays Patroit Leage champ American University
  • 7 Butler plays South Alabama
  • 3 Louisville plays Boise State
  • 6 Oklahoma plays St. Joseph's - should the Sooners win and Boise State upset Louisville, we could get another round of 2007 Fiesta Bowl highlights.

Now the West...

  • 1 Kansas will play the Portland State Vikings
  • 8 UNLV plays Kent State
  • 5 Clemson will battle Villanova
  • 4 Vanderbilt plays Siena
  • 2 Georgetown plays UMBC
  • 7 Gonzaga plays Davidson - Gonzaga is no longer the Cinderella. Davidson gave UNC quite a battle early in the year.
  • 3 Wisconsin plays Cal State Fullerton
  • 6 Southern Cal plays the Kansas State Wildcats

Now the South Region

  • 1 Memphis will play the UT Arlington Mavericks in Little Rock. That's like a home game for Memphis. The only thing that keeps Memphis from being in Arkansas is the Mississippi River.
  • 8 Mississippi State plays Oregon
  • 5 Michigan State plays Temple
  • 4 Pitt will take on the ORU Golden Eagles
  • 2 Texas will meet Austin Peay Governors.
  • 7 Miami Hurricane will take on St. Mary Gaels, who are thrilled to have squeaked into the tourney
  • 3 Stanford plays Cornell
  • 6 Marquette plays Kentucky

We'll see if Baylor and TAMU make it into the West region...

  • 1 UCLA plays Mississippi Valley State just down the road in Anaheim
  • 8 BYU Cougars play Texas A&M
  • 5 Drake plays Western Kentucky
  • 4 Connecticutt plays San Diego
  • 2 Duke plays Belmont
  • 7 West Virginia plays Arizona
  • 3 Xavier plays Georgia. Georgia squeaked into the tourney by winning the SEC tourney.
  • 6 Purdue will play the Baylor Freaking Bears! Congrats to the Bears.

If you go by RPI, I believe Dayton and Illinois State were the highest ranking teams not to receive an atlarge bid. Georgia's improbably run finished off Dayton and/or Illinois State's hopes. The RedBirds and Flyers were higher ranked than Kentucky, Arizona, South Alabama, Villanova, and Oregon.

ESPN is talking about how several bubble teams deserve to be in, but no one's mentioning who they would omit.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Join the LandThieves NCAA Tourney Pool

Sign up at

I look forward to defending my third place status.

Group: LandThieves

Best of Luck!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Random thoughts on the way out...

Several web sites reported earlier this week that Chicago Cubs OF Felix Pie is suffereing from a twisted testicle. Or as Al Michaels would say, "He's out with a nut."

Found this site the other day. We get to vote for Name of the Year. There are some very strong contestants this year. Be sure and check it out.

Finally, here is my selection for a motivational poster to leave you with.

Thurs update

Likely the past post for til Sunday...leaving one of the better weekends in sports to hang with my younger daughter in Central Texas this weekend. In a few years, when she decides I'm stupid, I'll have plenty of time to watch basketball.

Today, we've had Villanova get drilled by Georgetown...Boone State beat TT in the NIT Elimination game...the Tulsa Golden Hurricane upset the UAB Blazers in the CUSA tourney, and UTEP pulled one over one the Houston Cougars, which didn't help either's NCAA hopes. UAB's RPI was 49 heading into the loss, and UH was 67. Welcome to the NIT.

West Virginia and Pitt solidified their claim to an at large bid by upsetting UConn and Louisville, respectively. Baylor lost to Colorado. However, I believe their 33 RPI rating should carry them into the tourney. Alabama put a stake in the heart of the two-time defending champion Gators in the first round of SEC action. Talk of Florida being a bubble team while sporting a 65 RPI is optimistic, particularly with many of the automatic qualifiers sporting significantly lower numbers. Putting in the Gators and shunning Illinois State, or St. Mary's would be a travesty.

Charlotte won again today, they may make it to the A-10 finals to get crushed by Xavier. Xavier is led a the guard position by former Sooner transfer Drew Lavender. Just to connect the dots for you...Scottie Reynolds signed with OU, stars at Villanova; Damion James starts for the Longhorns; 6-10 Jeremy Mayfield grabs four boards per game for UAB. If they would have all stayed, we coulda been a contender...

Predictions for what happens while I'm away...
Colorado - Oklahoma has an interesting story line after Capel mentioned how disgusted he was with his team's play after their loss in Boulder. CU coach Bidzik seemed to take exception with that. Now they can settle it on the court. I expect the Sooners to win the game, then get drilled by the Longhorns. We haven't beaten Rick Barnes' Longhorns in several tries. A real journalist would look it up. I don't see it happening (victory or research at this point). Though it pains me to say it, I think the Longhorns win Big 12 championship. As for the other conferences, for the single bid conferences, I don't know enough about them to offer up analysis. For the larger conferences, the tourney's first couple of days can be more important than the finals; it's a chance for a team with little hope of winning their conference to make statement for their position in the NCAA as one of the dreaded 'bubble' teams.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wed Update

  • Villanova, led by Sooner-for-a-Month Scottie Reynolds, beat the Syracuse Orange. That pretty much destroys any hope of Jim Boeheim's squad making the tourney. there's always the NIT, which will bend every which way to get the Orange into the MSG for the finals.
  • Mt. St. Mary's (sounds like an adult movie title, not a school) beat Sacred Heart to earn a berth into the tourney.
  • Hampton, the second place team in the MEAC, lost to Coppin State today, clearing out one of the tougher teams in the path of the Morgan State Golden Bears. My daughter's been doing US geography this year - after getting the basics of Africa and Asia down over the past couple of years. Still don't know that we have a Morgan State in the 50. Morgan Rum I'm aware of. Don't know if their related. Morgan State is the alma mater of Dallas Cowboy Mark Washington, most noted for being the DB that watched Lynn Swann make several amazing catches in the Super Bowl.
  • In the Atlantic-10, Rhode Island secured their spot in the NIT with a loss to UNC Charlotte. They appear to be calling themselve Charlotte this year and dropping the UNC piece. I think this is an attempt at a fresh start now that the D'Angelo Alexander era is over.
  • Portland State - another geography head scratcher - is alma mater of noted Pac-10 referee Gordon Riese, defeated Northern Arizona to win the Big Sky Conference's bid in the tourney. For those of you who are believers in Karma, you can attribute Portland State's efforts in becoming Salmon Safe as overcoming any technology gaffes that cost the Sooners a 9-3 record in 2005.

Tomorrow the major conference tourneys start in earnest - and boy is Ernie uncomfortable - and we'll see how things shake out in for some of the major conference bubbles.

If you're interested in tracking the RPI, it's here.

Pro Day

Note here where former Sooner and Ute backup Tommy Grady came back for pro day. Seems to have some regrets about leaving, in hindsight. Seems like he made it for one pro day, and Bomar's problem was every day was a pro day.

Looking Back

Taking a break from obsessing about college basketball to one the first time I saw something on, it was this post. It's led me to countless hours of reading and writing sports blogs. Note, this is not family friendly. For those of you that choose to do so, enjoy.

Reveille's NCAA Tourney Record

Reveille is still bitter. Check out her NCAA Tourney lookback for the Aggie Dog.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Some Layout Changes

I spent some time the other day organizing some new things on the blog. Check out for the other sites I check out on occasion. It also includes links to the sports pages of the papers in the Big 12 cities. It allows me to link to more sites and give the landthieves site a little bit cleaner look.

Tues Evening Update

No big surprises in Tuesday's developments. Butler won the Horizon League, and Oral Roberts won the Summit League. Western Kentucky beat the MTSU Blue Raiders to hold serve in the Sun Belt Conference. The big upsets didn't happen, so the teams sitting ever so gently on the bubble are still there.

Player of the Year

Today I got my SI for the week. A special shout out to the USPS for deliverying it four days late. Anywho, the cover proclaims Tyler Hansbrough as the POY this year. What a crock. No disrespect to Mr. Hansbrough, who is a great player, but let's compare him to Kansas State's Michael Beasley:

PPG: Beasley 26.5 v 23.1
REB: Beasley 12.5 v 10.5
AST: Beasley 1.2 v 0.9
STL: Hansbrough 1.5 v 1.3
BLK: Beasley 1.7 to 0.3
FG%: Hansbrough .543 v .539
FT%: Hansbrough .813 v .770
3P%: Beasley .395 to .000

In the categories that Beasley wins, he dominates. When Hansbrough wins the comparison, it's by a whisker, with the exception of FT%. When you look at other aspects, North Carolina scores more per game, but Tyler scores less. North Carolina rebounds better, but Tyler rebounds less. Beasley, at 6-10, accounts for almost 1/2 his team's blocked shots. Hansbrough, at 6-9, accounts for less than 10%.

Another component to consider is the team around him. Beasley has Bill Walker as a fellow Rivals 150 top recruit on the Wildcat roster. Hansbrough has 9 other top 150 recruits alongside him. Aside from Beasley, two other Wildcats average double digits. The Tarheels have 3 others averaging 12 points or more.

People mention the intangibles that Hansbrough brings to the team. I don't doubt his attitude, his grit, his effort. Conversely, it's not like Beasley is Stephon Marbury. I've watched a few games and he's a terrific competitor and you don't see him showing up his teammates or anything.

When playing Kansas State plays, you know you have to stop Beasley, and probably Walker. When playing UNC, you have to stop Hansbrough, Ellington, Lawson and Green.

I could probably go on, but I'd be spending more time on a foe's player. I've just been really impressed by Beasley. If we spend too much time praising opponents instead of making fun of them, it just not riiiight.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tourney Preview Update, Monday evening

  • In the WCC, San Diego upset Gonzaga for the automatic bid there. San Diego just knocked someone off the bubble. It could have been fellow WCC team St. Mary's
  • Davidson held serve, winning the Southern Conference final.
  • In the Summit, Oral Roberts and IUPUI advanced to the final, where they'll play for the lone bid in the conference.
  • In spite of being outnumbered 2-1, George Mason defeated William and Mary to advance to the NCAA.
  • Siena defeated Rider to win the MAAC.
  • Middle Tennessee State upset South Alabama to advance to the Sun Belt Championship against Western Kentucky. The South Alabama Jaguars have never recovered from Terry Catledge's departure in 1985. South Alabama is 26-6 and may have just burst someone else's bubble.

IMO, South Alabama's loss and San Diego's upset W over Gonzaga burst the bubbles of two of the three: Arizona State; Illinois State and St. Mary's.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

LandThieves NCAA Tourney Preview

My favorite time of the year is here. Here is my analysis of the Championship Week and likely entrants into the NCAA tourney. Number of teams making it in is in parenthesis.

  • America East (1) - the winner of the UMBC - Hartford game next Saturday will be the lone entrant from this league. The two teams have split their games this year, with each home team winning by a point.
  • Atlantic 10 - (2) Joe Lunardi, ESPN's Bracketologist, has two teams from the A-10. Xavier at 26-5 seems to be a lock whether they win the tourney or not, and Temple or Mass will be the other one in from this conference.
  • ACC - (5) I think 5 teams from the ACC make it in. North Carolina, Duke, Clemson and Virginia Tech all have over 500 records in conference. Miami FL has a 21-9 record and 8-8 in conference, and is also in.
  • Atlantic Sun (1) - Belmont is in as conference champ. The next best team is 18-13 Jacksonville, which has never recovered from Artis Gilmore's departure, and won't be returning to the big dance this year.
  • Big 12 (6) - Texas, Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma are safely in, as are Baylor and Texas A&M.
  • Big East (8) - the Big East is likely to get 8 teams in; Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, UConn, Marquette, West Virginia and Pitt. Villanova and Syracuse, 19 win teams with a 9-9 conference record, may work their way in this week with a solid showing in the Big East tourney.
  • Big Sky (1) - Portland State is the #1 seed in the Big Sky tourney, which concludes Wednesday. They will not have two teams in the tourney.
  • Big South (1) - Winthrop is the conference champ. Winthrop may cause some folks some trouble in the tourney, as they play competitive games against several large teams this year, including West Virginia, Baylor and Ole Miss. They tied for first in the regular season with UNC Asheville. UNCA is 23-9, but unlikely to sneak in for one of the at large bids.
  • Big Ten (4) - Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue are in. A recent 4 game losing streak by Ohio State likely keeps them out. No to mention the exhibition lost to Findlay.
  • Big West (1) - the Big West has an interesting tourney setup. The 3 and 4 teams get a bye, but the 1 and 2 teams get another bye into the semifinals. UC Santa Barbara is the #1 seed, and 4 teams have single digit losses headed into the tourney. It's still unlikely that more than 1 team makes it from this league.
  • Colonial (1) - William & Mary takes on George Mason Monday night to determine the champ from this league. Regular season champ Virginia Commonwealth has an outside chance at an at large bid.
  • Conf USA (1) - Memphis is a lock. Joe Lunardi is projecting one other from this conference, but I don't think that will happen, unless UAB or Houston wins the conf tourney.
  • Horizon (1) - Number 1 seed Butler, 28-3 on the year, takes on Cleveland State Tuesday night for the championship. Cleveland State needs to win to be in. Butler will make it in either way.
  • Ivy (1) - Cornell went undefeated in Ivy League play this year, and their five losses were to Duke, Syracuse, Ohio, Bucknell and Colgate. Perennial Ivy League power Penn was down this year, and noone else will make the big dance.
  • MAAC (1) - 22-9 Rider plays 21-10 Siena Monday night for a ticket to the dance. Only one will make it in.
  • MAC (1) - Kent State is your #1 seed headed into the MAC tourney. The champ will make it, but it's tough to see other teams making it from this conference this year.
  • MEAC (1) - Morgan State heads into the MEAC tourney as the #1 seed. This is another single bid league, and Hampton is your next best team in the conference.
  • Missouri Valley (2) - Drake - Drake had three losses in conference by a total of seven points, and a non conference loss on the road at St Mary's. I think they will make some noise in the tourney; Illinois State - fear the Redbirds. ISU's nine losses are to Drake (3x), Indiana, Kansas State, Bradley, Northern Iowa, Indiana State, and Eastern Maryland. The only home loss was to Drake.
  • Mountain West (3) - BYU, UNLV and New Mexico are all likely to make it in, barring a collapse in the MWC tourney.
  • Northeast (1) - Mount St. Mary's plays Sacred Heart on Wednesday for this league's championship and the right to be a 16 seed in the big dance.
  • Ohio Valley (1) - Austin Peay is in. I see the Governors as being one and done. They lost to juggernauts Tennesee Tech and Samford during the year. The next best team in the OVC is Murray State Racers, who have recovered somewhat from Popeye Jones departure, but they aren't making it to the dance this year.
  • Pac 10 (7) - this is the best conference in the country this year. Stanford, UCLA, Washington State and USC should all be in. Arizona is 17-13, but has played the nation's toughest schedule, but has a below 500 conference record and may make it in anyway. Oregon has also played a top 5 slate this year and will make it in as a double digit loss at large bid. Arizona State finished 500 in the league, but had a much easier non conference schedule.
  • Patriot League (1) - Bucknell or Holy Cross usually represent the league and make some noise in mid-March, but not this year. #1 seed American plays #3 seed Colgate on Friday for this league's bid.
  • SEC (4-5) - Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are in. Kentucky has won 12 of 13 and also will be in. Arkansas is on the proverbial bubble.
  • Southern (1) - Davidson went 20-0 in conference and should be in regardless. The final on Monday night pits Davidson against Elon, who went 9-11 in conference play.
  • Southland (1) - Stephen F Austin is the top team in the leauge. Lamar - previous coaching stop of Billy Tubbs - is the other top team in the league, but only the postseason champ will make it.
  • Summit (1) - IUPUI and Oral Roberts are the cream of the crop here, but only one is going to make it through.
  • SunBelt (1) - South Alabama and Western Kentucky finished the season 16-2 in league play. Those teams have made the semifinals. Only one team makes it in this league.
  • SWAC (1) - The Alabama State Hornets are the #1 team headed into the conference tourney.
  • WAC (1) - the WAC is down this year and is a single bid league. Boise State, Nevada, Utah State and New Mexico State tied for first in the regular season, but only one will make it.
  • West Coast (2-3) - Gonzaga and St. Mary's are locks from this league. Barring a run by tourney host San Diego which just made it to the WCC finals, they will be the only two from the WCC.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I was looking for an image of a broom and came across this image. I decided I liked it better.

The Sooners went north sans Blake
A road win they hoped to make
The game was a breeze
T-Boone may give Sean a long break.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Worst 10 NCAA Sooner Losses

LTP is not feeling very confident about the game against St. Joe's later this week. I decided I would break down the worst 10 lNCAA tourney losses in Sooner history. We don't go past 1984 for these losses, primarily because if the Sooners made it into the tourney pre-1984, it was a bonus.
  1. 1995 - the 4th seeded Sooners lose 77-67 in the first round to the Manhattan Jaspars, coached by Fran Fraschilla. Fran parlays the victory into a payday at St. John's University, a little probation, and a job at ESPN.
  2. 2001 - the 4th seeded Sooners lose in OT, 70-68, to the 13th seeded Indiana State Sycamores.
  3. 2006 - the 6th seeded Sooners lose to the 11th seeded University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers 82-74. The Sooners never led.
  4. 1984 - the 2nd seeded Sooners lost to the Roosevelt Chapman led Dayton Flyers, a 10 seed, 89-85. This one hurt at the time, but was masked somewhat by two things: a) Dayton continuing on to the Elite 8 before losing to eventual champion Georgetown; b) the Sooners were still new to the tourney play, as it was their fourth appearance in forty years.
  5. 1986 - the 4th seeded Sooners lose to the 12th seeded Depaul Blue Demons. Depaul was led that year by Tyrone Corbin and Dallas Comegys.
  6. 1992 - the 4th seeded Sooners lose to 13th seeded Louisiana-Lafayette. I have no recollection of this game to provide insight on.
  7. 2005 - the 3rd seeded Sooners lose to the 6th seeded Utah Utes, led by Andrew Bogut.
  8. 1996 - the Sooners, as a 10 seed, lay a complete egg against 7th seeded Temple, losing 43-61.
  9. 1990 - As a #1 seed, the Sooners fall to 8th seeded North Carolina, giving up a huge baseline basket to Rick Fox at the end of the game to lose.
  10. 1999 - 13th seeded Sooners lose to top seed Michigan State, 54-46. This was the big ugly game when Izzo's Spartans and Sampson's Sooners wrestled to 54-46 decision.

My criteria for this evaluation were two factors: 1) losing to a much lower seed; 2) scoring an unusually low number of points. For example, the loss to Kansas in 1988 hurt as we were favored, but it was a loss to a national champion, it's nothing like being embarrassed by Louisiana-Lafayette or Manhattan.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lift Yourself Up by Tearing Others Down

Staggering from the news of Blake Griffin's knee surgery, and with spring footbal practice starting this week, I needed something to pick me up today.

Tubbs Loses Consciousness during Game

Former Sooner Coach Billy Tubbs drfited in and out of sleep today during the OU-TAMU basketball game, in which the 1988 Sooners were saluted for their success and lofty place in Sooner basketball history.

Asked later about the catnaps, Coach Tubbs said, "look, those teams were awful today. At one point NEITHER TEAM SCORED FOR FIVE MINUTES. Do you know how many times my teams played in Norman in games that had fewer points than the 101 scored today. Once! One !#$! time in 14 fourteen years. And they have to roll this piece of crap game out for me to watch.

"I give Coach Capel some slack, the cupboard's not exactly stocked right now, and they've been hampered by injuries and academics, but that's just ugly basketball. I don't know why they can't just pick up the pace. You can shoot an off-balance three with thirty seconds left on the clock with the same degree of success as with three seconds n the clock."

For more coverage of the game from the Aggie side of the locker room, check out Reveille's analysis at