Head to Head look at 8 Games Ahead


Down to 16 teams – 8 games over the next few days to whittle it down to the elite 8.  Here’s a look at the history of the 8 matchups.

  1. Loyola-Chicago v. Nevada. The two teams have never met.
  2. Kansas v. Kentucky. Kansas remarkably has never beaten Kentucky in 7 tries.  The two teams last met in the Second Round in 2014 with Kentucky winning 56-49.
  3. Florida State v. Gonzago.  Florida State is 0-1 against the Zags.  The last time the teams played was in the First Round of the 2010 tournament with the Zags winning 67-60.
  4. Michigan v. Texas A&M. The teams last met 56 years ago in a game the Wolverines won 82-79.
  5. Villanova v. West Virginia. Villanova is 22-20 against the Mountaineers. They last met in 2011 with West Virginia winning 83-69.
  6. Texas Tech v. Purdue. The teams have only met twice with the Boilermakers winning both contests. They last met in 1988 with Purdue winning 63-54.
  7. Kansas v. Clemson. Oddly, the two teams have never met.
  8. Syracuse v. Duke. The two teams have met 11 times with Duke winning 6 of the meetings. They last met in February with Duke winning in convincing fashion 60-44.

16 Teams & 16 Oddities: March Madness

From the Sporting Desk of Ribbie’s Weblog


  1. There could be an all TX Final – Texas Tech v. Texas A&M.
  2. There could be an all KS and All Big 12 Final – Kansas State v. Kansas.
  3. There could be another All Big 12 Final – Kansas State v. West Virgina or Texas Tech.
  4. There could be an All ACC Final – Florida State v. Clemson, Syracuse, or Duke.
  5. There could be an All Big Ten Final – Purdue v. Michigan.
  6. There could be an All 11 seed Final – Syracuse v. Loyola-Chicago.
  7. The two teams with State in their names are 9 seeds: Kansas State and Florida State.
  8. Texas and Kansas are the only states with more than 1 team represented, both w/ 2.
  9. Half of the teams in the Sweet 16 are from the ACC and the SEC, each with 4.
  10. The East is the most competitive region left – seeds total 11.
  11. The South is the least competitive region left – seeds total 32.
  12. Nevada has no players from Nevada on its roster.
  13. Duke has no players from North Carolina on its roster.
  14. Texas A&M has 13 players from Texas on its roster; Texas Tech has 8.
  15. Syracuse has 1 Senior on its roster.
  16. Duke has 1 Senior and 8 Freshmen on its roster.

Sweet 16 2011 NCAA Climate Change

Last year, at this time I wrote about climate change in the NCAA.  Teams like St. Mary’s and Cornell were still in the hunt.  This year, there are a number of sleepers who I predict will prevail.  Climate change is here to stay I’m afraid.

VCU over Florida State.  Florida State should stick to football.

Marquette over UNC.  This is my big upset.  Marquette gets the edge because of their designer uniforms.

Butler over Wisconsin.  Gotta go with the underdog here, over the badgers, but Butler is a mean underdog and they’ll need to be foaming at the mouth.

San Diego State over UConn.  Now if it were the Connecticut College Camels, I’d go with Conn.  But it’s not, so I have to go with the football scoring machine of SDS.

Duke v Arizona.  Duke.  I don’t care much for Arizona politics, so I’m going with Duke.  It’ll be a close game no doubt.

Florida over BYU.  I’m not a gator fan, but I’m not much of a fan of what BYU did to its star player either.  I’ll have to go with the SEC here.

OSU and Kentucky.  OSU is a better team.  The SEC has had an off year and this year is not the year of the Wildcat.


Sweet 16 Mascot Breakdown

boilermaker1We’re down to 16 teams.  You know who the favorites are by their seedings.  You can look at individual player and coaching matchups.  Statistics.  Even academic ratings, which I blogged about yesterday if you’re interested.  And you can look at what I think is one of the more important and largely ignored categories – mascots.    I’ve reseeded the Sweet 16 by strength of mascot.  Two teams not even mentioned in the Princeton Review’s compilation of the 368 best colleges in the United States lead the way in mascot power.  From top to bottom, here are the mascot seedings for the 2009 members of the Sweet 16.


  1. Missouri Tigers.  I list Missouri first, even though the Memphis Tigers are a better team.  And I do so partly out of an obligation to give Missouri some props for being a reputable academic institution particularly for its school of journalism which is top notch.  While Missouri was ignored by the Princeton Review, it was listed in the Fiske Guide to the Best Colleges.  And for the record, I am not a Missouri graduate and have no allegiance to the state or the University, though I once went spelunking near the Arkansas border.
  2. Memphis Tigers.  Probably the best team in the tournament.  Ferocious on both offense and defense.  But I have to say I liked John Calipari better as a UMASS Minuteman.  And Memphis a little better as Memphis State.
  3. Pittsburg Panthers – Panthers are tough cats and not to be taken lightly.  I don’t think they’d stand a chance against a tiger, but would have no trouble with any of the other mascots.  Pitt fans must be drooling at the prospect of another championship in 2009.
  4. U Conn Huskies –  I don’t know if a husky could take down a wildcat, but some of the wildcats I’ve seen look little more than stray cats with pointed ears.  Huskies may not be vicious, but they are tough.
  5. Michigan State Spartans – the ancient Greek state of Sparta was a feared military power whose Spartan soldiers were skilled and relentless.  With the right weapon, a Spartan would be no match for a husky, but the point here is that it would take a weapon.
  6. Arizona Wildcats – Some wildcats are wilder than others; that is a wildcat from the West scares me a little more than one from Philly.
  7. Villanova Wildcats.  Wild, but not as wild as found in the Wildjayhawk Wild West.
  8. Kansas Jayhawks.  It’s a helicopter, right?  Or Woody the Woodpecker.
  9. Gonzaga Bulldogs.  Bulldogs look tougher than they are.   Should have gone with a Pit Bull as the mascot, or a Pit Viper.
  10. Xavier Musketeers.  Ok, a little out of date, but armed, so I rank them higher than say a Sooner or a Boilermaker.
  11. Duke Blue Devils.  What is a blue devil anyway?  Beats the devil out of me.
  12. Purdue Boilermakers.  Hard workers no doubt, like basement miners.
  13. Oklahoma Sooners.  What is a Sooner you ask?  I don’t know either and I’m too lazy to google it.
  14. North Carolina Tar Heels.  Something to do with tobacco, but inspires neither fear nor toughness.
  15. Louisville Cardinals.  It’s a bird!
  16. Syracuse Orange.  Used to be the Orangemen and is now simply the Syracuse Orange.  The fruit or color?  Either way, not too intimidating.  Why not add Blood to Orange.  Or adopt a different fruit like a pineapple; now that’s some armor!