Sprints Is Glad It's Not Being Tased by Louisiana Police // 03.08.10

Strange event called 'tournament' set up for odd sport called 'basketball'
The league championship in this sport is decided by playing multiple games, with the team that doesn't lose a game being named champion.

Thursday: South Carolina and Alabama face off at 1 p.m. ET. Either would almost certainly have to win the tournament or see a typhoid epidemic rip through the Big East to go the NCAAs. At 3:15 p.m. ET, LSU plays Tennessee. There is some debate about whether LSU would be allowed into the NCAA tournament even if they won the championship. (I know the rules, but even college basketball has to step in at some point.) At 7:30 p.m. ET, Auburn plays Florida, which is looking for a tournament boost, and Georgia plays Arkansas at 9:45 p.m. ET. Again, both would need a run to and through the final.

Friday: Kentucky plays the South Carolina-Alabama winner at 1 p.m. ET, Ole Miss takes the court against either LSU or Tennessee at 3:15 p.m. ET, Mississippi State draws the winner of Auburn-Florida at 7:30 p.m. ET and Vanderbilt will face Georgia or Arkansas at 9:45 p.m. ET.

All these games on the SEC Network, so check local listings etc.

'I'll take, "Things You Don't Want to See Written About Your Feature Receiver" for $1,000, Alex'
Terrance Toliver of LSU met with a few members of Baton Rouge's finest Sunday.

Toliver, a junior from Hempstead, Texas, who is expected to be the Tigers' feature receiver next season, was subdued by police after they shocked him with a Taser gun when he did not cooperate with officers. A police spokesman said Toliver was involved in a fight with Timothy Moran outside of Fred's. Moran was also arrested for public intoxication and disturbing the peace.

Dennis Harris of the basketball team is listed as "Also arrested," but that's really not that much of a surprise. You could be forgiven this year if you forgot that LSU had a basketball team.

Check the couch cushions
Year2 had handled the Renardo Sidney decision. For the record, I would also like to praise Donald Jackson for a statement that I thought was remarkably restrained for him:

A pre-season top 25 team has been left "on the bubble" as a result of a phantom 10.1 unethical conduct charge over a trip that occurred during Renardo's ninth grade season that he repeatedly stated that he and his family did not recall (in detail). ...

Bottom line, this decision is a transparent attempt to justify a yearlong investigation that started out focusing on million dollar homes. When the L.A. Times' version of the "facts" wound up not to be true, the Eligibility Center created their own.

I kind of wish the appeal would last for a long time. I'm really going to miss Counselor Jackson.

In any case, this is the thing that's always confused me about penalties like this: Where on earth is an amateur athlete supposed to come up with almost $12,000? Maybe he could take out a loan. No? 

So much respect, we can't remember their name
Nick Saban on accepting the ODK Sportsmanship Trophy for winning the Iron Bowl.

We also have a tremendous amount of respect for the University of Auburn.

Um, that's Auburn University, coach. Not very sporting to get it wrong.

Capstone Report sees it as less than an accident -- maybe
We'll let their comment speak for itself.

Was the gaffe an intentional dig at the school that’s made a living savoring intentional digs at its big brother, or merely a champion not acknowledging a middle of the pack SEC team correctly?

Ouch.

And another thing
Blutarsky does a good job of drawing the parallels between the proposed expansion of the NCAA basketball tournament and the debate over a college football playoff. But there's one absurd aspect of what George Vecsey of The New York Times writes when he argues that "the bad old days" featured N.C. State winning the ACC tournament and leaving then-No. 4 Maryland out of the NCAAs.

But, they had a tournament to decide the league championship. That makes it a "true" championship, right? It's never wrong. That found the best team in the ACC and another team can't be the best team in the country if it's not as good as the best team in the ACC. All those Maryland accomplishments were in the "regular" season, which doesn't tell us enough to base a championship completely on that, right?

Dropping the sarcasm: Vecsey is arguing that the tournament should be expanded to make sure that another tournament doesn't get it wrong and ruin the whole idea of a tournament being the best way to determine a champion. Huh? Again, tournaments increase the number of games in which a random result can change the outcome, and so make a championship more arbitrary, not less.

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