Sunday Morning Open Thread

Did you turn your clock forward?

Before conference tournament play began these were your top 12:

1 Kentucky (31) 30-1 775
2 Syracuse 30-1 744
3 Kansas 26-5 703
4 North Carolina 27-4 690
5 Missouri 27-4 620
6 Duke 26-5 604
7 Ohio State 25-6 568
8 Michigan State 24-7 540
9 Marquette 25-6 537
10 Murray State 30-1 526
11 Baylor 25-6 422
12 Wisconsin 23-8 417

So far, KY, agreed to be the best team in the nation, barely squeaked out a win in the SEC semifinal, Syracuse, Kansas, Duke and Marquette did not make it to their conference finals, and MO and Baylor exceeded expectations.  The remaining teams have performed as expected – the Big 10 final result will not be an upset; however, if UNC loses in the ACC final, or if KY loses in the SEC final, that will be a surprise.  There is no qualitative difference worth mentioning between being a one seed or a two seed in the NCAA Tournament – if form follows, you get easy sledding for the first two games.  Everybody then is on even ground in the Sweet 16, because we have just seen that top 16 teams can all beat each other on a given night.

Match-ups matter.  Baylor is big and fast, but has defensive lapses that a team consistent in spreading the court with good three point shooters and good passing to take advantage of spacing will exploit.  Baylor cannot beat a Missouri or a Duke.  Syracuse can beat anyone if they are shooting well.  But they have the most trouble with a Missouri or a Duke, too, because they play zone.  KY, UNC, and Kansas all play like NBA teams, although not quite as talented.  Ohio St. is almost in that crowd with KY, UNC, and Kansas.  Michigan State is a testament to the best coach in America, Izzo, who has good but not great talent and makes them tournament tough by the end of the year.

On another note, about human capital:

My sis was graduated from Mich. St., PhD from UNC.  Good luck to UNC and Mich. St. today!

Addendum: KY and UNC lost their conference finals.  UNC benched one of its stars as a health precaution.  Both teams are probably still “ones”.  The Big Ten gives us its two premiere teams in the conference final, next.

Monday Morning Opening (or, Ramblings From a Tired Mind)

She’s baaaa-aaaack!

I’m going to throw this up as a somewhat rambling morning thread, since I’ve spent bits and pieces of the last 24 hours going through PL and ATiM threads to get caught up. I’ll just throw out there that moving is the pits, but it does tend to clear out the rubble!

What a weekend! Starting on Thursday, when I went offline due to moving and associated intertubes interuptions, I’d like to make a few quick hits to get up to speed:

NoVA: An absolutely wonderful post that I’m going to re-read and comment on later. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into writing this, and I just wish that 12BB would get her fourth point of contact over here to read it. Does anybody know why she seems to be boycotting us?

lms: I can’t make a direct connection, but it really burns me up that healthcare insurance works the way it does. It’s one of the few perks that we (state) government lackeys have, and one of my last bills for my ex came in at $17K for a less than 72 hour stay in a hospital. I’m not paying it for several reasons, but part of it is that they don’t seem to be able/willing to break it down. . . you can’t convince me that they provided $17K of care to a man who didn’t need divine intervention to make him better (I’ve seen what they do: stick an IV in his arm, pump him up with vitamins and let him sleep it off. For $17K??????) And because I’ve got such great insurance that’s what they’d “bill” me. . . except I don’t have to pay anything other than the deductible, because they’re passing the cost on to people like you. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

Troll: Your PT was done at a physician-owned practice, which goes against many ethical guidelines in the PT world (my ex spent several years working at the Federal level on practice guidelines and scope of practice rules.) While it isn’t illegal, it’s considered unethical in many ways for PTs to work directly for orthopods, so it doesn’t surprise me that you were less than happy with your tennis elbow rehab. Having said that, I had a similar injury that just couldn’t be rehabbed, no matter what was tried. About five years later it spontaneously got better. . . so I hope that happens for you!

okie: Sounds like you ran a marvelous event–congrats! If it makes you feel any better, I failed to get the starting pistol to the Honorary Chair who was starting our Race For the Cure last May because I was trying to figure out why our trash cans hadn’t been delivered. There he was (County Mayor), reduced to saying “Bang!” at the start. . .

Who is Mike? And I see that shrink has changed his name again (to mdash?).

And, finally, I have to say that these people strike me as idiots.

What else is happening this morning?


Thursday Morning Opening Thread

The Tea Party Strikes Again?
Hold onto your hats, it’s about to get bumpy out there again:
The U.S. House, in a surprise setback to Republican leaders, defeated a spending bill providing $3.65 billion in aid to victims of recent natural disasters and needed to prevent a government shutdown.

Republicans unhappy with the measure’s overall cost joined Democrats opposed to a proposed cut in an auto industry-loan program to derail the measure yesterday, 230-195. Opposing the legislation were 48 Republicans and 182 Democrats; backing it were 189 Republicans and six Democrats.

The defeat raises the prospect of a government shutdown because the bill would fund the government until Nov. 18. The current fiscal year ends Sept. 30, and Congress is in recess next week.
Roll call is here.

”Utah’s Sarah Palin”
I had not heard of this woman, and I have to say that I don’t think she’s got a snowball’s chance as the congressional district is configured right now, but she is mounting a run against my Blue Dog. Jim Matheson is really going to be in trouble if the redistricting commission goes with the “doughnut hole” approach (one CD centered on Salt Lake City on the Wasatch front and the other three dividing up the rest of the state). He isn’t liberal enough to carry the new urban district—the big reason why his re-election was so close last time was because liberals like me voted for a third party candidate rather than him—and Tea Party sentiment is running high in Utah and a candidate like Ms Eagar could carry the rural part of his existing district. Will she have the ‘Cuda’s ability to fire up the masses?

Greek Salad
From the BBC, Reuters, and Food TV. Although I, personally, would leave the green peppers out of the last one.

Who’s got a good joke to start the day?
Submitted for your consideration by Michigoose

Tuesday Morning Opening Thread

Mitt Romney really doesn’t have much of that populist touch sometimes, does he? (As a sidenote, note the author on that piece. Think he’s a relation?)

lms noted this yesterday, but I couldn’t be prouder that the Army was out in front, leading the way on the repeal of DADT.

I haven’t really paid attention before, but is the practice of S&P cutting countries’ bond ratings> something that has happened regularly in the past, or are they throwing their weight around lately?

Bad joke of the day (and I’m really hoping that Scott or someone will edit this post and add a good one): A turtle was walking down an alley in New York when he was mugged by a gang of snails. A police detective came to investigate and asked the turtle if he could explain what happened.
The turtle looked at the detective with a confused look on his face and replied “I don’t know, it all happened so fast.”
Happy Tuesday, all!
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