Hoopaholics Gazette: Vegas Odds & Conference Slogs

b-ballSo, there is a guy in Vegas, who was more nervous than the real Supreme Commander Sooner Nation David Boren while watching last night’s Big Monday slugfest between the Sooners and Cyclones.

The fellow had plopped down 5 bucks at a betting parlor in Sin City on a 15 game parlay. He was on a 14 game roll, after Ws by the four favorites in the NFL playoffs, San Jose Sharks, and in college hoops, ‘Nova, VCU, Baylor, Florida, Cal Poly, San Diego State, North Dakota State, Creighton and Wisconsin.

Cal Poly? Really?

All he needed was an Oklahoma victory in Hilton, and at 32,600 to 1 odds, he’d have pocketed $163 large.

He didn’t collect, as we know. But his odds of collecting were actually shorter than those for any suckers who might be foolishly wagering that Rick Pitino will be the next coach at UNLV.

This is a rumor, the half life of which has probably already expired. If not, it shall soon enough.

After Wednesday night’s snow game against Florida State, The Rick and his squad will brave the upcoming winter storm for trips to Atlanta and bucolic, not very accessible Blacksburg, Va. Both on network TV.

If you think RP, looming scandal and all, is going to trade in his bespoke Brioni wardrobe for Patagonia layers, his primetime games on The World Wide Leader and that itinerary for trips to Logan and Colorado Springs for February Mountain West matchups, I got a $1000 raffle ticket for you, winner shares dinner at a Porcini’s table with Pitino, his bride Joanne, Andre McGee, Karen Sypher and Katina Powell.

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In a normal hoops season, it’s about now that the Final Four favorites would be shaking out.

Not so this cockamamie campaign, the most egalitarian and fascinating in years.

Tar Heels? Terrapins? Jayhawks? Sooners? ‘Nova? You tell me, they all look flawed.

But there’s another designation hoopaholics begin to chatter about at this juncture. It usually has several contendas, but this year has already been determined.

The Team Nobody Wants To Play In The Dance.

Ladies and gents, have you seen Bobby Hugg’s West Virginia Mountaineers?

The most underrated coach in the game has his favorite kind of team. Ferocious. Relentless. Anonymous. And, you know, really good.

I’ve watched them play several times. Beating a weather-depleted Kansas team in Morgantown, then almost besting Oklahoma in Norman. And the only reason I can name Jaysean Paige as one of their stars is I ran across a mention of him while perusing the sports pages this morning.

This tireless band on No Names insert themselves inside their opponent’s compression shorts at the opening tip, and chafe like hot sand.

Whatever the seeding of my favorite team come Selection Sunday, I do not want to see West Virginia in that region’s bracket.

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We love to get on the zebras, right?

Here’s a legit complaint.

A bunch of them have failed to enforce the new 10 second rule.

A team can no longer call a timeout and get 10 new seconds to advance the ball past midcourt. If the shot clock strikes :19, the defensive team should be awarded the ball.

I’ve only seen it properly enforced a couple of times, once against U of L earlier in the season. But last weekend, it was missed in several games.

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Listen, I think rushing the court — or the gridiron — after a big W over a highly ranked foe is stupid.

I’m proud to say, I can only remember maybe one time it happened — or almost happened — with my team at Freedom Hall. And I can recall no details.

But college students are, you know, college students. And are looking for any excuse to do the bumbety bump in a mosh pit of their own making. So, it’s gonna happen.

For the SEC to fine Auburn $100,000 after Tiger fans did their human hoops ideation of the Toomer Corner Toilet Trash, after whipping UK, is idiotic.

Stupid league rule, arguable safety hazards notwithstanding.

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SMU undefeated?

I mean, really, who cares?

Who is really surprised? Larry Brown’s skirted the rules at every college stop along the way.

Besides the fact it ain’t gonna happen. If Houston doesn’t catch them tonight in Moody, they will at home on 2/01. Maybe even Memphis State too.

Then we can clear our minds of this meaningless afterthought, and stop wondering the fate of a team that’s got no Dance Card to fill.

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My favorite whipping boy for the last two seasons has been Andy Enfield, who, based on two wins in the Dance a couple years back at Florida Gulf Coast, and the fact that he’s got a smokin’ hot spouse, leapfrogged to the Southern Cal job.

After he got it, he verbally went after crosstown rival Steve Alford like Trump on Cruz. Then proceeded to fashion a somewhat less than glossy 5-31 conference mark in his first two seasons.

Credit where it’s due. The Men of Troy are 15-3, with Ls only to Xavier, feisty Monmouth and UDub in the PAC 12, with which Huskies they sit atop of conference standings at 4-1.

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Another coach whose seat seems to be cooling a bit is former Cardinal assistant, Kevin Willard.

The Seton Hall Pirates are 13-4, and in the scrum below Villanova in the ever tough Big East.

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I often cite the rankings of Ken Pomeroy here, since he’s generally regarded as the premier computer guru in the land. Plus he’s got my Cardinals, despite their spotty but improving resumé, at #6 in the land.

But, I seem to have discerned a flaw in his algorhythms, though I probably should bone up on his methodology before making this bold criticism. But, as is my wont, I’m going to shoot from the hip anyway.

Clemson, despite beating three Top 25 teams in a row, is still ranked at #59.

Yes, the Tigers slipped several times in non-conference play. And, yes, those three recent impressive Ws all came at home, in their temporary home anyway, while Littlejohn is being refurbished.

But still . . . where’s the love?

Which leads me to believe, without further research, that Pomeroy does not factor in how recently a team’s wins and losses occur.

I’ll check when I get a chance. And, if I’m wrong, I’ll do my best to report back. If I think about it.

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The truth is that Kentucky and Duke harvest so many McDonald’s All-Americans that they serve McRib sandwiches all the time at Wildcat Lodge and Krzyewskiville Grill.

Another truth is, as this season is proving, it doesn’t always work. (Though, to be fair, most of the time it does.)

Don’t recall Buddy Hield being a Burger Best.

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Hope you all are paying attention.

This is turning into a college hoops season for the ages.

— Seedy K

2 thoughts on “Hoopaholics Gazette: Vegas Odds & Conference Slogs

  1. My daddy always told me that pigs eat and hogs get slaughtered…

    I have to believe that if your friend had a $5,14-team parlay working to pay $163K with one game to go he at least bet $10-$50K on Iowa State on the money line. If not, he is too greedy to win any significant bet of any kind, now or in the future…. Hedging your bet is Vegas 101, from everything from craps to sports betting…I hope, for his sake, he at least did that—if not, he deserved his fate….

    ….And yes, this college hoops season is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory. There is no team that is assured to win more than one game in the tourney, much less make it to the FF…

    …and to think Cal is complaining about the ref’s…after 6 years of his team wildly “dribble-driving” into the lane to get to the foul line, the zebra’s have had enough!

    ..now winning on the road in the ACC—I wonder what the foul shot disparity is between home vs. road teams in the league this year????????

  2. I agree with you Seedy about the impressive Mountaineers. Huggy Bear has come a long way since puking on the Cop who stopped him for DUI in Cincy. Looks like Kevin has cut back on the sauce also.

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