Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Have Not Made A Blog Post Since Monday?

Well, here is one for the hell of it.  Eh, the truth is I have been focusing on a paper this week, a paper that is due Friday at 5:00, although I hope to be done it in time to meet with my academic adviser at 1:00 and then catching the final 7 innings of the Phillies opening day against the Astros.  As always, this is for the more detailed stuff.  If you want quick quips from me, follow me on Twitter (@BloggerJustinF).

I will have a live blog up for opening day, and even though I will not be around to start it, the others will be and I will come in probably around 1:35 or so and lament for 2 and a half hours the fact Pete Orr is on the Phillies opening day roster.

Monday, March 28, 2011


2011 NCAA Tournament Final 4 Schedule

After one of the most exciting Elite 8 weekends in recent memory, it is down to 4 teams not many thought would be here. Actually, only 2 out of millions correctly called it on ESPN. Here is the schedule of games for Saturday, although it really comes as no surprise. Mid-major championship on first. Power conference championship on 2nd. (all times ET)

Final 4

Saturday, April 2

Houston: Virginia Commonwealth vs. Butler 6:09 (CBS - Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, and Steve Kerr, SR: Tracy Wolfson)
Houston: Kentucky vs. Connecticut approx. 8:49 (CBS - Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, and Steve Kerr, SR: Tracy Wolfson)

The Kansas City Star Wishes To Torture Its Readers

We all know that for the sake of saving time, that various media outlets will type ads before something happens in sports just to be ready to advertise the moment it happens.  Heck, kids in Somalia will think Kansas went to the Final Four in 2011.  All that being said, it is still funny when a pre-prepared ads that should not be published get published anyway.  Take for instance the Kansas City Star.  "Kansas is through...and Jayhawks are blue" may be true, but you can still buy your Kansas Final Four tickets!

At least Kansas fans can still enjoy a one-hour massage.

(Hat tip to @JayChristensen on Twitter)

Well This Whole First Four Idea Has Made Quite The Impact

In 2006, George Mason, an 11-seed, defeated UConn, a 1-seed to advance to the Final Four. Since then, it has become one of the most famous upsets in recent NCAA Tournament history. For the past five years everyone has asked "who is the next George Mason?" heading into the NCAA Tournament. To wit, George Mason has always answered that question with "We're the next George Mason!" though they have yet to advance to the Sweet 16 since 2006.

Move over, George Mason. What 11-seeded Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) did today is even more improbable than the George Mason win. Consider two things. a). George Mason did it in a 65-team field. Granted outside of the addition of 3 extra play-in games, the tournament format has not changed, but when you consider that VCU was a First Four team and was the 66th team into the field, it becomes quite significant. Had the field not expanded, VCU would not be where they are today. b). George Mason played that Elite 8 game against UConn in their own backyard at Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Not only did Virginia Commonwealth venture outside their backyard to play this game, they played Kansas in San Antonio, the heart of Big XII country where all but one or two sections in the Alamodome consisted of Kansas fans. George Mason had a virtual home game. VCU had a virtual road game. George Mason's game may be more memorable in the long-term because it was first and had a dramatic overtime finish, but make no mistake about it, in terms of impressiveness, what VCU did today is greater than what George Mason did.

VCU will now meet Butler in the Final Four in what I guess you can call the Mid Major Championship. The winner will go to the national championship game where they will face Kentucky or Connecticut in the National Championship game. The winner of VCU/Butler will be the highest (or lowest, depending on how you look at it) seeded team in the national championship since 8-seeded Villanova in 1985. I think we all remember how that one turned out.

No one saw this coming. Hell, the majority of people saw this as a year when chalk would hold strong. So much for that. Add the 4 seeds together (3+4+8+11) and it's the highest ever. Now when VCU was first selected into the NCAA Tournament, there was a lot of outrage among ESPN analysts among others about how VCU should not be in the tournament. I was not one of them, but the fact that VCU made the Final Four does not make them wrong. They were comparing VCU's regular season resume with the resume of Virginia Tech, Saint Mary's, Alabama's, and the like. Looking at things after the fact does not change things before the fact when all arguments were based on before the fact. I even recall Jay Bilas saying on Selection Sunday that even if VCU made a run, that would not change his argument. He did decide to eat crow on Twitter, but that should not change the initial argument. If you wanted to, you could make the argument that Virginia Tech should have gotten into the tournament over VCU just as easily today as you could two weeks ago. I always liked VCU more than most, so it is never an argument I made (considering other teams had plenty of blemishes as well), but people will point and laugh at all the ESPN talking heads for their Selection Sunday rants when in reality, nothing about what they said has changed. VCU beating Southern California, Purdue, Florida State, and Kansas, has impressive as it was, still does not change things in terms of teams' regular season resumes, which is what Selection Sunday is based off of.

How has VCU made the run? While not the whole answer, but a large part of it is they are making 3-pointers at a ridiculous rate, well above their season average. An absolutely incredible run for the Rams, who must surely hope can continue as they make the trip to Houston, Texas for Saturday's Final Four showdown with Butler.

Lastly, I recommend checking out Mid Majority's post on Richmond, Virginia that was published before the Sweet 16. It is a great read, and the fact that VCU advanced to the Final Four only makes it greater.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Sunday Live Blog

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Butler Is Back In The Final Four

1985 was the first year the NCAA Tournament expanded to a field of 64 with the only format changes since then being that of play-in-games. In that year, 8-seeded Villanova went to the Final Four, and ultimately won the NCAA Tournament in what is considered one of the greatest NCAA Tournament upsets of all time. Since that time, only 3 other teams seeded 8th (and 0 seeded 9th) advanced to the Final Four: North Carolina in 2000, Wisconsin in 2000, Butler in 2011. North Carolina and Wisconsin both bowed out in the Final Four that year. There is a reason this is a rare occurrence. The 8 or the 9 seed is literally the worst possible draw in the NCAA Tournament. If Butler beats the winner of Kansas/VCU, they will do something that has not been done in 26 years: advance to the Final Four as an 8-seed. Best of luck to the Butler Bulldogs, for when they take the court next Saturday in Houston, they will be up against some very sacred NCAA Tournament history.

NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Saturday Live Blog

2011 NCAA Tournament Elite 8 Schedule

So that was an amazing Sweet 16 to watch. Sure there were a couple duds (i.e. Friday's first two games), but for the most part, the past two days have been wall-to-wall excitement. And with trips to the Final 4 at stake, we can only hope that the excitement continues. So without further ado, here is the Elite 8 schedule!

Elite 8

Saturday, March 26

New Orleans: #2 Florida vs. #8 Butler 4:30 (CBS - Gus Johnson, Len Elmore, and Reggie Miller, SR: Marty Snider)
Anaheim: #3 Connecticut vs. #5 Arizona 7:05 (CBS - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, SR: Lesley Visser)

Sunday, March 27

San Antonio: #1 Kansas vs. #11 Virginia Commonwealth 2:30 (CBS - Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, SR: Craig Sager)
Newark: #2 North Carolina vs. #4 Kentucky 5:05 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg, SR: Tracy Wolfson)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Thursday Live Blog

Michael Leighton Is Not Very Good At Hockey

(Originally posted as a fanpost at Broad Street Hockey)  

(Title inspired by the wonderful folks at The Good Phight)

Since the Flyers lost in a shootout to the Washington Capitals last night, there has been a lot of talk about how the Flyers goalies are "not good enough" and they need to call up current Phantoms goalie Michael Leighton because only god saves more than Michael Leighton and he is better than the two knuckleheads named the Flyers currently have in goal.  Does this sound about right to everyone?

Well, it is true that this is what a lot of people have been saying, but the claims they make that Leighton is the better goaltender are completely false and are frustratingly misinformed. Before we get into statistics, though, let me just say that anybody judging a goalie over a single game and a shootout is being completely absurd.  Shootouts are like spinning a roulette wheel.  In Game 82 against the Rangers, the Flyers got lucky and the roulette wheel came up an orange number.  Last night, the Flyers got unlucky and it came up a white number.  Also, why are people saying Brian Boucher "sucks at shootouts" and therefore the Flyers need to recall Michael Leighton for the playoffs because of it?  Stop me if I am stating the obvious, but there are no shootouts in the playoffs.  Okay, so the people who make that jump are probably in the minority of those screaming for Leighton, but still, people look at the past few games that Boosh and Bob played and all of a sudden believe Michael Leighton is a god who saves more than Bernie Parent.  Or whatever it is he and his five-hole are being called these days.

Let's take a look at even strength save percentages this year, shall we:  Why ESS%?  Because it is one of, if not the most informing stats about a goalkeeper that we have.  Goals against average is much too dependent on the play of other players on the ice, and save percentage factors in shots and goals given up while short-handed or on the power play, where the defense is set much differently than normal, in addition to being up or down a man.  All numbers taken and derived from data on

Brian Boucher, career ESS%:  .911
Brian Boucher, since start of  2008-2009 season ESS%:  .918
Brian Boucher, 2010-2011 ESS%:  .921
Sergei Bobrovsky, 2010-2011 (also career) ESS%:  .921
Brian Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky, combined 2010-2011 ESS%:  .921
Michael Leighton, career ESS%:  .908
Michael Leighton, since start of 2008-2009 season ESS%:  .908
Michael Leighton, 2009-2010 season with Flyers (because 1 game in 2010-2011 is insufficient to say anything):  .916

What does this say?  Well, it says what the title says, "Michael Leighton is not very good at hockey."  He is a career .908 ES% goalie who has not outperformed Brian Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky by any stretch of the imagination.  If you go by career, numbers, Boucher is a better goalie than Leighton.  If you go since 2008, Boucher is a better goalie than Leighton.  If you go for the small sample sizes, Brian Boucher's most recent season with the Flyers is better than Michael Leighton's most recent season with the Flyers.  Boosh has admittedly played better than his career numbers the past 3 years, but look at Leighton.  His career ESS% is .908.  His ESS% since 2008 is .908.  But in the 2nd half of the 2009-2010 season he is at .916.  Whoa.  Holy playing way above your true talent level, Batman!  And even Leighton playing above his true talent level has not eclipsed the numbers that Brian Boucher and Sergei Bobrovsky have put up this year.  And while Brian Boucher has been playing above his career numbers as well, he has consistently been playing better than his career average the past three years, while Leighton's high numbers come in only a 5-month span.  The goalie with the consistently higher numbers over the past few years is always going to be a better gamble than the goalie who had decently high numbers for a five-month span.

Brian Boucher is not a great goaltender.  Sergei Bobrovsky is a rookie.  While none of the two can considered a slam dunk between the pipes, one thing is for certain: They are both certainly better and more capable of playing Flyers' goaltender in the playoffs than Michael freaking Leighton and his five hole, the ghost of which still haunts the Wells Fargo Center to this day.

For those that want to play around with data, I have Bob's, Boosh's and Leighton's, shots faced, shots saved, and ESS% numbers by year in this handy-dandy spreadsheet I made.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Justin Defends His Trivia Title For The First Time

I had linked to this on Twitter when it first got posted, but because it was during March Madness, I did not have the time to put this as a blog post until now. So here you go. It is my first time defending my newly won Broad Street Hockey trivia title, and it is against another BSH reader/commenter. Like last time it is at the beginning of the show, however, the host is not Travis, but rather, Ben, who I lost to when I attempted trivia last year. As a bit of context (you will understand why I am giving this to you once you hear the show), Ben, the host and guy who wrote the questions, is a Flyers fan living in Washington D.C.


2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Schedule

Unfortunately, the names listed below are accurate and not typos. (all times ET)

Sweet 16

Thursday, March 24

Window #1

Anaheim: #2 Connecticut vs. #3 San Diego State 7:15 (CBS - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, SR: Lesley Visser)
New Orleans: #2 Florida vs. #3 Brigham Young 7:27 (TBS - Gus Johnson, Len Elmore, and Reggie Miller, SR: Marty Snider)

Window #2

Anaheim: #1 Duke vs. #5 Arizona approx. 9:45 (CBS - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, SR: Lesley Visser)
New Orleans: #4 Wisconsin vs. #8 Butler approx. 9:57 (TBS - Gus Johnson, Len Elmore, and Reggie Miller, SR: Marty Snider)

Friday, March 25

Window #1

Newark: #2 North Carolina vs. #11 Marquette 7:15 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg, SR: Tracy Wolfson)
San Antonio: #1 Kansas vs. #12 Richmond 7:27 (TBS - Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, SR: Craig Sager)

Window #2

Newark: #1 Ohio State vs. #4 Kentucky approx. 9:45 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg, SR: Craig Sager)
San Antonio: #10 Florida State vs. #11 Virginia Commonwealth approx. 9:57 (TBS - Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, SR: Craig Sager)

The Big East Is Not The Overrated Conference Charles Barkley And Matt Jones Think It Is

Outside of various bone-headed plays and bad officiating decisions, the big talking point in this year's NCAA Tournament is how "bad" the Big East is done. And why not? It was set up as an easy narrative. After all, only one team wins, so when at the very least 10 Big East teams lose, it is easy to write the column about how the Big East is overrated as it is happening. A conference is built up just so its failings can be written about later. You see this all the time in sports in general. It happens with every team that gets hot in the NFL (remember in the middle of the season when the Giants were the "best team in the NFL?"). It is happening with the Miami Heat. And now, the Big East.

Now there are those that will call the Big East the best conference in the history of mankind and praise Saint John's, Marquette, Syracuse, Connecticut, and Georgetown as teams all deserving of the Final Four, but let's ignore those on the fringe. Instead let's focus on the narrative, the "Big East is overrated."

Now to those selling this bullshit argument. First up is Charles Barkley, who said that the Big East is only worthy of 8 teams in the Big East Tournament. Teams placed in 9th, 10th, and 11th in the Big East are Connecticut, Villanova, and Marquette, respectively. The 3 Big East teams with the lowest seeds are Marquette (11), Villanova (9), and three teams with a six seed (Georgetown/Saint John's/Cincinnati).

I'll open up the field, and will ask the question with all these teams included. What columnist/pundit/media argued that Connecticut, Villanova, Marquette, Georgetown, Saint John's, or Cincinnati should be out of the NCAA Tournament and Alabama, Virginia Tech, Saint Mary's, Boston College, and/or Harvard should be in their place? I'm not talking about talking about VCU and UAB, who argued one of the aforementioned teams should be in the tournament instead of a Big East team. The only ones who are entitled to be saying the Big East is overrated are those that made the argument on March 13. I watched Selection Sunday. Charles Barkley never made that argument. And neither did any national pundit. To turn around and make that argument now is backseat driving and writing revisionist history. One game in the middle of March does nothing to change an argument about how one team should be excluded and another included. Seriously. Did any of those first teams out of the NCAA Tournament deserve to get in over any of the Big East teams that got in?

CBS Sports' Matt Jones on Twitter said the following in a series of tweets: "Charles Barkley absolutely CRUSHING the Big East...and he is right. Says conference with best coaches and little talent...agreed. Big East fans believe it is good bc teams beat each other up like SEC football...difference is SEC football beats teams in OTHER leagues too. And Big East spare me 'top to bottom competition.' You lost to teams in the OVC, COLONIAL, HORIZON and WEST COAST CONFERENCE. #Notwinning"

I have no idea where this notion of "little talent" comes from, one of the two best players in college basketball comes from the Big East and his name is Kemba Walker. You may have heard of him. Secondly, the Big East does very well non-conference. Just take a look at any of the 11 Big East teams' schedules in this year's NCAA Tournament. There is a reason why Marquette, Villanova, and UConn were easy choices over the likes of Virginia Tech. Matt Jones also tries to marginalize the opposition of Big East foes by pointing out conferences of some of the teams that beat Big East teams. Of course, 9 Big East teams lost, and he only mentions 4 conferences. But let's take a look at the teams from these conferences. The Colonial teams to triumph over Big East foes are a very good George Mason team who a Villanova team in a tailspin (George Mason was the higher seed in this game, oh by the way) and VCU who beat Georgetown. While VCU's inclusion in the tourney was very controversial, they are still dancing. So I fail to see how someone can marginalize a team that is in the same part of the tournament as Duke, North Carolina, and Kentucky. The Horizon League team to beat a Big East team was Butler who beat Pittsburgh. You may remember Butler. They were in the national championship game last year and returned a good number from that team this season. The WCC team to beat a Big East team was former Cinderella turned tournament mainstay Gonzaga who beat Saint John's. The OVC team that beat a Big Team was Morehead State who beat Louisville. This is the only real indefensible loss a Big East team suffered against a team from a mid-major conference. Everyone else lost to a major conference foe. The exact results: Florida State beating Notre Dame, fellow Big East team Marquette beating Syracuse, Kentucky beating West Virginia, and fellow Big East team Connecticut beating Cincinnati.

Now I do not know what people were expecting at this stage, but let's play the numbers about what people were expecting. Chances are nobody actually thought about what the Big East would look like after the first 4 days of the tournament because the most any conference had ever gotten into the tourney in the past was 8. The Big East had 11 in. But let's play around and what people should have expected.

The Big East got 11 teams in a 68 team field. That is 11/68, or .1617, which is to say 16.17% of the tournament field consists of Big East teams. Now let's set that equal to x/16 to see if a conference gets 11 teams in a field of 68, how many teams it can reasonably expect to the Sweet 16? Set 11/68 equal to x/16, solve the proportion by multiplying 11 by 16 and dividing the result of 176 by 68 and the answer is 2.59 teams. Because it is impossible to have .59 of a team, it can be safe to interpret this answer has anywhere between 2 and 3 teams. Guess how many Big East teams are left in the NCAA Tournament? You guessed it, 2 teams! The Big East is not overachieving, but just because it is not overachieving, does not mean it is overrated and is undeserving of 11 teams. That is flat out absurd. Also, the Big East has won 9 games this tournament (psst, Marquette and UConn, the 2 teams still remaining combine for 4 of those 9). Sure one of those was against UNC-Asheville, but let's not paint the Big East has a conference where 9 of 11 teams dropped like a fly to the likes of UC Santa Barbara and Wofford.

The Big East does not have great teams. The Big East has lots of good to very good teams that make it the deepest conference in college basketball, bar none. There is a reason they only got #1 seed. I make no bones about that, but to paint the Big East has this hilariously undeserving conference because of the past few days when they had only one real bad loss got a number of Sweet 16 teams that you would expect from a conference with 11 teams in a field of 68, you cannot say they are overrated. Unless of course you are writer that said the Big East was invincible last week. In which case, you just set yourself up for a false narrative that will get you a lot of page views. Good for you.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

NCAA Tournament 3rd Round Sunday Live Blog

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Most Bizarre Ending To A College Basketball Game You Will Ever See

Presented with only one comment: Chris Webber now feels better about his life.

NCAA Tournament 3rd Round Saturday Live Blog


NCAA Tournament 3rd Round Schedule

The 2nd round got off to an exciting start, but after the first 8 games, things fizzled out a lot and despite some close games and good finishes, we were left with mainly clunkers and blowouts. The good news though is the 3rd round schedule looks much more appetizing than the 1st or 2nd round schedule ever did. So without further ado, here is your 3rd round NCAA Tournament schedule, with each day divided up into 4 (very arbitrary) windows.

3rd Round

Saturday, March 19

Window #1

Tampa: #4 Kentucky vs. #5 West Virginia 12:15 (CBS - Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel, SR: David Aldridge)

Window #2

Tampa: #2 Florida vs. #7 UCLA approx. 2:45 (CBS - Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel, SR: David Aldridge)

Window #3

Denver: #12 Richmond vs. #13 Morehead State 5:15 (CBS - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, SR: Lesley Visser)
Tucson: #2 San Diego State vs. #7 Temple 6:10 (TNT - Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, and Reggie Miller, SR: Sam Ryan)
Washington D.C.: #1 Pittsburgh vs. #8 Butler 7:10 (TBS - Tim Brando and Mike Gminski, SR: Lewis Johnson)

Denver: #3 Brigham Young vs. #11 Gonzaga approx. 7:45 (CBS - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, SR: Lesley Visser)
Tucson: #4 Wisconsin vs. #5 Kansas State approx. 8:40 (TNT - Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, and Reggie Miller, SR: Sam Ryan)
Washington D.C.: #3 Connecticut vs. #6 Cincinnati approx. 9:40 (TBS - Tim Brando and Mike Gminski)

Sunday, March 20

Window #1

Charlotte: #2 North Carolina vs. #7 Washington approx. 12:15 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg, SR: Tracy Wolfson)

Window #2

Charlotte: #1 Duke vs. #8 Michigan approx. 2:45 (CBS - Jin Nantz and Phil Simms, SR: Tracy Wolfson)

Window #3

Cleveland: #1 Ohio State vs. #8 George Mason 5:15 (CBS - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore, SR: Marty Snider)
Tulsa: #4 Texas vs. #5 Arizona 6:10 (TNT - Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, SR: Craig Sager)
Chicago: #3 Purdue vs. #11 Virginia Commonwealth 7:10 (TBS - Spero Dedes and Bob Wenzel, SR: Jamie Maggio)

Window #4

Cleveland: #3 Syracuse vs. #11 Marquette approx. 7:45 (truTV - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore, SR: Marty Snider)
Tulsa: #1 Kansas vs. #8 Illinois approx. 8:40 (TNT - Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, SR: Craig Sager)
Chicago: #2 Notre Dame vs. #7 Florida State approx. 9:40 (TBS - Spero Dedes and Bob Wenzel, SR: Jamie Maggio)

Friday, March 18, 2011

NCAA Tournament 2nd Round Friday Live Blog


Juan Fernandez Beats Penn State At The Buzzer

What many expected to be the most boring game of the day may have had the best finish of a day filled with them. Granted, this will likely be the forgotten buzzer beater of a Day 1 of the NCAA tournament filled with them, but Battle's shot with too much time left to tie and Fernandez's game-winner for the Owls were both incredible shots.

A big congrats to Fran Dunphy, who won an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in 17 years. Very few people have contributed to Philadelphia and Big 5 college basketball the way Dunphy has over the past 21 years and it is great that the current coach of the Owls finally got his moment in the sun. In spite of a disappearing act from Lavoy Allen, Juan Fernandez picked up the slack on the offensive side of the court, with it ultimately culminating in a great 2011 NCAA Tournament moment that will be hard to top as we progress.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NCAA Tournament 1st Round Wednesday Live Blog

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

NCAA Tournament 1st Round Tuesday Live Blog

I'll be out most of the night but the rest of the gang should be along, so stop by, leave comments, and don't be a troll!

Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament 1st And 2nd Round Schedule

Tomorrow night, the 2011 NCAA Tournament will finally begin with the First Four in Dayton, Ohio. Despite many questionable seeding decisions, one thing remains constant: the NCAA Tournament is without a doubt one of the most exciting sporting events of the year. And starting this year, every game will be available to watch on national TV thanks to CBS's new partnership with Turner. The start times are a bit more staggered now, but in order to make this schedule as easy as possible to read, I have still divided up each day into four windows as, after all, only one game can be played in a given venue at one. In an effort to somewhat mitigate the "what channel is this game on?" questions (myself included), this schedule will be posted at the top of the blog along with the Philly Sports Schedule, UEFA Champions League schedule, Commenting Guidelines, About Me, etc. Feel free to refer to this throughout the week and hopefully this guide is easy to read as I hope it will be.

1st Round

Tuesday, March 15

Dayton: #16 UNC Asheville vs. Arkansas-Little Rock 6:40 (truTV - Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, and Steve Kerr, SR: Tracy Wolfson)
Dayton: #12 Alabama-Birmingham vs. #12 Clemson approx. 9:10 (truTV - Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, and Steve Kerr, SR: Tracy Wolfson)

Wednesday, March 16

Dayton: #16 Texas-San Antonio vs. #16 Alabama State 6:40 (truTV - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore, SR: Marty Snider)
Dayton: #11 Southern California vs. #11 Virginia Commonwealth approx. 9:10 (truTV - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore, SR: Marty Snider)

2nd Round

Thursday, March 17

Window #1

Tampa: #5 West Virginia vs. #12 UAB/Clemson 12:15 (CBS - Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel, SR: David Aldridge)
Washington D.C.: #8 Butler vs. #9 Old Dominion 12:40 (truTV - Tim Brando and Mike Gminski, SR: Lewis Johnson)
Denver: #4 Louisville vs. #13 Morehead State 1:40 (TBS - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, SR: Lesley Visser)
Tucson: #7 Temple vs. #10 Penn State 2:10 (TNT - Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, and Reggie Miller, SR: Sam Ryan)

Window #2

Tampa: #4 Kentucky vs. #13 Princeton approx. 2:45 (CBS - Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel, SR: David Aldridge)
Washington D.C.: #1 Pittsburgh vs. #16 UNC-Asheville/Arkansas-Little Rock approx. 3:10 (truTV - Tim Brando and Mike Gminski, SR: Lewis Johnson)
Denver: #5 Vanderbilt vs. #12 Richmond approx. 4:10 (TBS - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, SR: Lesley Visser)
Tucson: #2 San Diego State vs. #15 Northern Colorado approx. 4:40 (TNT - Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, and Reggie Miller, SR: Sam Ryan)

Window #3

Tampa: #2 Florida vs. #15 UC Santa Barbara 6:50 (TBS - Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel, SR: David Aldridge)
Denver: #3 Brigham Young vs. #14 Wofford 7:15 (CBS - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, SR: Lesley Visser)
Washington D.C.: #3 Connecticut vs. #14 Bucknell 7:20 (TNT - Tim Brando and Mike Gminski, SR: Lewis Johnson)
Tucson #4 Wisconsin vs. #13 Belmont 7:27 (truTV - Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, and Reggie Miller, SR: Sam Ryan)

Window #4

Tampa: #7 UCLA vs. #10 Michigan State approx. 9:20 (TBS - Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel, SR: David Aldridge)
Denver: #6 Saint John's vs. #11 Gonzaga approx. 9:45 (CBS - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, SR: Lesley Visser)
Washington D.C.: #6 Cincinnati vs. #11 Missouri approx. 9:50 (TNT - Tim Brando and Mike Gminski, SR: Lewis Johnson)
Tucson: #5 Kansas State vs. #12 Utah State approx. 9:57 (truTV - Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, and Reggie Miller, SR: Sam Ryan)

Friday, March 18

Window #1

Tulsa: #4 Texas vs. #13 Oakland 12:15 (CBS - Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, SR: Craig Sager)
Charlotte: #8 Michigan vs. #9 Tennessee 12:40 (truTV - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg, SR: Tracy Wolfson)
Chicago: #2 Notre Dame vs. #15 Akron 1:40 (TBS - Spero Dedes and Bob Wenzel, SR: Jamie Maggio)
Cleveland: #8 George Mason vs. #9 Villanova 2:10 (TNT - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore, SR: Marty Snider)

Window #2

Tulsa: #5 Arizona vs. #12 Memphis approx. 2:45 (CBS - Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, SR: Craig Sager)
Charlotte: #1 Duke vs. #16 Hampton approx. 3:10 (truTV - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg, SR: Tracy Wolfson)
Chicago: #7 Texas A&M vs. #10 Florida State approx. 4:10 (TBS - Spero Dedes and Bob Wenzel, SR: Jamie Maggio)
Cleveland: #1 Ohio State vs. #16 Texas-San Antonio/Alabama State approx. 4:40 (TNT - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore, SR: Marty Snider)

Window #3

Tulsa: #1 Kansas vs. #16 Boston 6:50 (TBS - Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, SR: Craig Sager)
Charlotte: #2 North Carolina vs. #15 Long Island 7:15 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg, SR: Tracy Wolfson)
Chicago: #3 Purdue vs. #14 Saint Peter's 7:20 (TNT - Spero Dedes and Bob Wenzel, SR: Jamie Maggio)
Cleveland: #6 Xavier vs. #11 Marquette 7:27 (truTV - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore, SR: Marty Snider)

Window #4

Tulsa: #8 UNLV vs. #9 Illinois approx. 9:20 (TBS - Marv Albert and Steve Kerr, SR: Craig Sager)
Charlotte: #7 Washington vs. #10 Georgia approx. 9:45 (CBS - Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg, SR: Tracy Wolfson)
Chicago: #6 Georgetown vs. #11 Southern California/Virginia Commonwealth approx. 9:50 (TNT - Spero Dedes and Bob Wenzel, SR: Jamie Maggio)
Cleveland: #3 Syracuse vs. #14 Indiana State approx. 9:57 (truTV - Gus Johnson and Len Elmore, SR: Marty Snider)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Selection Sunday Live Blog

Friday, March 11, 2011

Big East Tournament Semifinals Live Blog

We have already started and are watching much more than the Big East. For the whitest basketball game you've ever seen, Patriot League final is today at 4:45.


Big East Tournament Semifinals Schedule

Thank you Kemba Walker for providing this Big East Tournament with a highlight that can partially overshadow yesterday's Rutgers and Saint John's lowlight. Now onto the semifinals where hopefully Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, and Bill Raftery can finally call a close game that does not involve Villanova completely imploding. Here is Friday's Big East semifinal schedule!

#9 Connecticut vs. #4 Syracuse 7:00 (ESPN - Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, and Bill Raftery, SR: Doris Burke)
#3 Louisville vs. #2 Notre Dame approx. 9:00 (ESPN - Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, and Bill Raftery, SR: Doris Burke)

The Gus Johnson Sound Alike Contest

Having Gus Johnson as "the voice of Big Ten basketball" certainly has some benefits, including the ability to have Gus Johnson star in some odd promotional events. This one, though, features Gus taking a backseat as three kids do Gus Johnson impersonations while calling three exciting moments in Big Ten basketball. It's as entertaining as it sounds.

Given that this occurred at the Indiana-Penn State game, I would say this was probably the most exciting portion of the night for everyone at Conseco Fieldhouse. As far as who had the most realistic Gus Johnson scream, I would say that honor goes to the third guy who went. He even managed to get in a few Gus quotes there. Nice work to all three of them, and may I express my supreme jealousy that they got to stand next to Gus Johnson on a basketball court while impersonating him. Lucky bastards.

(hat tip to kt1000 in the live blog.)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Justin Attempts Flyers Trivia Again

Remember last year when I tried to beat then-reigning Broad Street Hockey Radio trivia champion Ben Rothenberg? Well just an hour and a half after the Saint John's and Rutgers controversy, I got my trivia on again, only this time it was against the guy who ultimately defeated Ben, took the crown from him, and held on to it for several months and two shows, BSH reader and commenter mikefive.

Will the results be epic? Or another epic fail for this humble blogger? The shocking and controversial episode is just one click away.


(For those viewing this from the home page, scroll down for the Big East Tournament Quarterfinals live blog)

Big East Tournament Quarterfinals Live Blog

Big East Tournament Quarterfinals Schedule

2 years ago in the Big East quarterfinals, six overtimes happened. Here is the schedule for this year's Big East Quarterfinals, and who knows, maybe history can repeat itself!

#9 Connecticut vs. #1 Pittsburgh 12:00 (ESPN - Dave Pasch, Fran Fraschilla, and Doris Burke, SR: Beth Mowins)
#5 Saint John's vs. #4 Syracuse approx. 2:00 (ESPN - Dave Pasch, Fran Fraschilla, and Doris Burke, SR: Beth Mowins)
#7 Cincinnati vs. #2 Notre Dame 7:00 (ESPN - Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, and Bill Raftery, SR: Beth Mowins)
#11 Marquette vs. #3 Louisville approx. 9:00 (ESPN - Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, and Bill Raftery, SR: Beth Mowins)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Jim Joyce Feels Better About Himself Tonight

I already said enough on this in the live blog, so I won't re-iterate everything again, but in case you missed it, here is the controversial ending of today's Rutgers-St. John's game.

First of all, there is no doubt the refs erred here, but unfortunately, the Big East was correct in their statement. Once the refs let play continue, it is unreviewable because in order to have a review, you need to have a call, and there was no call. Even though it defies logic (and common sense), what the Big East said was right.

Secondly, and I have made constant fun of this announce team on the live blogs, but they were right on top of things. Pasch recognized it right away, as did Fraschilla and Doris Burke, so kudos to them there.

Unfortunately, Rutgers is not an NCAA Tournament team and this is how their season will end. Their last game of the 2010-2011 season will forever have 1.7 unplayed seconds left on it. The good news, is that their last game of this forgettable season will now be unforgettable.

And lastly, if Jim Burr, Tim Higgins, and Earl Walton referee another game this season, whether it be in the Big East Tourney or the Big Dance, it will be a shame.

Big East Tournament 2nd Round Live Blog

Rob Stone Reveals Intimate Details About His High School Sex Life While Calling Basketball On National TV

So, uh, yeah, Rob Stone actually compared the way Arkansas-Little Rock plays basketball to his prom dates during the Sun Belt Championship. Seriously. Here is the video.

The awkward silence at the end totally makes that video well even more hilarious. I have come to expect the weird and bizarre from Rob Stone, having followed him through multiple endeavours on ESPN, but this one flat out takes the cake. Arkansas-Little Rock are like his high school prom date in that both are not pretty, but effective.

Thanks for sharing, Stoner.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Big East Tournament 2nd Round Schedule

No, I will not be linking to or posting video of Villanova's embarrassing last second defeat at the hands of South Florida. Search YouTube, if you wish, I am sure it is there. But as embarrassing as that was, despite my initial over-reactions claiming otherwise, Villanova will get into the NCAA Tournament. Sure no team has ever gotten in before after losing 5 in a row, but given Villanova's full body of work and combine that with the expanded field and the weak bubble this year, and they should make it. Villanova may be gone, but the live blogs will continue. Here is your schedule for Wednesday's 2nd round games in the Big East Tournament!

#9 Connecticut vs. #8 Georgetown 12:00 (ESPN - Dave Pasch, Fran Fraschilla, and Doris Burke, SR: Beth Mowins)
#13 Rutgers vs. #5 Saint John's approx. 2:00 (ESPN - Dave Pasch, Fran Fraschilla, and Doris Burke, SR: Beth Mowins)
#15 South Florida vs. #7 Cincinnati 7:00 (ESPN - Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, and Bill Raftery, SR: Beth Mowins)
#11 Marquette vs. #6 West Virginia approx. 9:00 (ESPN - Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, and Bill Raftery, SR: Beth Mowins)

Big East Tournament 1st Round Live Blog

Let the Madness begin!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Big East Tournament 1st Round Schedule

The start of the Big East Tournament and 15 games of basketball in 5 days at Madison Square Garden in New York City is almost here! Yes, I will watch and live blog every game this year, including the 1st round, something I have never done before. I'm such a hack. The sad part here is this was the plan before Villanova free fell from competing for the double bye to competing in the first round. So without further ado here is the schedule for the first round to be played on Tuesday, March 8. (note: all games, including Tuesday night's ESPNU games, will also be available on

#16 DePaul vs. #9 Connecticut 12:00 (ESPN2 - Dave Pasch, Fran Fraschilla, and Doris Burke)
#13 Rutgers vs. #12 Seton Hall approx. 2:00 (ESPN2 - Dave Pasch, Fran Fraschilla, and Doris Burke)
#15 South Florida vs. #10 Villanova 7:00 (ESPNU - Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, and Bill Raftery)
#14 Providence vs. #11 Marquette approx. 9:00 (ESPNU - Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, and Bill Raftery)

The Day Of The Chicken Shit

Saturday may have been one of the worst sports days for me in recent memory. The Flyers blew a 2-0 lead and lost 5-3 to Buffalo, making it 3 losses in a row for the Flyers. The news of Chase Utley's injury keeps getting worse. Dom Brown broke a bone in his hand and will be sidelined 3 to 6 weeks with the possibility that the power in his swing will be gone for a year or more. Drexel lost on a buzzer beater to VCU in the Colonial Athletic Conference quarterfinals. Villanova played a lost a laughably poor basketball game to Pittsburgh. Everything about this day from a Philly sports fan perspective has been frustrating to embarrassing to sad.

So, how fitting is it then that on this same day not one, but two television personalities utter the phrase "chicken shit" over the air?

First up, Bobby Knight unhappy with the results of some competition on Gameday!

Next up, Don Cherry talking about how Ville Leino went into an icing call in the Flyers game against the Maple Leafs on Thursday.

Two "chicken shits" from two different television personalities on that was for me a "chicken shit" kind of day. That sounds about right.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

3/5 College Basketball Live Blog

Previewing The Last Day Of Big East Regular Season Play

Today is the last day of the Big East regular season and if there is one thing we can say for sure it is this: there are a lot of bunched up teams fighting for better positioning in the Big East tournament. Of course, in the Big East's fabulous (read: absolutely horrible) system, all teams make the tournament, and the regular season is merely for positioning yourself in said tournament, but a double bye can be a huge advantage over a single bye which can be an advantage over having to win 5 basketball games in 5 days in order to win the thing.

So let's see how things stand in the Big East as we head into the last day of the season.

1. Pittsburgh - 14-3 (clinched double bye)
2. Notre Dame - 13-4 (clinched double bye)
3. Louisville - 12-5 (clinched double bye)
4. Syracuse - 11-6 (clinched at least a single bye)
5. St. John's - 11-6 (clinched at least a single bye)
6. West Virginia - 10-7
7. Cincinnati - 10-7
8. Georgetown - 10-7
9. Connecticut - 9-8
10. Villanova - 9-8
11. Marquette - 9-8
12. Seton Hall - 6-11
13. Rutgers - 5-12
14. Providence - 3-14
15. South Florida - 3-14
16. DePaul - 1-16 (clinched last place)

So with all 16 Big East teams in action this Saturday, let's see what we can have to look forward to.

Louisville vs. West Virginia 12:00 (ESPN - Dave Pasch and Doris Burke)

This game will mean much more to the Mountaineers than it will Louisville. Louisville already clinched a double bye and are only playing for seeding amongst the top 4. West Virginia, on the other hand, will have a much more intriguing day. The Big East tiebreakers are extremely complicated, mind-numbing, and are not worth getting into, but just know that West Virginia cannot leap over Syracuse and St. John's to get 4th place regardless of what happens. The best they can hope for is a single bye with the 6th seed. But a loss and they could fall as far as 10th.

Worth watching? Yes

Notre Dame vs. Connecticut 2:00 (ESPN - John Saunders and Fran Fraschilla)

All top 3 Big East teams are facing teams fighting for a double bye. Louisville will be the 1st to do so and Notre Dame, who can win the Big East regular season title with a win and some help, will be the second to do so. They are playing the Fighting Kembas of Connecticut, who can either earn a single bye or play Providence on Tuesday.

Worth watching? No, but only because there is a more important game on at the same time.

Georgetown vs. Cincinnati 2:00 (Big East Network - Mike Gleason and Anthony Buford)

The only Big East game of the week to feature two teams both fighting for a single bye in the Big East. Once again, the scenarios are too mind-numbing to get into, but the results of this game will have great impact on what happens elsewhere in the Big East today.

Worth watching? You betcha.

DePaul vs. Syracuse 4:00 (Big East Network - John Sanders and Dickey Simpkins)

Syracuse is in the running for a double bye (they will get it with a win) and at the worst will have a single bye, meanwhile DePaul is the laughing stock of the Big East, currently boasting a 1-16 conference record. Putrid.

Worth watching? Avoid it, for both the lobsided game and the terrible announcing of Dickey Simpkins.

Villanova vs. Pittsburgh 4:00 (CBS - Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery)

Pittsburgh will claim the Big East regular season title with a win. With a loss and some bad luck elsewhere, they will fall all the way to #2. Contrast that with Villanova, who could get a single bye, or fall all the way to 11. While Villanova certainly wants to win and get the single bye, should Villanova fall, they will be better off falling all the way to #11. In this scenario, Villanova will play the 14th seed (Providence/South Florida), win that and they will play the 6th seed (West Virginia/Cincinnati/Georgetown/Connecticut/Marquette), win that and they will play the 3rd seed (Louisville/Syracuse/St. John's), win that and they are in the semifinals against a team that will be the 2 seed or the team that beat the 2 seed. Again, winning is preferred (this team could use a marquee win), but if they lose, the best help Villanova can receive is the help that sends them plummeting to 11.

Worth watching? This game petrifies me.

Marquette vs. Seton Hall 6:00 (Big East Network - Justin Kutcher and Tim O'Toole)

Marquette is currently in 11th and will need lots of help to get the single bye. Seton Hall have locked themselves in a Battle Of New Jersey with Rutgers on Tuesday.

Worth watching? Nah

Providence vs. Rutgers 7:00 ( - Dave Weekley and Derek Whittenburg)

This game is largely irrelevant. Rutgers are playing Seton Hall on Tuesday regardless and Providence is bottom 3 in the conference.

Worth watching? If you are a masochist.

St. John's vs. South Florida 8:00 (Big East Network - Rich Hollenbeg and John Celestand)

St. John's can clinch a double bye with a win and a Syracuse loss to DePaul. South Florida can clinch the 14 seed with a win and a Providence loss to Rutgers.

Worth watching? Why watch this when you can hear Jim Nantz have multiple orgasms in Chapel Hill?

I will have a college basketball live blog up later today starting at noon and lasting through Duke-UNC. I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

JP Dellacamera Signs Deal With Fox Soccer Channel

(Originally posted at The Brotherly Game)

The long time voice of United States soccer on ESPN is taking his talents to another network. Fox Soccer Channel, to be precise. It was announced today that JP Dellacamera has signed a 1-year deal with Fox Soccer Channel and will call their Friday Night MLS games.

Taking over the hole left by JP Dellacamera will be Adrian Healey, who has been promoted to ESPN's top MLS commentator and will work ESPN's MLS games along side the oft-criticized John Harkes.

For Philadelphia Union fans who have grown to like JP Dellacamera as the Union's play-by-play announcer, do not fret. Dellacamera will continue to work Philadelphia Union local broadcasts, with a color analyst yet to be named.

The repercussions of this are positive all around. JP is back to being a lead announcer on a national level after losing out to Ian Darke over the summer. FSC finally has a half-decent announcer. ESPN promotes the underused Adrian Healey who is serviceable in his own corny, unique way. And JP stays with 6ABC and the Union. Now if only ESPN could do something about that John Harkes problem....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United: I Can't Stop Smiling

In all likelihood, Chelsea are not winning the English Premier League. Chelsea have a mountain to climb if they want to win the Champions' League. Chelsea are out of the FA Cup and the Carling Cup. But, despite all that, there is no better feeling than watching what happened today when Chelsea came back from a 1-0 half time deficit to beat Manchester United 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. After a strike by Rooney put Man U up 1-0 in the 1st half, Chelsea responded in the 2nd half with a brilliant volley by Essien to Ivanovic to newly acquired central defender David Luiz who looked more like a veteran striker in tying the game at 1. Then with 10 minutes left in the game, substitute Yuri Zhirkov carried the ball into the box only to be tripped up and drew the penalty. The penalty, taken by Frank Lampard, was a beautiful. Edwin van der Sar, knowing that Lampard likes to shoot to the goalkeeper's right, dove there, and for a change of pace, Lampard slotted it top shelf, ensuing van der Sar never had a chance. 2-1, and after 10+ agonizing minutes which featured more offensive chances for Chelsea than Manchester United, the home side were able to hang on and preserve the 2-1 victory. If you want to see the awesomeness for yourself, here are the goal highlights (watch ASAP because they will surely be down 15 seconds after I hit publish).

Manchester United fans will likely be upset at the referee of the match for not giving David Luiz a 2nd yellow after two questionable fouls after he earned his first yellow card. To them, I say tough luck. Manchester United have seen plenty of calls go their way, including Wayne Rooney avoiding a red card for elbowing Wigan's Jamie McCarthy last Saturday.

Enough talking about Manchester United, though. For me, this was the best win for a team I support since Roy Halladay's post-season no-hitter in October. Fantastic stuff from the Blues and a huge win that not only has them back in the race for the 2011-2012 UEFA Champions League, but has also blown the 2011 English Premier League title race wide open again with Arsenal only 4 points behind and holding a game in hand over league-leading Manchester United.