Past Their Prime – Episode 10

Sorry – it’s been a while since I’ve updated everyone on the podcast. We’re still going strong and are 10 episodes in. From Wednesday:

We’re back and true to our Northeast roots, we spend 15 minutes dissecting the collapse of the Lakers (and taking some glee in it). We also try not to get too distracted by the collapse of the Celtics occuring in real time. SPOILER ALERT: They lose in overtime.

Sticking with our NBA theme, Phil from Los Angeles emails us and asks about the future of the NBA playoffs.

Also, Jesse goes all 1930’s on us with his analysis of the Kentucky Derby, boxing, and Constitutional law as it applies to Twitter and Rashard Mendenhall. Welcome to the Atlantic 10, new GW head coach Mark Lonergan. You have your work cut out for you.

Be a part of the show – please. Email your question to PastTheirPrime@gmail.com and have it read on the air.

You can follow us on Twitter at @_PastTheirPrime. We promise, we won’t go all political on you.

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Past Their Prime – Episode 5

We managed to make it through five episodes. Cause for celebration.

This week, Lee and Jesse talk about the most unrealistic finish to a Butler season since Benson became governor. Look it up.

Also, we give our MLB predictions, try to talk Red Sox fans off the ledge and debate which is easier – getting 76ers playoff tickets or hating Spike Lee.

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Want to win a $25 gift certificate? Send your sports-related question to us at PastTheirPrime@gmail.com and following us on Twitter @_PastTheirPrime.The prizes are in the mail – we promise.

Time Zone Sports Wars: 75% of America Gets The Shaft

Sorry West Coast but I’m about to launch into an arrogant East Coast tirade.  Monday night, college basketball’s National Championship game tipped off at 8:23pm local time in Houston.  That’s 9:23pm ET and 6:23pm PT.  Naturally, everyone living in Eastern Daylight Time was generally annoyed by this.  The game ended about 10 minutes before midnight Eastern time while those along the Pacific had a few hours before bed.  Forget the partying students of Storrs, Connecticut, where no one slept.  It was the millions of college basketball fans, and sports fans in general, on the east side of the United States for whom I’m concerned.

Yesterday I tweeted that it was completely unacceptable for anyone watching this Tournament’s penultimate game to be tortured with crappy basketball, especially after 11:30pm.  It is an utter travesty that certain sporting events begin after certain times on the East Coast.  And not to pile on those in the Rockies and west but that half of America isn’t exactly a college basketball mecca.  It most certainly doesn’t have a significant fan base compared to those of us nearer the Atlantic.  I know for sure what the west side doesn’t have and that’s a population that warrants such a favorable start time.  Mix that all together, sports leagues and media outlets are pandering to the West.  Why?  California?

According to the 2010 Census (as of April 1, 2010), the U.S. population (50 states + DC) was 308,748,481.  How many of us live in the Eastern Time Zone?  Over 147 million!  That’s 47.7% of the entire population.  And if you include the Central Time Zone, the eastern half of the U.S. accounts for 76.7% of all Americans.  So someone will have to explain to me why we here on the eastern side have to stay up ridiculous hours for championship events on a weekday while the west side, which has less than three times the population, gets to watch it well before bed?  This is a grave injustice.

For starters, where is the hotbed of college basketball activity?  Perennially, it’s along the East Coast.  Where do your national champions come from?  Since the Tournament expanded to 64 in 1985, 21 of the 27 champions were from the Eastern Time Zone.  Another three came from the Central.  Sarcastically, the powerful Pacific Time Zone gave us two, UNLV in 1990 and UCLA in 1995 (it’s three if you count Arizona in ’97 because they are essentially in PDT during the summer).

OK, West Coast, have at it.  ‘What about John Wooden’s ten titles?  We love college basketball too.’  Sure you do?  As much as the Big East has good football teams.  This is mostly a media argument.  Where are the most eyeballs?  College basketball still has clout, in large part because of and thanks to, people in the East.  Also, it’s largely where, if the NBA institutes a two or three-year eligibility rule, the best NCAA talent will be drawn from.  The Wooden argument, stemming from titles won over 40 years ago, doesn’t make a compelling case.

Millions of us on the East Coast would love football to begin at 10am like in California.  I’d like the NFL to move early games to noon from 1pm, giving us just one extra hour for dinner before the night game.  You have the advantage there.  But then there’s the Super Bowl, where it’s the only thing happening that Sunday.  For you, a nice 3:30pm start.  For us, 6:30pm and the game ends about 10pm.  Totally unjustified, using the same argument as I did with college basketball.  The World Series, it’s the same thing.  I understand if the game is out on the West Coast.  But often times, when not one but two East Coast clubs are playing in the Fall Classic, we must suffer with an 8:30pm first pitch.  The game, especially if it’s the Yankees or Red Sox, drags into the next day.

It’s time the media and our beloved leagues find common ground between the east and west.  These events are starting way too late, especially for kids in the eastern part of the U.S.  In a country where chronic sleeplessness is pervasive, these late starts are indicative of a larger problem.  Midnight finishes are complete lunacy in this age.  Most advertisers aren’t even getting the bang for their buck because millions switch off, optioning to find the end-of-game highlights on SportsCenter.  It’s a lose-lose for all, except the lesser-populated West Coast.  The most populated area in the country, the I-95 corridor, has spoken.  We want our sports earlier.

Lastly, in the meantime, it’s the job of two college teams not to torture us with horrible basketball while we’re staying up.

Past Their Prime – Episode 4

This week Jesse and Lee discuss the Final Four that only an Uncool Dad from New Jersey saw coming and college basketball coaching jobs for those of us under 35.

We also get an East Coast baseball preview, Lee tips his hand about parenting and Jesse comes clean about his addiction to the Grandaddy of Them All – Wrestlemania!

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Brackets! – Success and then Dread

Day 9: Butler returns to the Final Two.  UConn comes into the last game as the favorite.

Day 8: Kansas, seriously?! Kentucky wins, becoming my only Final Four team.

Day 7: The Sweet 16 turned the Bracket from stellar into mush.  I still have the champion playing and Kentucky upset OSU as planned.  Other than that, the lower half of my Dance is a sea of red.

Day 6: Kansas and Kentucky save the day!  My other two Final Four teams are still alive.  More importantly, Wifey goes down in a blaze of fire with Ohio State losing.

Day 5: The Bracket took two major hits today.  Duke and BYU, two of my Final Four participants, went down.  Duke’s destruction was a huge shock.  BYU losing to Florida wasn’t a gigantic surprise.  When Florida funneled through to the Sweet 16, I became very nervous that Brigham Young would lose.

Day 4: Lazy Sunday afforded me the ability to see all the great finishes.  This Tournament has shown that the Field is indeed even.  Weakness overall certainly doesn;t make the games any less compelling.  In fact, this Tournament is more interesting.  Well, let’s face it.  If you live and die by your brackets, especially if you have all your Final Four teams still playing, it’s compelling as all h***.

Day 3: More great basketball that I fell a little behind in.  It was a busy day away from the TV but I caught the important stuff.

Day 2: Updated until the Arizona-Memphis game in order to transition to an Irish bar.  There may or may not be updates.  Depends on the number of Guinness I consume.

Day 1: Awesome start to the Tournament.  THE Bracket: 12-4 so far – Not completely awful.  Wifey is 15-1 with Louisville being her lone blemish.  Perhaps she can make the picks from now on.

Breakdown of the games in order in which they were played:

ROUND OF 64 (March 17-18): 23-9 with only two Sweet 16 teams swept off the Bracket.

  1. ODU couldn’t get me that first win against Butler.  What a great finish as they sneak in the lay-up on the weak side.
  2. West Virginia had a mini-scare versus Clemson that played in their second game.  Nice try Tigers.
  3. Morehead State knocks off Louisville with a three from the top of the key.  Amazing finish.  Evil Twin Bracket is finished swiftly.
  4. Temple wins on a last second shot that, to everyone’s amazement, actually went in at a ridiculous angle.  Valiant effort by Penn State.
  5. Kentucky survives against the Ivy Leaguers.  Princeton gave it their best.
  6. Pittsburgh extends #1 winning streak in Round of 64.  Streak is now 105.  UNC-Asheville didn’t have a chance.
  7. Richmond takes out #5 Vandy.  The 12/5 upset continues.  A10 now 2-0.
  8. San Diego State, the road warriors, win against No. Colorado.
  9. Florida easily dispatches the UCSB Gauchos.
  10. BYU survives Wofford.
  11. Wisconsin takes out Belmont.
  12. UConn has no Big East hangover, destroying Bucknell.
  13. UCLA avoids the mini-upset against Michigan State.  Looks like Izzo’s guys have had it.
  14. St. John’s season ends early with a loss to the perennial mid-major Tourney participant Gonzaga.  Another Evil Twin bracket Final Four team bites the dust.  Good.
  15. Cincinnati beats Missouri by 15, adding another Big East win (4-2 on the day).
  16. Kansas State survives a Utah State scare.
  17. Texas lets Oakland hang around but they ultimately defeat them.
  18. Michigan kills Tennessee by 30.
  19. Notre Dame beats Akron.  Go Irish.
  20. George Mason slams home a last-minute win against Villanova.
  21. Arizona narrowly escapes Memphis by hitting free throw after free throw.
  22. Duke annihilates Hampton by 40.  Sometimes I wonder why they just don’t give the #1’s a bye.
  23. Florida State out-does Texas A&M
  24. Ohio State charbroils UTSA.
  25. Kansas beat Boston U handily.
  26. North Carolina sinks Long Island.
  27. Marquette knocks off Xavier.  Damn, not an undefeated A10.  Thanks X.
  28. Purdue takes care of St. Peter’s of NJ.
  29. Illinois defeats one of my favorite teams of yesteryear, UNLV.
  30. Washington takes out bubble team Georgia.
  31. Virginia Commonwealth beats Georgetown.  Very unimpressive Hoyas.
  32. Syracuse beats Larry Bird’s Indiana State

ROUND OF 32 (March 19-20): 9-7 but with six Elite Eight teams and all Final Four teams remaining.

  1. Kentucky survives West Virginia.  Elite 8 teams start off 1-0.
  2. Florida wins against UCLA, thwarting me two rounds in a row.
  3. Richmond keeps my A10 hopes alive by beating Morehead State.
  4. San Diego State then defeats A10 Temple.  Only one left.
  5. Butler wins in a bizarre ending against Pitt.  Perennially Indicative of Tournament Trouble!  I WAS RIGHT but not when they would get bounced.
  6. BYU, Jimmer’s team, marches on, beating Gonzaga.  Elite 8 still intact early.
  7. Wisconsin almost falls to Kansas St. but Bo gets them through.  Elite 8, 3-0.
  8. UConn defeats Big East compatriot Cincy by 11.  Elite 8, 4-0 so far.  Final Four also intact.
  9. North Carolina survives a scare against Washington.  Huskies were so close.
  10. Duke, like ACC archrival UNC, almost goes down to Michigan.  Elite 8, 5-0.
  11. Ohio State slaughter George Mason.  Virginia!
  12. Arizona has a miraculous win against the Longhorns of Texas.  Six game bracket win streak snapped.
  13. Virginia Commonwealth defies the odds again, beating Purdue and finally screwing up by Elite 8.  Appreciate that, the ultimate Cinderella bubble team.
  14. Marquette follows suit, dealing a second blow to my Elite 8, winning against Big East rival Syracuse.
  15. Kansas upends Illinois, putting me back on track with my Elite 8.  6 left for Elite 8 and all Final Four still in the Tourney.
  16. Florida State does what I thought it would do to the Irish.  Notre Dame was suppose to lose but now the Seminoles could beat VCU, who should’ve been Purdue.  Damn.  I got it right.  Sort of.  Everyone got VCU wrong.  Sweet 16: 9 right, 7 wrong.  The important thing is that most of the wrongs don’t hurt going into the final rounds… Yet.

Sweet 16 (March 24-25): 3-5, two Final Four teams remain including my championship choice, Kansas.

  1. UConn went to SoCal, San Diego State’s backyard, and won.  SDSU put up a good fight.  Elite 8 still with 6 left.
  2. Florida and BYU went to OT and BYU fell apart.  Jimmer, thanks for taking all those terrible shots (save one).  My first Final Four squad eliminated.  I thought Jimmer and Co. had a perfect route as I thought both #1 Pitt and #2 Florida would be out beforehand.
  3. Arizona shocks Duke, winning by 16!  Duke’s exit shrinks my Final Four teams to two.  Coach K asked about Kyrie Irving leaving for the NBA during presser and does a Frank Martin-esque snap back.  The reporter asked, “I’m sure you haven’t given this any thought because you just played, but Kyrie has a decision to make after…”.  What lunacy.  So if you think he hadn’t thought about it, why did you ask?
  4. Butler marches on past Wisconsin.  I think Butler will stop at nothing to win the whole thing.
  5. UNC utterly humiliates Marquette.  And the Big East is down to one.
  6. Kansas convincingly wins against Richmond.  The A10 is now gone.
  7. Kentucky upsets Ohio State.  Calipari’s squad knocks off another #1 seed.
  8. Virginia Commonwealth wins again in OT versus Florida State.  VCU in the Elite 8?  Wow.  With all the outrage that accompanied them on the way in, they’ve vindicated the committee.

Elite Eight (March 26-27): 1-3, only one Final Four team makes it.

  1. Butler again! Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators lose their first regional final under his leadership.  Butler goes to the Final Four for the second consecutive year!
  2. UConn survives Arizona and is trying its hardest to completely destroy my anti-homerist Big East prediction.  UConn will certainly be the favorite if Kansas falls.
  3. VCU stuns the entire planet by advancing to the Final Four. Enough said.  The Bracket… I don’t want to talk about it.
  4. Kentucky beats UNC, sending them on their way to Houston.

Final Four (April 2) and the National Championship (April 4)

  1. Butler ends VCU improbable run.
  2. UConn nips Kentucky, advancing.  Now the favorites to win the whole thing.
  3. UConn – Butler

Past Their Prime – Episode 3

Jesse and Lee are back again. This week they continue MARCH MADNESS and wonder where the rest of the Big East bandwagon has gone. Also, Jesse warns about muggings in Newark, Lee turns back the clock on Kevin Love, and a name from the past wants to discuss professional cycling. Riveting.

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Defending K State’s Frank Martin for Snapping Back at the Media

After Wisconsin beat Kansas State on Saturday, there was the usual post-game press conference.  Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen was obviously upset having failed to reach the Final Four in his senior season.  Pullen is K State’s star player and help lead the Wildcats to the Elite 8 last season.  Unfortunately, when you lose a big game, especially when it will be your last as a college player, you have to face the media.  Lucky for Pullen, his head coach Frank Martin was there to have his back.

Wichita Eagle beat writer Kellis Robinett was reporting at the presser when he asked this question of Pullen:

Jacob, you, I mean, obviously, do some good things, set the school scoring record and matched your career high in points but you still can’t get the win.  How do you sum up the emotions that come after that?

Pullen barely responded, putting head in his hands and started crying.  His coach, clearly unhappy with the question to his hard-working star, responded saying, “That is what you wanted to see?  That what you were trying to get out of him?  Make him cry here in front of people?  Good question.”  Pullen then said, “I just wanted to win the game. I don’t care about a scoring record or anything else, man. I wanted to get to the Final Four and I didn’t get a chance to do that.”

Frank Martin’s reaction, even knowing his fiery nature, is completely reasonable and Pullen’s final response is indicative of how he and his coach felt about the meaning of Robinett’s question.  Today’s media, more often than not, is not necessarily reporting on a story.  They are looking for a quote, a headline or a soundbite to add some pizazz and spice to that story.  Wichita reporter Robinett was doing his job and got what he wanted the way he asked the question.  He mentioned Pullen’s accomplishments and then juxtaposed that against the loss.  How would you respond?

After Frank Martin spoke, Pullen did.  “I don’t care about a scoring record or anything else, man” speaks volumes of how he interpreted Robinett’s question.  “Do some good things” is what stood out most for me.  Sounds a tad condescending to me.  The media plays this game often.  It’s that juxtaposition of success with failure that catches my ire.  It’s a technique reporters use often to reach to the core of an athlete.  By that I mean, to sometimes question his or her character.  How many times can you remember reporters asking questions asserting that an athlete was focused more on scoring titles than on winning championships?  Kellis Robinett asked that question in his own way, a very subtle way, without emotion.  But make no mistake, it’s the same type of question.  That’s how Jacob Pullen saw it, that’s how Frank Martin saw it and that’s how I see it now.

What makes me even more annoyed about questions like these is when they are asked to college kids.  As far as I’m concerned, these kids should not be involved in press conferences.  It’s like Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said during his legendary tirade, “I’m 40.  I’m a man.”  To paraphrase his tirade, he told reporters to leave his player alone and focus on him.  These kids are not professionals and shouldn’t be prepared to answer questions like professionals.  In that same vein, reporters should understand that these are just college-age kids.  They get paid for what they do in scholarships, not money.  When you are a pro, you need to handle yourself in that regard.  But if you’re a college kid, that’s exactly why your coach is there.

Jacob Pullen was a member of Frank Martin’s team for his college career.  Coach Martin is a father-figure to these kids and he, like any father, will stand up for his kids if their determination, heart or character is questioned.  Kellis Robinett’s question may have not reached the severity that we are accustomed to when watching these post-game press conferences, but it was indicative of the trendy questions reporters use to get more out of their stories.  If my son were on Kansas State’s basketball team, I would’ve called Coach Martin thanking him for an off-the-court coaching job well done.

It is the Big LEast Indeed: Only UConn and Marquette Remain

My Evil Twin bracket, which ultimately pitted four Big East teams against one another in a ridiculously contrived Final Four, was an attempt to show all that the Big East is an overrated conference and I was willing to stake my bracket on it.  Hence why my real bracket has no Big East participants in the Final Four.  Thus my Evil Twin bracket was born and to this point, has yet to disappoint.  Three of the four Big East schools I had going to the Final Four in my worst-case, Billy was dead-wrong about the Big East, are out.  And I should have kept to my initial thought that Pitt would get bounced by Butler.  On to the real bracket.

As of now, only two Big East schools remain, Connecticut and Marquette.  It was my fervent belief that Marquette was going to lose to Xavier and then the Orange would easily handle Xavier.  Now that situation is wholly reversed.  Before the Big East Tournament began, I was adamant about the Golden Eagles going to the NIT, not the NCAA.  This point, I wholly concede, was wrong.  Marquette has a tough task in Carolina.  One that I expect them to lose, leaving UConn all alone.

UConn, on the other hand, has not disappointed me.  After their march through Madison Square Garden unscathed, Bucknell and fellow Big Easters Cincinnati were the next two victims.  UConn was the leader of the bottom of the West Regional that I called the Crazy Eights.  I saw them, Cincy, Temple or SDSU coming through to potentially give Duke some trouble.  I effectively choose UConn because they are rolling.  Now comes San Diego St, whom have only lost but once this year on the road.  If UConn is the cream of the Big East crop, then it should win, setting up a date with Duke.  As I said in a previous post, a Duke-UConn matchup could very well determine the championship game.  The winner of that game plays Kansas for the National Title.  Of course, I do hope that UConn doesn’t blow up my spot here by winning the whole Tournament.  Louisville, Notre Dame and Purdue all losing made Kansas’s trip to Houston a whole lot easier.

Just for fun, let’s see how that ‘dominant’ Big East has done so far in the Tournament using the Big East standings:

  1. #1 Pittsburgh (AP rank: #4): Perennially Indicative of Tournament Trouble indeed.  Butler shows them the door after a bizarre and incomprehensible foul.  That is all coaching and why Pitt always falls short.  OUT in Round of 32.
  2. #2 Notre Dame (#5): I couldn’t in good conscience put Notre Dame in the Sweet 16.  The Irish never show well in the Tourney and the game against the Seminoles was no exception.  OUT in Round of 32.
  3. #3 Syracuse (#12): Fellow Big East school Marquette defeated the Orange.  Does this show that the top-to-bottom that the Big East is really good?  Or does it illustrate that the top is far more touted than it should be?  I’ll choose the latter.  OUT in Round of 32.
  4. #4 Louisville (#14): Rick, Rick.  Pitino, I really thought you were going to give Kansas everything your team had.  Unfortunately, you were my hope for bringing Big East glory in my worst-case scenario.  In any case, that kid from Morehead State made one heck of a block.  OUT in the Round of 64.
  5. #6 St. John’s (#18): I thought the Johnnies were good for a close battle with BYU in the Third Round.  But it just goes to show that Lavin still has a ways to go before this program is ready for primetime.  For this born and raised Long Island boy, it’s fun to see the Johnnies playing top-flight basketball again.  OUT in the Round of 64.
  6. #6 Cincinnati (#28, based on AP voted received): Mizzou wasn’t much of a challenge but apparently UConn is the best the Big East has to offer.  The Bearcats really had little chance against them.  OUT in the Round of 32.
  7. #5 West Virginia (#22): Clemson gave them a tiny scare and they hung around with Kentucky.  But they weren’t beating UK.  No way!  OUT in the Round of 32.
  8. #6 Georgetown (#26, based on AP votes received): They lost to VCU.  I rest my case.  #6 seed my behind.  OUT in Round of 64 against the ultimate bubble team.
  9. #3 UConn (#9): Showing their stuff.  I will reserve judgement when they bounced by Duke in the Elite 8. Still IN.
  10. #9 Villanova (#34, based on AP votes received): Why I didn’t give GMU more credit?  I thought Nova was good for a single win after this terrible losing streak.  OUT in Round of 64.
  11. #11 Marquette (#41, based on AP votes received): You did deserve a berth.  But beating Syracuse only shows half your mettle.  Beat UNC and I’ll take back some of what I said about the top of your conference’s bottom half.  Still IN.

Of course, the last five teams were so incredibly bad that none were invited to any other post-season tournament.  So the moral of the Big East story is that you either had a winning record and received an invite to the Big Dance or you were completely terrible.  My overarching concern for this conference is that it is way too big and many of their wins are perceived to be big because they play in a “very good” conference.  So teams like Villanova, who lose a fair amount of games in a row and then get bounced from the Big East Tournament in the First Round, are allowed a non-AQ spot.  This is clearly wrong and shows the fallacy of having sixteen-team conferences.  The Big East will regret their decision to expand beyond the reasonable and into the absurd.

Brackets! THE Big LEast Bracket & The Evil Twin Big BEast Bracket

My official bracket is now in.  The Big East has zero Final Four teams.  I am singularly not impressed with a conference that is so overloaded with teams that they can maneuver nearly three-quarters of their schools into the Big Dance.  The Big East, despite the fact that I enjoy occasionally rooting for St. John’s, I’m refuse to be a homer and gush over the supremacy that is Big East basketball.  Why?  Because they are not as good as everyone thnks they are.  With that in mind, my Final Four selections are as follows: 1 Duke, 1 Kansas, 3 BYU, 4 Kentucky

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking?  Duke without Irving and BYU without Davies.  You are crazy.  Well, a few things.

THE Bracket: Big LEast – Champion: Kansas

First, since this is a weak field, the weakest in years and maybe ever, it seems all too reasonable to chalk this up.  I refuse to do that because of Pitt.  This is their tenth straight Tournament and they’ve been ranked 3, 2, 3, 9, 5, 3, 4, 1, 3, 1.  I will give them that their only other #1 seed team made the Final Four but they have been a disappointment given everyone’s expectations.  In my view, PITT stands for Perennially Indicative of Tournament Trouble.  I’ve bet on them before with no results.  Sorry Panthers.

Second, Kansas is going to wipe the floor in three of the four games in the Southwest.  Any trouble will come from Louisville.  I anticipate overtime in a crazy-close Sweet-16 game.  The lower part of the SW bracket is what I call the Ugly Eight.  These games could go in any which way but I’m estimating that whomever survives to the regional final will be shown the exit by the Jayhawks.

Third, Ohio State is good and there’s no Jim Tressel here to ruin their Tournament eligibility.  Nova’s due for a win and despite that I want George Mason to win real bad, I think they’ll come up short.  However, Villanova’s going to give OSU everything.  Kentucky will waltz into the 16 and surprise OSU.  Buckeyes go home.  Kentucky will survive an Orange scare and move on to Houston.

Fourth, Duke.  I’ve been battling with this one.  Despite all my hopes and dreams, Duke will succeed in making it to Reliant Stadium.  The lower end of that bracket, the Crazy Eight, is filled with a few “which team will knock off the Blue Devils.”  Sadly, I think they’ll spend most of their time knocking off each other.  Unlike the Ugly Eight in the SW, some of the Crazies are capable of winning the West, I just don’t think any of them will.

In either bracket, the two most important games that will shape the Championship game on April 4 are the Duke-UConn and Kansas-Lousiville games.  As you’ll see in the this bracket and the evil twin one, the winners of these games will play for the title.

So once Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and BYU make it to Houston, the formula is simple.  Duke and Kansas win.  Jayhawks barely beat the Blue Devils for the title.  No repeat for Duke and not a single Big East team.  In fact, only four Big East teams manage to get Sweet 16 berths.

The Evil Twin Bracket: Big BEast – Champion: Louisville

Here we are, the Final Four of my worst nightmare: being proven wrong about the Big East.  Let me start off by saying that enjoy rooting for the Johnnies.  Born in Queens and growing up on the Island, it’s good to see them succeeding.  The BYU-St. John’s game was a toss-up in this bracket and THE bracket.  I decided that whomever wins that matchup was poised to take the Southeast.  For me, it has become the magic carpet ride game in the Tournament.

The Southwest has three Big East teams.  Georgetown and Notre Dame are in that Ugly Eight bracket I mentioned previously.  The Hoyas, according to virtually every sports guy in the DC area, will not survive Purdue in the third round.  Some think they may not get by the Trojans if they beat VCU tonight.  A ND-PU battle will be for the hearts of Indiana.  After that, Louisville tells Indiana no way, no how.

I was ready and willing to watch Marquette get sliced and diced by Xavier.  A-10 represent.  But if the evil scenario comes true, they will play Cuse in the next round.  As for Syracuse’s following game against UNC.  Well, I heard something about Boeheim’s zone so I’m going with them.  After Duke’s shellacking of the Tar Heels in the ACC Championship, the Sweet 16 is as far as they go in both these brackets.  Cuse will dismiss Ohio State after WVU almost beats them in the regional semis.

Lastly, in this ugly and annoying scenario, UConn will continue playing great basketball, coming out of the Crazy Eight bracket alive and well, disposing of Coach K’s Blue Devils to the delight of many (I really don’t mean to pick on Duke exclusively but I’m still angry about GW’s bracket draw in 2006.  #8 seed my…).

Calhoun will dispatch of Boeheim and Pitino will beat Lavin.  In the end, I think UConn’s run can’t last and Rick is definitely due for a return to the top.  Louisville will remember the Kansas game as the moment they all knew destiny was waiting for them.  Here, seven of the Sweet 16 are Big East schools.

My Champions: Kansas.  And this year’s evil twin, Louisville.  If only I had Kentucky winning it all, how awesome would that evil twin thing work out. Thank you ESPN.  And look, free advertising for you, State Farm and Sprint because I used your bracket.

Past Their Prime – Episode 2

Amazingly, we managed to throw together a second podcast and some nifty post-production work.

This week, Lee and Jesse talk March Madness, Jesse loses faith in the strength of Bob Knight’s character, and Lee makes the case for the Wilpon family to buy an MLS franchise.

All that plus much more including the “Email of the Week” for your listening pleasure.

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