13) Over the last ten years, of the 40 teams that made the Final Four, 39 of them were in the top 50 in country in defensive efficiency; VCU in 2011 was the exception.
Last three years, all 12 Final Four teams were in the top 30 in defensive efficiency, and 11 of those were in the top 20.
What I’m saying is this: When I fill out my bracket, I’m noting each team’s defensive efficiency next to their name, and will use that to help advance teams on my bracket.
Villanova is #83 in defensive efficiency this year; the last three years, the Wildcats were 5th, 11th, 12th- big difference.
12) Playing a fast tempo hasn’t been a trait of many Finals Four teams; only 8 of the last 40 Final Four teams were in the top 100 that year in tempo.
11) Talent means more than experience. Last four years, only 2 of 16 Final Four teams were in the top 100 in experience.
10) ESPN announced the end of Baseball Tonight, their nightly in-season highlight show.
Not really sure what direction ESPN is heading in here; there is already an NBA Network- they dropped the NHL a few years ago, their daytime programming is terrible. If you’re paying Mike Greenberg and Stephen A Smith serious money to babble on during the day but drop Baseball Tonight, its almost like you want to become a running joke.
9) Les Miles is in a new movie. This could be excellent.
Kansas’ new football coach has a role in a movie about the Challenger shuttle disaster with an unoriginal title: “The Challenger Disaster”. Miles plays one of the NASA chiefs.
My one memory of the Challenger mishap 33 years ago; my parents got a new TV that day, and when they turned it on for the first time, a replay of the Challenger exploding was the first thing we saw. Sad day.
8) Anthony Davis wants off the New Orleans Pelicans, because no NBA stars are content with being really, really rich, unless they can be placed on an already-contending team, too.
If the Pelicans do not trade Davis, he can’t get a max contract, but he’d still be really, really rich, and also the Pelicans would take a huge loss, personnel-wise. The question, what can they get in a trade for Davis?
7) USC hired North Texas OC Graham Harrell as its new offensive coordinator/QB coach; Harrell replaces Kliff Kingsbury, who he also replaced as Texas Tech’s QB back in his playing days. Kingsbury left USC after only 34 days, to become head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.
6) Toronto Blue Jays signed former Philly/Padre SS Freddy Galvis to a $4M, one-year deal with a club option for 2020.
5) At halftime buzzer of their game Saturday, kid on Hofstra made a shot from behind the opposite foul line; they measured the shot Monday, and it was officially 82 feet. Quite a toss.
4) Looks like Redskins’ QB Alex Smith is out for all of 2019 after breaking his leg, so seeing how Smith will be 35 in May and 36 in May 2020, seems like Washington will be looking a for a new QB this spring.
3) Three people I’d like to meet someday:
— Steve Martin, the great comedian
— Bill James, the father of baseball Sabermetrics
— A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich, who has worked for the A’s for over 50 years.
2) Monday morning in Texas, thousands of people streamed into the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen to pay their final respects to Air Force veteran Joseph Walker, after it was reported that Mr Walker was going to be buried with no family present.
It was posted on Facebook that Mr Walker was going to be buried with no family/friends there, but what wound up happening instead was roughly 5,000 cars coming to thank Mr Walker for his service to our country— he served from 1964-68.
1) Doug Sirmons is a college basketball referee; here is his schedule from Jan 19-28. College basketball refs make a lot of money, and unlike NBA players, they’re obviously not averse to back-to-backs. Plus, they earn a lot of airline/rental car miles.
January 19: Kansas @ West Virginia
January 20: Duquesne @ George Washington
January 21: Marshall @ Western Kentucky
January 22: Texas Tech @ Kansas
January 23: Texas @ TCU
January 24: Tulsa @ Cincinnati
January 26: West Virginia @ Tennessee
January 27: Central Florida @ Memphis
January 28: Duke @ Notre Dame