commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Nate Silver joins the Ohio State NCAA win crowd….

How We Made Our N.C.A.A. Picks


I participated in my first N.C.A.A. tournament pool in 1992 when, as a 14-year-old, I correctly predicted sixth-seeded Michigan to reach the Final Four.

I don’t particularly remember what went into the prediction, other than that the pool offered some ridiculous bonus for picking lower seeds — and also, since I grew up in East Lansing, Mich., I could be pretty sure that nobody else would be willing to go all-in on the team from Ann Arbor. I’ve never been asked to return the 75 “units” I took in for finishing first, despite the fact that Michigan’s Fab Five had to forfeit its wins for recruiting violations.

This year, we’ve decided to do something a bit more scientific, analyzing the results for all tournament games since 2003 (a total of 512 games) and evaluating which factors best predicted success. Our forecast is here.

The goal is to have a system that makes good statistical sense and also makes decent basketball sense, as opposed to identifying a bunch of spurious correlations. There’s no Da Vinci code for winning the tournament; it’s just a matter of playing good basketball.

Let me give you an overview of the system; there’s more elaboration down below for those interested in the gory details.

The Simple Version

– First, we create a power rating for each team. The power rating is an aggregation of four computer ratings and two human ratings, all of which have performed well at predicting tournament games in the past:

Objective (computer) ratings:

a) Jeff Sagarin “predictor” ratings;
b) Ken Pomeroy Pythagorean ratings;
c) Joel Sokol LRMC rankings;
d) Sonny Moore power ratings.

Read more…

This From Polticaldog101…


March 15, 2011 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Men, Polls, Projections, Sports, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

Duke beats Baylor…..61 to 59!…For their 4th NCAA March Madness Mens College Basketball Championship!

I wasn’t pretty…..

It wasn’t a blow out…..

But it was a win for the Blue Devils…..Who used thie poise, patience, good shooting and above all height ……..to clinch their 10th Championship……

Both of my two son’s….. who care about basketball …..have given their compliments to the team!….

Coach K….should be a happy man!

And one of his teams does it again!

From the New York Times….The Quad……Blogging….

11:40 P.M. And Just Like That, It’s Over

I thought Hayward’s fallaway was good and that half-court shot looked good, too. What a way to finish this tournament. I’m just as stunned as most of the Butler fans in here. Not because Butler lost, but because the game ended in such a quick manner. I can only imagine what would have happened in this building had Hayward hit that shot to win it. — ZH

11:35 P.M. Duke Is the National Champion

Gordon Hayward missed a fallaway jumper from the baseline with less than 4 seconds. Brian Zoubek made 1 of 2 foul shots and than Hayward’s desperation half-court heave hit the rim as time expired. The Blue Devils win, 61-59. — CE

11:33 P.M. It All Comes Down to This

My heart is beating through my chest. I can’t even imagine what’s happening to the guys out on the court. This next play could be the moment that defines Brad Stevens forever. What does he have up his sleeve? I hope this one ends cleanly (no foul, and at least a clean shot attempt). — ZH

11:31 P.M. Cue the “Hoosiers” Theme

Timeout on the floor. Butler has the ball with 13 seconds left and trailing, 60-59. Has anyone seen Dennis Hopper? Will Duke get caught watching the paint dry? — CE

11:30 P.M. Crunch Time


Note…. the original post was incorrect…It had the win as the Tenth Championship…..that is incorrect…This is Duke’s tenth trip to the Championship game and they are 4 and 6 for the games overall……..

April 5, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Sports, Travel, Updates | , , , | 2 Comments

Duke beats West Virginia 78 to 57!…..Will play Butler on Monday for the Championship!

Duke’s Kyle Singler (12) shoots over West Virginia’s Kevin Jones (5) and Wellington Smith during the first half.

Folks I never thought Duke would get this far!

But the Dog has just come back from watching the Duke Blue Devils school West Virginia…..

The will now show up in the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for their 11th NCAA  Mens College Basketball Championship……..

This is their first since 2001……..

They have been 10 Championship games and their record is  3 and 6 for those games……

West Virginia only scored 6 baskets during the second half……

Duke’s  Singler, Scheyer and  Smith scored 63 points combined in the win……..

Duke 13…. 3-pointers in the game……..

And controled the boards the entire game……

The best part of the game was me breaking my oldest son’s chops!

Go Duke!

April 4, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Men, Other Things, Sports, Travel, Updates | , , , , | Leave a comment

In Defense of Duke…….


I’m going out in few hours to watch the Duke University Basketball team try to get to be one  of the NCAA March Madness College Championship tournament two teams viewing for the title….

I am happy to see the team get this far…..

And I have suffered being a fan of the team for the last ten years….

But despite the team being kinda light, and coach K bitching about calls……

They are my team……

And they win…..

More so than just about another college basketball team…

Here’s a piece on why others can love the team also….
We all need villains.

If it isn’t Iago or Lex Luthor or Ivan Drago, it’s somebody else. It’s your neighbor. It’s your boss. It’s an entity you set yourself against, because in doing so, in making that decision and relishing that impulse, one makes an articulated stand about what is true and right of the world and its injustices. It becomes the New York Yankees, or the Detroit Red Wings, or it’s Notre Dame.

Or it’s the Duke University men’s basketball team, and its leader, the progenitor of Duke’s modern era of success, Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Coach K.

It is a known fact that Duke is the most hated college basketball program in the country. If you tell someone you’re a Duke fan, you could get a mean look, or you could get some profanity. I know, because I am a Duke fan myself. I own two Duke sweatshirts, and I don’t wear them around too often, for fear of getting beaten up by a pack of club-wielding Maryland fans, or anyone from the state of Kentucky.

Duke hatred is a fact of college basketball, just as hatred of Notre Dame is of college football and hatred of the New York Yankees is of baseball. It’s not quite as widespread, but yes, it is there. If you are in the state of North Carolina, and you tell someone you’re a Duke fan, there is a 15% chance (slight exaggeration) he or she will say to you, to your face, “Fuck Duke.” Literally. Out loud. There aren’t a lot of other things in life that’s true for.

There are many reasons to hate Duke, and I am familiar with all of them. I went there for four years, and I got my taste.

More from The Atlantic piece by Chris Good……

April 3, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Counterpoints, Entertainment, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Sports, Travel, Updates | , , | 5 Comments

The Final Four of the NCAA March Madness College Mens Basketball Championship….

A Final Four worth watching, barely

[ Coach K of Duke and Coach Tom Izzo of Michigan State work their games……. ]

These are  your Final Four Teams Folks…..

They play next Saturday………

Final Four – Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

M5 Michigan State
W5 Butler
E2 West Virginia
S1 Duke

The Wiki  Backrounder on the whole Tournament…….here.….

March 29, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Men, Other Things, Projections, Sports, Updates | , , | 6 Comments

The Cheerleaders of the 2010 March Madness Teams…….

While basketball players remain at the center of March Madness, the stunning ladies on the sidelines keep their team's motivated and upbeat. The News honors the cheerleaders and their work during the NCAA Tournament.

While basketball players remain at the center of March Madness, the stunning ladies on the sidelines keep their team’s motivated and upbeat. The News honors the cheerleaders and their work during the NCAA Tournament.

From The New York Daily News…..

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/college/galleries/cheerleaders_of_the_2010_ncaa_tournament/cheerleaders_of_the_2010_ncaa_tournament.html#ixzz0jX2jNTBF

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Education, Entertainment, Media, Men, Other Things, Sports, Travel, Women | , | Leave a comment

Duke Wins over Baylor!….will be back the Final 4 in the NCAA Mens College Basketball….

[ Duke Players rejoice at the teams win…… which puts them in the Final Four NCAA Mens Basketball Championship…..]
The Dog frankly didn’t think they’d get this far…again…..

But the Dog is tickled pink to be wrong……YES!
Watching the game didn’t make me think it would happen either……Until the last few minutes when Duke did a nice run that took them up 10 points…and sealed the deal……
………while this Duke team is hardly among the Blue Devils’ best, it has Krzyzewski back in the Final Four for the 11th time and his first since 2004. He last won a national title in 2001.

Nolan Smith had 29 points for Duke and Jon Scheyer added 20 in the South Regional final before 47,492 fans in Reliant Stadium. The Blue Devils will play Saturday against second-seeded West Virginia (31-6) in the national semifinals at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“I can’t put it in words,” the Duke senior forward Lance Thomas said.

Playing about 185 miles from Baylor’s campus and in front of the former President George Bush, Duke was booed from the moment it stepped on the court. Trailing by 61-60 with 3 minutes 36 seconds left, the Blue Devils tied the score on a free throw by Smith.

That started a 12-1 run that Duke used to break the game open and put away feisty Baylor, which had been seeking to advance to its first Final Four since 1950. During the spurt, the Bears took poor shots and lacked discipline, the latter of which is a frequent criticism of their coach, Scott Drew, who appeared to be outcoached by Krzyzewski.

Trailing by 3 at halftime, Duke tied the game at 35-35 on the first possession of the second half on a 3-pointer by Scheyer. Baylor then surged to a 5-point lead before the Blue Devils used an 8-2 run to reclaim the lead at 45-44 on a pair of free throws by Smith with 16:15 left.

The Bears briefly retook the lead before Duke scored 4 consecutive points for a 49-46 lead……


March 28, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Sports, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

NCAA Mens Basketball March Madness Championship Update……

+ Click on game links for box scores

March 18-19 March 20-21 March 25-26 March 27-28 April 3 April 5
1 Kansas
16 Lehigh Kansas 90-74
9 Northern Iowa UNI 69-66
8 UNLV UNI 69-67
5 Michigan St MSU 85-83
12 New Mexico St MSU 70-67
13 Houston Maryland 89-77
4 Maryland MIDWEST
3 Georgetown
14 Ohio Ohio 97-83
11 Tennessee Tennessee 62-59
6 San Diego St Tennessee 83-68
7 Oklahoma St Ohio St 75-66
10 Georgia Tech Ga Tech 64-59
15 Ohio St Ohio St 68-51
2 UCSB Indianapolis
1 Syracuse April 3-5
16 Vermont Syracuse 79-56
9 Florida St Gonzaga 67-60
8 Gonzaga Syracuse 87-65
5 Butler Butler 54-52
12 UTEP Butler 77-59
13 Murray St Murray St 66-65
4 Vanderbilt WEST Butler 63-59
3 Pittsburgh Kansas St 101-96
14 Oakland Pitt 89-66
11 Minnesota Xavier 65-54
6 Xavier Xavier 71-68
7 BYU Kansas St 84-72
10 Florida BYU 99-92
15 North Texas KSU 82-62
2 Kansas St
1 Kentucky
16 ETSU Kentucky 100-71
9 Texas Wake 81-80
8 Wake Forest Kentucky 90-60
5 Temple Cornell 87-69
12 Cornell Cornell 78-65
13 Wofford Wisconsin 53-49
4 Wisconsin Kentucky 62-45
3 New Mexico EAST WVU 69-56
14 Montana New Mexico 62-57
11 Washington Washington 80-78
6 Marquette Washington 82-64
7 Clemson WVU 68-59
10 Missouri Missouri 86-78
15 Morgan St WVU 77-50
2 West Virginia Indianapolis

1 Duke April 3-5
16 Winthrop / UAPB Duke 73-44
9 Louisville Cal 77-62
8 California Duke 68-53
5 Texas A&M Purdue 63-61
12 Utah St A&M 69-53
13 Siena Purdue 72-64
4 Purdue SOUTH Detroit, MI
3 Baylor
14 Sam Houston St Baylor 68-59
11 Old Dominion ODU 51-50
6 Notre Dame Baylor 76-68
7 Richmond SMC 75-68
10 St. Mary’s SMC 81-70
15 Robert Morris Villanova 73-70
2 Villanova


From CollegeHoopsnet.com…..

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Men, Other Things, Sports, Updates | , , | Leave a comment

West Virgina beats Kentucky!

They played like they were lost…..

Kentucky couldn’t buy a jumper if they were given out for free……

And they did lose…….

People are going take a hit on this one…..

The team to beat got beat by themselves…….

West Virgina is in the Final Four of the NCAA Mens College Championships……

Injury replacement Joe Mazzulla scored a career-high 17 points in his first start this season and West Virginia handled a cold-shooting Kentucky team stocked with future NBA players almost from the opening tip for a 73-66 victory in the East Regional final Saturday night.

Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins, back with his alma mater, is in the Final Four for the first time since taking Cincinnati in 1992. It’s an even longer stretch for West Virginia — Jerry West was the star of the team 51 years ago, and not yet a Hall of Famer or NBA logo.

For freshman sensation John Wall and the young Wildcats, a scintillating season ended with a clang.

They were awful from 3-point range, missing their first 20 attempts and finishing a stunning 4 of 32 (12.5 percent). DeAndre Liggins finally hit a 3 with 3:29 left to end the drought, but by then it was too late.

West Virginia went the other way, making eight 3s in the first half without a 2-point basket.

Kentucky coach John Calipari led his talented team to the regional final in his first season, restoring the Wildcats among basketball’s elite after several underachieving seasons.

But they showed their inexperience in this one, misfiring all night after using a swarming defense to beat tournament darling Cornell in the round of 16.


March 27, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Entertainment, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Updates | , , , | Leave a comment

The Amazing 'Sweet Sixteen' College Basketball Championship…….Fill in the Blanks……

March 26, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Media, Men, Projections, Updates | | Leave a comment