Sunday, March 28, 2010

Launch of Movie Ranking site

I just wanted to let you know about the launch of a new movie ranking site called The site lets you create movie categories that interest you most, then rank and share your favorites. However, it also lets you discover movies that you might not of known in that movie category as you review through the rankings of other members.

You can also create groups focused on interests, both public and private. If you are a sports blogger, you could create a private group of sports bloggers then invite other sports bloggers to join the group. Then together you can create a private ranking category of the Best Sports Movies and create a composite ranking of sports movies by expert sports bloggers. Cool, huh.

Here is a brief video on how to rank movies in a category on the site. I highly recommend you check it out. By the way, if you want to check out my favorite sports movies (as ranked on the site), they are shown in the sidebar and here are some of my other favorite category rankings.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kentucky out -- Can't say I am sad

Well I was way off on my prediction that Kentucky would run away from West Virginia. Credit to West Virginia for playing very good zone defense and taking the middle away from UK. I am a little surprised they did not feed the ball more into the interior soft spots of the zone but maybe Cousins and Patterson can't shoot 10-12 foot jumpshots.

At any rate, I am happy to see Kentucky and Calipari lose far sooner than they were expected. Really bad guys and schools that hire really bad guys (despite knowing they are two time cheaters) should not win National Championships.

I have said before that I think Calipari very bad for college basketball and I am happy to see him out of the discussion this year. Now I hope that UK loses 4-5 guys to early entry which should make them fairly immaterial for next year. Good riddance.

Congrats Mountaineers.

Wow, What a Tourney

This has been the most memorable NCAA Tourney since my Illini went to the Championship game in 2004. Not only have there been a lot of extraordinary Cinderella stories like Butler, Northern Iowa and St. Mary's, there have been so many close games that it is hard to catch your breath.

The Kansas State/Xavier game on Thursday night was one of the best basketball games I have ever seen. It was amazing to see Jordan Crawford hit game-tying deep 3s with less than 10 seconds left -- not once, but TWICE!! Wow and the shot at the end of the first OT had to be from 6 feet behind the 3 point line. It looked like a Lebron 3, not a college kid's three.

Clearly, the energy and effort put into that game had sapped some of the strength from KState as they were not as impressive against Butler. However, Butler deserves most of the credit as they played great defense on Pullen and Clemente and were able to clamp down on the ball screens which really made the difference.

The Tennessee victory was very impressive last night. I have never been a big Tennessee fan because they never seemed to play good defense and their offense was sloppy. However, they really have seemed to come together since kicking Tyler Smith off the team. It has been addition by subtraction and they have become a much better defensive team as a result.

They played the game that I had expected the Illini to play against Ohio State in the B10 Tourney. They pressed almost the entire game and they substituted regularly to wear down Ohio State's 6 guys. I am not sure how you leave yourself with only 6 players that get minutes, especially when you are as good of a recruiter as Matta. However, that is the sad fact for the Buckeyes -- they really have themselves to blame because they have no depth and eventually someone was going to wear them down.

I really excited for the MSU/Tennessee game tomorrow as well as the Duke/Baylor game with Baylor and Michigan State coming out victorious. I expect both of those games to be very close. I will enjoy watching Kentucky/WVA tonight but I do expect Kentucky to run away with this one.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March Madness - Day 1

CBS is talking a lot about the large number of upsets (lower seeded teams winning), however I think it is more of a story about the POOR seeding by the committee than it is about upsets.

Many of these 6 vs 11 seed and 7 vs 10 seed games looked more like 8 vs 9 seed games that either team could win. That is a function of overseeding and underseeding.

Case in points:

Notre Dame as a 6 seed --- Really?! Just a week before the Big East tourney most bracketologists did not even have ND in the tourney but they end up with a 6 seed. That is ridiculous. I did not pick ODU in my bracket but I viewed this game as a pickem game that either team could win.

Richmond was a 7 seed but could easily have been an 8 seed. St. Mary's has been on a run and plays very well with a big-time player in Omar Samhan. I also viewed this a pickem game and I DID pick St. Mary's in my bracket.

Vanderbilt as a 4 seed -- Cmon!! Yes they had a decent record, 24-9, but they play in the SEC which is garbage beyond UK and TN. They lost to ILL (#74 RPI), West. KY #133 RPI), Georgia (#107) and South Carolina (#94). That does not look like a 4 Seed to me. Murray State was a real team and only had 4 losses that were actually better losses than the 4 I listed above for Vandy. They have very good guards and yes, I DID pick Murray St to win. In fact, I have them going to the Sweet 16.

And I never count an 8 vs 9 seed team as an upset either way. That is always a pickem game.

The Georgetown and Marquette losses were legitimate upsets that both surprised me and while I picked it I think the Murray State win was an upset. In my mind there were only those three upsets on Day 1. Overall though a very fun day of basketball!!

For Friday, I like the following upsets:

Minnesota over Xavier -- This is another 6 vs 11 seed game that I believe is actually more like an 8 vs 9 pickem game. Xavier is a good team that I think was only slightly overseeded as a 6. However, Minnesota is very underseeded as an 11 seed. They have been playing incredibly well over their last 10-15 games. The have some young big men that are coming into their own and their very balanced with good guard play also.

Cornell over Temple -- Cornell is a very good team that has a 7' center. Their only bad loss was to UPenn in the Ivy. They played Kansas very close and their other losses are to Syracuse and Seton Hall. I think Temple is a bit overseeded because of a weak schedule. They have bad losses to Charlotte and St Johns, and they also lost to Richmond which proved to be a paper tiger yesterday.

I also think Sienna will play Purdue close because they have just not been the same without Hummel. However, I think Purdue will find a way to win this one in a close game.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Great Story on The Sleaze that is Calipari

I know I have soapboxed on this topic before but I saw this great story by Charles Pierce and had to pass it along.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Getting Primed for March Madness watching Hoosiers

I just finished watching it for the umpteenth time. Way to go Shooter, way to turn it around. Love that movie. If you are male, love college hoops (I know it is is HS, but the Madness is the same) and don't own that movie, shame on you -- Buy it now

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Future looks Good for Illini

Well they did not get it done today against #5 Ohio State in a Double Overtime thriller, however the future is bright for the Illini. They return all five of their starters and the first 3 players off the bench.

What's more they add the #6 recruiting class in the country with two Top 50 players, Jereme Richmond and Meyers Leonard. Add in a very talented wing, Crandall Head, who is the brother of former Illini and NBA'er Luther Head.

What a little highlight of the future for the Illini? Check out this video of Meyers Leonard dunking on an opponent in the Illinois state tournament.

March Madness Started a Little Early This Year

Wow, that was some basketball yesterday, starting with Evan Turner's last second shot that he got off with 0.2 seconds on the clock and ending with the San Diego St upset of New Mexico in late night.

I watched most of the night games, the Illini upset of the Badgers was a great game with an exciting finish as the Badgers closed the gap to 2 points with less than a minute remaining. Some teams play better in their conference tourney and Illinois is one of those teams making it to the semifinals in 12 of the 13 years that the tournament has been played.

While the Hoyas ended up winning big over Marquette the game was close for the first 25 minutes. But the late game featuring West Virginia and Notre Dame was a nailbiter right to the end. Notre Dame had their chances right to the end with a good 3 point shot in the last seconds that just did not fall. Great effort for the Irish.

Then a classic Overtime thriller from Minnesota and Michigan State. Minnesota had built a nice 7 point lead with 3 minutes remaining only to see MSU step up defensive pressure and tie the game in the last minute. Despite that change in momentum, the Gophers were able to settle down and execute in Overtime to win by 5. If you haven't followed the Gophers story, they were supposed to compete for the Big Ten title but really started off weak, 3-4, in their first conference games. However, they are 6-2 over their last eight games including wins over Wis, Ill and now MSU and a 1 pt loss to Purdue on a last second shot. Very impressive.

Then the Mountain West puts its 4th team safely in the tournament when San Diego State upset #8 New Mexico. If you are not aware, the Lobos had won 15 straight and were 24-3 before the upset.

You cannot ask for a better day of basketball and we have not even hit the championship weekend, let alone the NCAA tournament, yet! Nice!