Facing Down Your Worst Threat – How to Handle the Schoolyard Bully

Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley

It’s a funny thing about the lessons you learn in life. Not all of them are learned on the way to school. Some are learned on the way home from school.

Take Mikey (pronounced Mike-ee), one of my classmates. I wouldn’t know what he looks like today, where he’s at or what he’s doing. No Matter. I knew Mikey like the flat of my stomach in my elementary school days.

Mikey used to get his kicks smacking me in the gut on the way home from school. He thought it was fun to see me double over in pain, fall in a mud puddle and slink home with defeated tears.

I was always taught not to punch people out when they were punching you.

Like the Good Book says, turn the other cheek and pray for survival. Hope the creep will leave before he beats you senseless, or takes your life before you can try out for the Little League baseball team.

Fortunately, I came home once too often in this condition. My Grandpa Baker, God rest his soul, had better sense. He sat me down one day and asked what was going on.

I told him, because you can tell a Grandpa a lot of things you just wouldn’t tell anyone else. I was raised by my maternal grandparents the first 5 years of my life. After living more than 6 decades, I can say with confidence and gratitude that everything good in life I learned from my grandparents before my mother re-married. Grandpa had a sure-fire cure for Mikey.

He explained that as long as Mikey was allowed to slug me in the gut, he would think this was proper behavior and part of his daily schedule. Grandpa then gave me some advice and the next day I set his plan in motion:

Mikey lived at the other end of the block, so I went to Mikey’s house to see if he was home. He was, so I invited him out to play. Trust me when I say this was a first, I was never looking for trouble; trouble had found me too many times. I could already see his gleam as Mikey bounded down the steps, his eyes lit up like a Fourth of July firecracker.

When Mikey was square in front of me—I wound up and, without warning, slugged him just as hard as I could in the stomach. Mikey was suddenly speechless as well as not standing. Wherever I hit him, it was lethal.

In a few moments, he was screaming like there was no tomorrow. I turned around and casually walked home as his mother screamed at me in the distance.

A strange thing happened after that.

Mikey NEVER touched me again. Matter of fact, we sort of became friends.

Both Mikey and I grew up a little that day. I learned how to handle Mikey, and Mikey learned a new respect for me.

Prior to delivering my position on Mikey’s behavior to Mikey, I was as soft in the head as I was in the stomach.

The moral of this story is that some people don’t understand anything but brute force.

This is a fact of life that a lot of people have never learned. As a Vietnam Veteran, I can tell you that if someone is pointing a weapon at you, you had better fire your weapon first, and fire it accurately.

Even today—some 55 years after I smacked Mikey—I feel some humanitarians and bleeding heart, far-left liberal sympathizers will never learn some very basic lessons about people and what makes them tick.

Take a casual look at the American system of criminal justice. Look at the victims, look at the suspects, look at the lawyers, look at the courts, look at the convicted criminals, look at the prisons, and look at the rehabilitation programs.

I’m just an average American, but you don’t have to be a law enforcement officer, a lawyer, a justice, a prison warden or a victim to figure out that our present system makes about as much sense as a soft-boiled egg.

We say we respect life, but our practice is to ignore the victims of a crime and spend all of our time protecting the rights of the criminals, and finding ways to try rehabilitating the criminals.

It never occurs to us that some of the criminals are not worth the effort. Helping the families of victims would produce more positive results.

An added note: I am now past 70, and it is Tuesday, August 8, 2014. Today, all I hear about is how bad bullying is. Here is a word of advice from someone who knows: There can be no bullying without a victim.

When you choose NOT to be a victim (refuse to be influenced by what others say, think and do), the bully will have to find someone else to affect adversely. This may not totally stop his or her bullying, but at least they will stop bullying you, because it only works for them if you choose to be a victim.

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Connecticut, the First 7th Seed to Ever Make it to the Final Four, Beats #8 Kentucky, 60-54, for the 2014 National Championship

Call them steely, cold and deadly and you would be right on all three counts. A seasoned Connecticut team made history twice in winning the 2014 NCAA March Madness Tournament against a game Kentucky team with 5 freshmen starters.

Connecticut’s charge was led by 6-foot-1 senior guard Shabazz Napier, who proved to be the biggest player on the floor, scoring 22 points, grabbing 6 rebounds and getting 3 assists. Napier– the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, a first-team All-American on everyone’s ballot, and the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament–did it on both ends of the court. He had Aaron Harrison’s number.

Tournament followers remember Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison. Harrison rattled in a 26-footer with 5 seconds to go in Kentucky’s 74-73 win over Wisconsin in the semifinals. He made almost the exact same 3-point shot with 2 seconds to play against Michigan for a 75-72 win that sent the Wildcats to the Final Four. And against Louisville he hit a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left to give Kentucky the lead for good in a 74-69 victory.

But not in the national championship game, as Shabazz Napier held Aaron Harrison to a 3-for-7, 7-point night without any last-second heroics. Harrison and his Kentucky teammates had an incredible tournament; they just didn’t win the national title game.

Napier, a senior point guard, and this band of players with experience—senior small forward Niels Giffey, junior shooting guard Ryan Boatright, junior power forward DeAndre Daniels, and sophomore center Phillip Nolan—showed Kentucky’s 5 freshmen starters how to get it done.

So Connecticut becomes the first 7th-seed in history to reach the Final Four, and makes history again by winning the national title for the 4th time.

Some obscure but interesting facts:

Connecticut came into the game shooting 88% (81 for 92) from the free throw line; in the championship game they shot 100% (10-for-10). Four of the five starters for Connecticut played on the Huskies 2011 national championship team. Coming into the final, Shabazz Napier had scored 30% of Connecticut’s points in the tournament; he scored 36% in the championship game (22 of 60 points).

Kentucky had outscored its opponents in the paint 80-56 after halftime coming into the final game, and had 4 Wildcats in double figures in the 3 prior tournament qualifying games; in the final, only 2 players scored in double figures.

Here are some of the highlights from the qualifying games to get to the championship game:

For pure excitement, #8 Kentucky’s 74-73 win over #2 Wisconsin was the best game, led by Aaron Harrison’s 3-pointer with 5 seconds left to lift the Wildcats to victory.

Maybe legacy helped in this one. Wisconsin was in the Final Four for the first time since 2000, and had not won a national title since 1941 in an 8-team tournament (just a little less crowded than the 64-team field in today’s tournament). Kentucky was in its 16th Final Four (that’s right, 16 times), and had already won 8 national championships, the most recent two years ago in 2012.

The Wisconsin Badgers came ready to do battle. The Badgers had the 2nd lowest fouls per game of any team in the country, were leading the nation in the fewest turnovers per game (8), and had outscored their opponents in the 2nd half of 4 tournament games by 160 to 103. In the 2nd half against Kentucky, the Badgers scored 33 points and Kentucky 38. End of story.

In the other qualifier, #1 Florida had more talent on the floor than #7 Connecticut, but the Huskie talent came to play and Florida didn’t. At times, despite the 63-53 game score, it appeared that Florida’s players were standing around waiting for something to happen; something did happen, they lost.

Florida had 11 turnovers and a season-low 3 assists (talk about standing around). The Gators, rated #1 among all teams coming into the tournament, had won all of their tournament games by at least 10 points when they played Connecticut.  Florida also had a 30-game winning streak coming in; the Gators last defeat was to this same Connecticut team in early December.

Connecticut started cold and finished hot. The Huskies shot 56% from the floor against a Florida team that had held opponents all year to 40% shooting from the floor. Shabazz Napier, Connecticut’s all everything player, only had 12 points and 6 assists in this one, but was helped when teammate DeAndre Daniels had his best game of the tournament, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Daniels two 3-pointers in a span of 1:43 helped ignite the Huskies after they had fallen behind 16-4 early in the game.

Experience does matter. Connecticut was 6-1 all time in the Final Four, the best win percentage in history among schools that have played at least three Final Four games. The Huskies pushed that record to 8-1 after winning its 4th national title against Kentucky. Connecticut’s previous titles were in 1999, 2004 and 2011.

Here is a recap of the 2014 NCAA March Madness Tournament:

National Championship Game to Determine the 2014 NCAA Champion:

#7 Connecticut beats #8 Kentucky, 60-54, for the 2014 National Title.

Final Four Elimination Games:

#1 Florida was upset by #7 Connecticut 63-53

#2 Wisconsin was upset by #8 Kentucky 74-73

National Semifinals to Determine the Final 4:

Midwest Regional:

#2 Michigan is upset by #8 Kentucky 75-72

West Regional:

#1 Arizona was upset by #2 Wisconsin 64-63 in Overtime

East Regional:

#4 Michigan State is upset by #7 Connecticut 60-54

South Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #11 Dayton 62-52

Regional Finals to Determine the Elite 8:

Midwest Regional:

#2 Michigan eliminated #11 Tennessee 73-71

#4 Louisville was upset by #8 Kentucky 74-69

West Regional:

#1 Arizona eliminated #4 San Diego State 70-64

#2 Wisconsin eliminated #6 Baylor 69-52

East Regional:

#1 Virginia was upset by #4 Michigan State 61-59

#3 Iowa State was upset by #7 Connecticut 81-76

South Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #4 UCLA 79-68

#10 Stanford was upset by #11 Dayton 82-72

2014 NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals in Round 3 to Determine the Sweet 16:

Midwest Regional:

#1 Wichita State was upset by #8 Kentucky 78-76

#2 Michigan eliminated #7 Texas 79-65

#4 Louisville eliminated #5 Saint Louis 66-51

#11 Tennessee eliminated #14 Mercer 83-63

West Regional:

#1 Arizona eliminated #8 Gonzaga 84-61

#2 Wisconsin eliminated #7 Oregon 85-77

#3 Creighton was upset by #6 Baylor 85-55

#4 San Diego State eliminated #12 North Dakota State 63-44

East Regional:

#1 Virginia eliminated #8 Memphis 78-60

#2 Villanova was upset by #7 Connecticut 77-65

#3 Iowa State eliminated #6 North Carolina 85-83

#4 Michigan State eliminated #12 Harvard 80-73

South Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #9 Pittsburgh 61-45

#2 Kansas was upset by #10 Stanford 60-57

#3 Syracuse was upset by #11 Dayton 55-53

#4 UCLA eliminated #12 Stephen F. Austin 77-60

2014 NCAA Tournament Results for Round 2 to Determine the 32 Teams Advancing:

Midwest Regional:

#1 Wichita State eliminated #18 Cal Poly 64-37

#2 Michigan eliminated #15 Wofford 57-40

#3 Duke was upset by #14 Mercer 78-71

#4 Louisville eliminated #13 Manhattan 71-64

#5 Saint Louis eliminated #12 North Carolina State 83-76 in Overtime

#6 Massachusetts was upset by #11Tennessee 86-67

#7 Texas eliminated #10 Arizona State 87-85

#8 Kentucky eliminated #9 Kansas State 56-49

West Regional:

#1 Arizona eliminated #16 Weber State 68-59

#2 Wisconsin eliminated #15 American 75-35

#3 Creighton eliminated #14 Louisiana-Lafayette 76-66

#4 San Diego State eliminated #13 New Mexico State 73-69 in Overtime

#5 Oklahoma was upset by #12 North Dakota State 80-75 in Overtime

#6 Baylor eliminated #11 Nebraska 74-60

#7 Oregon eliminated #10 Brigham Young 87-68

#8 Gonzaga eliminated #9 Oklahoma State 85-77

East Regional:

#1 Virginia eliminated #15 Coastal Carolina 70-59

#2 Villanova eliminated #15 Wisconsin-Milwaukee 73-53

#3 Iowa State eliminated #14 North Carolina Central 93-75

#4 Michigan State eliminated #13 Delaware 93-78

#5 Cincinnati was upset by #12 Harvard 61-57

#6 North Carolina eliminated #11 Providence 79-77

#7 Connecticut eliminated #10 Saint Joseph’s 89-81 in Overtime

#8 Memphis eliminated #9 George Washington 71-66

South Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #16 Albany 67-55

#2 Kansas eliminated #15 Eastern Kentucky 80-69

#3 Syracuse eliminated #14 Western Michigan 77-53

#4 UCLA eliminated #13 Tulsa 76-59

#5 Virginia Commonwealth was upset by upset by #12 Stephen F. Austin 77-75 in Overtime

#6 Ohio State was upset by #11 Dayton 60-59

#7 New Mexico was upset by #10 Stanford 58-53

#8 Colorado was upset by #9 Pittsburgh 77-48

2014 NCAA Tournament Results for the Round 1 Winner Play-In Games to the Field of 64:

Midwest Regional:

#11 Tennessee eliminated #11 Iowa 78-65

#12 North Carolina State eliminated #12 Xavier 74-59

#16 Cal Poly eliminated #16 Texas Southern 81-69

South Regional:

#16 Albany eliminated #16 Mount St. Mary’s 71-64

Posted in NCAA March Madness Tournament 2014 | Leave a comment

Here’s Your 2014 NCAA Bracket Busting Final Four: #1 Florida, #2 Wisconsin, #7 Connecticut and #8 Kentucky—An All-Freshman Team

If it was a perfect world, all four #1 seeds would make the 2014 NCAA Final Four, but since it is an almost imperfect world, only one #1 seed (Florida) was joined by 2-seed Wisconsin, 7-seed Connecticut and 8-seed Kentucky. They call it March Madness for exactly this reason.

Only once in tournament history has all four #1 seeds made it to the Final Four. In 2008, UCLA, North Carolina, Memphis and eventual champion Kansas did it.

During the march to determine the National Champion this year, there were 60 teams and 4 play-ins that did not make it, they fell victim to the madness and could make a case for being mad, at themselves, for failing to get it done.

Foremost among these would be the three #1 seeds that failed (Arizona, Virginia and Wichita State), and three #2 seeds that failed (Michigan, Villanova and Kansas), not to mention #4 Michigan State, #4 Louisville, #3 Iowa State, #3 Creighton and #4 San Diego State.

For those who missed, when all was said and done, more was said than done, as Lou Holtz would say.

So, here is what happened to the Elite 8: Wisconsin upset Arizona, Connecticut upset Michigan State, and Kentucky upset Michigan. Only Florida was on target, eliminating Dayton.

#1 Florida now faces #7 Connecticut, and #2 Wisconsin faces #8 Kentucky for all the marbles. The winners will play in the National Championship Game.

Here are some of the major highlights on the road to the Final 4:

In the only #1 versus #2 game, top-seed Arizona had 5 potentially productive players on the floor, and Wisconsin had Frank Kaminsky, Kaminsky, Kaminsky, Kaminsky and Kaminsky, and that was all the Badgers needed to upset #1 Arizona in overtime, 64-63.

Kaminsky, a 7-foot, junior forward (the Badgers play 3 guards and 2 forwards in a “swing” offense that relies on good passing, screening and cutting), scored from everywhere (rim jams to 3-pointers), racking up 28 points (6 in overtime), 11 rebounds (for a double-double), and the 28 included three 3-pointers.

Kaminsky’s supporting cast acted like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, going a combined 10-for-34 from the field (29%). Without Kaminsky, Wisconsin would have lost to Arizona. The victory was huge for 69-year-old Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, who won his 704th victory in 30 years of coaching (704-223 for a 76% NCAA winning percentage), because he earned his first Final 4 appearance. Wisconsin’s win in overtime was also the 7th overtime game in this year’s tournament, tying an NCAA record.

#1 Florida, the only #1 seed to make it to the Final 4 this year, put an abrupt stop to the #11 Dayton Flyers, winning by 10, 62-52. The Gators were led by senior guard Scottie Wilbekin’s career high 23 points and no turnovers, and the win was Florida’s 30th straight.

Dayton had used a relentless, 11-deep rotation in the tournament to score upset wins over Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford. Florida got done what the other 3 losers could not. It was not a good day for the Miller boys as Dayton coach Archie lost to Florida, and his brother Sean, the Arizona coach, lost to Wisconsin. That said, making it to the Elite 8 is a BIG deal.

The biggest loser among the Elite 8 was the #4 Michigan State Spartans, who looked like they could have contended for the national title. Instead, Tom Izzo’s crew was upset by the #7 Connecticut Huskies, who became the first #7 seed to reach the Final 4 since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, 29 years ago.

Michigan State had the Huskies on the run before losing, 60-54, in a game that was much closer than the score. Connecticut pulled out its not-so-secret weapon in the 2nd half, senior guard Shabazz Napier, the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Napier scored 17 of his 25 points in the 2nd half, hitting three huge free throws with 30 seconds remaining. The undersized Huskies held the Spartans to just 6 offensive rebounds and only 6 points in the paint.

Michigan State’s two seniors, center Adreian Payne, who had 13 points and 9 rebounds, and guard Keith Appling, who fouled Napier in the critical last seconds when Napier canned all 3 free throws, had to be disappointed. They became the first 4-year players recruited by Tom Izzo to fail to make it to a Final 4 during Izzo’s 19 years at Michigan State. Izzo had led the Spartans to 6 Final 4 appearances, including a National Championship in 2000 and a National Runner-Up team in 2009.

# 8 seed Kentucky coach John Calipari fielded 5 freshmen and, against improbable odds, upset #2 Michigan, 75-72, to join Wisconsin, Arizona and Connecticut in the Final 4. The Wildcats became the first all-freshman team to reach the Final 4 since Michigan’s Fab Five in 1992. Michigan’s Wolverines were smarting after Kentucky’s freshman blitz; the Wolverines lost to Louisville in last year’s National Championship Game.

For the second consecutive game, Wlidcat Aaron Harrison drained a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left against incredible coverage by Caris LeVert that left Harrison unable to see the basket. He also made the key 3-pointer in Kentucky’s win over Louisville to move into the Elite 8. Aaron Harrison scored 12 points in the game, all were 3-pointers in the final 8 minutes.

“I’ve been around guys who make these kind of plays,” Calipari said. “I’ve always said: ‘You can’t be afraid to miss.’ Aaron Harrison was not afraid, and he did not miss; the shot absolutely broke the back of the Michigan to put the game away and left the Wolverines sucking Louisiana pond water after a valiant effort, especially by Nik Stauskas, who scored 24 points but missed a last, desperation shot that was far off the mark.

Here are some of the major highlights on the road to the Elite 8:

The biggest win belonged to #4 Michigan State as the Spartans took down #1 seed Virginia, 61-59, behind junior forward Branden Dawson, who scored 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds (a double-double) and went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line.

Dawson’s performance was so significant because Michigan State won 18 of its first 19 games this season before a raft of injuries slowed down the Spartans, including a broken hand that benched Dawson for 9 games. The Spartans used 15 starting lineups because of the injuries and the starting 5 players had only been together for half of the games this season (18 of 36 games).

Senior Adreian Payne, Michigan State’s 6-foot-10 center, added 16 points. Payne’s 2 free throws with 33 seconds left put the Spartans ahead, 58-54. Payne was 4-for-4 from the line.

Adreian Payne set an NCAA record with 17 straight free throws against Delaware in a Sweet 16 qualifying game.

Kentucky Coach John Calipari and Louisville Coach Rick Pitino were at in again. Calipari’s 5 freshmen beat Pitino’s veterans (3 seniors, 1 junior and 1 sophomore), 74-69, on a 3-pointer by Wildcat Aaron Harrison with 39 seconds remaining.

Kentucky led for only 65 seconds in this 40-minute game—the last 65 seconds. Pitino, who has won national championships as the coach for both Kentucky and now Louisville, and was 11-0 in Sweet 16 games before the loss to Kentucky. The Wildcats outrebounded Louisville 37-29 and were 22-for-27 (81%) from the line while the Cardinals went 13-for-23 (56%).

Calipari said his guys finally came together as a team. Aaron Harrison scored 15, his twin brother Andrew Harrison scored 14, Dakari Johnson scored 15, and Julius Randle scored 15 and grabbed 12 rebounds. Randle is a 6-foot-9 forward, and a freshman like all the rest.

#1 Arizona, the only #1 seed besides Florida, started so slow against the San Diego State Aztecs, it is a wonder they finally made it into the Elite 8. Arizona’s top player, Nick Johnson, the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year, was held scoreless for 37 minutes, and then scored 15 points in the last 2 minutes and 45 seconds of the game, making all 10 of his free-throw attempts to go with a field goal and 3-pointer that finally got him going, and saved Arizona’s bacon.

Arizona coach Sean Miller joins his brother Archie in the Elite 8 when #11 Dayton upset #10 Stanford, 82-72, to advance. Archie’s Dayton Flyers used their bench depth to wear down and then kick out the Stanford Cardinals, who relied on a 6-man rotation. Dayton was relentless in moving players in and out as 11 Flyers scored points. Dayton made it to the Elite 8 for the first time in 30 years (since 1984).

#1 Florida stopped #4 UCLA’s run, 79-68, as Michael Frazier canned 5 three-pointers and finished with 19. Scottie Wilbekin had 13, Casey Prather 12, Dorian Finney-Smith 10, and Kasey Hill added 10 assists. The Gators have not lost since December 2 (115 days ago) and pushed their school winning streak to 29 straight.

The #6 Baylor Bears vaunted zone defense stopped Nebraska and Creighton dead in their tracks, but they did not faze the #2 Wisconsin Badgers, who shredded Baylor’s Zone Defense like limp confetti to send the Bears packing, 69-52.

Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin’s 7-foot center, scored 19 points and blocked 6 shots, allowing the Badgers to jump to a 14-point lead in the 1st half. In essence, Wisconsin decimated Baylor, wrecking its zone defense, taking away its 3-point shooting game, dominating the game’s tempo by slowing down the Bears, and even outrebounding Baylor 39-33. Baylor was so busted the Bears could not stand up straight.

#7 Connecticut took the wind out of the #3 Iowa State Cyclones, 81-76, behind the presence of DeAndre Daniels as the 6-foot-9 junior forward scored 19 of his 27 points in the 2nd half, hitting his first 6 shots to start the 2nd half. Daniels added 10 rebounds for a double-double. The Huskies also nailed 20 of 22 free throws (91%) as Iowa State was a lousy 6-for-15 (40%) from the line.

Without a defensive effort, the #2 Michigan Wolverines would not have beaten the #11 seed Tennessee Volunteers, 73-71. Michigan led by 15 with 11 minutes left, and led by exactly 1 point with less than 10 seconds left to play. For the Wolverines, the victory marked their 15th straight win of 10 or fewer points, and their 7th win of 5 or fewer points. That is cutting it too close too many times.

Here is a recap of the 2014 NCAA March Madness Tournament:

National Championship Game to Determine the 2014 NCAA Champion:

Yet to Play

National Semifinals to Determine the Final 4:

Midwest Regional:

#2 Michigan is upset by #8 Kentucky 75-72

West Regional:

#1 Arizona was upset by #2 Wisconsin 64-63 in Overtime

East Regional:

#4 Michigan State is upset by #7 Connecticut 60-54

South Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #11 Dayton 62-52

Regional Finals to Determine the Elite 8:

Midwest Regional:

#2 Michigan eliminated #11 Tennessee 73-71

#4 Louisville was upset by #8 Kentucky 74-69

West Regional:

#1 Arizona eliminated #4 San Diego State 70-64

#2 Wisconsin eliminated #6 Baylor 69-52

East Regional:

#1 Virginia was upset by #4 Michigan State 61-59

#3 Iowa State was upset by #7 Connecticut 81-76

South Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #4 UCLA 79-68

#10 Stanford was upset by #11 Dayton 82-72

2014 NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals in Round 3 to Determine the Sweet 16:

Midwest Regional:

#1 Wichita State was upset by #8 Kentucky 78-76

#2 Michigan eliminated #7 Texas 79-65

#4 Louisville eliminated #5 Saint Louis 66-51

#11 Tennessee eliminated #14 Mercer 83-63

West Regional:

#1 Arizona eliminated #8 Gonzaga 84-61

#2 Wisconsin eliminated #7 Oregon 85-77

#3 Creighton was upset by #6 Baylor 85-55

#4 San Diego State eliminated #12 North Dakota State 63-44

East Regional:

#1 Virginia eliminated #8 Memphis 78-60

#2 Villanova was upset by #7 Connecticut 77-65

#3 Iowa State eliminated #6 North Carolina 85-83

#4 Michigan State eliminated #12 Harvard 80-73

South Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #9 Pittsburgh 61-45

#2 Kansas was upset by #10 Stanford 60-57

#3 Syracuse was upset by #11 Dayton 55-53

#4 UCLA eliminated #12 Stephen F. Austin 77-60

2014 NCAA Tournament Results for Round 2 to Determine the 32 Teams Advancing:

Midwest Regional:

#1 Wichita State eliminated #18 Cal Poly 64-37

#2 Michigan eliminated #15 Wofford 57-40

#3 Duke was upset by #14 Mercer 78-71

#4 Louisville eliminated #13 Manhattan 71-64

#5 Saint Louis eliminated #12 North Carolina State 83-76 in Overtime

#6 Massachusetts was upset by #11Tennessee 86-67

#7 Texas eliminated #10 Arizona State 87-85

#8 Kentucky eliminated #9 Kansas State 56-49

West Regional:

#1 Arizona eliminated #16 Weber State 68-59

#2 Wisconsin eliminated #15 American 75-35

#3 Creighton eliminated #14 Louisiana-Lafayette 76-66

#4 San Diego State eliminated #13 New Mexico State 73-69 in Overtime

#5 Oklahoma was upset by #12 North Dakota State 80-75 in Overtime

#6 Baylor eliminated #11 Nebraska 74-60

#7 Oregon eliminated #10 Brigham Young 87-68

#8 Gonzaga eliminated #9 Oklahoma State 85-77

East Regional:

#1 Virginia eliminated #15 Coastal Carolina 70-59

#2 Villanova eliminated #15 Wisconsin-Milwaukee 73-53

#3 Iowa State eliminated #14 North Carolina Central 93-75

#4 Michigan State eliminated #13 Delaware 93-78

#5 Cincinnati was upset by #12 Harvard 61-57

#6 North Carolina eliminated #11 Providence 79-77

#7 Connecticut eliminated #10 Saint Joseph’s 89-81 in Overtime

#8 Memphis eliminated #9 George Washington 71-66

South Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #16 Albany 67-55

#2 Kansas eliminated #15 Eastern Kentucky 80-69

#3 Syracuse eliminated #14 Western Michigan 77-53

#4 UCLA eliminated #13 Tulsa 76-59

#5 Virginia Commonwealth was upset by upset by #12 Stephen F. Austin 77-75 in Overtime

#6 Ohio State was upset by #11 Dayton 60-59

#7 New Mexico was upset by #10 Stanford 58-53

#8 Colorado was upset by #9 Pittsburgh 77-48

2014 NCAA Tournament Results for the Round 1 Winner Play-In Games to the Field of 64:

Midwest Regional:

#11 Tennessee eliminated #11 Iowa 78-65

#12 North Carolina State eliminated #12 Xavier 74-59

#16 Cal Poly eliminated #16 Texas Southern 81-69

South Regional:

#16 Albany eliminated #16 Mount St. Mary’s 71-64

Posted in NCAA March Madness Tournament 2014 | Leave a comment

Look Who Made the 2014 March Madness Sweet 16: #7 Connecticut, #8 Kentucky, #10 Stanford, #11 Tennessee and #11 Dayton

Thirteen upsets in the first 4 days of NCAA March Madness produced a Sweet 16 single-elimination play off with this parity-laced lineup: #1 Florida, #1 Arizona, #1 Virginia, #2 Michigan, #2 Wisconsin, #3 Iowa State, #4 Michigan State, #4 Louisville, #4 UCLA, #4 San Diego State, #6 Baylor, #7 Connecticut, #8 Kentucky, #10 Stanford, #11 Tennessee and #11 Dayton.

The match-ups for the Elite 8 include Louisville and Kentucky, Virginia and Michigan State, Florida and UCLA, Arizona and San Diego State, and Michigan and Tennessee—those are some great games on tap. Not to mention #10 Stanford and #11 Dayton, one of which will reach the Elite 8.

Think for a moment about the status of #10 Stanford and #11 Dayton. The victor will be in the Elite 8, which means they are the best among 351 NCAA 1-A teams that are eligible to make the 62-team NCAA tournament. As 1 of the 8 best teams among 351 possibilities, either Stanford or Dayton will be among the Top 2% of major college basketball teams. Not too shabby, as Adam Sandler would say.

Here is how the Sweet 16 got there:

In Round 3, each of the Midwest, West and East Regionals had 1 upset, but the South Regional had 2, guaranteeing a double-digit to make it to the Elite 8. Some highlights:

When the weekend was over, #1 Florida’s 16-point win over #9 Pittsburgh extended the Gators streak of Sweet 16 berths to a nation-best 4, and Kentucky’s win tied Duke with the second-most Sweet 16 berths all time at 23.

The biggest victory was #8 Kentucky taking down #1 Wichita State, 78-76, in the Midwest. Wichita State was unbeaten at 35-0 coming in and ranked as a rarity to arrive at March Madness with a perfect record of 34-0. John Calipari and his 5 freshmen starters had an answer: Guard Andrew Harrison scored 20 points, Guard Aaron Harrison, Andrew’s brother, had 19, and Forward Julius Randle added 13 points and 10 rebounds. Wichita State’s Shockers were in shock.

Kentucky won the National Championship in 2012, and lost in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) last season. The Wildcats are back, and clawing their way through the bracket, leaving Wichita State in their wake.

#10 Stanford sent #2 Kansas packing on the same day. The Cardinal shut down Jayhawk hotshot freshman Andrew Wiggins, who shot 1-for-6 and scored a career-low 4 points when he had been averaging 28 points in his previous 4 games. So, Kentucky’s freshman got after it, and the Kansas freshman did not.

Kansas had played the tournament without its 7-foot freshman, Joel Embiid, who missed his 6th consecutive game with a stress fracture in his lower back.

Another hotshot, Creighton’s Doug McDermott, who ranked 5th all-time in NCAA career scoring with 3,150 points, met his match in Baylor’s suffocating defense, which held McDermott to 15 points and only 3 points in the 1st half when Baylor raced to a 20-point lead. Baylor spread the wealth around, with 5 players in double figures and a blistering 64% shooting percentage from the field. Some thought Creighton would go undefeated to the national title; Baylor thought otherwise.

Wichita State, Kansas and Creighton weren’t the only casualties as pesky Iowa State lowered the boom on #6 North Carolina, proving why Iowa State came in ranked as a 3 seed. The Cyclones’ DeAndre Kane led the way with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists, close to a triple-double.

Iowa State forward Georges Niang broke his foot in the preceding game against the North Carolina Central Eagles. Many wrote off the Cyclones due to the loss of Niang, however, despite being undermanned and undersized, the Cyclones had heart and fight, overcoming a 3-point deficit with 56 seconds to play. North Carolina Coach Roy Williams was not happy with his Tar Heels, nor should he have been.

#1 seed Arizona acted like it in crushing #8 Gonzaga by 23 points. Get this: Arizona scored 31 points off 21 Gonzaga turnovers—15 on steals—and never gave the Zags a chance as they raced up and down the court to go up 21 at the half. Gonzaga’s reputation for controlling the game and taking care of the ball during 16 straight NCAA tournament appearances went out the door. Clearly, Gonzaga Coach Mark Few needs better talent.

When Tennessee dominated Mercer by 20 points, it marked only the 4th time in tournament history that a #11 seed (Tennessee) faced off against a #14 seed (Mercer). The Tennessee Volunteers have now won 8 of their last 9 games with an average margin of victory of 20+ points. Against Mercer, the Vols grabbed 41 total rebounds, including 18 offensive boards.

In Round 2, the best place to be was in either the East or West Regionals, where only #12 Harvard upset #5 Cincinnati in the East, and #12 North Dakota State upset #5 Oklahoma in the West.

The next best place was the Midwest Regional, where #11 Tennessee upset #6 Massachusetts (this was no surprise), and #14 Mercer upset Duke (a huge surprise). Duke and Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski, pronounced Sha-shef-skee, and now you know why they call him Coach K) had to be floored. Coach K is the winningest coach in NCAA history (983-306 and a 76% winning percentage), and has 4 National Championships in 38 years, not to mention 45 NBA draft selections and 25 first-round picks.

The worst place to be was the South Regional, where #12 Stephen F. Austin upset #5 Virginia Commonwealth, #11 Dayton upset #6 Ohio State, #10 Stanford upset #7 New Mexico, and #9 Pittsburgh upset #8 Colorado. Normally, a #9 beating a #8 would be no big deal, but Pittsburgh ran over Colorado by 29 points, leaving the Buffaloes as road kill.

The most dominating win in the first two days was Wisconsin over American by 40 points.

Some major highlights in Round 2 were:

#12 North Dakota State played its best game ever, upending #5 Oklahoma, giving the Bison their first ever NCAA March Madness victory. Lawrence Alexander’s 3-pointer with 11 seconds to play sent the game into overtime, and Carlin Dupree came off the bench to score 4 unlikely points in the final 75 seconds to seal the victory.

Coach Saul Phillips ran over to the North Dakota State fan section, threw up his hands and screamed as loud as he could; he was so excited it was a wonder he did not pee in his pants. This is exactly what March Madness is all about—an improbable win, the thrill of victory, the exuberance of achieving the impossible, and a smile so wide it could stretch from Fargo to Bismarck.

Another 12 seed, Harvard, made it a two-peat by upending #5 Cincinnati. Last year Harvard was a 14 seed when the Crimson upset #3 New Mexico in one of the most memorable upsets in tournament history.

Adreian Payne, Michigan State’s 6-foot-10 senior center, proved to be a real pain for #13 Delaware as the Spartans won by 15 points. Payne scored a career-high 41 points, scoring 12 straight points in the 1st half, and setting an NCAA tournament record by making all 17 of his free throws. That’s right, a 6-foot-10 center cans 17 straight free throws. Michigan State advances to the Sweet 16 for the 12th time in 17 years, Coach Tom Izzo is, in fact, that good.

Nik Stauskas sank three 3-pointers to the reach the 1,000-point mark for this career to lead #2 Michigan over #15 Wofford.

What a difference 48 hours makes. After its stunning upset victory Thursday against Oklahoma, the #12 North Dakota State Bison had no answer for the #4 seed San Diego State Aztecs, losing by 19 points. Aztec point guard Xavier Thames lived up to his position, scoring 30 points, while his San Diego State teammates held North Dakota State to a season-low 44 points. Welcome to March Madness, with all of its highs and lows.

#11 Dayton polished off #6 Ohio State on Thursday, and then held off Syracuse on Saturday, beating the Orange, 55-53. Dayton’s combined point margin in the two victories was 3. Syracuse missed 10 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc, and Dayton nailed 7.

Three-pointers can matter. #2 Michigan sank 14 three-pointers in taking down #7 Texas. Nik Stuskas made 4 of Michigan’s 14 three-pointers, scored 17 points overall and matched a career-high with 8 assists. The Wolverines advance to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year.

So who will make it to the Elite 8?

Consider these cold hard facts of life in the Annual NCAA March Madness Tournament:

In Round 2, 8 seeds beat 9 seeds only 51% of the time, in other words, these contests are a toss-up, and 7 seeds beat 10 seeds only 60% of the time.

In Round 3, 4 seeds beat 9 seeds only 55% of the time, and 3 seeds beat 10 seeds only 54% of the time.

In the Elite 8 and Beyond, 1 seeds beat 2 seeds only 55% of the time, and 1 seeds beat 4 seeds only 59% of the time.

In the last 10 years, 27 of the 40 Final 4 teams have been Conference Tournament Finalists, and 7 of the 10 National Champions won their Conference Tournament Title on their way to March Madness.

In 11 of the last 15 years the National Champion has been a #1 seed.

To demonstrate how difficult it is to pick all Final 4 teams, last year 8.15 million brackets were filled out in the ESPN Contest, but just 47 entries among the 8,150,000 picked all Final 4 teams correctly. ONLY 47. Suffice to say that it is really RARE to pick all 4 Finalists. One might say, good luck and God speed.

Here is a recap of the 2014 NCAA March Madness Tournament:

National Championship Game to Determine the 2014 NCAA Champion:

Yet to Play

National Semifinals to Determine the Final 4:

Midwest Regional:

Yet to Play

West Regional:

Yet to Play

East Regional:

Yet to Play

South Regional:

Yet to Play

Regional Finals to Determine the Elite 8:

Midwest Regional:

#2 Michigan vs. #11 Tennessee

#4 Louisville vs. #8 Kentucky

West Regional:

#1 Arizona vs. #4 San Diego State

#2 Wisconsin vs. #6 Baylor

East Regional:

#1 Virginia vs. #4 Michigan State

#3 Iowa State vs. #7 Connecticut

South Regional:

#1 Florida vs. #4 UCLA

#10 Stanford vs. #11 Dayton (A Double-Digit Team Will Be in the Elite 8)

2014 NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals in Round 3 to Determine the Sweet 16:

Midwest Regional:

#1 Wichita State was upset by #8 Kentucky 78-76

#2 Michigan eliminated #7 Texas 79-65

#4 Louisville eliminated #5 Saint Louis 66-51

#11 Tennessee eliminated #14 Mercer 83-63

West Regional:

#1 Arizona eliminated #8 Gonzaga 84-61

#2 Wisconsin eliminated #7 Oregon 85-77

#3 Creighton was upset by #6 Baylor 85-55

#4 San Diego State eliminated #12 North Dakota State 63-44

East Regional:

#1 Virginia eliminated #8 Memphis 78-60

#2 Villanova was upset by #7 Connecticut 77-65

#3 Iowa State eliminated #6 North Carolina 85-83

#4 Michigan State eliminated #12 Harvard 80-73

South Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #9 Pittsburgh 61-45

#2 Kansas was upset by #10 Stanford 60-57

#3 Syracuse was upset by #11 Dayton 55-53

#4 UCLA eliminated #12 Stephen F. Austin 77-60

2014 NCAA Tournament Results for Round 2 to Determine the 32 Teams Advancing:

Midwest Regional:

#1 Wichita State eliminated #18 Cal Poly 64-37

#2 Michigan eliminated #15 Wofford 57-40

#3 Duke was upset by #14 Mercer 78-71

#4 Louisville eliminated #13 Manhattan 71-64

#5 Saint Louis eliminated #12 North Carolina State 83-76 in Overtime

#6 Massachusetts was upset by #11Tennessee 86-67

#7 Texas eliminated #10 Arizona State 87-85

#8 Kentucky eliminated #9 Kansas State 56-49

West Regional:

#1 Arizona eliminated #16 Weber State 68-59

#2 Wisconsin eliminated #15 American 75-35

#3 Creighton eliminated #14 Louisiana-Lafayette 76-66

#4 San Diego State eliminated #13 New Mexico State 73-69 in Overtime

#5 Oklahoma was upset by #12 North Dakota State 80-75 in Overtime

#6 Baylor eliminated #11 Nebraska 74-60

#7 Oregon eliminated #10 Brigham Young 87-68

#8 Gonzaga eliminated #9 Oklahoma State 85-77

East Regional:

#1 Virginia eliminated #15 Coastal Carolina 70-59

#2 Villanova eliminated #15 Wisconsin-Milwaukee 73-53

#3 Iowa State eliminated #14 North Carolina Central 93-75

#4 Michigan State eliminated #13 Delaware 93-78

#5 Cincinnati was upset by #12 Harvard 61-57

#6 North Carolina eliminated #11 Providence 79-77

#7 Connecticut eliminated #10 Saint Joseph’s 89-81 in Overtime

#8 Memphis eliminated #9 George Washington 71-66

South Regional:

#1 Florida eliminated #16 Albany 67-55

#2 Kansas eliminated #15 Eastern Kentucky 80-69

#3 Syracuse eliminated #14 Western Michigan 77-53

#4 UCLA eliminated #13 Tulsa 76-59

#5 Virginia Commonwealth was upset by upset by #12 Stephen F. Austin 77-75 in Overtime

#6 Ohio State was upset by #11 Dayton 60-59

#7 New Mexico was upset by #10 Stanford 58-53

#8 Colorado was upset by #9 Pittsburgh 77-48

2014 NCAA Tournament Results for the Round 1 Winner Play-In Games to the Field of 64:

Midwest Regional:

#11 Tennessee eliminated #11 Iowa 78-65

#12 North Carolina State eliminated #12 Xavier 74-59

#16 Cal Poly eliminated #16 Texas Southern 81-69

South Regional:

#16 Albany eliminated #16 Mount St. Mary’s 71-64

 

Posted in NCAA March Madness Tournament 2014 | Leave a comment

2013 College Football Major Bowl Game Results

Note: Rankings are the Final AP Top 25 Rankings for the 2013 Season, and the Won/Loss Records are for the 2013 Season.

BCS National Championship Game:
#1 Florida State (14-0) nips #2 Auburn (12-2), 34-31

BCS Rose Bowl:
 #3 Michigan State (13-1) upset #11 Stanford (11-3), 24-20

BCS Fiesta Bowl:
 #10 Central Florida (12-1) upset #13 Baylor (11-2), 52-42

BCS Orange Bowl:
 #8 Clemson (11-2) upset #12 Ohio State (12-2), 40-35

BCS Sugar Bowl:
 #6 Oklahoma (11-2) upset #7 Alabama (11-2), 45-31

Capital One Bowl:
 #4 South Carolina (11-2) upset #22 Wisconsin (9-4), 34-24

Cotton Bowl:
#5 Missouri (12-2) beat #17 Oklahoma State (10-3), 41-31

Outback Bowl:
#14 LSU (10-3) beat Unranked Iowa (8-5), 21-14

Alamo Bowl:
#9 Oregon (11-2) blasted Unranked Texas (8-5), 30-7

Russell Athletic Bowl:
#15 Louisville (12-1) swamped Unranked Miami, FL (9-4), 36-9

Sun Bowl:
#16 UCLA (10-3) whipped Unranked Virginia Tech (8-5), 42-12

Chick-fil-A Bowl:
#18 Texas A&M (9-4) beat #23 Duke (10-4), 52-48

Las Vegas Bowl:
#19 Southern California (10-4) beat Unranked Fresno State (11-2), 45-20

Pinstripe Bowl:
#20 Notre Dame (9-4) beat Unranked Rutgers (6-7), 29-16

Holiday Bowl:
 Unranked Texas Tech (8-5) upset #21 Arizona State (10-4), 37-23

BBVA Compass Bowl:
#24 Vanderbilt (9-4) beat Unranked Houston (8-5), 41-24

Fight Hunger Bowl:
#25 Washington (9-4) beat Unranked Brigham Young (8-5), 31-16

New Mexico Bowl:
 Unranked Colorado State (8-6) upset Unranked Washington State (6-7), 48-45

New Orleans Bowl:
 Unranked Louisiana-Lafayette (9-4) upset Unranked Tulane (7-6), 24-21

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl:
 Unranked Pittsburgh (7-6) upset Unranked Bowling Green (10-4), 30-27

Poinsettia Bowl:
 Unranked Utah State (9-5) upset Unranked Northern Illinois (12-2), 21-14

Texas Bowl:
 Unranked Syracuse (7-6) upset Unranked Minnesota (8-5), 21-17

Gator Bowl:
 Unranked Nebraska (9-4) upset Unranked Georgia (8-5), 24-19

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl:
Unranked San Diego State (8-5) trashed Unranked Buffalo (8-5), 49-24

Beef O’Brady’s Bowl:
Unranked East Carolina (10-3) beat Unranked Ohio (7-6), 37-20

Hawaii Bowl:
Unranked Oregon State (7-6) beat Unranked Boise State (8-5), 38-23

Military Bowl:
Unranked Marshall (10-4) beat Unranked Maryland (7-6), 31-20

Belk Bowl:
Unranked North Carolina (7-6) stomped Unranked Cincinnati (9-4) 39-17

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl:
Unranked Kansas State (8-5) steamrolled Unranked Michigan (7-6), 31-14

Armed Forces Bowl:
Unranked Navy (9-4) submarined Unranked Middle Tennessee (8-5), 24-6

Music City Bowl:
Unranked Ole Miss (8-5) beat Unranked Georgia Tech (7-6), 25-17

Advocare V100 Bowl:
Unranked Arizona (8-5) mashed Unranked Boston College (7-6), 42-19

Liberty Bowl:
Unranked Mississippi State (7-6) bombed Unranked Rice (10-4), 44-7

Heart of Dallas Bowl:
Unranked North Texas (9-4) dominated Unranked UNLV (7-6), 36-14

GoDaddy Bowl:
 Unranked Arkansas (8-5) upset Unranked Ball State (10-3), 23-20

Posted in College Football 2013 | Leave a comment