Entries in ncaa (26)


RIP Beano Cook 1931-2012

Carroll Hoff Beano Cook (September 1, 1931 – October 10, 2012) was a college football historian   and commentator who had worked for ESPN since 1986. 

He received his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1954, the year I was born.  

Beano was the sports publicist for the University of Pittsburgh from 1956 to March 1966, worked for the Miami Dolphins for one season, and later served as a publicist for both ABC and CBS in New York. It was Beano who was most influential in deciding the ONE college game viewers would see on Saturday afternoon back in the day.

Bean died in his sleep Wednesday night at the age of 81. His breadth of knowledge of the history of the college game earned him the moniker, the Cardinal of College Football. Most recently, Cook and ESPN.com senior college football writer Ivan Maisel shared the microphone on a weekly podcast. Cook also chatted regularly with ESPN.com users. I last heard him on the Tim Brando Radio Show ten days ago before his death.

Said ESPN College GameDay host Chris Fowler: Cook was an American original. His passion, depth and breadth of knowledge, and humor were unique. He was an invaluable early mentor to me and friend. His imprint can still be seen on GameDay each week.

One of Cooks most famous quips came in 1981, after then-commissioner Bowie Kuhn offered lifetime passes to baseball games to U.S. hostages returning from Iran. Havent they suffered enough? Cook said.

He also was afraid to fly, often citing that one of the words associated with any airport is terminal.

You only have to bat a thousand in two things flying and heart transplants, Cook once said. Everything else, you can go 4-for-5.

A neighbor gave him the nickname Beano when he moved to Pittsburgh from Boston as a child ( Oh, from Boston, like the beans).

Beano served in the U.S. Army for two years after graduating from Pittsburgh and lived in Pittsburgh for 74 years until his death.  Nobody knew and loved college football  as much as Beano.  He was one of a kind.  There will never be another Beano Cook.


Perfect NCAA Bracket is MARCH MADNESS

March Madness begins tonight at 6:30 ET with the First Four games. The games will be broadcast on truTv  and are being played tonight and tomorrow in the Dayton (Ohio) Arena.  A total of 68 teams qualify for the tournament.

Thirty-one (31) teams earn automatic bids as their respective conference champions.  The remaining thirty-seven (37) tournament slots are granted to at-large bids, which are determined by the Selection Committee, a special committee appointed by the NCAA. The committee also determines where all sixty-eight teams are seeded and placed in the bracket.  Once the First Four games are played, the four winning teams assume their places in the bracket of 64 teams.

More 100 million Americans are expected to take part in the 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament brackets, putting an estimated $3 Billion dollars in online and office bracket pools. If you have $10 and a Pay Pal account the Wolf can hook you up with the ICE Breakers group.  Of course this is a game of skill not gambling and every cent is returned to the contestants.

Contact me at bonzerwolf@gmail.com or through this site before 9 a.m. ET on Thursday for the hook up. Best bracket wins the pot, worst entry gets  $10 back (because they REALLY suck and have no skills).

Some businesses and web sites have bracket contests with the grand prize requiring a perfect tourney bracket. So what are the odds of a perfect NCAA bracket?

In 2010 an Autistic kid gained national attention for picking a perfect bracket for the first two rounds of the tournament. Amazing, but still far from perfection.

2012 Perfect NCAA Tournament Bracket – True Odds

There are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 possible brackets. Thats the number nine follow by eighteen zeros. Thats over 9.2 quintillion.

Other ways of explaining just how big the odds are against a perfect NCAA bracket:

If everyone on the planet each randomly filled out a bracket, the odds would be over ONE BILLION to 1 against any person having a perfect bracket.

If one bracket per second was filled out, it would take 292 TRILLION years to fill out all possible brackets (thats 20 times longer than the universe has existed).

If all the people on earth filled out one bracket per second, it would take over 43 years to fill out every possible bracket.

If all possible brackets were stacked on top of each other (on standard paper), the pile would reach from the moon and back over 1.1 million times.

All possible brackets (on standard paper) would weigh 90,000 times more than every man, women, and child on earth combined.

Even if a person had a 90% chance of winning each game he picked, his odds would still be 763 to 1 against picking a perfect bracket.

68 vs. 64 teams:

The calculations above were done for a 64 team bracket – The mens tournament is now 68 teams, so multiple the figures above by 16 if you have to pick the winners in the First Four games. The original numbers are still good for the Womens bracket.  BTW, if you gamble on womens basketball, seek help!


Big Time Baylor Basketball in Big D

We attended a NCAA mens basketball classic at AAC in Dallas last night with long time friend and regular reader, Longshanks.  No.6 Baylor defeated No.16 Mississippi in a battle at the AAC in Dallas.  Baylor junior Pierre Jackson’s driving layup with 28 seconds left and blocked the Bulldogs’ final shot attempt for a 54-52 victory, improving Baylor’s record to 13-0 and tying a school record best season start.

Renardo Sidney is going to get blamed for this loss after what he did with 1:35 left on the clock. After playing only 19 minutes due to heavy foul trouble, Renardo Sidney drew his fifth and final foul and a technical on the same possession. Down 52-50, Baylors Quincy Miller hit one of the two technical foul shots, and Quincy Acy hit one of his two foul shots to tie the game with 1:35 remaining.

Sidney did tie for the team-lead with 10 points and was dominant in the low post against Baylors rotation of low post defenders.

Wednesday’s game featured two contrasting halves, with Baylor topping Mississippi State by one point in both periods. The difference was a combined 39 points from the teams in the final 20 minutes compared to the first half, after which Baylor led 34-33.

The Bears struggled to 6 of 28 shooting in the second half, while the Bulldogs didn’t fare much better at 8 of 23. With such smothering defenses, Miller was asked if Wednesday was a man’s game.

“It was. The big men were tough, physical,” Miller said. “It was a very tough game.”

Baylor forced three ties in the second half after Jalen Steele’s 3-pointer put the Bulldogs ahead 38-36 at 17:34. After the first two ties, though, the Bulldogs responded by silencing the Baylor fans in attendance.

Hood answered a Perry Jones III dunk with a runner in the paint to retake a 40-38 lead, and Dee Bost later nailed a jumper in the paint after another Jones III dunk momentarily tied the game at 48.

Jones’ dunks were two of only four field goals he netted in the game, as he finished 4 of 13 with eight points. Jones is now 11 of 34 in his last three games.

The first half of Wednesday’s game was a seesaw affair, with three ties and five lead changes. Heslip had 11 points at the halftime buzzer, while Jackson had 10.

With over 20 seconds left, State couldnt get a solid look at the low block and a pick-and-roll never developed, thanks to some great denial defense by Baylor.  Bost failed to touch the ball for the final part of the game and clearly the set that was called in the huddle was designed to create something off the dribble. Plan B unfortunately became freshman guard Rodney Hood taking an off-balanced contested jump shot that was blocked.

College basketball fans learned two things about Baylor. Their guard play is significantly better with the additions of Boston College transfer Brady Heslips shooting and former junior college All-American Pierre Jacksons ability to create off the dribble. They are also a major force in Baylors 1-3-1 zone defense that allows the Bears to have long, athletic wings to come out 25 feet away to contest perimeter players and basically turn their defense into a mix-and-match man-to-man.

When I got home I watched a replay of the game.  Twenty nine scouts from 25 NBA teams were  in American Airlines Center to see the Arnett Moultrie/Perry Jones III matchup.  Looking at the box score, it may appear that neither was productive. But Moultrie has an impressive game, playing physical defense.  Moultrie was able to push Jones III out 12-15 feet away from the basket before he would get the post catch from a Baylor guard, most of the night.  Baylors projected lottery pick was 4-for-13 for only eight points.

Mississippi State (12-2) almost knocked off a Final Four contender in a NCAA Tournament-like contest at a neutral site.  The Bears are ecstatic about being one of four undefeated teams in the country. Theyve defeated some good teams and have earned the accolades that will come their way. Baylor is definitely the team to watch in the Big XII, (10-team) Conference.  The Bears conference opener against Texas A&M, tips off at 6 p.m. Monday, January 2 at the Ferrell Center in Waco.


Cincinnati vs Xavier Basketbrawl Gangsters Gang Bang

As seen on TV yesterday

The Cincinnati vs Xavier crosstown shootout got out of control Saturday and ended in a brawl, a few seconds before the end of regulation.

Eighth-ranked Xavier beat crosstown rival Cincinnati 76-53 on Saturday in a game that featured a steady stream of trash talking and was called with 9.4 seconds left when the teams got into a brawl in a corner of the court.

Words escalated into shoves and swings. Both benches cleared. Frease left the court with a stream of blood on his face after getting punched by Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates and then kicked as he lay on the floor.

It left a black-and-blue mark on the annual rivalry. Suspensions are expected after the videotapes are reviewed. The Atlantic 10 and the Big East are examining the brawl.  Numerous suspentions are expected.

Cincinnati Mick Coach Cronin told his players to remove their jerseys after the game because he was so upset at what happened.

“We represent an institution of higher learning,” Cronin said. “It’s way more important than basketball games. I made everybody take their jersey off, and they will not put it on again until they have a full understanding of where they go to school and what the university stands for and how lucky they are to even be there, let alone have a scholarship.

“They’re all sitting in there with no jersey on. Some of them I physically took it off.”

“If my players don’t act the right way, they will never play another game at Cincinnati,” Cronin said. “I’ve never been this embarrassed. I’m hoping President Williams doesn’t ask me to resign after that.

“I go to school at a place where they created the vaccine for polio and created Benadryl. I think that’s more important than a basketball game. And our guys need to have appreciation for the fact they’re there on a full scholarship. And they need to represent the institutions with class and integrity. That’s that.”

Xavier took another approach.  Player Tu Holloways told reporters,  Were grown men over here, Holloway explained. We got a whole bunch of gangsters in the locker room. Not thugs, but tough guys on the court. You know what Im saying?

The officials share blame for the embarassement.  I watched most of the game and there were numerous occasions when the referees should have handed out technical fouls.  The Xavier dunk right before the brawl was followed by taunting, and hanging on the rim. Both violations are technical fouls that were not called by the refs.  Coach Cronin agrees.

Cronin criticized how the officiating crew of Michael Roberts, Jeff Anderson and Tony Crisp handled the extracurricular activities.

“I saw it coming and tried to call a timeout. I saw it coming, and I asked the officials to stop it,” Cronin said. “So if you’re going to ask me where I’m upset, that’s where I’m upset. With all due respect to the three guys, that’s where I’m upset the most.”


Bowl Schedule 

All times Eastern

Jan. 9 BCS National Championship at New Orleans 8:30pm (ESPN): LSU vs. ALABAMA

Jan. 8 GoDaddy.com Bowl at Mobile, Ala., 9pm (ESPN)

Jan. 7 BBVA Compass Bowl at Birmingham, Ala., Noon (ESPN): PITTSBURGH vs. SMU

Jan. 6 Cotton Bowl at Arlington, Texas, 8pm (FOX): KANSAS STATE vs. ARKANSAS

Jan. 4 Orange Bowl at Miami, 8pm (ESPN): CLEMSON vs. WEST VIRGINIA

Jan. 3 Sugar Bowl at New Orleans, 8pm (ESPN): MICHIGAN vs. VIRGINIA TECH

Jan. 2 Fiesta Bowl at Glendale, Ariz., 8:30pm (ESPN): OKLAHOMA STATE vs. STANFORD

Jan. 2 Rose Bowl at Pasadena, Calif., 5pm (ESPN): WISCONSIN vs. OREGON

Jan. 2 Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla., 1pm (ESPN2): OHIO STATE vs. FLORIDA

Jan. 2 Outback Bowl at Tampa, Fla., 1pm (ABC): MICHIGAN STATE vs. GEORGIA

Jan. 2 Capital One Bowl at Orlando, Fla., 1pm (ESPN): NEBRASKA vs. SOUTH CAROLINA

Jan. 2 TicketCity Bowl at Dallas, Noon (ESPNU): HOUSTON vs. PENN STATE

Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl at Atlanta, 7:30pm (ESPN): VIRGINIA vs. AUBURN

Dec. 31 Fight Hunger Bowl at San Francisco, 3:30pm (ESPN)

Dec. 31 Liberty Bowl at Memphis, Tenn., 3:30pm (ESPN)

Dec. 31 Sun Bowl at El Paso, Texas, 2pm (CBS): GEORGIA TECH vs. UTAH

Dec. 31 Meinke Car Care Bowl at Houston, Noon (ESPN): TEXAS A&M vs. NORTHWESTERN

Dec. 30 Insight Bowl at Tempe, Ariz., 10pm (ESPN)

Dec. 30 Music City Bowl at Nashville, Tenn., 6:40pm (ESPN)

Dec. 30 Pinstripe Bowl at Bronx, N.Y., 3:30pm (ESPN): RUTGERS vs. IOWA STATE

Dec. 30 Armed Forces Bowl at Dallas, Noon (ESPN): TULSA vs. BYU

Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl at San Antonio, 9pm (ESPN)

Dec. 29 Champs Sports Bowl at Orlando, Fla., 5:30pm (ESPN)

Dec. 28 Holiday Bowl at San Diego, 8pm (ESPN)

Dec. 28 Military Bowl at Washington, 4:30pm (ESPN)

Dec. 27 Belk Bowl at Charlotte, N.C., 8pm (ESPN)

Dec. 27 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Detroit, 4:30pm (ESPN2)

Dec. 26 Independence Bowl at Shreveport, La.,4pm (ESPN)

Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl at Honolulu, 8pm (ESPN)

Dec. 22 MAACO Bowl at Las Vegas, 8pm (ESPN)

Dec. 21 Poinsettia Bowl at San Diego, 8pm (ESPN)

Dec. 20 Beef OBradys Bowl at St. Petersburg, Fla., 8pm (ESPN)

Dec. 17 New Orleans Bowl, 9pm (ESPN)

Dec. 17 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Boise, Idaho, 5:30pm (ESPN): OHIO vs. UTAH STATE

Dec. 17 New Mexico Bowl at Albuquerque, 2pm (ESPN)