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While I have no scientific proof to qualify the following as laws of Seattle sports, ample evidence exists to suggests they are as certain as Newton’s laws of motion.

  1. A Seattle sports franchise will not win a championship (I know about the 79 Sonics, but things that happened when I was an infant might as well have not happened at all).
  2. Seattle gets three professional sports teams, no more, no less (note the sports gods took our Sonics as they bestowed the Sounders).
  3. One of those teams will always be good.
  4. The other two will not be good.

Based on these laws, and the current records of the Mariners and Sounders, things are looking up for the Seahawks.

But my Facebook feed is full of people sure that there team is either ruining themselves or turning into the Patriots. I’m amazed at how many people who watch Sportcenter twice a week think they are better informed than the guys who spends 80 hours a week analyzing prospects.

And most of the time both of them are wrong, every team gets busts and every team gets surprises.

SDSU is now 7 wins away from the national title, and BYU losing last night increases their odds tonight. Unfortunately UNLV gets home court advantage at the ‘neutral court’.

Update: Basketball prospectus has the Aztecs in the tourney after yesterdays win. I’d like to believe that, but they had a better season last year (read: no losses to Wyoming), lost in the Mt West final and ended up in the NIT.

My Aztecs are 8 wins away from a national title. They’ve got overrated New Mexico next, 44 vs 41 in the Pomeroy ratings so it should be a good one. That will most likely be followed up by underrated BYU.

At this point I’d consider the season a success if they win the Mountain West Tourney, even if they come up short in the Big Dance.

Posts have been few and far between lately but I’ll most likely fire out some college hoops fueled web-prose in the next few weeks.

Go Aztecs!!!

…from the game of basketball. I haven’t made up my mind, but I’m considering it. At some point in my mid-twenties I remember telling friends that I needed to take up a sport that suited itself to old age. Old guys can play basketball, but not well, and it’s funny to watch.

I’ve found the geographic separation from my gym rat friends in Washington frustrating. I think I’m on my fifth rec league team since moving to the Sun Shine state and all but one have frustrated the hell out of me. Growing up a got to be Bruce Bowen (circa 2002), play my role and when some games. Lately I’ve found myself forced into the role of Chris Paul. Or to be more realistic, probably Danny Granger.

Turns out I hate having to be Danny Granger. While I won’t make my retirement official now, I will announce that Danny Granger is my least favorite player in the NBA, cause that dueche gets millions of dollars to put up with the bullshit.

Please leave suggestions for my old man sport in the comments, and I’m an hour drive to the nearest curling rink, so lets leave that one out Spence.

John Hollinger, over at ESPN says the simple strategy in the NBA is to shoot a lot of 3’s. Doesn’t matter if you make them. Anyone who has ever taken a statistics class has probably been told that correlation does not equal causation, I don’t know if Hollinger has ever heard that phrase, but he wrote an article that seems to argue any team could win more if they start shooting more from the outside, regardless of how many of these shots go in the hoop.

He fails to point out (or perhaps notice) that every NBA team shoots over 33% from downtown, and only one shoots over 50% from inside the arc. That’s significant because those numbers are were you get parity between the two shots; a team shooting those percentages will get the same number of points per shot from inside and outside.

So maybe I was too hard on John, in this case we do may have causation, but teams would be well served to notice that they need to keep making those shots if they are going to take his hoisting advice.

Sadly, my philosiphical position on work (don’t do it) leaves me sadly without an office pool on this lovely Selection Sunday. So I will disperse my college hoops opinions out into the web-0-sphere.

First off, my Aztecs got snubbed, despite being on the bubble, then losing there conference championship game at the buzzer. The selection committee, which I assume is made up of Big Ten players and coaches (7 teams from that weak ass conference?) told the Mountain West that if you aren’t ranked and don’t get the automatic bid, you aren’t in. The West Coast Conference got the sting of East Coast and major conference bias as well, no St. Marys in the tournament.

So I ran a Monte Carlo simulation (or a thousand of em) using the Pomeroy rankings. I’m not sure how much stock I’d put into these rankings, but I had them bookmarked so thats what I used. Memphis is ranked 1 by Pomeroy, and they came through with the most simulated championships, with North Carolina, Louisville and Pitt far behind but each with about a 1/10 shot at cutting down the nets.

UConn’s draw looks tough, making the elite 8 in under half the trials. BYU, Purdue and Washington could all give them trouble (and that doesn’t account for Jerome Dyson being injured). If they do get to the elite eight they’ll most likely get Memphis who’s only real challenger will be Missouri.

Louisville, the over all one seed, looks to be a lock to get to the elite eight, were they will most likely play either Kansas, West Virginia or Michigan State (the only Big Ten team with a shot at the third round) who are fairly even with the edge to West Virginia.

Xavier looks like they have a shot at bumping Pitt in the sweet sixteen, but not a big one. The other side of that bracket comes down to Villanova, UCLA and Duke, but I can’t agree with the rating the Pomeroy gives UCLA (9th best in the country). Pitt goes to the Final Four in 322 of the thousand runs, Duke in 234. I usually bet against Duke in the Tourney, especially against tough physical teams like Pitt.

Gonzaga is another team higher than expected in the Pomeroy rating and came out of their half of the bracket to the elite eight in 374 runs compared to North Carolina’s 470. The bottom half of the bracket is the most open in the tournament, the four higher seeds here come out about even on the odds of playing to make the Final Four.

My most likely Final Four is the one seeds with Memphis replacing UConn, if you like a dark horse go with West Virginia. The finals are Memphis and Pitt (6th in the Pomeroy ranking but with a favorable draw) with Memphis the winner in.

This doesn’t account for injuries or geographic advantage, so adjust accordingly. If you’d like to see the full results let me know and I’ll email them to you (I assume I have your email if your reading my blog, otherwise leave an email).

And surprisingly, my Bad News Bears-ish intermural team won. Complete with bringing in a new kid with an attitude problem who was really good. Except he had a pleasent attitude and wasn’t particurlarly talented.

My intramural hoops team fell to 0 and 2 last night. Apparently putting together a team of graduate students in mathematics and statistics isn’t the best idea. On the plus side, I’ll be turning 30 in a few weeks and can still take most 20 year old’s off the dribble (about as many as I could at 20). If only I had a bunch of gym rats friends like I did ten years ago.

I also was about as ready to come to blows on the court as I’ve ever been when our opponents were pressing with a 20 point lead with 2 minutes left in the game. Poor form.

One of my three most hated sports franchises, the Oklahoma City Weasels Thunder made one of the best trades of the year the other day when they unloaded a couple of mediocre big men to New Orleans for Tyson Chandler, the strong rebounder and defensive presence the franchise destroyed itself chasing. The Hornets were unloading Chandler in an attempt to avoid the luxory cap.

This made me sad, as I have taken great pleasure in watching OKC suck after bolting from Seattle. However their young talent has started to show some promise, and adding Chandler would have put them in a position to possibly contend in a couple of years.

Then Chandler didn’t pass his physical. While I’m not happy to hear about people being hurt, I’m glad to see him stay in New Orleans. I like Chandler as a player, and I like the Hornets. I feel like I shouldn’t, since it would have made a lot more sense for them to move to OKC (they spent the Katrina season there, and the city could support a team better than struggling New Orleans) than my formerly beloved Sonics.

So I’m happy to see a little hoops karma fall on Oklahoma, may there draft picks shoot poorly and Kevin Durant leave the first chance he gets.