Saturday, March 28, 2009

Elite Eight

So I went 6-2 in the last round. Both teams I had in my championship game (Memphis and Syracuse) were the two that lost. Yeah. Not so great. I can only go 2-2 now from my original bracket.

I still think that Pitt will beat Villanova, but it will be a close and well played game.
Louisville should handle Michigan State relatively easily, as they have been dominating teams all tournament. They're on fire right now.
I think that Connecticut will show Missouri that the Big East really is the best conference in basketball right now, and UNC will show Oklahoma (in a closer game) that they are clearly the dominant team in an over-hyped ACC.

Having just thought about it, I realized that I had all 4 #1 seeds winning and making it to the Final Four. Last year was the first year that this happened. So on second thought, I'm thinking that Pitt will be the most likely of the #1 seeds to lose in the next two days.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Gillispie Out at Kentucky

This afternoon it was announced that Kentucky's head basketball coach, Billy Gillispie, was fired. He was only there for two years. Both years, the basketball team failed to make the SEC Tournament semifinals, and this year was the first year the team failed to make the NCAA tournament in 18 years, instead having to settle for the NIT.

Kentucky has a huge tradition when it comes to basketball, having won 43 regular season SEC titles, for most in the conference. Second? LSU with only 10 in comparison. With such a long tradition of excellence comes a very high pressure coaching job with other-worldly expectations of winning everything, or at least coming very close to it, every year. Other basketball coaching jobs with similar expectations are at Duke, UNC, Indiana, and UCLA, other schools with long traditions of basketball excellence. For football schools like Michigan, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, and Oklahoma. Professional sports have those kinds of jobs too, like in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, or the MLB with the New York Yankees.

Would you ever want a job like that? I wouldn't. I'd rather be at a lower-profile school that has less frequent, but still plenty of success. A school like LSU for basketball, or Virginia Tech for football (although, schools like these do have their own fair share of harsh and critical fans that can be very vocal, especially in the first couple of years after a coaching change, or when things hit a downward slump for a number of years in a row).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sweet 16 Time

So in the 2nd round, I only lost one more of my Sweet 16 teams. I went 12-4 in the second round. Since I have not lost any of my Elite Eight teams, all my original predicted winners still stand. Will I go 8-0 in the next two days? We'll see...

Unfortunately, LSU did lose to UNC...but they put up a great game, and played UNC really close, and kept the game very competitive up until a scoring drought in the latter part of the 2nd half. That's what ultimately ended up losing the game. As with the game against Xavier during the regular season. Oh well. It was a great season, way up from the 13-18 season last year (the team won 13 games in the conference alone this year!). As for our women's team, they lost last night against Louisville, in a very tough, competitive game, as well. It was a very good game. Unfortunately for them, the game was lost at the free throw line. LSU just wasn't making the free throws, and Louisville was. But for a team that early in the season looked like it wouldn't even be in the tournament, a team with only one senior and two juniors, the season ended remarkably well, with huge victories over Florida and Tennessee late in the season. The team was made up of mostly freshmen. It'll be very interesting to watch and see where the team goes from here into next year.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

1st Round Down

So in the first round, I went 22-10. Not too good, huh? In the process I also lost 3 of my Sweet 16 teams, Utah, West Virginia, and Florida State. So I'm already at 0-3 for the next round the next two days in my original predictions. Now for the updated 2nd round predictions of games that were affected by the results of the 1st round.

13 Cleveland State over 12 Arizona (originally 5 Utah over 4 Wake Forest)- should be a good game
11 Dayton over 3 Kansas (originally 6 West Virginia over 3 Kansas)

1 Connecticut over 9 Texas A&M (originally 1 Connecticut over 8 BYU)
3 Missouri over 6 Marquette (originally 3 Missouri over 11 Utah State - they were so close!)

4 Xavier over 12 Wisconsin (originally 5 Florida state over 4 Xavier)
3 Villanova over 6 UCLA (originally 3 Villanova over 11 VCU - so close too!)
2 Duke over 7 Texas (originally 2 Duke over 10 Minnesota) - should be a good game

2 Oklahoma over 10 Michigan (originally 2 Oklahoma over 7 Clemson)

Now, how will I fare in this round? We'll have to wait and see.

One thing to note, I wouldn't mind being wrong about the UNC-LSU game!! I know we have a shot at winning! I believe! I wouldn't mind my bracket being ruined with an LSU victory!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March Madness Is Here!...or has it already been here?

Did March Madness begin when the brackets were revealed Sunday night? Or did it begin when the first conference tournament tipped off two weeks earlier? I think it began two weeks ago, just now the most talked about part, the NCAA tournament, has just begun. Tonight was the play-in game between Morehead State and Alabama State, with Morehead State cruising to a victory. On Thursday and Friday, 32 games will be played across the nation, all day long, causing many people to call in sick and skip class (don't worry, Mom and Dad, my afternoon class has an attendance policy when it comes to grading).

This past weekend I traveled to Tampa, FL for the Mens SEC tournament. LSU won the first game against Kentucky (in the second round, we had a 1st round bye), but then lost the next day to tourney-champion Mississippi State. Due to the teams 1-3 finish in the last four games (still 9-3 in the last 12, though!), the LSU Tigers got an unfortunate 8 seed. If the team defeats Butler in the first round on Thursday (game at 12:20 ET), then we will have to face UNC in the 2nd round.

Our Womens team on the other hand got a 6 seed in their tournament. While it is the lowest seed since 2002 for them (being to the Final Four for the past 5 seasons), it is exciting, as the team started the season 12-9 and looked as if they probably would be out of the postseason altogether. Fortunately they turned things around and started performing better.

Alright, here are my predictions for the men's tournament. Feel free to make your own. I'm going to do a full tournament prediction, and then update as to how I did after each round, and make updated predictions after each round.

For the Midwest Region:
1st Round
1 Louisville beats 16 Morehead State
9 Siena beats 8 Ohio State

5 Utah beats 12 Arizona
4 Wake Forest beats 13 Cleveland State

6 West Virginia beats 11 Dayton
3 Kansas beats 14 North Dakota State

7 Boston College loses to 10 Southern California (as much as I'd rather see them lose)
2 Michigan State beats 1 Robert Morris

2nd Round
1 Louisville beats 9 Siena
5 Utah beats 4 Wake Forest

6 West Virginia beats 3 Kansas
2 Michigan State beats 10 Southern California

Sweet 16
1 Louisville beats 5 Utah
2 Michigan State beats 6 West Virginia

Elite 8
1 Louisville beats 2 Michigan State

West Region
1st Round
1 Connecticut beats 16 Chatanooga
8 BYU beats 9 Texas A&M

5 Purdue beats 12 UNI
4 Washington beats 13 Mississippi St

6 Marquette loses to 11 Utah St (I'm feeling really good about this upset somehow...)
3 Missouri beats 14 Cornell

7 California loses to 10 Maryland
2 Memphis loses to 15 Cal St Northridge

2nd Round
1 Connecticut beats 8 BYU
4 Washington beats 5 Purdue

3 Missouri beats 11 Utah State
2 Memphis beats 10 Maryland

Sweet 16
1 Connecticut beats 4 Washington
2 Memphis beats 3 Missouri

Elite 8
2 Memphis beats 1 Connecticut

East Region
1st Round
1 Pittsburgh beats 16 East Tennessee State
9 Tennessee beats 8 Oklahoma State

5 Florida State beast 12 Wisconsin
4 Xavier beats 13 Portland State

6 UCLA loses to 11 VCU (not so sure about this one, but still think it is quite possible)
3 Villanova beats 14 American (would LOVE to see the upset here, but don't think it'll happen)

7 Texas loses to 10 Minnesota
2 Duke beats 15 Binghamton

2nd Round
1 Pittsburgh beats 9 Tennessee
5 Florida State beats 4 Xavier

3 Villanova beats 11 VCU
2 Duke beats 10 Minnesota

Sweet 16
1 Pittsburgh beats 5 Florida State
3 Villanova beats 2 Duke

Elite 8
1 Pittsburgh beats 3 Villanova

South Region
1st Round
1 UNC beasts 16 Radford (Radford has the best chance to pull the 16 seed upset this season, but still...not gonna happen. Never has.)
8 LSU beats 9 Butler (but if we play like we have recently, we WILL lose guaranteed)

12 Western Kentucky beats 5 Illinois
4 Gonzaga beats 13 Akron

6 Arizona State beats 11 Temple
3 Syracuse beats 14 SFA

7 Clemson beats 10 Michigan
2 Oklahoma beats 15 Morgan St

2nd Round
1 UNC beats 8 LSU (darn...)
4 Gonzaga beats 12 Western Kentucky

3 Syracuse beats 6 Arizona State
2 Oklahoma beats 7 Clemson

Sweet 16
1 UNC beats 4 Gonzaga
3 Syracuse beats 2 Oklahoma

Elite 8
3 Syracuse beats 1 UNC

Final Four
2 West Memphis beats 1 Midwest Louisville
3 South Syracuse beats 1 East Pittsburgh

Championship Game
Memphis beats Syracuse

Well there ya have it. There are my predictions. What are yours?

Monday, March 9, 2009


DCI Annually has a "Countdown" of top shows in theaters. Originally it was a "Classic Countdown" featuring shows from all decades of DCI (70's-present), but recently it has changed format to be just recent shows. Last year was only 2004-2007. This year, the format is the top 6 shows from 2003-2008. They narrowed the voting down from all the shows from those years (top 12 shows that is), to the most voted top 12, "final" round. Selected from those 12 are the 6 shows that will be shown in the "Countdown" in May. The Crossmen 2003 show, "Color" is in the final 12. I strongly urge everyone to go vote here: for the Crossmen 2003 show, "Color."

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Good Article

A few things before I head off to San Antonio for the March Crossmen camp. This weekend is the women's basketball SEC tournament up in Arkansas. Tonight LSU plays in the second round (after having a first round bye last night) tonight in the late game against Mississippi State. We are the #3 seed in the tournament. If we win tonight, tomorrow we will play the winner of the #2 Vanderbilt vs #7 Georgia. This year was the first time in a long time (18 years or something like that, I think? Maybe longer...) that Tennessee had to play in the first round. Hopefully they're eliminated before we have to play them. Next weekend is the men's SEC tournament, where we are the West #1 seed, with a first round bye. That tournament is in Tampa, FL, and I will be there with the Bengal Brass basketball pep band.

Today, I came across this article, which does a pretty good job of describing what Drum Corps is and what it is like. I thought I'd share it:

Drum corps gives students rewarding experience - Features

The Colts, mentioned as having placed 14th in the article, placed one spot below the Crossmen. The Crossmen placed 13th this past season, after being in the 12th place spot for the whole latter half of the season. I can't wait for this summer to get here!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Mom Song

Here is a video that my trombone professor sent out to the studio a day or two ago. I think that everyone (especially those who are moms) will get a kick out of this. Recognize the tune?