Monday’s Den: Clearing out a cluttered mind…….

— College basketball conference tournaments start this week; I like to study history, but the history of these tournaments is a little odd. The results are somewhat random. For instance…….

Last seven years, seven different teams have won the Atlantic 15 tournament

Last five years, five different teams won in ACC, CAA and Conference USA.

10 of last 11 years, Big Sky tournament was won by the #1 seed or team that tied for 1st. 

When I say “last seven years” I’m not counting 2020, the COVID year, where no tournament was played in most conferences. 

Check out our Hoops page for college basketball tournament info all thru March, starting on Tuesday night.

— Atlantic Sun conference tournament tips things off tonight; Florida Gulf Coast-Queens and Bellarmine-North Florida, with both games available on ESPN+. 

— Lindenwood Lions are in their first year of D-I basketball; they struggled thru a 2-11 skid, are 11-20 overall, 6-12 in the OVC, but they won their last two games, both in overtime, as they snuck into the OVC Tournament— they’ll play SE Missouri State in the first round Wednesday.

— Atlantic 15 is ranked as the #12 league right now, their worst ranking since 2007; the league is going to get only one team in the NCAA’s for the first time since 2005, when George Washington was the only A-15 team to make the NCAA’s.

— Since Randy Bennett has been their coach, Saint Mary’s has had 23 Australian players on their roster- they have four this season. Lot of mid-majors are loading their rosters with more foreign players. Siena has players from six different countries, six guys who will be brushing snow off their cars Tuesday, when we get hit with a snowstorm here in Albany.

— Ole Miss fired basketball coach Kermit Davis this week; Rebels are 24-37 the last two years, 7-27 in SEC games. Davis won 332 games in 16 years at Middle Tennessee before coming to Ole Miss; he’s a very good coach.

Not sure how good a basketball job Ole Miss is; you really want to recruit basketball players to a school where a decent amount of the fans run around waving the Confederate Flag?

SEC is a tough enough league on its own; Ole Miss is a difficult job.

— San Diego Padres/Manny Machado agreed on an 11-year, $350M deal, as ownership in San Diego goes all-in to unseat the Dodgers in the NL West.

— Washington P MacKenzie Gore is wearing number 1 this season; can’t remember another pitcher wearing number 1, so I hit the Interweb.

My research indicates Matt Young also wore number 1 for the Mariners in 1990

— New York Mets won 78.9% of their replay challenges last year, by far the best replay record in the big leagues. Next-best record on replay challenges was 64%.

— Miami Marlins were 24-40 in one-run games last year; they’re likely to have four guys in their lineup this year who are normally second basemen. Jazz Chisholm is going to play CF for the first time in his career, Jean Segura will play 3B and Joey Wendle SS, with newly-acquired Luis Arraez at second base. We’ll see how that works out for them.

— This will be the first season ever where every major league team will play every other major league team during the regular season. Batters are going to see pitchers fewer and fewer times, which figures to hurt offense some.

Back in the old days, in 1960, Dodgers-Giants played 22 games against each other. This season, divisional rivals will play each only 13 times. 

— Lakers 111, Dallas 108— Mavericks led by 27 points midway thru second quarter, but let the game slip away, their fourth loss in five games.

— Portland 131, Houston 114— Damian Lillard scored 71 points against a team that has made tanking an art form. Victor Wembanyama is the guy everyone wants to draft in June; Rockets are 13-47, half-game “ahead” of San Antonio for the top spot in the draft lottery.

— Golden State 109, Minnesota 104— Warriors are 20-18 when Steph Curry plays, 11-12 when he sits out. I was surprised by that; thought the difference would be bigger.

— Kings 176, Clippers 175 2OT— Friday’s game was 2nd-highest scoring regular season game in NBA history; Malik Monk played 41:00- Sacramento was +22 during that time, which means in the 17:00 he was on the bench, the Kings were minus-21.

— Nuggets 134, Clippers 124 OT— LA’s airplane got struck by lightning on their way to Denver; rough couple of days for the Clippers. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.