Sunday, March 27, 2011

UConn does not validate the Big East

Dickie V told us this morning that UConn's trip to the Final Four validated the Big East about how tough it was, since they were 9-9 in the Big East.

On that same logic, how tough must the Colonial Athletic Association be, as VCU was 12-6 in league play (4th in the league) with losses to Northeastern, Old Dominion, George Mason, Drexel and Georgia State? The Hofstra Pride finished ahead of VCU in conference play, and were rewarded with an invitation to play at Evansville in the first round of the College Basketball Insider tournament. While Hofstra lost that game, ODU and GMU represented the CAA well in the NCAA tourney.

Or the Horizon League, where Butler was in a three way tie for the regular season title with Cleveland State and Milwaukee. The Bulldogs went 13-5 with losses to Milwaukee (twice), Valpo, Yougstown State and Wright State.

Of course, Cleveland State's 26-8 regular season record and Horizon League shared title, with a record of 1-1 against the vaunted Big East teams, got them a bid to the NIT. They would have helped my argument further had they not lost to the College of Charleston in the 2nd round of the NIT.

Milwaukee was hampered by a 6-9 non-conference record and lost in the first round of the NIT at Northwestern.

I guess it would have helped them if they had a) more Italian coaches in their leagues, or b) had ESPN based closer to their leagues.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Conference Performance

Just how bad did the mightly Big East do this weekend?

Well...if you go by the NCAA seedings, they should have won 14 games this last weekend. This math assumes a team seeded 5-8 would win one game, and a team seeded 1-4 would win two games. The 11 Big East teams should have won 14 games. Instead, they won 8.

A breakdown by conference of those expected to win or wining a game (I've ignored the first four games, it's difficult to apply this math to those games):

Conf / Exp Wins / Act Wins / Diff
ACC / 4 / 6 / 2
A-10 / 2 / 3/ 1
B12 / 6 / 4 / -2
BigEast / 14 / 8 / -6
Colonial / 1 / 4 / 3
Horizon / 1 / 2 / 1
MtW / 5 / 4 / 1
Ohio / 0 / 1 /  1
Pac10 / 3 / 4 / 1
SEC / 5 / 4 / -1
WCC / 0 / 1 / 1

There are three conferences that under-performed: SEC, Big 12 and Big East. Everyone else met or exceeded expectations.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Teams that made the posteason last two years

While watching some exciting NCAA action this weekend, and watching teams like VCU and Richmond make the sweet 16, it made me wonder, how many teams have made the NCAA tourney at least one of the past two years (a period which the Sooners have watched on TV). The answer? 95 different teams have made the NCAA tourney. Now some of those are conference champions that would never make it, like the SWAC champion.

So, let's take a look at the teams that were invited to the NIT or the CIT (College Insider Tourney). These teams generally don't earn their way, they're invited in. Here's the list of teams:

Air Force
Appalachain State
Arizona State
Bostone College
Cleveland State
Coastal Carolina
College of Charleston
Colorado State
East Carolina
East Tennessee State
Florida Atlantic
George Mason
Illinois State
Jackson State
Kent State
Long Beach State
Louisiana Tech
Loyola Marymount
McNeese State
Miami Florida
Middle Tennessee
Mississippi State
Missouri State
Murray State
NC State
New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
Northern Arizona
Northern Colorado
Northern Iowa
Oklahoma State
Ole Miss
Oral Roberts
Rhode Island
San Francisco
Santa Clara
Seton Hall
South Dakota
South Florida
Southern Miss
St. Mary's
Stony Brook
Tennessee Tech
Texas Southern
Texas Tech
Virginia Tech
Washington State
Weber State
Western Carolina
Western Michigan
Wichita State
William and Mary
St. John's

When it's all said and done, there are 166 teams that have managed to get a post-season invite to something in the last two years. OU is not one of them. That probably has more to do with Capel being fired than anything else.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ESPN Challenge Game

Group is Friends of LandThieves.
No password to join.
You can't win if you don't enter.*
Link is here.
* you can't win anything anyway.

Capel Fired

Well, Jefff Capel's firing has actually inspired me to hit the blog again. Here are ten things I think you think I think:
  1. First, let me say that I liked the Jeff Capel hire after Kelvin Sampson's flight to Indiana.
  2. Second, it didn't look like it was working out.
  3. Do you know when the last time was that OU had two losing seasons in a row? It was 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons when Coach Bob Stevens led them to 11-14 and 8-17 seasons. They lost to Hardin-Simmons by 11. At home.
  4. The last time OU went two years in a row without winning 20 games? 1996-97 and 1997-98 when the program was transitioning from the run and gun style of Billy Tubbs to the rebound and foul style of Kelvin Sampson.
  5. I read yesterday where Blake Griffin is upset OU fired Capel. I don't blame him. Capel is not stupid. He had a once in a generation player in state, and successfully recruited him to Norman. He then managed to keep him there for two years, which parlayed Capel into an extension after the 2008-09 season, where they went 30-6. The only problem is, the boosters failed to extend Griffin's contract.
  6. Seriously, Capel's biggest mistake wasn't not paying Griffin under the table, it was failing to build on Griffin as a cornerstone for a program for years to come.
  7. For example, Billy Tubbs came to OU in 1980. Dave Bliss had ridden the backs of Terry Stotts and Al Beal to a deal at SMU. Tubbs redshirted a couple of players (Charles "Big Time" Jones and Raymond Whitley has a medical year) and suffered through a 9-18 season (they lost to Ohio Northern in Norman), and recruited some Juco help in the form of David Little and Jan Pannell for the 1982 season. He recruited and redshirted a kid named William Tisdale, older brother to Wayman Tisdale. The 82 team went 19-10 through the regular season and conference tourney, then went 3-1 in the NIT. They had regular season losses to Oklahoma City, Western Illinois and Tulsa.
  8. Wayman came in 1982. The Sooners went 24-9, 29-5 and 31-6 in the three years Wayman was at OU. However, in those three years, Billy built a program. The roster was left with Tim McAlister, SJC Trojan great Anthony Bowie, David Johnson and Dave Sieger. In the offseason he added Stacey King, Ron Roberts and Tony Martin. The next year he added Mookie Blaylock and Harvey Grant. The three years after Tisdale left, Tubbs Sooner squads went 26-9, 24-10 and 35-4. That 35-4 team was agruably one of the better teams of the 1980s, it had lottery picks Harvey Grant, Mookie Blaylock and Stacey King on it. Tubbs only had one non-20 win season after Tisdale left, the 15-13 season before he and the administration tired of one another and he bolted to TCU.
  9. The Sooner basketball program of today has serious issues...a) it now must compete with the Thunder for basketball dollars (and the Thunder is winning this competition handily); b) the school has never really gotten basketball fever - that awesome team of 1987-88 only averaged 9,521 home attendance; c) the arena is old and has no atmosphere whatsoever; d) many people just buy the Sooner hoop tickets for the Sooner Priority points for football games and give the tickets away; e) there's no remotely marquee player to build on for next year.
  10. From 1909-1921, Bennie Owen coached both football and basketball for the Sooners. The team won 69.8% of its games in that period. The school named the football field after him. Let's go back to those days. Let's hire the Head Visor to coach some hoops, raze the Lloyd Noble, build Stoops Stadium and a basketball dynasty.