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Rock M Roundtable!

1 - I mentioned this morning that we've almost certainly seen Mizzou's Achilles heel at this point: defense.  Perimeter defense, in particular.  How far can Mizzou advance in the tournament without a rock solid defense upon which to fall back if their shots aren't falling?

2 - Speaking of fatal flaws ... how far can Kansas advance this March?  Are they a title contender despite their occasional lapses on defense and the glass (and, seemingly, a bit of immaturity)?  I don't want to overstate the issue -- they're still in Pomeroy's Top 10 on both sides of the court -- but I still had to ask.

3 - Alright, continuing the theme ... if the NCAA Tourney started tomorrow (and everybody had an equally tough draw, of course), who's your national title pick?

4 - I don't watch Raw, and I'm not going to start now, but I have to admit ... the pop at the 1:06 mark
of this video was about as good as you're going to see/hear.  What would have to happen (in an arena or stadium) for you to suddenly and spontaneously lose your mind to this degree?

Doug: 1 - Well, it's all incumbent on the draw, of course. But, watching Missouri as little as I have, they are severely lacking in most phases on the defensive end, especially rebounding. Yeah, they can shoot well, but my God, the guards are small. Phil Pressey will be an exciting player, but against some guys he looks like an 8th grader. I still think Missouri can be a second weekend team, because they're a tough 36-hour match-up for just about anyone, and if they can catch a couple of mid-majors in the first weekend, they'll at least make the Sweet 16.

2 - Kansas is definitely not as stifling a defensive team as it was in 2008, but other than the second half against Texas, the Missouri game (where bother teams were insane) and the K-State game from Monday night, they haven't exactly been terrible either. The immaturity thing is an issue, especially since the Morrises have a reputation and the officials will watch both of their performances with a very close eye. Getting a healthy Thomas Robinson back will be important, but I still think Kansas is one of only about 5 to 6 legitimate Final Four contenders in the country right now.

3 - But as far as a national title pick... I really don't have one. I guess if Texas keeps playing defense like they are, then the Longhorns would make the most sense, but I still look at Rick Barnes on the sidelines and I can't reconcile that pick in my mind. I think it's fair to say the top 5 teams all of aspects that would make them potential title contenders, but also have flaws that keep you from picking any of them.

4 - Were I in the Alamo Dome in 2008, my head would have exploded when Chalmers hit his shot. And, despite not being a fan of RAW, I can understand why the return of the Rock sent people into hysterics.

The Beef: 1 - How far can they go in that scenario?  Not very…like out in the first game not very.  The book is getting out on this team, and how much they miss Ramsey, Tiller and Taylor for their activity on defense is getting more and more magnified with each passing effort from the opposing team.  And while I appreciate our team is never going to be a good, or even a marginal rebounding team, our body position on defensive rebounding attempts just seems to slowly boggle the mind.  It is one thing to get out on the break and keep the pace going.  But it is entirely another if you are trying to do so without actually having the ball.

2 - I think kU is a title contender, but that is assisted by the fact there are no amazing teams this year.  I think the pool of very good teams (of which kU is one) is probably around 6-8, maybe more depending on how beat up a Big East team or two is after their gauntlet-run.  With a good draw and a little luck, kU might be saved from themselves before getting to the final weekend, where they certainly have as much talent as anyone.

3 - I still like Ohio State, despite the recent loss.  Not many people win in Wisconsin to begin with, and they needed an amazing effort to get it done as it was.  I like their experience, and I love how well Sullinger shoots FT’s.

4 - Game 7, Stanley Cup, Overtime, Championship-winning goal.  Like The Rock’s return…it just comes out of nowhere because of the speed of the game.  A game-winning shot in basketball would be close, but there is still time to process the moment with the shot being in the air.  A goal is so split-second in its timing that you just end up losing your mind.

(90 minutes later...)

Michael Atchison: Sitting in a doctor's office. I'll try to get to most of this later. I'll take either Texas or Pitt to win it all, and North Carolina is a dark horse to make a long run.

I think Missouri's style works better in a tournament against unfamiliar foes than it does in conference play. They were ugly last night, but still have Sweet 16+ potential.

Why is the video backwards? And how does a "non-fan" stumble across such things? And where's Ross? Out impressing his coworkers by buying an elegantly arranged bagel basket?

Sent from my iPhone

Bill C.: NOTE: This is the second straight week I've answered my own questions.  I WILL NOT BE BLAMED FOR A TERRIBLE ROUNDTABLE!

1 - As Doug said, it depends on the draw, but clearly it's a concern.  You can pin pretty much everything on perimeter defense if you want -- open 3-pointers, big-man foul trouble, rebounding problems (after the big leaves his man to help) -- and you could be correct.  I could still see Sweet Sixteen as a possibility with the right draw, but we are going to be very vulnerable from the opening round.

2 - At this point, I trust Texas, Ohio State, Pitt and Duke to win it all more than I do Kansas.  But they're still certainly a Final Four contender.  They've got issues, but so does just about everybody else.

3 - Honestly, I'm just assuming Duke puts things together and makes another really strong run.  After them, give me Pitt and Duke.  As for teams outside the Top Five ... I think Georgetown has the best chance of putting together six straight very good games.  Maybe Notre Dame after that, but I doubt it.  Really, there's nobody else I trust to make a run right now.

4 - The Stanley Cup is a good one ... the only other thing I can really think of beyond that is a Tracy Porter-style interception in the Super Bowl / national title game / some other huge football game.  The trick is that you really can't see it coming, and judging from all those great YouTube shots of the Porter interception, most of New Orleans didn't see Porter's pick coming.

Bill C.: Dammit.  Make that "After them, give me Pitt and Ohio State" in Answer #3.  Did not mean to make Duke my No. 1 and No. 3 picks.

The Beef: Way to hedge your bets there Bill

The Beef: And with that out of the way…let Teh Suck continue!!

ghtd36: Ahoy-hoy, gentlemen. A week and a half after Super Bowl XLV, the high today in Dallas will be 70. Tomorrow? 76. God's taunting us.

1 - As our esteemed Jayhawker said, it all depends on the draw. The problem, to me, isn't so easy as saying "perimeter defense." It's matchups. For example: Texas Tech had the bigs that Mizzou should be able to guard, which are to say they aren't legitimate big bigs. They're more like tall guys playing bigs. To me, there are three types of players that truly give Mizzou fits: big guys who play like bigs (KU's Morris comes to mind), big shooting guards (Alec Burks comes to mind) and true slashers (Jordan Hamilton comes to mind). To me, a nightmare matchup for Mizzou is Wisconsin, because they've got all three. So, to answer your question, it depends on the draw, but right now, I'd be thrilled with a Sweet 16 berth.

2 - Kansas is still a title contender based on pure talent, but wow, I can't help but think that Josh Selby is a zero-sum player. Obviously, he's a freshman, and he's going to do freshman-y things (Phil Pressey's alley-oop says hi), but his ability to efficiently and effectively disregard common sense is astounding. He's fully capable of going off for 40 in a night, but he's also capable of causing more harm than good. If I'm Bill Self, when tourney time rolls around, Selby is a bench player, a sparkplug, and doesn't get more than 18 or so minutes.

3 - I still think Ohio State is the complete package. Duke's obviously in the conversation as well. Wisconsin is sneaky-good. BYU's a threat to win it all, too, and we all know why. I'm very interested to see if San Diego State is as good as advertised, because if they are, they've got a shot. And I hate to say it because they're always in the conversation, but don't count out Syracuse.

So, yes, my pick to win it all is Seton Hall.

ZouDave: back from my meeting finally.  There's nothing better than spending the first 10 minutes of a staff meeting arguing, basically yelling, at one of the directors of your department for not listening.

As it turns out, I'm really kind of a jerk.  But I'm also right.  It's an awful combination.

1 - This feels like a Sweet 16 team to me, but we could go out at any stage because that's what the tournament does.  I mean, we could get hot and get the absolute perfect set of opponents and run to the Final Four, or we could be the 5-seed that gets run out by the 12 in round 1.  In my opinion our biggest problem is going to be facing a team with BIG forwards.  If the other team has a couple of wide-bodied rim-biters, we're in trouble.  If a team is small and athletic, I like our chances...unless they're just simply better than us.

2 - Well, I guess they're practially always "title contenders".  Their 2008 team was far from being their best team ever, but it won.  I've watched very little of them this year but the games I've seen (vs UCLA, vs Mizzou, vs KSU) I don't see an unbeatable team at all.  I see a very good team that USUALLY only has a few scoring options.  Against Mizzou, a couple of players showed up out of nowhere to destroy us in scoring as we did a reasonably good job of keeping the Morris twins in check and were lucky enough to not face Selby.  So if a team takes away their normal scorers, they better hope Little or Reed or someone is feeling hot.  I think their achilles will be their maturity and ego.  They clearly don't like being punched in the mouth (although the Morris twins have no problem punching people, ahem) and don't like it when things aren't going their way.  It will be hard to pick against them...what am I saying, I'll have NO problems picking against them.  Screw ku.

3 - I think Texas is playing the best basketball right now.  Probably a title game of Texas vs Ohio State.  I will hate that game, because that SHOULD be a football game.

4 - Well, I suddenly and spontaneously lost my mind to that degree back in May at the Pearl Jam concert at Sprint Center.  I had said going into the show that if they didn't play Yellow Ledbetter the show would be a failure.  Pearl Jam put on an AMAZING show, just ridiculously awesome.  I'm not a huge music expert, I've been to like 5 concerts in my entire life, so I don't really have an opinion that counts but holy crap Pearl Jam was just insane.  They played solid for like 2.5 hours, incredible energy, excellent stage performance, and they have great music.  So they get through the first encore, no Yellow Ledbetter.  2nd encore is ending, no Yellow Ledbetter.  So the show feels like it's over, and Vedder gets back up to the mic and says "I've got one more story to tell you about something to do with winning a gold meal in the last Olympics in Vancouver."  They proceed to bring Curt Tomasevicz, the main guy on the USA Bobsled team that had won the goal a couple of months earlier, onto the stage.  Apparently he listens to Pearl Jam before competing, and he's somewhat of an accomplished bass player.

So Vedder talks for awhile about Tomasevicz and how awesome Team USA did and says "he had a request to play a song with us..."

And then the opening bassline of Yellow Ledbetter started.  I absolutely lost my freaking mind.  Now, I was also really drunk so that played a part in it, but it was just the PERFECT way for me to get my wish.  I had just seen the best concert I'd ever seen (small sample size, but still) and it was being topped off with the ONE SONG that I had said I wanted to hear more than any other.  The final song of the final encore, being played but a USA Gold Medal Olympian, I lost my mind.  I grabbed my friend Bill (not Bill C) by the shoulders and just started shaking him uncontrollably.  I ended up almost knocking 4 people down with my violent shaking.  Then I made up my own lyrics to the song as the whole crowd sang along, because nobody (not even Eddie Vedder) knows all the lyrics to that song:

SleepyFloyd7: 1 - If they aren't playing defense (particularly on the perimeter), AND the shots aren't falling,  this is a one-and-done tourney team. They are certainly capable of making a run, but they are going to have to start playing marginal defense, and score at least 85 points every game (just to be safe). Let's just say I would not be shocked to see them playing on the second weekend, or having to take the "flight-of-shame" back to Columbia on the first Thursday or Friday night.

2 - How far can they go? Well, they can cut down the nets in Houston. They are deep enough, and have maybe the most diverse offense in college basketball. That said, I am saving a little money each week to buy a t-shirt from the next mid-major to get the Morris Twins in foul trouble, play some pesky defense to frustrate the kU guards, and have some kid with an unpronounceable last name hit 12 three-pointers.

3 - I'm with Tepper here. Buckeyes look like the real deal. I have been so impressed with Thad Motta - he gets the blue chippers, and gets them to play like a real team. They can be ruthless.

4 - Drunk in a bowling alley, and Jeffrey Lebowski and Walter Sobchak walk in.

Bill C.: I guess I shouldn't tell Dave that Pearl Jam ends almost EVERY show with Yellow Ledbetter as the final encore...

ZouDave: you shut your mouth

ghtd36: Oh no. You've shattered Dave's world, Bill. I hope you're happy.

ZouDave: I will now spend the next hour linking you to Pearl Jam setlists where they DIDN'T play Yellow Ledbetter.

Bill C.: Do NOT make me start linking to the ones where they list is longer.

Huh huh...mine's longer...

ZouDave: first time that's ever been true

SleepyFloyd7: "River is cold."
"Deep too."

ZouDave: Another one

Bill C.: On a side note, WOW is that Boston setlist awesome...but now we're boring people.

ghtd36: I don't know. I like Pearl Jam, but I've always found them to be overrated.

This will draw ire, but what's the difference between PJ and, say, Linkin Park?

ZouDave: one more

New Orleans, Boston and New York didn't get Yellow Ledbetter in the same concert tour that Kansas City did.

Victory:  ZouDave.

You want to see an odd collection of pictures?  Google Image search ZouDave Wins.

Bill C.: This. Is. The. Greatest. Google Image Search. EVAR.

ZouDave: It's up there.  And it gives a pretty good graphical representation of my sense of humor.

(30 minutes later...)

ZouDave: If this roundtable were....

a sign:

a street:

a meme:

on a grill:

a webpage:

had its picture somewhere:

Michael Atchison: As a peek into the generational divide, I’m curious to know how many of you (and our readers) don’t remember a world before Pearl Jam.  I’m willing to bet that for most of you, Pearl Jam is like what the Rolling Stones are to me, something that has always existed.

I remember walking into Streetside Records in Columbia (the original location) and buying Ten when I was in law school.  I was slow to warm to them, but at that time, everything paled next to Nirvana.

ghtd36: This is the Pearl Jam of roundtables.

ZouDave: Oh I can't're.....don't.........that's.........damn.

Michael Atchison: Perfect description, Greg.  We’re producing the same product over and over and over again.

ZouDave: I always preferred Pearl Jam to Nirvana.  I NEVER thought Nirvana was all that good.  Their sound annoyed me, their lyrics still annoy me, and it bothered me that every single song seemed to be the band telling their fans how stupid they were for liking their music.

Pearl Jam > Nirvana.

I bought Ten when I was a sophomore in high school and it was one of my most-listened to albums of the next 3-4 years.  Between that and Metallica's Black album, I really didn't need any other CDs.

SleepyFloyd7: Atch - I was working my first radio job in Austin in 1991. We had all of those bands come through town. That was a pretty good run there.

Albums that hit in 1991:

PJ - Ten
Nirvana - Nevermind
RHCP - Blood Sugar Sex Magic
Metallica - Metallica
Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger
Smashing Pumpkins - Gish
Lenny Kravitz - Mama Said

Michael Atchison: 1991 was a monster year.  Also Achtung Baby, the Pixies’ Trompe le Monde, Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend, Massive Attack’s Blue Lines (which might be my favorite of the bunch), and many more, including Hymns to the Silence, which I think might be Van Morrison’s best after his initial early epic run.

I declare Ten to have been the thirtieth best album of 1991.  I’m not sure where it finished in the Village Voice poll, but it didn’t make the top 40 (though it did come in at number 34 the next year after they tallied two years’ worth of votes).

SleepyFloyd7: So with no (apparent) deal with the Cards and Pujols...

Can any baseball team justify spending $300m over 10 years on one player?

Michael Atchison: Sure, the Yankees can.  For them, it’s the equivalent of most teams spending $100mm over 10 years.  But the only team it makes even the slightest bit of sense for is the Cardinals, who would essentially be paying him for value they already got (and even that isn’t really sensible).  His last ten years were absolutely worth $300mm in baseball terms.  His next ten won’t be.

ghtd36: I hear the Rangers are looking for a first baseman.


ZouDave: I want the Royals to do whatever it takes to get Pujols.  He won't come here, I know that, and the Royals won't try, I know that, but that's not the point.  I want them to do whatever it takes.

10 years for even $400M?  Do it.  Having Albert Pujols on the 2011 Royals will add 5,000 attendees to every single game, 10,000 on the weekends.  He will be the only thing worth watching.  And it gives you a star beyond star to be there when Hosmer, Moustakis, etc., start joining the big club later this year and next year.  If our minors system, which basically everyone overwhelmingly agrees is the best in baseball right now, becomes what it is hoped to become and we already have Albert Pujols on the team then you will have saved the Royals franchise and the $40M/year will have been worth it.

Michael Atchison: Yeah, but if you have Albert, where does Kila Kaia’hue play?

Big picture, man.  Big picture.

ZouDave: Maybe we can trade him to get John Buck.

Wish we had John Buck two years ago.  Oh, we did?  Four years ago, then.

The Beef: As a non-Cardinal fan living in STL, this really has been entertaining to watch this entire dance.  It now will get even more entertaining, as typically truculent Pujols and Larussa will get EVEN MORE SO as the season goes along and they are getting asked this question….especially when the Cards slump.

From where I sit, both the Cards and Pujols are right.  The Cards SHOULD NOT give him 10 years.  Pujols SHOULD want 10 years/300 million.  He already was very discounted for the last 10 years, he deserves the money.  Now, the Cards should have done this 2 years ago at 10 and 250 and minimized the amount of potential wasted time/money at the end of the deal.  Now though, unless they can agree on 8 years at 240 or something….I just don’t see it happening.   Nothing says that cant happen during the season…but I doubt it does.

ghtd36: I feel like someone needs to offer Pujols this:

Doug: But, to me, it sounds like the years do not matter to Pujols.  What matters is a three followed eight zeroes, and screw the number of years.  300 million for eight years?  Sure.  Nine years?  Fine.  Ten years?  Whatever.  Just pay me.

He is probably the most valuable player in the history of the Cardinal's franchise and means the most to any franchise other than Jeter and the Yankees.

The Beef: I guess I would disagree with that.  Now I don’t believe the Cards would have been willing to pay 30 million a year on average (just about DOUBLING his salary from this year), but I’ve not heard of anything the Cards were offering past 5 or maybe 7 years.  From what I have heard (and I have NO sources, just news media here locally), Pujols’ camp appeared to really want the 10 years.

What I can say is there is an interesting growing faction of Cards fan who do NOT want the Cards to re-sign Albert….and there will be an equally growing faction of people REALLY angry with the team for not getting this done previously.  That makes two groups of fans not happy with something affiliated with Cardinal baseball.  Could make the season interesting as it progresses.

ghtd36: In all seriousness, if I'm the Cardinals -- a team that's never had a payroll over $100MM -- I make a good offer, and if it's not good enough, I'm out. I know, I know: that's insane. But you can't financially cripple your team for the sake of "tradition."

Bill C.: To catch up...

1. I hate Pearl Jam haters.

2. I too always thought PJ > Nirvana, though I grew to like Nirvana after a while too.  And yes, I was in 7th grade when "Jeremy" hit it big.  I remember a world without PJ, but I really started becoming a music nerd/snob right around the time that PJ got huge.  I was partially obsessed with PJ, RHCP, and REM ... and partially obsessed with Kris Kross, Hammer, Ice, and Young MC.

3. StL is kind of half-screwed either way here.  Either they lose Pujols and take a huge PR hit for not getting the deal done ... or they sign Pujols to an obscene contract and can't afford to put many good pieces around him.

4. Oh good. Baseball season.  To summarize every ghtd36 roundtable answer for the next nine months: "RANGERS!!  RANGERS!! RANGERS!! RANGERS!! RANGERS!! RANGERS!! RANGERS!! RANGERS!! (Rangers GIF)  RANGERS!! RANGERS!! RANGERS!!"

ZouDave: I got my first CD player at Christmas of 1990.  The first CD I bought myself of MC Hammer's Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em.  I would also go on to own Vanilla Ice's To the Extreme, MC Hammer's Too Legit to Quit (hey, hey!) and some other remnants of terrible "popular" music.

As I said before, once I got PJ's Ten and Metallica's Black album, my ability to judge music on my own vs what was being played on Q104 or Mix 93 was formed.  And really, it hasn't changed since then.  I still like those songs and have been ridiculously unimpressed with music for the past 15+ years.

ghtd36: Oh, Bill. Your reduction of me is so silly.


Michael Atchison: I don’t hate Pearl Jam.  I’ve bought many, many of their albums that all sound alike.

Bill C.: HATER!!!!

SleepyFloyd7: Atch - there's also something to be said for doing what you do, and doing it very well for 20 years. Not many bands have been able to do it as well as Pearl Jam this far into their careers. I saw them in 1991, and I saw them 2 years ago (plus 3 other times in there too). They have shown a consistency that Mike Anderson would drool over.

The Beef: Wow…way to try to bring that one back to Mizzou sports.

So…softball with their first weekend tournament.  Taking on some decent teams…and Washington.  5 games in total…assuming all are do they finish the weekend?  Does Coach E shave from Friday to Sunday?

SleepyFloyd7: This early in the season, it's a little overzealous to think they can sweep the weekend. You just never know until we see more of how Coach E mixes and matches all of that talent.

That being said, they will go 5-0 and Coach E will come back looking like this.





Doug: What, is FijiTiger now turning his attention of softball "analysis"?

Michael Atchison: Pearl Jam is great.  But you know what’s better than Pearl Jam?  Stone Temple Pilots.

I kid, I kid.  Actually, what’s better than Pearl Jam is watching Pearl Jam fans’ reactions to the suggestion that there might be something better than Pearl Jam.

If we want to have more fun with Bill, let’s starting talking about Dave Matthews Band, because there’s no jam like soprano sax jam.

Bill C.: Strangely, I probably enjoy DMB more than Pearl Jam, but I also understand the complaints more.  So I end up more defensive about Pearl Jam.

(And I almost randomly yelled at a kid on campus one time when I overheard him saying something to the effect of "I don't understand what the big deal is with Pearl Jam.  All they did was rip off Stone Temple Pilots...")

ghtd36: DMB is one of those bands that you can play in your car regardless of who is your passenger. Other choices include Genesis and Coldplay.

The Beef: I agree…the only CD’s I MIGHT buy (since I really don’t download music these days) anymore would be a DMB CD since I know I can play it at the beginning and not have to skip over crap in the middle.

ZouDave: I have a guest comment about Pearl Jam from Joeboo of Tigerboard "fame" who I consider to be on-par, at worst, with Atch and Bill C on music knowledge:

I'd guess that the people who think they are the same band from 20 years ago are also the people who think they stopped writing music after about 1995, they probably assume that Pearl Jam still tours and just plays Jeremy and Black over and over again.

They aren't drastically different. They still have songs that rock on their new albums just like Evenflow or Animal did on the early albums, and they still write slower, poignant ballads like Black or Daughter from the early albums.

The only difference is that now you don't hear their stuff as much on the's like radio doesn't know what to do with them. Classic rock stations don't play their new stuff, and modern alt/rock stations consider them too old/classic to play their new stuff.

Their last album, Backspacer, may be their best in about a decade, it was quite good.

This ballad is on par with a lot of their great early songs:

This song kicks ass as much as a lot of their early ones:

oh, and I'd say Billy Joel should fit in the "regardless of your passenger" category, but that may be too obvious.  Or is it that he doesn't count as a band since he's not called Billy Joel Band?  BJB?

Michael Atchison: Doug Gottlieb just tweeted what I said earlier.

He also said some really bad things about Pearl Jam.

Bill C.: And then he blamed Matt Pressey for high unemployment rates.

ghtd36: The reason Beef hasn't replied in a while: he's writing a love note to Doug Gottlieb.

/pokes the sleeping bear
//Beef <3 Gottlieb meme could be fun

Oh, and...there's this.



The Beef: There is enough anti-Semitism in the world…no need for Jew on Jew crime….or really…Jew on Jew anything.

ghtd36: Beef, 1,000 years from now when you die in a televised wakeboarding accident, I want "No need for Jew on Jew anything" on your tombstone.

SleepyFloyd7: Did you know Abe Lincoln was Jewish?

He was shot in the Temple.

/Dean Martin

ghtd36: Wow. Too soon, dude.

Michael Atchison: Too soon.