An Unexpected Consequence of the One-and-Done Rule

On Wednesday, Rivals.com college basketball writer Steve Megargee published an article at the recruiting website titled, “Is Butler’s run proof that mid-majors are closing gap?” The article looks at the improbable Final Four runs by George Mason and Butler in 2006 and 2010, respectively. Megargee asks a simple question: Are mid-major college basketball programs catching the Big-6 ones who have seemingly limitless resources and talent?

Better yet, are two occurrences within five years of one another enough to consider the feat more than coincidence? Megargee sets some guidelines in determining who is and who is not a “mid-major” in the sport. He dismisses Gonzaga, Xavier, and Memphis for their continued success in the tournament as well as on the recruiting trail.

I accept that, as those teams clearly operate on a level above the rest of the non-Big 6 teams. Megargee even dismisses the Final Four runs of Marquette (2003) and Louisville (2005) who both played in a strong Conference USA and operated like Big-6 teams.
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What to make of the early college basketball season

If you are a dedicated jerk like the social misfits who write for this site, then you love college basketball. The season is very young, yet we’ve seen top team after top team struggle against “inferior” opponents. Do we categorize these early season woes as nothing more than talented teams not realizing potential or is it more? Is it parity?

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On Tuesday we saw top-ranked Kansas go down to the wire with a less-talented Memphis squad just after the second-ranked Michigan State Spartans battled an also down Gonzaga Bulldogs for the entire game. The Kentucky Wildcats, a top five team, struggled to win twice this week against mid-majors. On Monday, the ‘Cats needed a game-winning shot from freshman John Wall to beat Miami (Ohio) before Thursday’s game against Sam Houston State which they won by 10, 102-92.

Also on Thursday, Final Four and Big East favorite Villanova defeated uber-Cinderella George Mason 69-68 in Puerto Rico. We all remember George Mason’s run in 2006 when it beat a talent-laden UConn team in the regional finals for a birth in the Final Four, but that feat may never be replicated. And speaking of Connecticut, they struggled to put away Hofstra early in the week as well.

I could go on listing close games by the best teams this season, but it’s futile. In the end, it’s college basketball where anything can happen. The most talented teams are never on their A game in November. However, we here at EJSIC would like to know what you think of the early season, America. Please vote in our poll below and feel free to leave any additional comments in the section provided.

College Basketball Preview, Volume 2: Billy Packer

Billy Packer

Billy Packer

[This is an ongoing EJSIC series leading up to the new college hoops season.  ESPN broadcaster Mike Patrick was featured in Volume 1.]

Hello college basketball fans.  It’s almost time for the new college basketball season to tip off, and it should be an exciting one.

It will be compelling watching the season unfold and getting the answers to the following questions:

  • Can Kevin Love finally get UCLA over the Final Four hump?
  • Will Lute Olson be able to return to the sidelines and lead Arizona back to prominence?
  • Will Tyler Hansbrough ever live up to the hype?
  • Can John Calipari’s Memphis Tigers  build on their recent successes?
  • Will the Selection Committee ever listen to me?

I’m sure that you have other burning questions I might not have thought of yet.  Since I’m no longer paid to watch and comment on the games, sometimes these things fall through the cracks.  If I’ve missed something, please leave a comment below and we can discuss it at great length.  I have plenty of time, believe me.

While I have the opportunity, I’d like to deliver a big “I told you so” to those spineless ad-revenue whores at CBS.  I was the most knowledgeable analyst in the game, and you know it.  That game WAS over, you cowardly pricks.

Oh, and Jim:  I’m glad you’re so happy with your new black friend.  You two look really cute together.  No wonder you’re getting divorced.

Okay, I think I’ve said enough.

Fag out!

B.P.