Does the Regular Season Matter?

This past weekend, I ended up hearing sports-radio pinheads holding forth proudly about their ignorance of college basketball. The justification for this is that “the regular season doesn’t matter,” since the NCAA tournament is single-elimination, and lesser-known teams keep ending up making big runs in the tournament. Since there’s apparently no way in their world […]

The Trouble With Three

I’m old enough to remember when the three-point shot was a new addition to college basketball, and it was not without controversy. It’s been part of the game for better than twenty years now, and you’ll still hear people talking about how it’s revolutionized the game, generally in a positive way. The case for this […]

Know When to Do Nothing

There was a lot of great basketball yesterday, but I want to talk quickly about one small thing at the end of the Kentucky-Princeton game, that I think is kind of the basketball equivalent of the oft-debated punt on fourth-and-short in the opponents’ end in football. That is, it’s the wrong play, but also the […]

NCAA Tournament: Play-Ins, Ratings, and Majors

The 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship officially started Tuesday, with the first of the “First Four” games, formerly known as the “play-in” game. It gets going in earnest today, though, which means that once this posts, I’ll be shutting the Internet down and working like crazy for a few hours, so I can justify moving […]

Annual Mis-Reporting on Graduation Rates

It’s NCAA tournament time, which is time for everybody to break out the moralizing stories about the pernicious aspects of college athletics that they’ve been sitting on since the football season ended. The Associated Press (via the New York Times) clocks in with a particularly discreditable entry, a story on a study of racial disparities […]

Your Can’t-Miss NCAA Bracket for 2011

Even though the really important Final Four has already been decided, the Division 1 NCAA basketball championship starts this week, which means it’s time to fill out your championship brackets. And so, as usual, I present the guaranteed-can’t-miss-sure-thing method of picking the winner based on the rankings of Ph.D. programs in physics (excerpt displayed; click […]

Championship Basketball Thoughts

I stayed up way too late last night, watching televised basketball and reading Steven Erikson (about which more later). It wasn’t a good night for my teams, with both Syracuse and Maryland losing, but this is the most hoops I’ve watched all season, and I have a few miscellaneous comments: — How about that Big […]

Hoops and Abstract Principles

Brigham Young University dismissed one of its best post players, Brandon Davies, from the basketball team for violations of the university’s honor code. Reportedly, this was for sex, which is one of many enjoyable things forbidden by the school’s rules, which stem from the principles of the LDS church. This really kind of sucks, as […]