Tuesday’s Den: NBA trends

NBA trends (thru Sunday’s games)
Hawks (37-37):
— 6-3 last nine games SU.
— 6-15 ATS as road underdogs
— 0-6 ATS if they played on road the night before
— under 4-1 last five road games. 

Celtics (47-28):
— 24-3 last 27 games SU.
— 8-3 ATS last 11 road games.
— 14-8 ATS as road favorite.
— last four games went over total.

Nets (39-36):
— won 7 of last 10 games SU.
— 4-17 ATS last 21 home games.
— 4-8 ATS if they played night before
— under 3-1 last four games.

Hornets (39-36):
— won seven of last eight games SU.
— 3-7 ATS last last 10 games as home favorite.
— 7-3 ATS as a road favorite.
— under 4-2 last six home games

Bulls (43-31):
— lost five of last seven games SU.
— 1-9 ATS last ten road games.
— 10-4 ATS last 14 home games.
— under 7-1 last eight home games.

Cavaliers (41-33):
— lost 8 of last 13 games SU
— 3-6-1 ATS last ten home games.
— 2-6 ATS last eight road games
— over 7-3 last ten games

Mavericks (46-29):
— won 17 of last 23 games SU.
— 9-3 ATS last dozen home games
— 0-4 ATS last four road games.
— Under 5-0 last five games

Nuggets (44-31):
— split their last ten games SU
— 11-3 ATS last 14 road games 
— 1-6 ATS last seven home games
— over 6-1-1 last eight games

Pistons (20-55):
— Lost eight of last 10 games SU
— 15-2-1 ATS last 18 games.
— 8-0 ATS last eight road games
— under 10-3 last 13 games.

Warriors (48-27):
— lost five of last six games SU
— 3-8 ATS last 11 home games
— 4-9 ATS last 13 road games
— over 7-2 last nine road games.

Rockets (20-55):
— won three of last four games SU
— 3-9 ATS last 12 road games.
— 6-4 ATS last ten home games
— under 6-0 last six games 

Pacers (25-50):
— 3-8 SU last 11 games.
— 4-9 ATS last 13 road games
— 6-3-1 ATS if they played night before
— under 5-0 last five games

Clippers (36-39):
— lost last five games (0-5 ATS).
— 1-4-1 ATS last six road games.
— 5-7 ATS if they played night before
— under 8-2 last ten road games

Lakers (31-43):
— 4-11 SU since All-Star Game
— 1-6 ATS last seven road games.
— 4-9 ATS as a road favorite.
— over 4-1 last five home games

Grizzlies (52-23):
— won eight of last nine games SU 
— covered 14 of last 17 home games.
— 8-5 ATS if they played night before
— over 4-1 last five home games

Heat (47-28):
— lost last four games SU
— 0-7 ATS last seven games.
— 1-7 ATS last eight home games
— under 6-4-1 last 11 home games.

Bucks (46-28):
— won 10 of last 13 games SU
— 5-1 ATS last six home games
— 4-10 ATS as an underdog
— under 6-2 last eight games.

Timberwolves (43-33):
— lost three of last four games SU
— 8-1 ATS last nine home games
— 6-12 ATS last 18 road games
— over 16-5 last 21 road games

Pelicans (32-43):
— won four of their last six games SU.
— 6-9 ATS last 15 home games
— 11-2 ATS last 13 road games
— under 5-1 last six games

Knicks (33-42):
— won five of last seven games SU.
— 10-3 ATS last thirteen games
— 7-3 ATS if they played night before
— over 9-2 last 11 home games 

Thunder (21-53):
— lost 11 of last 12 games SU.
— 7-1 ATS last eight games.
— 11-2 ATS last 13 road games
— over 7-1 last eight home games

Magic (20-55):
— lost five of last seven games SU
— 13-7 ATS last 20 road games 
— 6-8 ATS last 14 home games 
— over 5-2 last seven games. 

76ers (46-28):
— won five of last seven games SU
— 2-5 ATS last seven home games.
— 1-4-1 ATS last six road games.
— 4-6 ATS if they played night before

Suns (61-14):
— won last eight games SU
— 5-1 ATS last six road games
— 10-13 ATS last 23 home games
— over 8-1 last nine games 

Trailblazers (27-47):
— 2-13 SU since All-Star Game
— 2-9 ATS last 11 home games.
— 5-9 ATS last 14 road games
— under 4-1 last five games

Kings (27-48):
— split last six games SU.
— 6-1-1 ATS last eight road games
— 4-9 ATS on first night of back/back
— over 5-2 last seven games

Spurs (30-44):
— won four of last five games SU
— 7-3-1 ATS last 11 road games.
— 4-11 ATS last 15 home games
— last four games stayed under.

Raptors (42-32):
— won eight of last 10 games SU.
— 6-1 ATS last seven road games
— 2-5 ATS last seven home games
— under 10-4 last 14 games

Jazz (45-30):
— lost last four games SU, all on road
— 8-2-1 ATS last 11 home games
— 1-9 ATS last ten road games
— under 5-1 last six games

Wizards (32-42):
— lost eight of last 11 games SU
— 4-2 ATS in last six games.
— 1-9 ATS as road favorites.
— 1-10 ATS first night of back/back

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Sunday

13) Kansas 76, Miami 50:
— Most one-sided Elite 8 game since 1992, when Cincinnati beat Memphis 88-57.
— Miami actually led 35-29 at halftime.
— Kansas is only #1-seed to make the Final Four (or Elite 8)

12) North Carolina 69, Saint Peter’s 49:
— Clock struck midnight for Peacocks, but what a great run for them.
— Tar Heels led 9-0 early, were up 38-19 at halftime.
— North Carolina-Duke renew their rivalry in national semifinal. 

11) There are already 800+ names in the college basketball transfer portal; there are 358 Division I teams, so that is 2.2 players per team that are bolting to greener pastures, and there will probably be a lot more to come. 

10) Gonzaga/Oklahoma share an unenviable record; they’ve both been a #1-seed five times, but haven’t won a national title yet. DePaul/Illinois have been #1-seeds four times each, without winning it all. 

9) Took a walk on the Strip today, which is unlike me; stopped in sportsbooks at Bellagio and Caeser’s Palace. It was freakin’ hot out, but walking on the Strip is always uniquely fun.

Lady in Bellagio wanted my autograph; she thought I was Larry David. It is possible that she had been drinking. Politely explained to her that I was neither funny, rich or famous, although I am old and bald; took her five minutes to believe me.

At Caeser’s, they were charging people to sit in the sportsbook, so I wasn’t there long.

8) Coaching carousel:
— SMU hired Georgia State coach Rob Lanier.
— New Mexico State hired Greg Heiar, who won a national title in JC ball this year; he had previously been an assistant for Gregg Marshall/Will Wade. 

7) Pelicans 116, Lakers 108— Lakers blew a 23-point lead in this game.

6) Arizona Diamondbacks gave 2B Ketel Marte a contract extension for five years, $76M. 

5) St Louis Cardinals have an infield prospect Kramer Robertson; his mom is LSU hoop coach Kim Mulkey, his dad used to play QB at Louisiana Tech. 

4) Almost 40% of the Atlanta Falcons’ salary cap this year is for Matt Ryan, who will be playing……..for the Colts this fall. 

3) Random trivia: Three players with best career OPS against the Mets: Kyle Schwarber, Stan Musial, Paul DeJong. 

2) CBS must be happy; Final Four of Villanova-Kansas, North Carolina-Duke. Should get excellent TV ratings.

1) Opening lines for Final Four:
— Kansas -4 vs Villanova (Justin Moore is out)
— Duke -4.5 vs North Carolina (teams split two previous meetings)

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

13) Villanova 50, Houston 44:
— Houston shot 1-20 on the arc.
— Foul line: Villanova 15-15, Cougars 9-14
— When you score 0.86 points/possession and still win, that’s an ugly game.
— Villanova G Moore suffered a lower leg injury late in this game; it didn’t look good. 

12) Duke 78, Arkansas 69:
— Duke shot 58.1% inside the arc.
— Only six Blue Devils played more than 5:00.
— Arkansas gave up 62.3 ppg in first three tourney games, 78 in this one. 

11) ACC didn’t have a great regular season, but their teams are 12-2 in the NCAA’s, with three of the last six teams still standing. 

10) This season, only three of the twelve top 3 seeds made the Elite 8; contrast that to 2007, when seven of the eight top 2 seeds got to the Elite 8.

The top tier of teams isn’t as good this season.

9) Charlie Moore is the point guard for Miami Hurricanes; here is his career path:
2017— Cal Bears
2019— Kansas
2020-21— DePaul
2022— Miami
Five years, four schools. Interesting career.

8) Memphis Tigers were notified of multiple violations by the NCAA, including getting rid of evidence the NCAA wanted to look over during their investigation. Not good.

7) Grizzlies 127, Bucks 102— Weird stat: Memphis is 17-2 when Ja Morant doesn’t play. 

6) Raptors 131, Pacers 91— Game was delayed for over an hour in second quarter, when a speaker in the arena caught fire. When the game resumed, the fans who were escorted out of the arena weren’t allowed back in. Luckily, no one was hurt. 

5) Free agent WR Jarvis Landry isn’t getting the contract offers he thought he would; he’s fired his agent and hired a new one. We’ll see how much that helps. 

4) New Jersey Jets signed K Greg Zuerlein, who has kicked for Rams/Cowboys. He made a 56-yard FG in OT to put the Rams into the Super Bowl three years ago. 

3) Had the Red Sox-Tampa Bay game on TV in my motel room Saturday, and Boston TV guy Dave O’Brien was whining about pace of play in the first two innings. No bueno.

You get paid six figures to broadcast baseball; if you don’t like it, quit. 1,000 or so people will quickly apply to take your place. Promote the game, that’s part of the job. 

2) In 2006, George Mason made the Final Four as a #11-seed; their coach? Jim Larranaga

Sunday, Larranaga’s Miami Hurricanes try to make the Final Four as a #10-seed. 

1) Apparently Shaheen Holloway is making $266,000 to coach Saint Peter’s this year; once he signs with Seton Hall, after this great run he’s led the Peacocks on, he’ll be adding a zero at the end of that salary. 

Saturday’s Den: Wrapping up a busy Friday

13) Saint Peter’s 67, Purdue 64:
— February 20: Saint Peter’s lost 84-70 at Siena; they were 12-11 overall, 10-6 in MAAC. Since then, they’re 10-0, the first 15-seed EVER to make the Elite 8.
— Peacocks held Purdue star Jaden Ivey to nine points.
— March 25 is National Peacock Day (seriously). 

12) Kansas 66, Providence 61:
— Kansas was 20-26 on foul line, Friars 11-16.
— Teams combined to go 6-37 on the arc.
— Kansas is only #1-seed left in the tournament. 

11) If you’re in New Jersey and you wagered on North Carolina to win the East Region, you’ve already won; New Jersey sports books can’t take bets on Saint Peter’s. 

10) North Carolina 71, UCLA 66:
— Caleb Love scored 30 points, was 6-13 on arc.
— Tar Heels played four starters 37:00+.
— UCLA stars Juzang/Jaquez shot combined 10-31 from floor. 

9) Miami 70, Iowa State 56:
— Hurricanes shot 56.7% inside arc; they’re in Elite 8 for first time.
— Cyclones were 4-22 on arc, 2-4 on foul line.
— Miami played all five starters 34:00+. 

8) Elite 8 by conference:
3– ACC
1 each— AAC, Big East, Big X, MAAC, SEC. 

7) Coaching carousel:
— Steve Prohm returns to Murray State (he was 104-29 there from 2012-15)
— Ball State hired UCLA assistant Michael Lewis
— UMass hired former K-State/South Carolina coach Frank Martin. 

6) They’re not calling as many fouls in the tournament as they do during the season; the phrase “play thru contact” is very important.

In practices, teams do drills where coaches disrupt players with foam pads while they shoot close to the basket, just for this reason. This is partly why teams with older players are doing better; they’re more physically mature, play thru contact better.

5) Tampa Bay Rays acquired OF Harold Ramirez from the Cubs, in exchange for a minor league infielder. Ramirez is a .271 hitter over parts of three seasons with Miami and Cleveland.

4) Dodgers gave manager Dave Roberts a 3-year contract extension; he has a 542-329 over the last six years, best in majors during that time. 

3) If you have HBO Max, I recommend watching the old TV series Without a Trace; great show about the FBI division assigned to find people who go missing, for various reasons. Anthony LaPaglia was terrific as Jack Malone, head of the unit. 

2) The Price Is Right has been on TV for 50 years? Damn, I’m old; remember watching that as a kid; Price is Right at 3:00, Match Game at 3:30, every weekday.

1) Cleveland Browns ran a classic news dump Friday, doing the Deshaun Watson introductory press conference on Friday of the Sweet 16’s, when most sports fans are distracted by other stuff. When you introduce your new star player and his most consequential sentence is “I am innocent” that’s probably not a good thing. 

Friday’s Den: Wrapping up a terrific Thursday

13) Kansas is favored by 7.5 points over Providence Friday night; if the Jayhawks lose, it’ll be the first time EVER (in the 64+-team era) that no #-1 seeds made it to the Elite 8.

Thursday was a rough night for number one seeds. 

12) Arkansas 74, Gonzaga 68:
— Razorbacks ended first half on 15-4 run, led 32-29 at halftime.
— Arkansas is 14-2 outside the SEC.
— Gonzaga was 28-4 this season, but 0-2 vs SEC teams (Alabama/Arkansas)

11) Houston 72, Arizona 60:
— Cougars never trailed, were by far the more physical team.
— Arizona shot 33.3% from floor, gave up 1.16 points/possession.
— Houston gave up 68-53-60 points in three NCAA tourney wins. 

10) Villanova 63, Michigan 55:
— Villanova has won eight in row, 13 of last 14 games.
— Michigan shot 34.4% from floor, 34.9% inside arc.
— Villanova is in Elite 8 for third time in last six years. 

9) Duke 78, Texas Tech 73:
— Free throws: Duke 15-17, Texas Tech 5-9
— Red Raiders led 68-66 with 3:00 left in game.
— Duke is shooting 37% on arc (#29), 56.2% inside arc (#8)

8) NC-Wilmington 96, Middle Tennessee 90, 2OT:
— Seahawks won CBI championship Wednesday afternoon.
— UNCW won four games in four days; title game was day game after a nite game.
— MTSU led by 11 with 12:33 left to play.
— UNCW was 36-43 on foul line, Blue Raiders 34-46. 

7) New York City lifted its vaccine mandate this week, meaning Kyrie Irving and any unvaccinated players on the two NYC baseball teams can play in home games. 

6) Strange stat of the day: Memphis Grizzlies are 15-2 when star G Ja Morant doesn’t play; that stat will get tested some more, as Morant will miss the next two weeks with a knee problem. 

5) Brian Schottenheimer will serve as a consultant to the Dallas Cowboys in 2022, working on both sides of the ball. Dallas coach Mike McCarthy broke into the NFL working for Brian’s dad Marty Schottenheimer with Kansas City back in 1993.

This will be Schottenheimer’s 8th NFL team; he was with Jacksonville LY, was OC in Seattle the three years before that. 

4) Los Angeles Angels signed C Max Stassi to a 3-year, $17.5M deal 

3) Colorado Rockies traded OF Raimel Tapia and a minor league to Toronto, for OF Randal Grichuk.

2) Was reading about a 12-team fantasy draft, where all the owners were fantasy baseball experts; none of the first 44 guys drafted are on my fantasy team. Cedric Mullins was 45th pick, Kris Bryant 48th. Now, either my team isn’t very good, or those guys aren’t so expert. 

1) I’d like to thank the good people at MGM Grand Sportsbook for letting me hang out Thursday night. Was fun watching the ballgames there. This is a really good sportsbook that is well-run, comfortable and around the corner from an excellent pizza place. 

Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud……..

13) Next time you’re in Las Vegas, I’m suggesting you have dinner at Maggiano’s, which is in the Fashion Show Mall across the Strip from Wynn and Encore. Excellent Italian place; if you get a seat by the window, you can watch people walk up/down the Strip, which is also fun. 

12) Since 2015, #1-seeds in NCAA Tournament are 14-4-1 ATS in Sweet 16 games. 

11) Since 2012, double digit favorites are 2-5 ATS in Sweet 16 games

10) Last four years, underdogs are 4-2 ATS when a #2-seed plays a #3-seed in Sweet 16. 

9) Since 2000, Duke is 7-8 SU in Sweet 16 games. 

8) Teams that win the NCAA Tournament tend to be teams that covered early round games; last time a team won the tournament after going 0-2 ATS in rounds 1-2 was 1997, when Arizona won it all. That is also the last season a Pac-12 team won the championship.

7) Mississippi State hired New Mexico State coach Chris Jans as its new coach; Jans was raking in $640,000 in Las Cruces, now he’ll be making $2.2M, where is he a small fish in a very deep SEC pond, as opposed to being one of the big fish in the shallow WAC pond. 

 6) Listening to the Braves-Rays game yesterday, Atlanta play-by-play guy Chip Caray has gotten so much better as an announcer; his grandfather Harry Caray was a legend, a total character. Skip Caray had a quirky sense of humor that he used often, but Chip Caray is more basic, and he has become very good behind the mike. Lot of pressure with some famous relatives preceding him. 

5) Padres pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore wears number 1; weird seeing a pitcher wearing number one.

4) Kansas City Chiefs traded WR Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins for five draft picks; a first, a second, two fourths and a sixth round pick. Miami then gave Hill $30M a year for four years, as they commit to offense under new coach Mike McDaniel.

Over last three years, WR’s with most TD catches:
69— Davante Adams
60— Mike Evans
56— Tyreek Hill

Hill used to catch passes from Patrick Mahomes; now he’ll catch passes from Tua Tagovailoa, which is a huge downgrade. Miami will be an interesting team next fall.

3) NFL backup QB news:
— Dolphins brought in Teddy Bridgewater to back up Tagovailoa.
— Buffalo brought in Case Keenum to back up Josh Allen,
— Cleveland replaced Keenum with Jacoby Brissett, who figures to get 6+ starts once the NFL gives Watson his inevitable suspension, assuming that they’re going to deal Baker Mayfield..

Saints, Seahawks, Panthers still need a starting QB. 

2) I’ve talked before how Major League Baseball has a marketing issue, as in, they suck at marketing their own product, which is a very good one.

I’m on my way out the door of my hotel Wednesday, and while there is a live spring training game on TV, the hotel bar, with three TV’s, has ESPN talk shows on, when you can’t even hear what they’re saying.

Baseball needs to promote itself to restaurant/hotel chains, to show their product to the public.

1) Two weeks to go until baseball season starts; Cubs had 55 players on their roster as of yesterday, which means they need to cut 27 guys pretty soon. Rosters will be 28 until May 1st, then drop to 26 the rest of the way. 

Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings……..

13) You’ll have to excuse me if there are mistakes in this article today; left my house at 3:15am Tuesday, got to my hotel room in Las Vegas 13 hours later. Long day; I don’t enjoy flying much anymore, but Southwest does provide free movies on their Wi-Fi, so that helped some. For some reason, can’t sleep on planes. 

First vacation in 29 months; good to get closer to normal. 

12) By the way, my hotel room has Pac-12 Network, which is only time I ever see it, since DirecTV does not have it. 13 different home shopping channels, no Pac-12 Network. Terrific. 

11) St Bonaventure 52, Virginia 51— Bonnies played four senior starters 40:00 each; one guy got in foul trouble and only played 28:00. What the hell are they going to do for players next year? 

Why has no school hired Mark Schmidt as their coach? Six SEC teams changed coaches already this spring, and Schmidt still lives in Olean, where he is 268-172 in 15 years. The last eight years, Bonnies are 95-45 in league games. Pretty damn good.

Go get a map, find Olean, NY; draw a 100-mile circle around Olean, and see how many big cities you find. 74 miles from Buffalo, 116 from Rochester. Not exactly basketball hotbeds. What Schmidt has done with the Bonnies is remarkable. 

10) Was surprised to hear that this is the last year the NIT Final Four will be in New York City; there was a time, back before even I was born, where the NIT was bigger than the NCAA’s. In 1950, City College of New York won both tournaments, and the NIT was the bigger deal. 

9) Speaking of the coaching carousel:
— South Carolina hired Chattanooga coach Paris LaMont.
— Louisiana Tech coach Eric Konkol bolts to Tulsa.
— SMU coach Tim Jankovich retired; he was 24-9 this year, doubtful he got fired, but they also haven’t made the NCAA’s the last five years. Wealthy boosters tend to be impatient.

8) CBI tournament, where the final is 2:00 Wednesday afternoon:
— NC-Wilmington 80, Northern Colorado 64— Seahawks are 26-9, 18-4 in games decided by 7 or less less points. Before this season, UNCW had four losing years in a row.
— Middle Tennessee 85, Abilene Christian 69— Quick turnaround for the winners; MTSU is playing third day in row Wednesday, day game after a night game.

7) Does playing in the NIT, CBI help a team going forward? Getting on ESPN has to help some, but seems that teams like St Bonaventure, a very experienced team that fell just short in their conference, often do well in NIT/CBI-type events, then they almost have to regress the next season, since they’ll have whole new rosters.

6) We talked some about Dodger announcer Rick Monday last week; he was also a pretty good outfielder. Reader Glenn points out that Monday hit 11 home runs off of Hall of Fame hurler Tom Seaver, more than any other player. Impressive. 

5) Major League Baseball announced some rule changes Tuesday:
— Rosters will be 28 guys until May 1st.
— Extra innings will start with a runner on second base.
— If your DH is also the starting pitcher, he can stay as the DH after he is done pitching, which is obviously called the Ohtani Rule.

4) Detroit Pistons lost 119-115 to Portland Monday, ending a 12-0-1 run ATS; they’ve lost six of last seven games SU, but have been keeping games closer lately. 

3) 31 baseball players wound up heading to contract arbitration; all of those cases will be heard after the season starts, which shouldn’t cause too much of a problem, should it? (joke). Six of the 31 players play for the Mets. 

2) If the NBA playoffs started today (they do not) the play-in games would be:
— East: Atlanta @ Toronto, Charlotte @ Brooklyn
— West: New Orleans @ Minnesota, Lakers @ Clippers

1) Was sitting in the Aria Sportsbook Tuesday night, reading the baseball over/unders, and odds to win it all; good Lord, the A’s are 80-1 to win the World Series. Who in their right mind would wager on the A’s to win the World Series? I have a better chance of dating Sharon Stone than the A’s do of being a contender this season.

Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) Saturday/Sunday was first time since 2000 that the #1-seeds went 0-4 ATS in the second round NCAA Tournament. 1988 is only time the #1-seeds went 4-0 ATS in second round, but this week, Arizona/Gonzaga had fights on their hands, and Baylor lost straight up. 

12) Miami-Iowa State is the 4th-ever NCAA tourney game between #10/#11 seeds. Here are the first three:
2011— 11-seed VCU (+4.5) 72-71 OT over Florida State
2014— 11-seed Dayton (+3.5) 82-72 over Syracuse
2016— 10-seed Syracuse (+4) 63-60 over Gonzaga

11) Underdogs are 27-21 ATS so far in NCAA Tournament; 12 teams lost but covered. 

10) Texas Tech coach Mark Adams banked a $50,000 bonus for getting the Red Raiders into the Sweet 16; Adams has already cashed $125,000 in bonuses this season. 

9) How good was the Big X this season?
— Iowa State finished T7th; they’re in the Sweet 16
— TCU finished T5th; they damn near beat Gonzaga in the second round. 

8) Coaching carousel:
— LSU is hiring Murray State’s Matt McMahon as its new coach.
— Maryland is hiring Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard as its new coach.
— LaSalle fired coach Ashley Howard; Explorers haven’t been in NCAA Tournament since 2013.

Good/bad news on Willard:
— Last seven years, Seton Hall was 75-53 in Big East games
— Willard is 1-5 in NCAA Tournament games; he was the higher seed in four of those six games. 

7) HBO’s series Winning Time is about the Lakers before/during the Magic Johnson era; this week’s episode revolved around Dr Jerry Buss trying to hire UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian as the Lakers’ new coach. This was 11 years before UNLV won their national title, two years after UNLV made the Final Four for the first time under Tarkanian.

Dr Buss meets with Tark in a Las Vegas restaurant; Tark’s friend/lawyer Vic Weiss is there, trying to broker the deal. Buss thinks they have a deal for Tark to coach the Lakers, but at one point, the waiter brings over a bottle of champagne, a gift from a table of four guys who look a lot like mobsters. Negotiations went downhill from there.

Day or two later, Vic Weiss shows up dead in the trunk of a car; it is unclear exactly how much is true/embellished; the HBO show inferred that the Tarkanian hiring had something to do with Weiss’ murder, but surfing the Interweb, apparent Weiss owed the wrong people a lot of money, never a good thing, and that is why he was killed.

Anyway, the program is entertaining, sometimes eye-opening.  

6) Boston Celtics are 22-14 vs teams over .500, 22-14 vs teams under .500.

5) What is a Billiken? According to the Saint Louis University website, the billiken is a mythical good-­luck figure who represents “things as they ought to be.”

4) Last year, Giants’ OF Joc Pederson played with Atlanta; he became just 9th player ever to win a World Series ring two years in row, while playing for two different teams. 

3) NFL stuff:
— Atlanta Falcons traded QB Matt Ryan to the Colts for a 3rd-round draft pick.
— Falcons then signed QB Marcus Mariota, who worked with coach Arthur Smith when the two were together in Tennessee. 

2) These NFL teams will have new starting QB’s this coming season:
— Washington Commanders— Carson Wentz takes over for Taylor Heinicke
— Atlanta Falcons— Marcus Mariota in for Matt Ryan
— Pittsburgh Steelers— Mitch Trubisky for Ben Roethlisberger
— Cleveland Browns— Deshaun Watson for Baker Mayfield
— Indianapolis Colts— Matt Ryan for Carson Wentz
— Denver Broncos— Russell Wilson for Teddy Bridgewater
— Seattle Seahawks— ??????? for Russell Wilson

1) Colorado Rockies signed IF Ryan McMahon to a six-year, $70M extension; all of a sudden, Rockies are spending money. Too bad they didn’t pay Story/Arenado when they had the chance. 

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Sunday

13) Sports is big business, very big business, and business can be cold and calculating. The last few days have reinforced that.

Atlanta Braves won the World Series last year for first time since 1995; their best player was Freddie Freeman, who played in Atlanta for 11 years. Freeman seemed to love playing for the Braves, the Atlanta fans loved him, but they traded for Matt Olson, a younger/similar player who is from Georgia, and Freeman now plays for the Dodgers.

It is considered bad business to pay a fortune to ballplayers in their mid-30’s. Freeman will be 33 in September.

Los Angeles Rams just won the Super Bowl, their first since 1999, but since then, they cut their punter of ten years (Johnny Hekker), traded WR Robert Woods to Tennessee and lost couple more players to free agency (Darious Williams, Austin Corbett, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo).

NFL can be an even colder business because of the salary cap; to pay Matthew Stafford/Aaron Donald, financial corners have to be cut elsewhere.

12) First nine teams to make it into the Sweet 16 came from nine different conferences..

11) Miami 79, Auburn 61:
— Hurricanes outscored Auburn 46-29 in second half.
— Auburn star Smith shot 3-16 from the floor.
— Miami won nine of its last 12 games.

10) Villanova 71, Ohio State 61:
— Villanova won six in row, 11 of last 12 games.
— Ohio State lost five of its last seven games.
— Big East became first league with two teams in Sweet 16.

9) Houston 68, Illinois 53:
— Cougars coasted in two games this weekend, winning by 14-15 points.
— Last three tournaments, Houston is 8-2 SU.
— Illinois went 6-5 in its last 11 games, after a 17-5 start.

8) Texas Tech 59, Notre Dame 53:
— Tech outscored Notre Dame 10-1 over final 2:09 of the game.
— Last four years, Red Raiders are 11-3 in NCAA’s.
— Note Dame was 3-9 this season vs top 5-0 teams.

7) Purdue 81, Texas 71:
— Purdue was 33-46 on foul line, Texas 7-12.
— Boilers had 20-0 run in first half.
— Purdue is 26-0 when it scores 70+ points

6) Duke 85, Michigan State 76:
— Duke outscored Spartans 20-6 over final 5:10 of game.
— Michigan State made 11-22 on arc, still couldn’t cover.
— Last nine tournaments, Blue Devils are 6-3 ATS in second round.

5) Iowa State 54, Wisconsin 49:
— Teams combined to make 5-36 on the arc.
— Badgers scored four points in first 10:00 of second half.
— Cyclones allowed 54-49 points in two games this weekend.

4) Arizona 85, TCU 80, OT
— Arizona survives and advances…..barely.
— Mathurin/Koloko scored Arizona’s last 15 points.
— TCU played their asses off; they had 20 offensive rebounds.

3) Cleveland Browns added Jacoby Brissett as their backup QB, then traded Case Keenum to Buffalo for a 7th round pick.

I seriously hope Keenum writes a book someday; the stories he must have. Here is his career path, after being a big star in college for the Houston Cougars:
2013— Texans 0-8 as a starter
2014— Texans 2-0 as a starter
2015— St Louis Rams 3-2 as a starter
2016— Los Angeles Rams 4-5 as a starter
2017— Vikings 11-3 as a starter
2018— Broncos 6-10 as a starter
2019— Redskins 1-7 as a starter
2020— Browns- threw 10 passes in two games in relief
2021— Browns- 2-0 as a starter
2022— Buffalo fans hope he doesn’t start any games

2) One of the great parts of spring training baseball is listening to Dodger games, hearing Rick Monday broadcast. Monday played for the A’s when I started rooting for them in the 60’s; he was a very good player and he is terrific broadcaster— he has a great voice.

Sunday, he was telling stories about Ernie Banks, Joe DiMaggio; he said that he looked it up, and in his 19-year career, he faced 502 different pitchers.

1) Red Sox signed Trevor Story to a six-year, $140M contract; word is that Story will play second base in Boston, with Xander Bogaerts staying at shortstop. 

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

Saint Peter’s 70, Murray State 60:
— Saint Peter’s first-ever NCAA tourney wins were both this week.
— Peacocks never trailed; they held Murray State to 34.6% from floor.
— 15-seeds to make the Sweet 16:
2013— Florida Gulf Coast
2021— Oral Roberts
2022— Saint Peter’s

Bad news for Saint Peter’s: There is no way in hell Shaheen Holloway will be the coach at Saint Peter’s next season, The big money $chool$ will come calling.

Gonzaga 82, Memphis 78:
— Memphis led this game 41-31 at halftime.
— Timme had 25 points, 11 rebounds for Gonzaga.
— Very intense, spirited contest; seemed like a Final Four game.

Arkansas 53, New Mexico State 48:
— Razorbacks held Aggies star Teddy Allen to 12 points.
— Arkansas won despite shooting 27.5% from floor.
— Razorbacks move on to play Gonzaga Thursday. 

North Carolina 93, Baylor 86, OT:
— Carolina led 67-42 with 10:20 left in regulation.
— Tar Heels made 11-25 on arc, 26-37 on foul line, needed OT to win.
— Baylor made only 9-37 shots on the arc.

Kansas 79, Creighton 72:
— Jayhawks scored last six points to salt game away.
— Bluejays were down two starters; they shot 12-28 on arc, 9-31 inside arc. — Three guys on Creighton played all 40:00.

Michigan 76, Tennessee 68:
— Michigan trailed 37-32 at half; they were down 15 in Thursday’s win.
— Tennessee shot 2-18 on arc; hard to win that way.
— Last four years, #3-seeds are 5-11 ATS in second round.

Providence 79, Richmond 51:
— Friars were 12-22 on arc, Richmond 1-22 (8-21 on foul line)
— Spiders shot 64.5% inside arc and still lost by 28.
— Providence advances to play Kansas in Sweet 16. 

UCLA 79, Saint Mary’s 72:
— UCLA won 10 of its last 12 games.
— Bruins shot 59.5% inside arc.
— UCLA star Juzang re-injured his ankle (check status)

Elsewhere in the world………
5) Some baseball teams are spending lot of money…….
— Phillies gave OF Nick Castellanos $100M for five years.
— Phillies also gave OF/DH Kyle Schwarber a 4-year for just under $20M/year.
— Twins gave SS Carlos Correa $105M for three years.
— Braves gave closer Kenley Jansen $16M for one year. 

Phillies’ on-base %age from their leadoff spot last year was their lowest since 2009, which is why the Schwarber signing is a big deal.

4) Cleveland Browns traded three first-round picks and couple other picks to Houston, in exchange for QB Deshaun Watson. Browns are 30-31 with Baker Mayfield as their starter, a vast improvement from the pre-Mayfield years.

Watson didn’t play last year because of his legal issues; he figures to be suspended for at least six games. Texans were 29-27 with Watson starting at QB.

3) Las Vegas Raiders traded a first round pick to Green Bay for WR Davante Adams, re-uniting him with his college QB, Derek Carr. Adams will make $67.5M for three years, with lot more available in incentives. Plus, I’m guessing it is more fun to live in Las Vegas than Green Bay. 

2) Saturday was a busy day for the Super Bowl champion LA Rams:
— Matthew Stafford signed a four-year, $160M contract extension.
— Rams traded WR Robert Woods to Tennessee for a draft pick; this is a tough one. Woods was a great Ram; he blocks well, is a productive receiver, great teammate. He will be missed. 

1) College basketball coaching moves:
— Louisville hired Knicks’ assistant Kenny Payne as its new coach.
— Florida hired San Francisco coach Todd Golden
— USF replaced Golden with assistant Chris Gerlufsen.
— Rhode Island hired former Indiana coach Archie Miller.
— Xavier hired Archie’s brother Sean to be its hoop coach (again)

Saturday’s Den: Wrapping up 2nd day of March Madness

Illinois 54, Chattanooga 53:
— Chattanooga led this game 20-6 early on.
— Illinois’ first lead came with 0:46 left.
— Illini outscored Chattanooga 8-2 over final 3:42 of game.

Ohio State 54, Loyola Chi 41:
— Ugly game; Loyola shot 25% inside arc, Ohio State was 1-15 on arc.
— Just second win in last six games for Buckeyes.
— Last nine years, favorites are 20-13 ATS in 7-10 games.

Auburn 80, Jacksonville State 61:
— Gamecocks led by 6 early, but shot only 31.1% from floor.
— Auburn’s opponents shoot only 42.4% inside arc (#4)
— Tigers have much tougher test Sunday, against Miami.

Texas Tech 97, Montana State 62:
— Game was 32-12 after 10:00; no contest. Tech was 12-20 on arc.
— Tech’s game Sunday will be lot more interesting than this was.
— Last seven years, Big Sky teams are 1-5-1 ATS in first round games. 

Purdue 78, Yale 56:
— Yale shot 36.5% from floor; Purdue was too big, too athletic.
— Boilers are 25-0 when they score 70+ points, 3-7 when they don’t.
— From 2010-19, Ivy League teams were 8-2 ATS in this round.

Villanova 80, Delaware 60:
— Villanova made 13-28 on arc, scored 1.31 ppp.
— Blue Hens shot 63.3% inside arc, still lost by 20.
— Last three years, CAA teams lost in this round, by 34-29-20 points.

Miami 68, USC 66:
— Miami led by 7 with 0:44 left, blew that lead, then hit two FT’s with 0:03 left.
— Hurricanes had only three turnovers on 68 possessions in this game.
— USC was down 31-20 at half; they lost three of their last four games.

Notre Dame 78, Alabama 64:
— Alabama lost its last four games, giving up 81.8 ppg.
— Notre Dame made 10-16 on arc, Alabama 8-24.
— Alabama G Quinerly hurt his knee early on, played only 3:00.

Texas 81, Virginia Tech 73:
— Longhorns made 10-19 on arc, snap 3-game losing skid.
— Hokies’ leading scorer scored 19 points in 19:00 off bench.
— After struggling in NCAA’s last few years, ACC teams are 4-2 ATS this week.

Duke 78, Cal-Fullerton 61
— Duke won 10 of its last 12 games.
— Blue Devils never trailed, shot 58.3% inside arc.
— Duke played only six guys more than 8:00.

Arizona 87, Wright State 70:
— Wildcats shot 55% on arc, 55% inside arc, scored 1.14 ppp.
— Arizona won seven in row, 16 of its last 17 games.
— Horizon teams improve to 3-7 ATS in this round over last decade. 

Iowa State 59, LSU 54:
— Iowa State was 12-37 on arc, only 8-19 inside arc.
— Only three Cyclones scored more than four points.
— LSU lost five of its last eight games.

Houston 82, UAB 68:
— Cougars jumped out to a 34-16 lead.
— Houston won 10 of its last 11 games.
— UAB (38.1% for year) shot 5-19 on arc.

Michigan State 74, Davidson 73:
— Michigan State is 10-2 out of conference.
— Davidson hit a trey at the buzzer to push the spread.
— Since 2014, A-14 teams are 10-12-1 ATS in this round.

TCU 69, Seton Hall 42:
— Seton Hall shot 28.8% from the floor.
— Big X teams went 6-0 ATS in first round.
— Big East teams went 3-3 ATS in first round.

Wisconsin 67, Colgate 60:
— Game was 28-all at halftime.
— Colgate shot only 12-35 inside arc (10-22 on arc)
— Last five years, Patriot League teams are 4-1 ATS in this round.

Friday’s Den: Wrapping up the first day of March Madness

Survive and advance, that’s the theme for this month. 

Saint Peter’s 85, Kentucky 79, OT
— Kentucky led by 6 with 3:16 left in regulation.
— Wildcats were 1-6 on foul line in overtime.
— First tourney win for MAAC since Siena beat Ohio State in 2OT’s in 2009.

New Mexico State 70, UConn 63:
— Teddy Allen scored 37 of Aggies’ 70 points.
— New Mexico State made 11-17 on arc.
— UConn gave up 1.21 points/possession. Not good.

Providence 66, South Dakota State 57:
— Jackrabbits were only 7-23 on arc; they were 44.2% coming in.
— No one on Providence scored more than 13 points.
— Since 2012, Jackrabbits are 0-6 SU in first round games (2-4 ATS).

Michigan 75, Colorado State 63:
— Michigan outscored Rams 46-27 in second half.
— Wolverines shot 64.7% inside arc.
— Michigan won 11 of last 14 NCAA tourney games.

Memphis 64, Boise State 53:
— Broncos shot 31.5% from the floor.
— Memphis won 13 of its last 15 games.
— Mountain West teams are 3-14 SU in last 17 NCAA tourney games.

Baylor 85, Norfolk State 49:
— When the better team goes 11-27 on the arc, things get ugly.
— Baylor led 43-27 at half, had stress-free game.
— Since 2009, MEAC teams are 2-8 ATS in this round.

Tennessee 88, Longwood 56:
— Tennessee has won 13 of its last 14 games.
— Vols made 14-24 on the arc.
— Last seven years, Big South teams are 1-6 ATS in this round.

Richmond 67, Iowa 63:
— 10.5-point underdog Spiders post first big upset of the tournament.
— Richmond held seven of last eight opponents to 66 or less points.
— Last six tournaments, underdogs are 14-9 ATS in 5-12 games.

Gonzaga 93, Georgia State 72:
— Zags outscored Georgia State 58-39 in second half.
— Gonzaga made only 16 of 30 foul shots.
— Georgia State shouldn’t have been a #16-seed; they’re better than that.

North Carolina 95, Marquette 63:
— Tar Heels ran out to a 53-25 halftime lead.
— UNC was 13-35 on arc, Marquette 8-31.
— Carolina plays #1-seed Baylor Saturday.

Creighton 72, San Diego State 69, OT
— Aztecs led by 14 with 4:01 left in first half.
— Bluejays were 20-24 on foul line, San Diego State 10-17.
— Mountain West went 0-4 in this year’s tourney, is 3-15 in last 18 tourney games.

Saint Mary’s 82, Indiana 53:
— Gaels outscored Indiana 42-25 in second half.
— Hoosiers shot 34% from the floor.
— Saint Mary’s outrebounded Indiana 39-28. 

Arkansas 75, Vermont 71:
— Davis scored 14 points off bench for Arkansas.
— Razorbacks outscored Vermont 20-10 on foul line.
— Last 11 years, America East teams are 7-4 ATS in this round.

Murray State 92, San Francisco 87, OT:
— Great ballgame; Racers play 15-seed Saint Peter’s next.
— San Francisco made only 9-35 on the arc.
— Skipper-Brown had 12 points, 10 boards off bench for Murray.

UCLA 57, Akron 53:
— Bruins closed game on a 15-4 run.
— UCLA shot only 35.2% from the floor.
— MAC teams covered their last six first round games.

Kansas 83, Texas Southern 56:
— Jayhawks led 47-19 at halftime, coasted home from there.
— Kansas is 4-1-1 ATS in last six first round games.
— Tougher game Saturday; Kansas plays Creighton. 

Monday’s Den: Some quick thoughts after first glance at the brackets

This is going to be fairly short; it is time to get to work on the four play-in games, and 28 first-round games where we know the matchups.

— Last time the #1 team in top 25 on Selection Sunday won the national title title was Kentucky in 2012. Gonzaga is the #1 team right now.

— When Richmond upset Davidson Sunday to win the A-14 tournament, they bounced Dayton out of the tournament.

— High drama for the San Francisco Dons; their matchup with Murray State was second-last one revealed on CBS; they had to be thinking they were on the outside looking in, before CBS showed that matchup. Just getting in is a big deal; USF was last in the NCAA’s in 1998.

— Murray State-Kentucky second round game would get Racer fans fired up, getting to play their in-state big brother. I’m thinking Murray-USF is my favorite first round game.

— I thought Gonzaga got a tougher draw than Duke; Memphis in the second round? Gonzaga has to hope Penny Hardaway’s Tigers look past Boise State and get beat by the Broncos.

Georgia State won its last ten games; I’d rather play Cal-Fullerton than the Panthers. Sun Belt is a better league than the Big West.

Duke plays a Fullerton team that won Big West final by a point- Titans shot 11-20 on arc and won by a point? Fullerton is 0-3 vs top 100 teams, losing by 7-10-13 points. Whoever survives the Davidson-Michigan State game won’t be as tough an opponent as Memphis-Boise winner.

— Big 14 got nine of its 14 teams in tournament; they got nine teams in last year, too, going a combined 8-9. Michigan was only team to survive the first weekend last year.

— Tennessee just won the SEC tournament for first time since 1979, winning on Sunday; they got a Thursday/Saturday draw, which is tough, but they’re playing Longwood in first round, a Lancers’ squad making its first NCAA appearance.

— Shaka Smart got to the Final Four back in 2011; he lost his second round game in both 2012 and 2013, but since then, he is 0-5 in NCAA Tournament games. Marquette-North Carolina is an excellent 8-9 first round game. Winner will be a tough second-round game for #1-seed Baylor.

— Purdue is 3-7 this season when they score less than 70 points, 24-0 when they score 70+; Yale won’t run with Boilers, but they’re also 0-5 vs top 100 teams this season, with four losses by 14+ points (closest of those losses was 61-53 at Vermont). Ivy League teams are 9-2 ATS in last eleven first round games.

— Vermont won its three America East tourney games by 39-32-39 points, but America East is a cruddy league. Vermont is 22-1 since December 10; Catamounts lost by 11 at Maryland, by 10 at Providence, their highest-profile games this season. Vermont-Arkansas is an intriguing 4-13 tilt.

— Wisconsin gets to play the first weekend in Milwaukee; their second round game is the winner of Iowa State-LSU. Cyclones lost their last three games, are 8-12 in 2022. LSU just fired their coach for being a shameless cheater. Seems like an easy first weekend for Wisconsin.

Back to Iowa State; they lost their last three games, scoring 48.3 ppg, they look like a dead team, but were carried into the tournament by their 12-0 pre-conference mark, which included wins over Iowa, Creighton, Memphis.

— Wright State plays Bryant of the NEC in a play-in game; last two years, Wright State is 4-0 vs Robert Morris, winning by 9-30-10-2 points. Robert Morris jumped from the NEC to the Horizon League two years ago, so Wright State appears to be a superior team there.

Bryant lost to these higher-profile teams:
— 83-64 at Rhode Island
— 93-70 at Clemson
— 111-44 at Houston
— 73-58 at Cincinnati 

Bryant’s only wins over team in top 200 were two wins over Wagner, whose best player was hurt and didn’t play.

— South Dakota State is 30-4; they haven’t lost since December 15. Jackrabbits are making 44.2% of their 3’s, best in country. Intriguing matchup with Providence- opponents shot 31.2% on arc against the Friars this season (#57 in country).

Jackrabbits are 2-2 vs top 100 teams; they beat Bradley/Washington State, lost to Alabama by 16, by 12 at Missouri State.

— I’ll obviously be back every day with more tidbits; sometimes you can learn stuff when you look at the times when these games will be played. If the powers-that-be sense an upset, that game ain’t going to be played at 3 in the afternoon, I’m just saying.

Time to get to work. 

Saturday’s Den: My 13 favorite TV shows

In couple days, I’ll remember that I forgot a show from long time ago, and I’ll have to re-do this list, but this is the list for today

13) In Plain Sight— Show about a US Marshal’s unit that relocates federal witnesses; show ran for four years, but it was on USA Network, and it ended when the show’s star got a role on a show on regular network TV, which obviously was more lucrative.

Not lot of TV shows are set in Albuquerque; this was a very good show.

12) Ray Donovan— The most violent program on this list; just about everybody on this Showtime series that isn’t related to the Donovans eventually winds up dead.

Ray Donovan is a fixer for rich people, but he can’t fix his own family; his wife passes away from cancer, his father is a creep, his daughter seems destined to follow in her dad’s footsteps. 

Live Schreiber plays Ray, Jon Voight plays his father (a genuine creep); they’ve had guest stars like Susan Sarandon, James Woods, Wendell Pierce, Hank Azaria. Alan Alda, C Thomas Howell. 

Very good show but also very violent.

11) M*A*S*H— Years later, after watching re-runs of this show on our local channel 10 and the Boston channel for hours at a time, it dawned on me that this was actually a very sad show, with humor/jokes masking the grotesque sadness of wartime Korea.

The McLean Stevenson episodes were the best; he was Colonel Henry Blake for the first 75 episodes, and a lot of them were classics, just funny as hell.

10) Green Acres— As a kid, I spent lot of hours watching Green Acres re-runs; my dad would walk into the room, say “Why the hell are you watching this?”, but within five minutes, he’d be sitting there laughing harder than me and would leave the room before my mother came in and saw the both of us laughing. She wasn’t a big fan of Hank Kimball or Arnold Ziffel.

9) Billions— Showtime series about rich hedge fund traders who push the boundaries of the law while New York prosecutors  try to catch them in the act of doing illegal stuff.

Chuck Rhoades is an attorney who claims to be the moral compass of New York, but he is also into S&M- his ex-wife was his dominatrix, and she is also the psychiatrist for the hedge fund company. Small world.

This show is really well-written, especially since the main hedge fund character had to be written out of the show because his wife died in real life- they’ve successfully changed the tenor of the show with the new hedge fund guy, a less sketchy trader.

Trivia: Paul Giamatti plays the prosecutor; he is the son of former baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti. I suggested a cameo role for Pete Rose, but so far, that hasn’t happened.

8) West Wing— Martin Sheen plays the President in this show; his cabinet included Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, John Spencer— great cast.

Actor Duke Hill was in both West Wing and Suits; Mary Louise Parker was in this and is also in Billions. Alan Alda was in this, Ray Donovan and of course, M*A*S*H

Jimmy Smits, Mary MacCormack, Tim Matheson, Gary Cole, just a ton of excellent actors. 

In one episode, President Bartlet has to throw out the first pitch at an Orioles’ game, but he never played ball, so one of his aides has to teach him how to throw a baseball in a hallway in the White House, where an errant toss breaks an expensive vase.

7) Without a Trace— Show about the FBI Missing Persons Squad that finds missing people by applying advanced psychological profiling to reveal the victims lives.

Anthony LaPaglia was great as Jack Malone, the squad’s leader. Like a lot of main characters on TV, he is better at his job than he is at managing his own personal life. 

6) White Shadow— Ken Howard plays a washed-up NBA player who becomes a high school basketball coach in Los Angeles. Show only lasted three years, because well, high school kids graduate so they would’ve had to turn most of the cast over every other year. 

The basketball scenes were really well-done; Gwyneth Paltrow’s father was the creator of the show. Lot of the issues they tackled in this show were issues that real high school in the inner city had to deal with. Ken Howard was great as Coach Reeves; he wasn’t some all-knowing guy; he had flaws but he fought for his kids and they respected him for it (most of the time).

5) Mr Ed— This show ran on network TV from 1961-66, so I never saw it until the re-runs came on at 4:30 weekdays on a local channel in the early 70’s.

Mr Ed was a talking horse, but he only talked to Wilbur Post, an architect who worked at home but never seemed to actually work. 

Mr Ed was a big Dodger fan; his favorite player was OF Willie Davis. In one episode, the horse takes batting practice against Sandy Koufax, and hits a ball off the wall at Dodger Stadium, with the bat held in his mouth. A fun show, not necessarily a realistic one.

4) CSI— I spent a good chunk of my work career searching fingerprints and working for the NY State Division of Criminal Justice, so I enjoyed all the CSI shows, but especially the one set in Las Vegas— the actors seemed to have a chemistry working together.

The episode where Warrick Brown gets murdered and Gil Grissom gives his eulogy in church is just horrendously sad, but a great scene.

I have this idea (a teacher friend of mine scoffed at this) that CSI should be taught to all high school kids, so they realize how difficult it is to get away with crimes, so maybe there would be fewer crimes. What could it hurt?

3) Odd Couple— As a kid, Oscar Madison was one of my heroes; a sportswriter who always spilled food on his clothes but was a good natured guy who somehow dated a doctor, one of the Pidgeon sisters, or the princess of some obscure country (“You bought her a salty pretzel!!! Oh boy!!!”). 

To this day when I see my cousin’s husband, we recite lines from Odd Couple episodes; when they owned a greyhound racing dog, or appeared on Password (a game show). Great stuff.
(Trivia: they played against Betty White on Password; White was married to Allen Ludden, the host of Password)

Never, ever say the word “assume” to me, or I’ll recite the scene where Felix is in court, writes “assume” on a chalkboard, then says, “When you assume, you make an ass of u and me”

Even the judge was impressed with that one. 

2) Law and Order— 20 years, 456 episodes, a great launching point for lot of acting careers, not to mention the spinoff shows that branched off this original show. 

Take Billions; there are 32 actors who have appeared in 12+ episodes of Billons; 14 of those 32 actors appeared in at least one episode of Law and Order, and two others were in Law and Order SVU, and that doesn’t count Eric Bogosian, who was in Law and Order: Criminal Intent for 61 episodes, but was only in 10 episodes of Billions (so far).

1) Magnum PI— I’ve never been to Hawai’i, but if I ever went, would like to visit Robin Masters’ estate; I’m told you can visit there, it is a museum or something. 

One of the best episodes was when Frank Sinatra played a retired New York City cop whose granddaughter was murdered— this was near the end of both the series and Sinatra’s career. 

The overriding themes of the show were that great friends will do all kinds of stuff for each other, and if you’re really good looking and drive a Ferrari, women will like you 🙂