— Five weeks until Selection Sunday; we’re about to hear a lot more talk about bubbles and brackets and seeds. Joe Lunardi is going to be on TV most every night.
The weird thing about a team’s resume is this: Once you beat a team, you need that team to win a lot of games, which will make your resume look that much better.
On November 21, San Diego State beat Ohio State 88-77 in the Maui Classic, an impressive win for sure, but today, on February 6, the Buckeyes have lost nine of their last ten games, and that win doesn’t look as good as it did in November. Bad for the Aztecs’ seeding.
College basketball teams are fragile; most teams have very little depth. Boise State is having a good season at 18-6, but point guard Marcus Shaver missed their game with San Diego State the other night, and Boise got blasted, 72-52. Good for the Aztecs’ seeding, bad for Boise’s.
— College basketball put the 3-point shot in for the 1986-87 season; since then, there are only two college teams who have made a 3-point shot in every game: UNLV and Princeton.
UNLV’s streak almost ended in 2007; they made one 3-pointer in a game at Air Force, and that came with 1:43 left. Kid who made the 3-pointer was Kevin Kruger, who was playing for his dad Lon Kruger at the time. Kevin Kruger is now the Rebels’ head coach.
— Alabama gave basketball coach Nate Oats a six-year, $30M contract that extends through the 2028-29 season. It makes Oats the 4th-highest-paid basketball coach in the SEC and among the top 10 nationally.
— Drake Bulldogs are having a good basketball season; they’re 19-6, 10-4 in Missouri Valley- they’ve won eight of their last nine games, with three of the wins in overtime. Drake’s last two wins both came in double overtime.
MVC games are fun to watch on ESPN+; Arch Madness is going to be must-watch TV, because the MVC is a one-bid league this season.
— Andy Reid will be the 5th head coach to coach a Super Bowl against a team he used to coach. Here are the first four:
Super Bowl 3— Weeb Ewbank’s Jets beat Baltimore 16-7.
Super Bowl 33— Dan Reeves’ Falcons lost 34-19 to Denver.
Super Bowl 37— Jon Gruden’s Buccaneers beat Oakland 48-21.
Super Bowl 49— Pete Carroll’s Seahawks lost 28-24 to New England.
I know I’m supposed to use Roman numerals, but it is late and I like numbers better 🙂
— I didn’t watch the Pro Bowl stuff this weekend, except a few minutes last night watching flag football while I was sitting at a bar having dinner. Apparently, there was money involved in the Pro Bowl stuff.
Players on the winning side in the Pro Bowl Games got $84,000 apiece, players on the losing side got $42,000.
— Dallas Cowboys named Brian Schottenheimer their new offensive coordinator; he replaces Kellen Moore, who got fired because the Cowboys needed a scapegoat for losing to the 49ers in the playoffs. In four years with Moore as OC, Dallas scored the 2nd-most points in the NFL.
Schottenheimer has been an NFL offensive coordinator for the Rams, Seahawks, Jets; his dad Marty was an NFL head coach, going 200-126-1 coaching four teams, most notably the Browns and Chiefs.
— Denver Broncos let defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero bolt to the Carolina Panthers, where he will have the same job under new coach Frank Reich. He interviewed with the Panthers for the head coaching job last month.
Broncos also fired their strength/conditioning coach, which apparently happens a decent amount of the time when teams change head coaches, as Denver recently did.
— Alabama hired Miami Hurricanes’ defensive coordinator Kevin Steele to the same job with the Crimson Tide; this will be the third different time Steele has worked under Nick Saban at Alabama. Miami wasn’t bowl eligible last year for the first time since 2007- they fired their offensive coordinator, now they need a new DC.
— Wind chill in Boston reached minus-39 Friday, the lowest wind chill in Boston since they started keeping track, way back in 1944. It was freakin’ cold in this part of the world for 36 hours or so, but I’m happy to report that tonight, the weather is back to its normal miserable level for early February.
— Brooklyn Nets traded Kyrie Irving to Dallas Sunday night:
Nets get: Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and three draft picks
Dallas gets: Kyrie Irving and Markeiff Morris.
Two of the three draft picks the Nets got are in 2029, which means that the Nets acquired two players who are currently in 7th grade. Seriously, they are, whoever they are.
— Our daily update on college basketball referee John Higgins:
January 24— Penn State @ Rutgers
January 25— Utah State @ San Diego State— Long plane ride for a back/back
January 26— Utah @ Oregon State
January 28— California @ Stanford
January 29— Michigan State @ Purdue— Day game after long plane ride.
January 30— Baylor @ Texas
January 31— Kansas State @ Kansas
February 1— Northern Iowa @ Drake- A double overtime game!!! Eight games in nine nights, and a double overtime game on the 9th night.
February 2— Wisconsin @ Ohio State— Ohio State coach Holtmann was ejected with 0:27 left in first half, after a charging call. Buckeyes have lost eight of their last nine games; tensions are running high.
February 4— Oklahoma @ West Virginia
February 5— Penn State @ Nebraska— He’s worked 11 games in 13 days, 66 games since November 7, which is 66 games in 92 days. Not bad for a 54-year old guy.
— LA Dodgers signed IF Miguel Rojas to a $5M deal for 2024; he will also make $5M this coming season. Dodgers have a $5M option for the 2025 season.
Rojas will turn 34 later this month; he is expected to play a utility role for the Dodgers, after playing 136 games at shortstop for the Marlins last season.
— Seattle Mariners/P Luis Castillo agreed that the pitcher won’t pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic next month, concentrating instead on getting ready for the Mariners’ season, because, you know, they’re paying him $108M over the next five years.
Castillo also pitches for my fantasy team; I’m very happy he is skipping the WBC.
— Saint Mary’s has a sophomore guard Augustas Marciulionis whose dad Sarunas played in the NBA. I’m watching their game with Gonzaga Saturday night and I felt old; Sarunas Marčiulionis was on my NBA fantasy team when he played for Golden State 30 years ago.
Kids I coached in Little League/high school sports have kids of their own now; time moves on, that I understand, but it seems to move a lot more quickly these days.