Archive for March, 2007

The Bubble Burst

March 23, 2007
Remember late February? The word “bubble” was thrown around ESPN more than “T.O.” or “Arena Football”. All the hype as to who was in and who was out of some sort of big dance with Billy Packer.

So how did these hyped-up bubble teams finally fare? You can say it with me: Not too good.

Let’s assume a bubble team means all at-large bids seeded 9 or lower (or higher in numbers, for those who can’t keep up). Here’s the final bubble teams that punched a ticket to the big dance:

9 seeds

  • Michigan State
  • Purdue
  • Villanova
  • Xavier

10 seeds

  • Creighton
  • Georgia Tech
  • Texas Tech

11 seeds

  • Stanford

12 seeds

  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • Old Dominion

So what happened? Out of that group of 11 teams, exactly 3 won a single game. Those 3 were all 9 seeds (Michigan State, Purdue, Xavier), and all 3 lost in the next round. The other 8 lost in the first round, and some lost handily.

As this happens every year, the “Bubble Talk” is becoming much like the Pro Bowl selections. People whine about it for 2 days, then forget that its a game while they mourn the end of football season.

In the case of the NCAA’s, people just don’t care that much when there’s too much good basketball to gorge on.

First Times

March 21, 2007

Well, this post is all about first times. My first post on this blog, Tech’s first dance in this millenium, Corey Gallagher’s first … something something (I really suck at the insulting so fill in the blank with whatever obscenity/insult you can think of). To all my future loyal fans and readers, I am the VT Rocket Scientist. I take a very mathematical and scientific approach to sports. I try to justify my thoughts and opinions with stats while remember that stats are worthless. I will try to emulate a popular Philadelphia Sports Radio personality and “Keep it Real.”

On Sunday, I had a mixed set of emotions. I was unusually calm for my team being down double digits most of their 2nd round game of the NCAA Tourney. Friday night, I was pounding on my desk while watching MMOD. I think what it came down to was, I was happiest we didn’t lose in the first round. Maybe that we finally beat the NC State style offense. And when I saw that same offense show up in SIU, I half-knew we were done from the start.

I rated this season a B+ in the end (despite others claiming “yeah, i’m definitely in the A range”). The season basically is all about where you look at it from. Beginning of the season, most were hoping just to make it to the Dance. Mid-season, most thought we were gonna be just above .500 with an NIT bid. Mid-conference season, some thought we could maaaybe win the ACC and at the end of the season, we were locks in the 4-6 seed range. To me, the OOC portion was a disappointment. We shouldn’t have lost more than maybe 1 game (to SIU who turned out to be a very good team).

The Conf portion was probably not supposed to be better than 8-8, so turning in a 10-6 is better than expected. Yet, after going 7-2 against the ACC teams that made the tournament, we manage to go 0-4 against NIT teams and 3-0 against couchpotato teams. So we lost to the teams that were bad enough to look past but not bad enough to take themselves out of the game. And using the miracle of hindsight, winning just 1 of those 4 games gets us the ACC regular season crown, and the inside track to winning the tournament.

It’s that inconsistency that rubbed me the wrong way about this team. It’s tough to figure what to put it on. Lack of talent, overuse, mismatch, bad reffing, or bad coaching could all be candidates. Don’t get me wrong, I love the seniors from this class and Seth Greenberg is about as good a coach as they come. But there has to be something to blame for why we couldn’t put up 1 more basket to beat a bad Marshall.

I guess it was just a mix of all of those issues. Lack of talent as in why did we never run any set plays? I believe I read an article in early fall (I think, but don’t quote me on that) was saying that some of the players were having difficulty learning the offensive system that Seth wanted them to play. A group of guys, that loved to run, now in a set offense? Square peg meet round hole. And when we had 2 very early losses to teams we SHOULD have beaten, wouldn’t that be the alarm going off to say “This ain’t working, Coach” and make the whole system disappear?

And once that system was gone, maybe Seth didn’t want to see his young players growing too comfortable in that system that he had to use because of the senior talent? Or maybe he didn’t trust the younger players in that type of system? Either way, there was a significant dropoff in playing time for the younger players. Why Witcher diappeared and ended up riding the bench all year is beyond me, especially when the rebounding differential was usually embarrasing for VT. And then, big surprise, our star PG who held the team up in so many games, was now completely drained when the most important part of the season came up.

Bad reffing is usually just an excuse (although I have trouble with how one-sided it gets in critical games). And maybe it just was a mismatch against a certain offense. Whatever it was, that little issue that caused us to have frequent slumps is what kept me from going estatic over this season. It was a very good season. A much better season then anyone expected when Greenberg was hired. The program has grown, but we need to keep the trendline going up… Not staying where we are, not falling off, going UP.

– TheVTRocketScientist –

Back, and Done With

March 21, 2007
After hundreds of letters and emails, we are done with our little hiatus and are back for real. The NCAA Tourney is heating up, even though our team is out. We are still trying to recover from a weekend involving a 13 point comback and St. Patrick’s Day.
So for our first post in a while, we are giving a little shout out to the morning man on Fox Sports Radio, Steve Czaban: I’m So Done With…

Without further adieu…

I’m so done with:

The Next George Mason. What George Mason did does not happen but every 10 years, maybe! There wasn’t going to be another George Mason this year, and (sorry to break your heart) there won’t be one next year or the year after. 2, yes 2 double-digit seeds have EVER made the Final Four.

People that dislike the Cavemen commercials. I can’t even dignify this any further.

The ACC being “overrated”. Out of seven teams in, only one lost to a team seeded two spots lower (seeing how it was Duke, I don’t think many teams in the ACC or their fans were very disappointed). Five others lost either to a higher ranked team or a team one spot lower. Overrated implies they are rated better than they are. Seems to me they were rated just about right on. Now would it be the media that overrates teams? NAWWWW.

Non-green beer. Questions?

Sportscenter: post football season. Hey, let’s show every spring training game instead of those pesky, playoff-deciding NHL games.

Snow. The precipitation, not the singer. He rules.

High school football recruiting. I swear to God, if my friends don’t stop sending me videos of some 18 year old kid scoring a 70-yard touchdown against 15 year old guys that will grow up to be accountants, I will hunt them down.

People who don’t post on their blog for a month. Who do these guys think they are? Their loving public demands more than this. Sometimes, fame just gets to their heads.