Tag Archives: March Madness

Monday, March 19, 2018 – WHOOP! There It Is! WHOOSH! There It Is!

Monday, March 19, 2018 – WHOOP! There It Is! WHOOSH! There It Is!

You come on like a dream,

Reveille’s the Queen,

Shots like maroon and white wine;

You’re 16 and you’re beautiful and you’re


The Madness of March is awesome and we are only half way through.

Sunday- Texas Aggie Women versus DePaul – Way to show up 12th Man! The women needed us from the tip off to the amazing Chennedy Carter three pointer with 2.8 seconds left to go ahead 80-79. Down 17 points, this was the fourth biggest come back in NCAA basketball history.


http://es.pn/2GE7HXD via @ESPN App http://es.pn/app

Jasmine Lumpkin- what a steal to seal the game. And of course, Lashes – Anriel Howard – outstanding performance from the Queen of Rebounds with the points to match to keep the Aggies in the game.

Bring it Muffet and the Leprechauns! The Aggies are going to party like it was 2011. Note: for the non Aggie women’s basketball followers. Texas A&M defeated Notre Dame to win the National Championship in 2011. Game date and time TBD.

All of the blue hairs, gray hairs and no hairs were seeking CPR and other breathing devices as we left Reed Arena, but we anxiously hurried home to find a second miracle on TV. The Number two seeded University of North Carolina Tar Heels were behind and the Aggie men were playing like they were possessed!Thank goodness this was never a close game. I am sure that two NCAA Tournament Aggie basketball games equal one Aggie football game in terms of cussing, holding breath, slamming the dammit doll and more. Bring it Michigan. March 22, 6:37 on TBS.

And we are just at the half way mark to one of the best March Madness times ever.

Cheers to UMBC Retrievers, Texas Southern Tigers, Houston Cougars and all of the others who got to dance and be a part of history.

Cheers to Sister Jean and team from Loyola Chicago still making history.

Tonight’s women’s game – Here’s to Geno and UConn – you either need to play in the Men’s NIT or spot Quinnipiac 25 points to start the game. You know, like a golf handicap. May a brief, but severe stomach bug invade your digestive track

BTHO – Notre Dame

BTHO – Michigan




Monday, March 21, 2016 – Please Excuse – One Sweet 16 Ready To Go and One Sweet 16 on the Court Tonight.

Monday, March 21, 2016 – Please Excuse – One Sweet 16 Ready To Go and One Sweet 16 on the Court Tonight.

To Whom It May Concern: Please excuse all Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks from work and school today because they lost by one point to Notre Dame. Way to go Jacks for almost another upset and for a great season. Please note: Do Not play Notre Dame on a Sunday – especially the Sunday that kicks off Holy Week.

And speaking of miracles – Please excuse all Texas Aggies from work and school and anybody who watched the most amazing comeback in NCAA men’s basketball history. How many had already changed the channel with the Texas Aggies behind by 12 points to University of Northern Iowa with 44 seconds to play? Shut up, Barkley. If the other team should have won, it would have. Remember you went to Auburn. If you went to Texas A&M you would know “I’ve seen ‘em win; I’ve seen ‘em lose, but I’ve never seen ‘em give up!”

But that was yesterday and yesterday’s gone. Tonight coming to you live from Reed Arena in College Station The Fighting Texas Aggie Women will tip off against Florida State University. This is Anriel Howard. – Aka Lashes by her team mates.

Lashes 2 (800x450)

Texas Aggie #5 Anriel Howard photo by me

She is a freshman and on Saturday she set an NCAA Tournament record with 27 rebounds in a single game! She is a 5’11” forward from Atlanta, Georgia. In high school she enjoyed setting records in multiple sports not to mention being crowned homecoming queen, yearbook editor, and National Honor Society. http://www.12thman.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3327

Check out the hair. Big Basketball Hair– Even I can see her eyelashes from my seats and I just had cataract surgery. Check out her legs. She is a two-sport athlete and will compete in the triple jump with the Aggie track team when basketball season ends. Her gait while running down the court is beautiful to watch. This young lady has it going on. Check out the fashionable shorts.

Congratulations to #5 Anriel Howard.

To the entire team: BTHO Florida State.

Wednesday, March 16,, 2016 – Me and My Brackets

Wednesday, March 16,, 2016 – Me and My Brackets

Our post today is brought to by the word Skullduggery – Skuhl-DUHG-uh-ree

It is a noun meaning:

  1. dishonorable proceedings, mean dishonest or trickery: bribery graft and other such skullduggery
  2. an instance of dishonest or deceitful behavior; trick

But enough about the presidential elections and the government.

Here is my completed bracket for the women’s NCAA Division I basketball tournament.

2016 Womens bracket (800x450)

Yep – got the Baptists and the Catholics in Championship Game – Baylor and Notre Dame. As you can see I have Baylor and Texas A&M playing in the Sweet 16. When these two teams play it is known as a “bitter rivalry.” I am sure Coach Mulkey and Coach Blair will show clips from 2011 and the infamous clock issue. Should A&M pull an upset, I will not talk to my family for a week.

“Just Say No to Four” is my mantra for UConn. The University of Connecticut is a basketball dynasty in any league and Briana Stewart (Stewie) is one of the greatest collegiate athletes you will see – male or female. Nevertheless, Here’s What I’m Thinking – the odds are against you to repeat as National Champions for a fourth time. And you know Mulkey and Muffet have teams that can beat you. The scenery only changes for the lead Huskie and it is time for a change. So I am going with the Bears and the Creepy Leprechauns.

But first on March 19 The Fighting Texas Aggie Women must BTHO Missouri State.

I also completed a Division I Men’s Basketball Bracket. I used the Penny method for selecting the Championship Game – my favorite colors, mascots, funny sounding names, etc. My major criterion was schools from which I have graduated. Therefore I have Texas A&M playing Stephen F. Austin for the National Championship. Gig ‘Em Aggies and Ax ‘Em Jacks!


Wednesday, March 9, 2016 – Your Basketball Bracket Primer – Going Dancing – Part I – The Women’s Tournament

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 – Your NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket Primer – Going Dancing – Part I – The Women’s Tournament

Gather ye basketballs while ye may, the time is still a flying; And that same team that flies today; tomorrow will be dying.

Monday evening the ESPN will air the selection show for the NCAA Division I women’s tournament. Sixty-four teams will be selected to go to the dance. Let’s start with terminology.

Automatic bid – these are teams who win their conference or their conference tournament. It is like going to the dance with your long-time boy/girl friend.

At large invitation – these are teams who did not win their conference or their conference tourney, but will get to go to the dance. It like hoping you get asked to the big dance by somebody.

Bracket – a funny little chart showing which teams play against one another. More to come on brackets after Monday.

Bracket Virgins – your first time to complete a tournament bracket.

The Dance – the championship tournament is referred to as “the dance.” I do not know why.

Final Four – the last four teams left after everybody has played through their bracket. These teams play to be crowned 2016 Basketball National Champions.

Hardware/Bling – Hardware refers to the trophy; Bling refers to the BIG diamond rings you get if you win the tournament. The bling is the size of the nob on your dresser drawers.

Ticket punched – this is the term that a team received an automatic invitation and is loading the bus or plane to travel to a destination selected by people who actually get paid to watch, analyze and make up brackets for sporting events.

Let’s see who already has their tickets punched to the Dance and the conferences represented.

  1. George Washington – A-10 Conference
  2. Notre Dame – ACC
  3. Chattanooga – Southern
  4. South Carolina – SEC
  5. Maryland – Big 10
  6. Oregon State – Pac 12 – Go Beavers! It is not the usual champ – Stanford. Sorry Tara V. I hope you get an at-large bid.
  7. Iona – MAAC Conference. I must admit I was devastated when Iona upset Quinnipiac 57-41.
  8. Yale – Ivy League
  9. St. Johns – Big East Conference. It is St. Johns first trip to the Dance since 1988. Come on – you got to like St. Johns. Their band plays New York – New York – “Start spreading the news; I’m leaving today…”
  10. Baylor – Big 12 Conference
  11. UNC Wilmington – Colonial Conference
  12. University of San Francisco – WCC
  13. Florida Gulf Coast – Atlantic Sun
  14. UNC Ashville – Big South
  15. Northern Iowa – Missouri Valley
  16. Austin Peay – Ohio Valley

I have never heard of most these teams either and my TV automatically turns to ESPN so do not fret.

Still to come – tournament winners from the following alphabet soup of conferences: West Coast; Mountain West; American East, MAC, SWAC, Big Sky MEAC, WAC. No, I have no idea what the letters stand for either. You have Google on your computer, look them up.

I think I left out a team. Oh yes – UConn from the AAC. I refer to this team as Geno and his Giants. I shall yell for any team playing UConn.

The at-large bids will “round out” the field of 64 teams. This should include Texas A&M, THE University of Texas @ Austin, and other teams that are really good basketball teams.

Then play begins. There is no tomorrow. You win or you go home. The objective is to continue to play until there are only four teams left. This is called The Final Four. Notice: there are four teams I have bolded. These are my Final Four predictions. Notre Dame, South Carolina, Baylor and UConn.

Another prediction: Baylor will win the Championship Game against UConn.

But then again it is not called March Madness without reason. Yale or any other team could throw the ball toward the basket on a desperate shot and win on a buzzer beater. A buzzer beater is defined as: with the scored tied and only seconds left to play in the game, a desperation shot is attempted; the ball goes through the basket and the team wins. Shades of Louisville several years ago and all Baylor fans wanted to (or did) throw up.

As we wait for Selection Monday, let’s begin to cheer for teams we want to win somewhere in the tournament. Sic’ Em Bears. Gig ‘Em Aggies and yes, even Hook ‘Em Horns. Somebody bring that hardware and bling back to The Lone Star State from Connecticut! Geno and the Giants already have too much hardware and too much bling. It is someone else’s turn for hardware and bling.

GB & Me (800x600)

GB (Gary Blair – Texas A&M women’s basketball coach) and me. Photo by the crazy women who shoved me out of the way to get her photo made with GB.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 – No Golf Today

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 – No Golf Today

No golf today. As my dear HB used to say “there is always lots to be thankful for.”  I will be so thankful if the rains wash away the stain in my driveway.  See – my friend came to spend a few days with me over the weekend and something leaked from her truck which was parked in my driveway creating a grease stain.  Remember I live in a group of all look a-like town homes.

After she left I went outside to look at the stain hoping to see the face of Jesus or Mary or maybe even Reveille. Maybe even something prophetic such as “Texas Aggie Women Upset UConn to win the 2015 National Women’s Basketball Championship.  Or something even more profound “Texas Aggies Win Their First National Football Championship since 1939!” This way I could turn my town home into a shrine of some sort and charge admission for people to drive by and take photos, but I couldn’t see any faces, messages from the future or oily images suitable for Instagram.

So I will be so thankful if these rains wash away the stain.  Otherwise directions to my house will include, “Turn right and then my house is the one with the giant penis looking stain in the driveway. You can’t miss it.”

Oh yes – another thing to be thankful for – I did not put cat litter on the stain yesterday.  For that to work on grease stains it must be “the clumping kind.” Can you imagine if my driveway was filled with clumping cat litter and it rained causing it to all clump at the end of my driveway?

Monday, March 16, 2015 – Got Your Men’s Bracket Completed?

Monday, March 16, 2015 – Got Your Men’s Bracket Completed?

Here are your teams for the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and their school’s mascot. This is the Big Dance where if you can win your conference tournamanet you get to go the party with an automatic bid.  Everybody else gets the treasured invitation.  Draw a circle around every school you have never heard of before.  Then put a star by the teams with your favorite mascots.  Google to determine what exactly is a Jasper.

Complete your bracket and see how long your teams can continue to win.  Have fun and good luck.

Texas Southern Tigers

Hampton Pirates

Manhattan Jaspers

Lafayette Leopards

Robert Morris Colonials

Coast Carolina Chanticleers

North Dakota State Bison

North Florida Ospreys

UAB Blazers

Eastern Washington Eagles

UC Irvine Anteaters

Albany Great Danes

Northeastern Huskies

Wofford Terriers

Belmont Bruins

New Mexico State Aggies

Georgia State Panthers

Buffalo Bulls

Harvard Crimson

Valparaiso Crusaders

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

UCLA Bruins

LSU Tigers

Ole Miss Rebels

Wyoming Cowboys

Texas Longhorns

Indiana Hoosiers

Oklahoma State Cowboys

NC State Wolfpack

Cincinnati Bearcats

St. John’s Red Storm

Boise State Broncos

Georgia Bulldogs

Purdue Boilermakers

Dayton Flyers

VCU Rams

Xavier Musketeers

BYU Cougars

Iowa Hawkeyes

Ohio State Buckeyes

San Diego Aztecs

Davidson Wildcats

Oregon Ducks

Michigan State Spartans

Providence Friars

Butler Bulldogs

SMU Mustangs

Georgetown Hoyas

Arkansas Razorbacks

West Virginia Mountaineers

North Carolina Tar Heels

Baylor Bears

Maryland Terrapins

Utah Utes

Wichita State Shockers

North Iowa Panthers

Oklahoma Sooners

Iowa State Cyclones

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Louisville Cardinals

Kansas Jayhawks

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Villanova Wildcats

Arizona Wildcats

Wisconsin Badgers

Duke Blue Devils

Virginia Cavaliers

Kentucky Wildcats – just mark Big Blue as the Big Winner


March 16 – RIP – Jay and Molly. We miss you both.

Thursday, March 5, 2015 – March Madness – Part Three – The Bracket

Thursday, March 5, 2015 – The Bracket

A bracket is a tree diagram that represents a series of games played during a tournament. The bracket used for the NCAA college basketball tournaments is a single elimination bracket. There is no consolation for this tournament.  That means win or go home.  This type of bracket is also known as an Olympic system, or a knock out, or a sudden death.  My favorite is the single penetration name.  One does not see that name used often.

Completing a bracket leading to The Final Four has become an entity in and of itself. There are people whose profession is “Bracketologist.” They study a pseudo-science called bracketology.

There are 64 teams that will be selected to play in The Big Tournament or the NCAA tournament. Teams are “seeded” according to the number of wins and the level of the teams played.  The seedings of teams is done by a committee. Teams are placed into mini-brackets in certain regions.  Each mini-bracket feeds into the overall bracket.  Seeding of teams usually results in a lack of geographic awareness and some teams have to travel cross country, while others play in their own back yard or court as the case may be.

To play a tournament bracket is easy. One completes a bracket by predicting which team will win each game from the opening games or rounds to the final game.  In other words, you guess.  The time is called March Madness because an entire game, season and reputation can rest on an injury or illness, a foul that is called, a foul that is not called, a foul shot made, or a foul shot missed.  And of the course the worse is the dreaded buzzer beater when the big round brown ball is thrown toward the hoop with a last second heave and the ball goes through the 18 inch hoop and the team wins.

Completing a bracket is easy.  You really do not have to know anything about basketball. Here is an easy method for completing your bracket.

  1. Go to NCAA.com and download a copy of the bracket you wish to play. I like to play both men’s and women’s brackets. These will be available around Monday, March 16.
  2. Make several copies of the blank bracket. You will want to complete one. You will want to have one to keep track of who actually wins the games. And you will want another one when you rip yours faster than Oliver North when your team loses against a lesser opponent. See buzzer beater above.
  3. Then complete your bracket by selecting the teams you think will win and proceed through the bracket until they reach The Final Four and then pick the National Champion.

Here are several methods for choosing which teams will win and thus advance to the finals. These methods are equally and statistically valid in terms of probability and possibility and usually have similar results regardless of method used to predict winning teams.

How to select teams.  Select a team based on:

  1. The color of their uniforms,
  2. The most tattoos, (Note: this can be by player or by team.)
  3. The best, longest, and/or most creative tattoos,
  4. The school’s mascot. Note: One seldom sees live mascots at basketball games. I supposed a BEVO cleanup in the free throw area is not in the janitor’s contract,
  5. The players’ hairstyles. This includes men’s and women’s teams. Be sure to include west coast teams, whose hair colors were not originally intended for hair hues,
  6. By the coaches you like or dislike or what the coach wears,
  7. By the college you attended or graduated from or by the T-Shirt from Wal-Mart you wear if you had attended college,
  8. Actually do statistically analyses comparing won loss records and strength of schedule data,
  9. On the men’s bracket, predict Kentucky as the winner and work backwards,
  10. On the women’s bracket, predict UConn as the winner and work backwards.

Good luck and BTHO Auburn. (SEC Tournament – Lady Aggies vs. Auburn)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 – March Madness Part Two

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 – March Madness Part Two

First our assessment question from yesterday.  Who has bigger balls? Men or women? If you said men, you answered the question literally and receive a two, or passing grade.  If you said women, you are philosophically correct and receive a three, or excellence, for the answer.

Now to today’s topic – what to look for when watching a basketball game.

When watching a basketball game on TV or at courtside, it is necessary to conduct a fashion police check on both coaches.  This is sometimes called “dishing,” and should not be confused with a pass in basketball which can be referred to as a “dish.”

One must examine the coaches’ attire, including footwear, neckwear and the hair do. You thought this was going to be about the actual game?

For the teams who are coached by men, one looks to see if the coach wears a suit and tie or not.

Examples include: Women’s coach, Jeff Walz of Louisville, does not wear a coat and tie, but chooses a well –pressed sport shirt in the team’s red and white colors.  Women’s coach, Gary Blair of Texas A&M (GB as the team calls him) wears a suit and tie as does women’s coach Geno Auriemma from U Conn. Men’s coach Scott Drew of Baylor usually wears a shirt and tie, but seldom a coat or jacket. Mike Krzyewski or Coach K, of Duke, always wears a suit. It is important to note who does and when the suit jacket comes off.  Coach K never removes his coat. GB takes his coat off when the game becomes tense.  Geno A takes his off the first time he screams at the referees, which is usually in the first three minutes of the game.

On the women’s side, one can bet Tara Vanderveer and Holly Warlick of Stanford and Tennessee, respectively will wear a tasteful, yet drab suit.  Karen Aston of Texas will wear a suit or slacks with a nice blouse.

Nicki Caldwell and Dawn Staley from LSU and South Carolina respectively will be styling regardless of what they are wearing.

Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame will wear a knee length, nun-approved straight or pencil skirt and a nice blouse, perhaps with a matching scarf. She will then wear six inch stiletto ho heels to offset the outfit. Somehow she manages to retain her balance and her dignity as she squats in front of the bench as the game is played.

You can bet Kim Mulkey of Baylor will wear a cutting, if not sometimes bleeding edge fashion. Where does one buy tight, black leather pants? Fifty-shades of Waco?

It is necessary to take a quick look at footwear.  This is more so for the women’s coaches, but GB does sport a nice maroon suede pair of loafers on occasion. One can bet every female coach mentioned so far will have on shoes that display the most current fashion sense, but reflect little of the common sense regarding footwear and comfort. Well, maybe not Vanderveer or Warlick.

And now the hair style.

Muffet McGraw’s is same pixie, leprechaun style she has worn since Clinton was president. Tara Vanderveer has probably worn her hair like that since she was five years old. Karen Aston has a really good hair dresser. With everbody else, it’s a surprise. And especially with Caldwell and Staley and maybe Mulkey.

The opposite holds true on the men’s side for coaches’ hair styles.  Some of those hair styles have not changed since Ronald Reagan was president.  I bet Georgia women’s coach Andy Landers’ hair has not moved since Reagan was president. Neither has Coach K’s or Mathew Mitchell of Kentucky women’s team.

One should pay attention to all jewelry worn.  It tends to range from tasteful to gaudy to “wow, I did not know necklaces or earrings could be that big.”

These topics are sometimes half-time report discussions, so be prepared. Tomorrow – What is a Bracket and How Do I Fill One Out?

March 3 – March Madness Begins – A Basketball Primer

March 3 – March Madness Begins – A Basketball Primer

On Feb. 28, 1940, the first televised college basketball games were broadcast by New York City station W2XBS as Pittsburgh defeated Fordham, 57-37, and New York University beat Georgetown, 50-27, at Madison Square Garden. Get ready there are about to be a lot more broadcast as March Madness begins.

So to guide through this cultural phenomena, I give you: Basketball 101 or A Basketball Primer by Me

As in college football, I only write about teams I like and teams that play teams that I like. Oh yes, this is only about Division I schools.  There are two more divisions that do March Madness. Are you ready to tip off?

Another exciting season of March Madness approaches welcoming another college sport into the commercialization and marketing by ESPN and its sister networks. I wonder if Larry Culpepper from Dr.. Pepper will appear.

March Madness, also known as The Big Dance or The Final Four, is a series of basketball games played by NCAA basketball teams during the time frame between the end of college football and The Master’s Golf Tournament.  Let’s assume you know nothing about the game or just landed from outer space.  I know people who can fit into either category.

History of the Game

In early December 1891, the chairman of the physical education department at the School for Christian Workers (now Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts, instructed physical education teacher James Naismith, known to many as the inventor of basketball, to invent a new game to entertain the school’s athletes in the winter season.

In Texas we think the game of basketball was invented to give people something to do when there was no football. The fact that it offered the PE teachers something to teach while it was cold as a witch in brass brassiere outside was also helpful.

Originally a player would try to toss an inflated, round ball into a wooden peach basket suspended from a hoop mounted to a pole about 10 feet off of the ground. When this task was accomplished, the school janitor would bring a ladder, climb up, retrieve the ball, return it to the player and remove the ladder until he was needed again.  I am not certain if there was a janitorial union intervention and this task was beyond his contractual responsibilities or what. But soon some brainiac thought to cut a hole in the bottom of the peach basket and the janitor was no longer needed.

Equipment Needed

The game is played with a large, inflated, round, brown ball. In the men’s college game, the ball is 29.5 inches in diameter.  In the women’s game the ball is 28.5 inches in diameter. One advances the ball by bouncing it down a flat, rectangular flat surface called a court. This bouncing of the ball is called dribbling.  One may also pass the ball to a team mate to advance the ball. The passing of the ball is called passing.

At either end of this court is a hoop that is 18 inches in diameter. This hoop is 10 feet off of the ground and mounted to a backboard.


The player must dribble the ball using only one hand and without stopping and then throw this big round ball through that 18 inch hoop on the pole.

The Rules

Google them.

The Players

The game can be played by men or women.  Sometimes, in the women’s game it is difficult to determine gender however. The game is played by two teams. There are five players on each team.  Each player has a number based on the position he or she plays.  Actually, the position played is usually based on level of skill sets and body types.

Point guard (often called the “1“): usually the fastest player on the team organizes the team’s offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right player at the right time.

Shooting guard (the “2“): creates a high volume of shots on offense, mainly long-ranged; and guards the opponent’s best perimeter player on defense.

Small forward (the “3“): often primarily responsible for scoring points via cuts to the basket and dribble penetration; on defense seeks rebounds and steals, but sometimes plays more actively.

Power forward (the “4“): plays offensively often with their back to the basket; on defense, plays under the basket (in a zone defense) or against the opposing power forward (in man-to-man defense).

Center (the “5“): uses height and size to score (on offense), to protect the basket closely (on defense), or to rebound.

The Challenge

Now this sounds like a simple fun sport now, doesn’t it? I failed to mention at each position there is a seven foot giant, with an arm wing span like a small airplane, who has a vertical jump of 30 inches from a standing position, and is quicker than a New York pick pocket who trying to prevent you from putting the round ball into the hoop. It adds a bit more challenge to just tossing the ball into the modern peach bucket.

Go study for the assessment.  Tomorrow we look at What to Watch in a Basketball Game.