1 - I played the What-If game this morning, wondering if expansion of the NCAA Tournament would allow mediocre coaches to keep their jobs longer (We made the tournament ... *cough cough* as a 19-seed *cough*). It's easy to see the benefits of a severely expanded field from a coach's or player's perspective ... but what do you think would be most drastically altered (for better or worse) about the fan experience of the NCAA Tournament? We're still in the philosophical stage of this issue, and everybody's almost unanimously against it, but if you're against it, I guess I'm looking for the single biggest reason why ... from a fan's perspective.
(That might be the most long-winded, convoluted roundtable question I've ever asked. I guess I could have just gone with "Tell me why you hate the 96-team tournament idea" and be done with it.)
2 - As I could (and sometimes do) ask every week ... have your perceptions of your team changed at all in the last week of games?
3 - Picks (of the bigger Big 12 games)!
Iowa State at Missouri (tonight)
Baylor at Nebraska (tonight)
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State (Saturday)
Texas A&M at Texas Tech (Saturday)
Missouri at Baylor (Saturday)
4 - Summer music festival lineups are starting to get finalized ... name the five bands you would have no choice but to go see if it were announced that they were all playing at the same weekend festival.
Doug: 1 - The 8 1/2 by 11 inches piece of paper. How are you going to fit a tournament bracket on a normal size piece of paper? There's a whole lot to object to: how the schedule would affect conference tournaments, pushing the finals back to Masters' weekend, and the issue of giving some teams a chance to warm-up in the tournament before facing a higher seeded opponent. But, ultimately, the bracket has become part of the tournament and whether you wager on yours or not, the reality is a 96-team field will irrevocably alter how we look at the tournament on paper, and I think that will cheapen it.
2 - I think Kansas further proved it has the ability no other team in the Big 12 has: go on the road and win anywhere, and basically sealed the conference title. Texas' tailspin continues and until I see them not get thumped at home or have to rally furiously on the road, I would make them a Sweet 16 caliber team at the best right now.
3 - Iowa State continues to disappoint, despite taking K-State to the wire: Missouri in a walk.
The Bob will be rocking... okay, not really: Baylor, easily.
I kind of feel bad for Jeff Caple, the guy was two or three more solid seasons from cementing himself as the next head coach at Duke: Oklahoma State in an ugly game.
Tech surprised me beating OU in Norman, but A&M is quite good: A&M close.
I think Baylor may have the length and the defense to give Missouri trouble, especially in Waco, Anderson is the better coach, but: Bears, very close.
4 - Hmmm... DMB (shut up), O.A.R. (I said, shut up), Springsteen, Frightened Rabbit and Paul Freeman.
Michael Atchison: 1 - I’m against it for a couple of reasons: (1) it’s damn near perfect already, and I’m opposed to tinkering with perfect things; and (2) Why would you expand the tournament by 50% by adding teams that have no chance at all to win it? This is a tournament to decide a national champion. Currently, even with the automatic bids, the best 40-45 teams get into the field. When we have the bubble discussion now, it’s not really about which deserving team is going to be left out; it’s about which undeserving team is going to get in. I don’t want another 30 undeserving teams. The tournament’s narrative now is perfect. You get a lot of calamity in the first couple of days, and then it settles down into a serious championship tournament with one or two gate-crashers in the second week. The chaos is part of the fun, but there’s no point in trying to artificially force more of it into the tournament by engineering another week full of teams with no chance to win. I can’t tell you how much I hate this idea. And I don’t get worked up by much.
2 - If anything, the perceptions have been reinforced. Shoot well, win. Don’t, lose. And I always thought that scoring inside was going to be a challenge, but it’s becoming clearer how much that affects the rest of the game. Keith Ramsey can look like an impact player in a game like the one they played in Boulder. If guards are making shots, he’s free to make spectacular blocks and create havoc. But, like against A&M, when the guards aren’t making shots, and the opponent knows that they don’t have to defend him in the half court, it clogs everything up for everyone. Really, the inside game would be considerably better if we could find someone who won’t short-arm an eight-foot jumper from the center of the lane. That tendency makes my head asplode.
3 - MU big over ISU.
Baylor narrow over Nebraska.
OSU by nine over OU.
A&M by six over Tech.
I so want to pick Mizzou at Waco, but I’m struggling to find a supporting argument.
4 - The Hold Steady
ZouDave: 1 - I would hate it. We've never had a 16-seed beat a 1-seed, you think it's going to get any more competitive with them facing 24 seeds? Or are you going to be giving byes to high seeds? Because I hate that even more. We as fans are not going to want to wait to see the best teams play.
Leave it alone. LEAVE MARCH MADNESS ALONE! I MEAN IT!
2 - Yes and no. I now have to admit we're not invincible at home, and I now can admit that we're not rubbish on the road. But we're still a team that, if the shots are falling, can beat absolutely anyone. We're also a team that can go 11 minutes at home without a field goal. In short, we're consistently inconsistent. Completely incomplete. I'll take your invitation, you take all of me.
3 - Missouri ROLLS tonight, Baylor ROLLS tonight, OSU wins bedlam on Saturday, A&M squeaks by against Tech on Saturday, Baylor beats Missouri on Saturday and I have a feeling they're going to beat us by a lot.
4 - Led Zeppelin, The Who, Guns 'n Roses with Axl and Slash reunited, Blue Man Group, Old Man Shattered.
RPT: 1. Coaches are coming out in favor for it because it means more coaches would keep their jobs. Is that really true though? Won't "multiple 19-seeds" equate to the current equivalent of "multiple NIT bids" at some point? I love how they're talking about revolutionizing the tournament while pretending that no one's perceptions of success are going to change.
2. What we learned: Mizzou will have trouble holding on to leads while in the midst of a 13-minute field goal drought.
3. ISU < MU
BU > NU
OU < OSU
TAMU < TTU
MU > BU (wholly a gut feeling here)
4. I'm going to break this up into two groups, an all-encompassing list and a Red Dirt list.
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Dirt list:
Cross Canadian Ragweed
Roger Creager (or) Randy Rogers Band (or) Stoney Larue
ghtd36: Sorry I'm late.
1- It would make the first round -- if you ask me, the best round -- almost unwatchable. You might as well give about six teams a bye, depending on the seeding arrangement (do you send the Colonial League champion to a 24 seed? Or does he keep a ~15 seed and you put a Big XII also-ran like Texas Tech down low? Either way, someone's getting a free pass). And even the second round would suck; those lovely 3 vs. 6 matchups in the second round, which produced things like Mizzou-Marquette last year are gone, and replaced with, theoretically, 3 vs. 10. It all sucks. It's the suckiest bunch of suck that ever sucked.
2 - Texas is not nearly as dangerous as we thought, and now I'm thinking that Mizzou will be solid favorites against them. As Bill said in the podcast last night (BECAUSE I LISTENED TO IT BECAUSE I'M AN AWESOME MEMBER OF THIS COMMUNITY), you could argue that the toughest game left on the schedule is @ Baylor. Now, obviously Kansas has something to say about that (because they look unbelievable right now), but Waco scares the crap out of me. Texas coming to town? Not so much.
3 -Let's go with Mizzou, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Tech and Baylor.
4 - I'm going to take RPT's idea and give two separate festivals: normal people music and awesome country music.
Normal People: Ben Folds Five (reunion!), Wu-Tang Clan (complete with reincarnated ODB!), Common, Ray LaMontagne and Muse. Holy crap, that's an awesome festival.
Country: Eli Young Band, Randy Rogers Band, Pat Green (only if he plays stuff from "Three Days" and "Live at Billy Bob's"), Cross Canadian Ragweed and Wade Bowen (my current jam).
Bill C.: Alright, time to answer my own questions...
1 - I will refer to the post that just went up. I'm sure that I'd figure out a way to get interested in the tournament because it's the tournament, but there are just so many fan-unfriendly pieces to this expansion that ... well, it would just be mean to pursue it further. You take the best postseason setup you've got going, and ... as mentioned above, you muddy it up with a bunch of teams that won't win it anyway. It's a pure money grab, and while I'm sure it wouldn't backfire on them as much as we wish it would (it never does), it would damage something as close to perfect as you can get. All to make sure that every ACC team gets an NCAA Tourney bid every year.
2 - Aww, somebody listened to our podcast. How sweet.
3 - MU > ISU. Just to throw a wrench into things, I'll say NU > BU. OSU > OU. TT > ATM. BU >> MU. Just don't like the matchups at all for Mizzou -- they have quick guards AND a big-time shot-blocker.
4 - Doug, I too love DMB, but having seen them 50 times, I don't necessarily need them at a festival. I'll say ...
Springsteen & E Street. Haven't seen them yet somehow.
The Roots. Seen 'em multiple times, and I'm dying to see them again. While we're at it...
Mos Def & Talib Kweli. What can I say ... I'm the prototypical white music snob.
The Flaming Lips. It's just not a festival without them. Most pure joy you'll ever experience at a concert.
Dylan. Seriously. Seen him ten times, and I love that he's figured out a way to make enjoyable music despite the fact that his voice sounds like a dirt road singing into a bad microphone. And it's just neat to see somebody of such historical gravity just kind of kicking back and having a great time.
Hmm...two rap acts in their 30s...a rock act in their 40s...and two rock acts in their near-60s and near-70s. I'm officially a 30-something music snob. Sweet.
And don't rule out that whole "reincarnated ODB" thing. I think it might happen.
Bill C.: Argh...forgot My Morning Jacket. Sorry, Bob. You're out.
Michael Atchison: You’ve seen Dylan ten times but never seen Springsteen once? That’s hard to imagine.
Every Dylan show I’ve ever attended has been either (a) mind-blowing; or (b) disastrous. The band with Charlie Sexton and Larry Campbell may have been the best band I’ve ever seen.
Bill C.: Yeah, the "Will this be great or horrific?" tension is what makes a Dylan show special. (Though you're right about Charlie Sexton...that guy is CRIMINALLY underrated.) And yeah...I've seen Dylan for $10 at a minor league ball park...for $25 at The Pageant in StL...how much would it cost me to get a decent seat at a Springsteen show?
RPT: How has no one included Starship in their music festivals???
Yeah, between Facebook and RMN, that's two "We Built This City" references for me in two days. Pardon me while I go commit seppuku.
Next question, though: If you could create a music festival of 5 acts and then bomb the shit out of the festival so you never have to hear their music again, who would it be?
Michael Atchison: Bill is not going to appreciate my answer to this question, so in the name of RMN détente, I’ll keep it to myself (though I’ll confess that the Grammy performance by the band in mind was one of the best things I saw that night).
Bill C.: I'm pretty sure "Best performance at the Grammys" falls under the "thinnest kid at fat camp" umbrella, though I did certainly enjoy their performance that night.
We're talking about Slash and Jamie Foxx, right?
ghtd36: Fact: I'm about to go speak to UribeAuction's Online Journalism class via Skype.
Fact: he's probably going to ask me a stupid question.
Fact: this is going to be awesome.
RPT: That's presuming that UribeAuction made it to class. Our resident Chicagoan is rocking a fever, and sadly, the prescription is not more cowbell. No word on if he's going to go all Jordan on everyone and have a hell of a day in class today.
As far as the music festival to nuke, the Black Eyed Peas are slowly etching their name in stone on the band list.
Michael Atchison: My impression of the Jamie Foxx performance: I was Ray Charles! I’m wearing riding boots! Jump around! What the &%^$ is Slash doing here?!?
Black Eyed Peas looked like Hendrix at Woodstock compared to that.
ghtd36: And UribeAuction did NOT make it to class. I hereby put in the call for a UribeAuction joke pelting.
RPT, you might have to change Uribe's diaper. Be aware.
RPT: Needless to say, I STILL received texts saying that my name had been dropped in class. Can I get a full transcript here?
And what does it say when ghtd36 wants to start joke pelting of someone who ISN'T EVEN A MEMBER OF THE ROUNDTABLE?
ghtd36: Please. Dude was talking some mad mess on Twitter last night about how he was going to drop a Ralph Wiggum "What's A Battle?" question on me, then gets sick.
And yes, I do love beating the defenseless. Hurling insults at Uribe in the Roundtable is like playing Colorado in basketball.
RPT: Speaking of beating the defenseless, I hear I was chastised in your lecture about me always complaining about the cold? This injustice will not stand. I will fight you in the streets.
As soon as I find a jacket.
But seriously, who was complaining about the cold in the podcast last night? /GLARES AT BILL
ghtd36: Oh don't play innocent. You were griping about the cold just as much.
ghtd36: Whoa. Computer fail.
And that, sir, is why I live in the greatest state in the Union.
Bill C.: It was just an excuse to kick off the podcast with Springsteen. I'm actually quite warm and comfortable outside in short sleeves. Because I'm a real man.
ghtd36: A real man with a cat. Does not compute.
LET THE CAT VS. DOG HOLY WAR BEGIN!
RPT: Fuel to the Bill with a cat fire:
Bill C.: For the record, two cats ... and a medium-sized dog. That makes it more manly, right?
RPT: Only if your dog is named Big Richard Ladymaster.