Monday’s Den: My favorite Batman villains (TV version)

When you’re a 6-year old whose name is Biff, and a TV show begins with a graphic that says “Whap!!! Pow!!! Biff!!!” you become a fan, a big fan.

My 13 favorite Batman (TV) villains
13) Chandell (Liberace)— The gifted piano player was both Chandell (the piano player) and his twin brother Harry who it turns out, was the real villain.

Trivia: Two Batman villains also had roles in Magnum PI; Howard Duff (Cabala) played Magnum’s grandfather. Barbara Rush (Nora Clavicle) played Magnum’s Aunt Phoebe, a playwright who had Alzheimer’s, and was also in another earlier episode.

12) Bookworm (Roddy McDowell)— Appeared in two episodes; Bookworm’s crimes were inspired by literary works, well, because he likes books.

McDowell also appeared in the Batman animated series in the early 90’s.

11) Colonel Gumm (Roger C Carmel)— He loved the color pink and was obsessed with stamps; Colonel Gumm appeared in the two-episode crossover with The Green Hornet, with Bruce Lee as Kato and Van Williams as the Green Hornet.

Trivia: There were three different Mr Freeze’s; Eli Wallach, Otto Preminger, George Sanders.

10) Siren (Joan Collins)— Played a sidekick to The Riddler’s devious plan to take over Gotham City’s boxing industry, but she also wanted to uncover Batman’s true identity.

9) The Archer (Art Carney)— Ed Norton from The Honeymooners was also a Batman villain!!!

Archer’s character was based (loosely) on Robin Hood; his henchmen were Maid Marilyn, Big John, and Crier Tuck.

8) King Tut (Victor Buono)— Appeared in eight episodes; Buono supposedly loved playing the character because it allowed him the chance to overact, one of the aspects of the character that made King Tut so beloved by fans.

7) Marsha, Queen of Diamonds (Carolyn Jones)— Better known for playing Morticia Addams on The Addams Family, Ms Jones was in five episodes of Batman, joining Addams Family cast members John Astin, Ted Cassidy in making Batman appearances.

6) Egghead (Vincent Price)— When I was a kid, would often substitute (eggs-ellent) for excellent when talking to my family. For a little kid, that was eggs-citing. Vincent Price was awesome in this role, an egg-centric guy with a very strangely-shaped head.

5) Mad Hatter (David Wayne)— This villain was obsessed with getting his hands on Batman’s cowl, which of course didn’t happen.

Wayne also appeared in four movies with Marilyn Monroe.

4) Penguin (Burgess Meredith)—Is more famous for playing Rocky Balboa’s trainer Mickey, but Meredith appeared in 20 Batman episodes, most of any villain.

3) Catwoman (Julie Newmar)— Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kitt also played Catwoman, but Julie Newman was the best of the three; she was 5-11, a prima ballerina for the Los Angeles Opera who graduated high school when she was 15.

in 2004, her next-door neighbor Jim Belushi sued her for $4M alleging harassment and defamation of character, as a result of a dispute over leaf-blowing.

2) Joker (Cesar Romero)— Appeared in 19 episodes, 2nd-most of any villain. Romero refused to shave his mustache and you can see it under his white face paint.

Romero had a long, excellent career; he appeared in the first Oceans Eleven (1960).

1) Riddler (Frank Gorshin)— No one wore the green body suit with the big ???’s on it better than Gorshin, who had a long career as a TV guest star, appearing in CSI, Wonder Woman and the original Hawaii Five-O, among many other shows.

John Astin played The Riddler for two episodes, but of course he was way more famous as Gomez Addams in The Addams Family

Sunday’s Den: Coaches I’ve enjoyed in movies/TV shows…..

This isn’t a ranking, just list of coaches I’ve enjoyed in TV/movies………

14) Ed Lauter, Youngblood— Lauter is a junior league hockey coach with a beautiful daughter (Cynthia Gibb) who of course falls for Rob Lowe, because, hey, its the movies. Lauter also was a prison guard in the original The Longest Yard.

Lauter’s character has a great line in Youngblood: “I didn’t come halfway to the (bleep)ing Arctic Circle to lose to these goons!!!”

13) Ken Howard, The White Shadow— One of my all-time favorite TV shows, Ken Howard did a great job of portraying Coach Reeves, a former NBA player who becomes a high school coach in Los Angeles. He patterned Coach Reeves after his HS coach; Carver High’s uniforms are even the same colors of the school he went to, Manhasset HS on Long Island.

12) Gene Hackman, Hoosiers— He wins the state title and gets the girl (Barbara Hershey) in the end, but for the love of God, why didn’t he know enough to give Jimmy Chitwood the ball at the end of games? Even the alcoholic assistant coach (Dennis Hopper) knew enough to get Jimmy the ball!!!

11) Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday— Most people remember the “Life is a Game of Inches” speech before the last game, but what he said to Jamie Foxx at the dinner in his house earlier in the movie “You’re a goddamn QUARTERBACK!!!!” was the better speech. This movie was made in 1999, but the divide between old-school thinking and modern analytics is in play, even back then.

10) Emilio Estevez, The Mighty Ducks— Mostly a goofy movie, but the underlying theme of a former star player coaching against the guy who coached him was interesting. Having players play catch at practice with raw eggs instead of hockey pucks was a neat coaching technique, to show the players how they needed to have soft hands.

9) GD Spradlin, One on One— This is an underrated movie and also fairly old now, but Robby Benson was a hot-shot high school basketball star who was mostly in over his head when he went to play college ball at a bigtime school.

This movie was filmed at Colorado State, which still plays in the same arena. Coach Smith was played by GD Spradlin, who also played Tom Landry in North Dallas Forty; if he such a great coach, why did he recruit Henry Steele (Benson), a flashy, small guard who couldn’t guard anyone? 

8) Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own— Hanks was a great player who is now a crude drunk who wasn’t healthy enough to be in the service during the war, so he coaches a girls’ baseball team with Madonna and Geena Davis on it. A guy could do worse. When Hanks was a kid (in real life), he was a vendor at the Oakland Coliseum; this was a pretty good movie, but my friend Dennis kills me every time I say that.

7) Wilford Brimley, The Natural— Pop Fisher is manager of the New York Knights; all he does is complain about bad his team is, but when Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) shows up to play for the Knights, he won’t give him a chance to play, until Hobbs puts on a prodigious display in batting practice. This movie was filmed in Buffalo, in the stadium where the Bills played before Rich Stadium was built.

6) Jon Voight, Varsity Blues— Whoever made this movie had a high school coach they really hated; lot of unrealistic behavior by Voight’s character, the legendary football coach Bud Kilmer. He berates players, doesn’t give his best running back the ball near the goal line (the kid cites racist motives for that) and just seems like a miserable human. Eventually the players quit on him, but not before going to a strip club for an all-nighter on the night before a game, like that would ever happen. Maybe after the game, not before. 

5) JK Simmons, For the Love of the Game— Simmons is manager of the Detroit Tigers whose best pitcher is fading star Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner). Simmons is a Tiger fan in real life– he played the part well. Simmons is a great actor who plays a music teacher in the disturbing movie Whiplash— he pushes his students unmercifully, trying to get them to reach their potential.

4) Nick Nolte, Blue Chips— Nolte spent lot of time around Bob Knight’s Indiana teams prepping for this role, so you see lot of Knight’s antics, and the climactic game for Western U is against the Hoosiers (in scenes filmed in a high school gym in Indiana). Nolte gets the role down well; he coaches against Rick Pitino, Knight and George Raveling in games, recruits against Jerry Tarkanian and Jim Boeheim.

3) James Gammon, Major League— Mr Gammon passed away nine years ago; he had such a great voice that one of the truck companies still uses his voice for their commercials. He plays Lou Brown, manager of the Cleveland Indians, who leads a rag-tag bunch of players to the AL pennant. He later wound up as Don Johnson’s father in the TV series Nash Bridges.

2) Gabe Kaplan, Fast Break— I love this movie. Kaplan is the manager of a New York City deli who takes a chance and becomes the coach at obscure college in Nevada; Cadwallader University. Bernard King was one of his players, another player turned out to be a girl. He $60 for every win off the bat, and doesn’t get a big contract until he beats Nevada State– he has to beat the Nevada State coach in pool just to get them on their schedule.

This movie should be on TV somewhere every now and then.

1) Billy Bob Thornton, Friday Night Lights— I think this is the best representation of a coach I’ve ever seen on TV or in the movies. The movie is from a book that is based on a true story about Permian HS in west Texas, where high school football is a religion. Thornton has the coach thing down pat; his speeches before a game and at halftime are realistic and not over-the-top. Tremendous acting job.

Saturday’s Den: Stuff you remember that reminds you we’re all getting old(er)

13) You remember having to get up to change the channels on the TV.

Until 1973, when I was 13, we had three TV channels, plus PBS which nobody watched except for Sesame Street and Mister Rogers (I preferred Green Acres and Mister Ed).

In 1973, we got cable TV, which came with a brown plastic box that was attached to the TV with a wire; you could sit there and change the channels. It was excellent. Still had to get up to adjust the volume, but it was excellent.

12) If you don’t know, Mister Ed was a talking horse who only talked to Wilbur Post, who owned the house, with the horse in a barn behind the house. Wilbur was an architect who never seemed to work; Ed got him into a lot of trouble. The show still appears on obscure cable channels now and then; check it out.

11) They used to have day games in the World Series; the first night World Series game was in 1971. Game 7 of the ’72 Series started at 1:00; it was over by 4:00 (the A’s won!!!) and at 4:00 the late NFL game came on. Obviously these days, World Series games are all at night.

10) When I was in college, the drinking age was 18; I used to sit in the Across the Street Pub with some of my college friends and argue about sports while they played Pac-Man endlessly. My friend Mike was fond of yelling at me, “Thats the dumbest thing I ever heard!!!” He said that a lot, usually very late at night.

9) There was a time when NHL players didn’t wear helmets’ nd those who did wear helmets were thought to be less manly than the others.

Boston Bruins had a terrific winger named Rick Middleton who had concussion issues so he had to start wearing a helmet. It was unusual then; now it is obviously a rule.

Goalies didn’t always wear masks either, which is staggering to think about. Was Andy Brown the last goalie who didn’t wear a mask?

8) Until 1958 there were no major league baseball teams west of St Louis; then the Dodgers/Giants moved to California. What a sucker the owner of the Giants was; he got Candlestick Park, a windy, cold, cruddy stadium, while the Dodgers got Chavez Ravine. Oy.

7) Before the Giants/Dodgers moved, there were three major league teams (out of 16) in New York City. Then from 1958-61, there was only one team in the Big Apple., before the Mets came into being in ’62.

6) Random baseball trivia from Ryan Spaeder: Hall of Famer Greg Maddux made his major league debut as a pinch-runner in the bottom of the 17th inning, on September 3, 1986;  he would stay in the game to pitch the top of the 18th.

Maddux became the first player to both pinch-run and pitch in his big league debut since Dan McGinn did so for the Reds on September 3, 1968.

5) Before 1985, there was no shot clock in college basketball, which made it a much different game. If you had the lead in the second half, you could just hold the damn ball and wait for a good shot. North Carolina had a “four corners” offense that featured PG Phil Ford and was very effective at the end of the games.

In 1979, Duke led North Carolina 7-0 at halftime. Of a basketball game. UNC held the ball for 11 straight minutes when they trailed 2-0. ESPN was about to become a real thing and games like this were unwatchable, so the shot clock eventually became a real thing.

4) For a long time, college basketball teams only made the NCAA Tournament if they won their league; in 1974, Maryland was #3 in the country, but they lost the ACC title game 103-100 in OT to NC State (#2 in country), so the Terps went to the NIT and crushed everyone they played.

NC State ended UCLA’s string of seven straight national titles, beating the Bruins in double OT in the national semifinals.

3) Again though, UCLA won seven straight national titles in an era where they had to win their league just to get into the tournament. Nowadays, Duke hasn’t won the ACC regular season title by itself since 2006.

2) There was a time when you went out, you made sure you had an extra dime (or later, a quarter) in your pocket, in case you had to make an emergency phone call. Phone booths were very popular and bailed a lot of people out in emergencies. Cellphones made them obsolete.
 
1) As I’m typing this, the 6-OT UConn-Syracuse game from the 2009 Big East tournament is on ESPNU; one of the refs was John Cahill, who is from Albany and was always very nice to me in our dealings when I was a student manager for the Albany Great Danes. Good to see him on TV again. Classic game, with Sean McDonough/Bill Raftery/Jay Bilas on the call, before Bilas became one of the more annoying people in America. 

Friday’s Den: Trying to make sense of what’s going on……

13) This website started on June 14, 2001, so it was still in its infancy when 9/11 happened; Back then, I just stopped writing for a week or so, until games started up again and we tried to get back to normal.

The last few days have a 9/11 feel to them; lot of uncertainty, sadness. This time, I’ll try and keep the home page going every day, probably with lists and general ramblings.

12) Just about all the conference basketball tournaments were cancelled Thursday, but the record will show that St John’s led Creighton 34-29 at halftime when the Big East got in line with everyone else and cancelled their tournament.

11) ACC brought Florida State’s team out on the floor, in uniform, to present them with the regular season trophy as they announced to the crowd that the ACC event was cancelled.

10) Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell tested positive for the coronavirus, the second Utah player to do so; Obviously, we wish both Mitchell and Rudy Gobert well.

9) 58 Jazz players/personnel had coronavirus tests Wednesday night, which of course caused some people to complain, since tests are supposedly hard to come by. And also because there are some people who just like to complain.

8) I usually don’t like quoting speculation, but thats all we have in lot of cases right now; sounds like the NBA/NHL could wind up with a multi-week break in the action, with playoffs lasting into July after things hopefully resume.

7) As I was typing this, the NHL and now major league baseball both suspended operations indefinitely. Sounds like I’m going to be watching a lot of movies the next few weeks.

6) NASCAR will run its races without fans at Atlanta and Homestead.

5) Philadelphia Eagles are shutting down their training facility, team owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. Wonder how many NFL teams will follow suit?

4) When Michigan, Ohio State cancel their spring football games, you know things are serious. If Alabama cancels their spring game, then it might be time to worry.

3) Bovada actually posted odds for which league will be first to play a regular season or playoff game. Seriously, this is real:
NBA +$200
MLB +$200
NHL +$210
MLS +$375

2) Cancellation of the NCAA tournament will probably cost Las Vegas sportsbooks well over $100M in handle, not to mention how much it would cost the hotels with cancelled reservations.  $100M in handle isn’t profit, it is only action, but thats a lot of lost action.
 
1) Speaking of which, after lot of thought, and I do mean A LOT of thought, I cancelled my upcoming trip to Las Vegas, which is a sad thing. Just want to do the right thing, and figured that staying close to home until things settle down was the best path to take.

The term “social distancing” comes into play here; it describes how we need to reduce the probability of contact between people carrying an infection, and others who are not infected.

Stay well, everyone. 

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……

13) Strange times we live in; because of COVID-19:
NBA suspended operations for the season. Wow.

— NCAA Tournament games will be played without fans.
— Starting Thursday, most conference tournaments won’t have fans.
— Seattle Mariners won’t be playing games in Seattle for a while.
— Michigan cancelled its spring football game.
— Ivy League schools cancelled all their spring sports.
— Golden State Warriors will play home games without fans.
— CBI tournament won’t be held this season.

Obviously, the most important thing is to get the coronavirus under control, take care of the people affected by the illness, and get life back to normal.

12) Utah-Oklahoma City game was postponed after the teams had gone thru warmups, which was a little bizarre. Turns out that Jazz C Rudy Gobert and PG Emmanuel Mudiay were taken to Mercy Medical Center in downtown OKC to be tested for the coronavirus.

Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus; we wish him well.

11) St John’s 75, Georgetown 62— Red Storm ended game on a 23-0 run, advance to play #1-seed Creighton Thursday, but they won’t have a home crowd to support then at noon Thursday. Crowd helped them at the end of this game.

Creighton PG Marcus Zegarowski (knee) won’t play this weekend.

Georgetown lost its last seven games; in three years under Patrick Ewing, Hoyas are 49-46, 19-38 in Big East games, 0-3 in Big East tournament games.

10) Oklahoma State 72, Iowa State 71— Kid on OSU dribbled length of floor and made a driving layup at the buzzer after Iowa State scored with 0:07 left.

9) Gonzaga is only team in country that has been in the Sweet 16 in each of the last five years.

8) Best wishes to Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg, who was taken to the hospital after his team lost 89-64 to Indiana in the Big 14 tournament. Hoiberg has had two open-heart surgeries, one in 2005 and a second one in 2015 to replace an aortic valve.

Also best wishes to Mr and Mrs Tom Hanks, who both tested positive for coronavirus.

7) Upsets:
— Cal (+9.5) 63, Stanford 51
— Washington State (+9.5) 82, Colorado 68
— DePaul (+6.5) 71, Xavier 67
— Boston U (+6.5) 64, Colgate 61
— Georgia Southern (+5) 81, Georgia State 62
— Idaho State (+4.5) 64, Northern Arizona 62
— Fordham (+3) 72, George Washington 52
— Syracuse (+3) 81, North Carolina 53

6) DePaul 71, Xavier 67— Bubble teams all over America enjoyed this game, with Xavier getting knocked off the bubble.

5) Washington State 82, Colorado 68— Something is amiss with the Buffaloes; they lost their last five games, and looked terrible doing it- they’re #3 continuity team in country, but its going to be hard for them to get it back together for the NCAA’s next week.

4) Kansas State 53, TCU 49— Horned Frogs lost 13 of their last 17 games, after starting season 12-3; they lost their last ten games away from home, with last win on foreign soil January 7th, at K-State. TCU beat Wildcats twice during regular season, but not here.

3) Boston U 64, Colgate 61— Red Raiders beat BU twice during season, by 9-16 points, but lost Patriot League title game on their home court, after winning the regular season by two games.

2) This obviously isn’t the most important thing, but the rest of the college basketball games this season won’t have any fans. How does that impact handicapping? Or does it?
 
1) To me, Thursday is the best college basketball day of the year; tons of games, all over the country, for 14 or so hours. With no fans present, its going to be a unique/odd day. 

Monday’s Den: Studying up for conference tournaments

Notes on conference tournaments (in order of when they start)
13) Horizon: #1 seed won twice in last six years
— IUPUI won one tourney game the last eight years.
— Northern Kentucky won two of last three tourneys.
— Wright State is 8-3 in tourney games last four years.
— Youngstown is 2-6 in tourney games last six years.

12)  Mountain West: #1 seed won five of last nine years
— Last 17 years, Air Force is 5-17 in tourney games.
— Last 11 years, Boise State is 5-11 in tourney games.
— Despite playing at home, UNLV went W-L six of last nine years; their last tourney title was in 2008.
— Last eight years, San Diego State is 16-7, but only one tourney title- they went W-W-L six of those eight years.
— Utah State is 5-1 in tourney last two years.

11) Ohio Valley: Team that finished 1st/tied 1st won five of last eight years.
— Belmont is 7-5 in seven OVC tourneys, with two titles (last in ’15).
— Murray State won last two titles, is 15-6 in last 21 tourney games.

10) Missouri Valley: #1 won four of last seven years.
— Drake won one game in last six tournaments.
— Illinois State is 10-8 last eight years, with no tourney titles.
— Indiana State won one tourney game the last five years.
— Last five years, Northern Iowa is 9-3 in tourney games.

9) West Coast: Gonzaga won 12 of last 16 tourneys
— Last six years, BYU is 8-6 in tourney games (no titles).
— Gonzaga won 33 of last 37 tourney games; they lost to Saint Mary’s LY.
— Last 12 years, Saint Mary’s is 13-9 in tourney games (3 titles)

8) SoCon: Team that finished 1st/tied 1st won last five tourneys.
— Since 2011, Chattanooga won tourney in ’16, is 1-8 otherwise.
— East Tennessee State is 8-3 last four years (one title).
— Last three years, NC-Greensboro is 7-2 in tourney games.
— Wofford won five of last ten tourneys.

7) CAA: Team that finished 1st/tied 1st won four of last six years
— Charleston is 6-2 last three tourneys.
— Delaware went W-L six of last nine years.
— Since 2009, Hofstra is 2-9 in its second tourney game.
— Last five years, Northeastern is 9-3 in tourney games.

6) Summit: Team that finished 1st/tied 1st won five of last seven years
— Last six years, North Dakota State is 11-3 in tourney games (3 titles)
— Last eight years, South Dakota State is 18-3 in tourney games (5 titles)

5) MAC: #1 seed won four of last seven tourneys, Buffalo won 4 of last 5.
— Akron won its first tourney game the last 15 years; they last won a tourney in 2013.
— Ball State is 2-8 in last eight tourneys.
— Buffalo won 11 of last 12 MAC tourney games.
— Kent State lost first tourney game four of last six years.
— Since 2004, Northern Illinois is 5-16 in tourney games.

4) ACC: #1 seed won four of last seven years.
— Duke won 2 of last 3 years, after not winning in previous five years.
— Georgia Tech is 2-9 in tourney games the last nine years.
— Louisville won tourneys in 2012-14 (10-0); they’re 1-4 in tourney games since.
— Miami won its first tourney game nine of last ten years.
— Notre Dame won its first tourney game 10 of last 11 years.
— Syracuse is 2-5 in ACC tournament games.
— Wake Forest is 2-12 in tourney games last 12 years.

3) MAAC: Iona won last four and 5 of last 7 tourneys, lost in final other two years
— Canisius is 4-9 the last nine years.
— Iona is 19-2 in last 21 tourney games.
— Manhattan won tourney is 2014-15, is 2-4 last four years.
— Marist won one tourney game last seven years.
— Rider is 3-8 last 11 years.
— Last six years, Saint Peter’s is 7-6 in tourney.
— Last nine years, Siena is 8-9; those were all at home.

2) Big East: Villanova won four of last five years (11-1)
— Butler is 1-6 in Big East tourney last six years.
— Creighton last first tourney game three of last four years.
— Last 10 years, DePaul is 1-10 in tourney games.
— Georgetown is 0-3 last three years, 2-6 last eight years.
— St John’s plays on its home court; they’re 3-8 last eight years.
 
1) Big X: #1 seed won twice in last six years
— Baylor lost its first tourney game last three years
— Iowa State won tourney four of last six years.
— Last 13 years, Kansas is 27-6 in Big X tourney.
— Kansas State went W-L last four tourneys.
— Oklahoma is 2-6 in last eight tourneys.
— Texas Tech is 2-9 last nine tourneys.
— West Virginia went W-W-L last four years. 

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a basketball Saturday…….

13) UCLA 69, Arizona 64— Bruins won their last seven games, have half-game lead over Oregon atop the Pac-12, which is amazing, seeing how back on Jan 15, UCLA was 7-9, with home losses to Hofstra, Cal State-Fullerton.

In this game, UCLA was 29-38 on foul line, Arizona 10-16; Arizona coach Miller got tossed from the game for expressing his displeasure with the officiating.

12) TCU 75, Baylor 72— Horned Frogs scored 54 second half points, knocked Baylor out of a tie for first with Kansas atop Big X standings. Bears lost two of last three games, after they had won 23 in a row.

11) Seton Hall 88, Marquette 79— Powell/Mamukelashvili combined for 54 points as Pirates sweep a Marquette team thats lost four of its last five games.

This is Steve Wojciechowski’s sixth year as Marquette’s coach; he is 51-55 in regular season conference games, 0-2 in NCAA tourney games, losing to Murray State, South Carolina.

10) BYU 81, Pepperdine 64— BYU star Yoeli Childs had 38 points, 14 rebounds; he’s missed 13 games this year- BYU is 8-5 in those games, 16-2 when he plays, including a win vs Gonzaga.

BYU is experience team #9 and has some older players to begin with, because some of them go on Mormon missions; they’ll be a scary team to play in two weeks.

9) Kentucky 73, Auburn 66— Wildcats made 27-33 on four line, Auburn 13-22; in their first meeting, Tigers were 33-44 on foul line, Kentucky 20-24. Go figure.

During a TV timeout in first half, a Kentucky student hit a half court shot for $10,000. Cool.

8) Virginia 52, Duke 50— Cavaliers won their 6th straight game, five by 3 or fewer points.

Duke lost its third straight road game; they’re game behind Florida St/Louisville in ACC. Blue Devils haven’t won an ACC regular season title since 2010.

7) Upsets:
— Texas (+11) 68, Texas Tech 58
— Lipscomb (+9) 77, Liberty 71
— Oklahoma (+8) 73, West Virginia 62
— TCU (+7.5) 75, Baylor 72
— New Mexico (+7.5) 66, Utah State 64
— Providence (+7) 58, Villanova 54
— Eastern Washington (+7) 68, Northern Colorado 64
— North Carolina (+6) 92, Syracuse 79

6) There are 15 basketball teams in the ACC; only four of them are over .500 in conference play. ACC is 5th-ranked league this year, their lowest since they were #6 in 2013.

5) Hofstra 94, James Madison 81— Hofstra has never won the CAA tournament, but they’re the #1 seed this year; last time they made the NCAA’s, Hofstra came out of America East.

#2 seed Wm & Mary has never been in the NCAA tournament, period, so the CAA tourney will be an event where the two favorites are maidens playing against teams that have won.

4) Eastern Washington 68, Northern Colorado 64— Eagles are tied for first with Montana in Big Sky, with two games left in regular season, a game ahead of Northern Colorado. This league is improved this season; their conference tournament in Boise should be fun.

3) Northern Iowa 70, Drake 43— This was Drake’s first home sellout in 11 years, but they got waxed by the Panthers here.

Northern Iowa is 25-5, but if they don’t win Arch Madness next week, they’re going to be a very nervous group on Selection Sunday.

2) Yale 66, Princeton 63— Bulldogs win their two games this weekend by total of six points, still lead Ivy League by a game with two left to play. Ivy League is ranked #16, its highest ranking in five years; that year, their champ got a 13-seed in NCAA’s. 13-seeds can win a game.
 
1) Illinois State 71, Evansville 60— On November 12, Purple Aces upset #1 Kentucky 67-64 in Rupp Arena; a few weeks after that, their coach got suspended/fired for off-court stuff, and the Purple Aces’ season went in the ashcan, like, totally in the ashcan.

They went 0-16 in the MVC.

Evansville is the first D-1 team EVER to beat the #1 team in the country and also go winless in conference play that same season.