Saturday’s Den: Talking about basketball and gameshows

Before we get into the basketball, I watching The Price is Right the other day— I love game shows, think daytime TV should be all game shows, the way it was when I was a kid. These contrived debate/argument shows on ESPN/FS1 are stupid. Our country needs to be less stupid. 

Anyway, the final Showcase is on, and a guy missed the price of his Showcase by $73, just an amazing guess. Showcase was over $42,000 and he missed by only $73; tremendous. 

One problem; his bid was $73 OVER the actual retail price; you can’t go over the price, or you lose— both contestants lost this one. Never saw that happen before.

Price Is Right, Hollywood Squares, Match Game, I grew up watching that stuff (Jeopardy a little bit, too). Stuff like that is a hell of a lot better than watching overpaid morons argue with each other.

On to the basketball………
— My records go back to 1985; this is the first Elite 8 since then with no #1-seeds still alive. 

Fun to watch, very difficult to predict.

— San Diego State 71, Alabama 64
MVP was 5-10 PG Trammell, who played the last two years in the WAC at Seattle.
Alabama led 48-39 with 11:40 left in the game.
Alabama star Miller shot 3-19 from the floor. 

— Miami 89, Houston 75
Miami made 11-25 on the arc, scored 1.27 points/possession.
Nijel Pack was 7-10 on the arc; Houston’s whole team was 9-31.
Miami tied for first in ACC; their uniforms don’t say Duke, so people overlook them. 

— Creighton 86, Princeton 75
Creighton shot 74.2% inside the arc, scored 1.23 points/possession.
Bluejays lost six games in a row in early December; they’re 6-1 in last seven games.
Princeton was just 4th-ever #15-seed to get to this point. 

— Texas 83, Xavier 71
Texas never trailed, led 42-25 at halftime; total butt-kicking.
Longhorns’ 6-9 big man Disu got hurt early on; check status for Sunday
Texas is 16-7 against top 50 teams this season.

— What is the Texas administration doing? How is Rodney Terry still an interim coach? Longhorns are 22-7 since Chris Beard got fired, and Terry replaced him; it is inconceivable they could hire another coach after this run, where they’ve won the Big X Tournament, and now are in the Elite 8.

— Over the last three years, Big 14 teams are:
17-7 in NCAA first round games
4-13 in NCAA second round games
1-3 in Sweet 16 games.

24 teams, four got to the Sweet 16, one got to the Elite 8. No bueno.

— Kansas State PG Markquis Nowell is in his 5th year of college basketball:
2019— Little Rock went 10-21
2020— Little Rock went 21-10, but there was no Sun Belt/NCAA tournament
2021— Little Rock went 11-15
2022— Kansas State went 14-17, lost their last six games, fired their coach.
2023— Kansas State is 26-9 and Nowell is a big star.

He had 20 points, 19 assists in an overtime win Thursday, the most assists ever in an NCAA Tournament game. People are comparing him to Kemba Walker.

Stories like this are why the tournament has been so unpredictable. K-State has two players who played on the team last year, but the new group has bonded and are having a great season.

— Conference USA needs better TV exposure; I watch some of their games on ESPN+, but they have several good teams, teams that play all different styles.

Last eight years, Conference USA teams are 6-2 SU in first round NCAA Tournament games, and they were an underdog in seven of those eight games.

— Which big $$$ school is going to go after Florida Atlantic coach Dusty May? In five years at FAU, with a pandemic in the middle of it, Owls are 100-59, 52-34 in conference games. This is a Florida Atlantic program that is only in its 30th year as a Division I program.

Teams with current coach openings:
California, Temple, South Florida, Penn State, Texas Tech and technically, Texas, but if I was a prospective coach, I wouldn’t go anywhere near Texas- that should be Rodney Terry’s job.

All the other current job openings are below FAU’s level. Valparaiso just fired their coach; May went to college at Indiana, which is close to Valpo, but he can do better than a low-level Missouri Valley job.

— When they started the Big East Conference in 1979, they invited Holy Cross to join; Crusaders had a pretty good team back then, but the Holy Cross administration turned them down, citing the college’s commitment to academic excellence.

Could you imagine that happening today? How much $$$ you think they squandered by joining the freakin’ Patriot League? Holy Cross won four Patriot League titles under Ralph Willard 15-20 years ago, but come on, these big-time hoop schools make some serious cash— rich alumni like it when the alma mater is in the top 25.

— Loved listening to Stan Van Gundy/Kevin Harlan on TV this week; Van Gundy is all ball— I learn a lot every time I hear him describe a game. Harlan is a great play/play guy who sets his analysts up the right way. Van Gundy offers opinions; you may not agree with him all the time, but he’s coached in college and the NBA— he knows his stuff.

— Micah Shrewsberry bolts Penn State to be the new coach at Notre Dame; Nittany Lions were 23-14 this year, but they started four seniors, were the most experienced team in the country. They’re going to regress next year, no matter who the new coach is- it was time for him to jump. 

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.