13) Lamont Simpson is a college basketball ref who is a very busy man. Here is a sampling of the 35 games he has worked over the first 59 days of the season:
Nov 10-14: Works five consecutive nights, doing Duke-Illinois-Indiana-VCU games.
Nov 20-22: Tough duty; three days at the Maui Classic.
Nov 23-26: More tough duty: Wooden Legacy tourney in Fullerton; this is three games in four days, at least.
Nov 28-Dec 1: Four straight nights, including games at Purdue-Pitt-Nebraska
Dec 20-23: Four straight nights; three Big 14 games and a Oklahoma game
Jan 2-7: Mr Simpson worked the last six nights: four Big 14 games, two MAC games
These basketball refs have to be in really good shape, working six nights in a row (Kevin Durant would need some time off in there), but they’re banking $1,000+ per game, minus expenses.
12) Ohio State 80, Michigan State 64— I’m watching the Saints playoff game, and I flip over during a commercial and see: Ohio State 63, Michigan State 40 and I wonder why I spend so much time trying to analyze college basketball? Wildly erratic teams, all over the map.
Chris Holtmann upset #1 Villanova last year, when he was coaching at Butler; he upsets the #1 Spartans here, for Ohio State. So you ask: Who was the last coach to upset the #1 team in consecutive years, while coaching at different schools?
11) Odd Fact of the Day: The last coach to upset #1 teams in consecutive seasons while coaching different schools was Thad Matta, who upset St Joe’s in 2004 when he was at Xavier, then upset Illinois the next year, his first year at Ohio State. CBS came up with that nugget.
10) Eight of the top 17 college basketball teams lost this weekend.
9) Philadelphia 76ers are 17-12 when Joel Embiid plays, 2-7 when he does not.
8) Lakers lost nine of their last ten games, they’re eight games out of a playoff spot in the West and then comes news that the Celtics have their #1 pick in next June’s draft. Oy.
7) Oregon State basketball coach Wayne Tinkle is the youngest of 11 children; got to be tough with that many older siblings.
6) Back in 2003, people voted for the Georgia high school football player of the year; they chose a QB from a private school over a WR who went to a public school and then to Georgia Tech.
The QB wound up being a WR at Miami OH; he is Sean McVay, coach of the Rams. The WR wound up being a damn good NFL receiver, Calvin Johnson. Poor decision by those voters.
5) Why are ESPN/CBS running ads for the Masters on January 7th? Anyone who cares knows when the Masters is and who televises it. It is three months from now. Enough already.
4) Eagles are +3 at home against Atlanta next week- they’re first #1 seed (since 2001) to be a home underdog to a #6 seed in this round of the playoffs.
3) Who the hell fills out an NBA All-Star ballot and doesn’t vote for Lebron James?
2) Jaguars 10, Bills 3— Social media was harsh when discussing Blake Bortles Sunday, but fact of the matter is this: He led the Jaguars to a divisional title and they won a playoff game. Lot of guys making way more money than Bortles who haven’t won a playoff game yet.
1) Saints 31, Panthers 26— New Orleans won its 8th straight home game and heads to Minnesota for the next round of the playoffs. Saints beat Carolina three times this year- they’re first team in NFL history to go 3-0 against a team in one season, scoring 30+ points in all three games.
Early playoff lines for next weekend:
AFC: Steelers -13.5 vs Jacksonville…..Patriots -6.5 vs Tennessee
NFC: Falcons -3 @ Philadelphia……..Saints +5 @ Minnesota