Showing posts with label March Madness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label March Madness. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thanks for Coming Out, One Shining Moment

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

Someone at CBS thought, "you know what I wanna change? The 64 team system. Oh. Also, I'd like to change One Shining Moment." That is as dumb as you can get.

Here is 1998's version sung by Luther Vandross with the proper instrumental set up.

That's how I roll.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My System for Fixing a March Madness Deficiency

(this was the only ncaa basketball pic I could find in my folder of already-used blog photos. It's Miami University coach Charlie Coles. Who still needs to endorse a line of charcoal called CHARlieCoals.)

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

I am not trying to pick on this particular sports figure, but he's the only "pro" whose final four picks I have in front of me, and he successfully predicted 0 of them, having only two of his final four teams make the Elite 8. It also helps that I just saw him on tv telling me who would win on Monday. His advice wound up in my mental garbage can.

His Final Four? Kansas, Kentucky, Kansas State, Villanova.

The pro? Dick Vitale. I wrote a column a few years ago where I said I kinda like Dick Vitale now. Sure he screams and adores the ACC, but I can think of worse attributes a commentator can have. The ACC has been the most entertaining conference for the past 20 years and we all know it. I don't mind Vitale's love of Duke either: everyone loves Mark Few and Gonzaga, and the Butler story is great too. But what is Duke, if not a program that started off exactly like those programs, yet rose to be a college powerhouse right alongside the most storied programs in the history of college basketball like Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Indiana. So we are all happy for Butler, but we'd hate them if they did this 10 times in the next 20? Why? At point did their winning become burdensome to the viewer? Plus Coach K. is a West Point grad.

Anyway, my point is that ESPN and other sports media should do something to curtail the talking heads who clearly had no idea what would happen in this tournament. What makes Vitale worth listening to when I had one final four team and he had none? They need to do a better job of "riding the hot hand" and letting another talking head who didn't get the game wrong talk his piece. Conversely, what if you knew there was some 26 year old forklift operator in Missouri who successfully picked all either Elite 8 teams in his office pool. Wouldn't you rather listen to his final four analysis than someone with Vitale's bracket?

Much like March Madness itself, I wish the NCAA commentary were elimination-based as well. Say maybe ESPN takes all their college guys- Vitale, Digger, Gotlieb, Hubert Davis, Bilas, Jay Williams, Andy Katz and the other college basketball talking heads I am forgetting, and once the tourney is down to the Elite 8 have them fill out the bracket from there. If you incorrectly pick a game wrong (say for instance I'm an ESPN panelist and I selected Baylor to beat Duke) I should be disallowed from commenting on the advancing team (in this case, Duke) for the remainder of the tourney. If I saw Duke's first three tourney wins and still don't know them enough to be able to pick them correctly in their 4th, I obviously don't know them too well. I must either not know their true capabilities, or worse, have no valuable predictive knowledge of them. Wouldn't their incorrect prediction PROVE that?

IF someone had Northern Iowa over Kansas (and I don't blame anyone for getting it wrong), wouldn't they be the only person you would want to hear assess their chances in their next game against Michigan State? Dick Vitale thought Kansas would be in the final game, how are you expected to care about what Vitale assumes will be their chances against MSU?

Now you read that and you're saying, "Your idea is stupid because if that were the case, by your own admission, the Northern Iowa/MSU game would have no pre-game analysis." Wrong. That was before the Elite 8. Crazy things make March Madness great and they happen, ideally, every year. But few truly inexplicable things happen after the Elite 8. And, on the rare chance when a George Mason does beat a UConn to go to the Final Four and everyone is wrong, then everyone gets a do-over, since no one has proven to be any more or less adept at knowing that surprising team. But if there are 10 panelists, and only two get it right, how can I listen to the other 8 tell me about this team? I just want to hear the two correct guys talk the whole time.

It isn't that I hold ESPN talking heads to a higher standard of sports clairvoyance than I hold myself, but that's also how life works. If you and I are deciding where to get dinner, and I let you pick the place and we both find band aids in our food and we get mugged in the parking lot, guess what I am going to say if you try to recommend the next restaurant? Maybe you let me pick the restaurant this time. Or if I ask someone to be my wingman and that results in him getting wasted, and telling women a series of embarrassing stories about me that get drinks thrown in my face, I will ask someone else to by wingman next time. Someone who has an idea what's going on. That is how the world works. You may have heard this theory before under the name "Natural selection".

That system would be very true to March Madness. Just as teams ride the player with the hot hand, so should ESPN, and, just like how in March Madness, the weak teams are eliminated, so too should ESPN.

That's how I roll.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I am Great

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

I told you in February that KY wouldn't win the Madness of March.

That's how I roll.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's Time we Look Into the Future

By: T.R. Slyder,, AndyDisco on Twitter

Lets take a look at the Las Vegas futures pools for the KY Derby, March Madness, the World Cup, and Baseball. Not because I have some insight that you can gain, but because it's fun to think about the playoffs/post season/huge race, etc. even when it isn't not all that close to us.

First up: KY Derby. (you can find the past performances of the Derby eligible horses here.) If you have never heard of any of these horses that's ok, as I have heard of about 4 of them. This is the second "pool" or round of betting, you can see that atop the list it says "Pool 2", some horses were dropped or added since Pool 1 and odds on some horses have changed, (drastically in the case of Eskendereya- click here to see the race that precipitated his odds plummeting).

KY Derby Future Wager Pool 2 Odds

#Horse M/L Odds
1 Aikenite 50-1
2 American Lion 30-1
3 Buddy’s Saint 12-1
4 Caracortado 12-1
5 Connemara 20-1
6 Conveyance 12-1
7 D’Funnybone 30-1
8 Dave in Dixie 30-1
9 Discreetly Mine 30-1
10 Dublin 15-1
11 Eskendereya 6-1
12 Jackson Bend 20-1
13 Lookin at Lucky 6-1
14 Nextdoorneighbor 30-1
15 Noble’s Promise 30-1
16 Odysseus 50-1
17 Radiohead 20-1
18 Rule 20-1
19 Setusko 50-1
20 Sidney’s Candy 20-1
21 Super Saver 20-1
22 Tempted to Tapit 50-1
23 Vale of York 30-1
24 Field (all others) 7-2

Many of these horses raced in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile, the chart of the results can be found here And the race can be viewed here.

That race was 1/16th of a mile shorter than the Derby will be, and was raced over a synthetic surface, whereas the KY Derby will be run over dirt. A few random notes about that race and the Derby:

-You can get 30-1 odds on the winner of the BC Juvenile in the Derby Futures Pool.

- Lookin at Lucky was undefeated going into that race (all of his races coming over a synthetic surface, like he saw in the Breeder's Cup), lost by a head, will race on natural dirt in KY Derby, yet still remains co-favorite at 6-1. Doesn't seem like great value. He also loses value for having a superstar trainer in Bob Baffert- who doesn't hurt his chances of winning the Derby, but also skews his price, much like buying a condo in a Trump-owned building. The owner doesn't make the condo good or bad, but with an owner like Trump, you can be sure you won't be getting a steal, either, in fact, you'll probably overpay.

-D'Funnybone was the 4th betting favorite in Juvenile and is currently 30-1. You can see him winning his 2010 debut here in the Grade 2 Hutechson Stakes.

- Vale of York had never raced on anything but grass before his win in the BC Juvenile.

-Aikenite finished 5th and was the third betting favorite in the Juvenile and is now at 50-1.

-Noble's Promise was the second favorite in the Juvenile, finished third by a head, and is now 30-1 in the Derby pool. Why? Because he has never raced on a dirt surface.

So that's the Derby. I haven't paid much attention to horse racing since the Breeder's Cup, but I am starting to pick it up again now. I am not making any predictions just yet, but just trying to gather the facts, note the trends, and begin watching the upcoming Derby prep races.

NCAA Futures- taken from

Future Book Odds

Kansas 4/1 2/1
Kentucky 8/1 4/1
Syracuse 25/1 7/1
Villanova 14/1 10/1
West Virginia 15/1 15/1
Michigan State 6/1 15/1
Duke 16/1 15/1
Texas 7/1 18/1
Ohio State 40/1 18/1
Purdue 12/1 25/1

I didn't include all of the teams, but I thought these were the only ones with a chance to win it. It looks like the only real value on the board is Duke at 15-1. The point of playing a Futures Pool is to get better odds NOW then you would at the time of the event. If Kansas goes undefeated until the tournament starts, they still won't be less than 2-1, so they offer terrible value. If you love Kansas, why waste your money now when a player could get injured before the tournament starts, and why not just hold your money and take them at 2-1 on the day the tournament starts? Same goes for Kentucky. Syracuse was great value at 25-1, but 7-1 seems fair, and I can't see their price dropping below that before the tournament starts. Again, the point of a future's pool is to assume more risk (injuries, the unforeseen, team falling apart, etc.) and get a price break as a result. Unless you think that Duke, OSU or MSU will make a big run betwixt now and the start of the tourney, you'd be silly to make a wager on the current NCAA futures.

Baseball- taken again from Opening Line Current

N.Y. Yankees 3/1 14/5
Boston 13/2 11/2
Philadelphia 13/2 6/1
L.A. Angels 17/2 14/1
Detroit 20/1 24/1
Seattle 125/1 50/1
Arizona 75/1 60/1
Toronto 75/1 125/1
St. Louis 8/1
L.A. Dodgers 9/1
Tampa Bay 11/1
Chi. White Sox 12/1
Atlanta 12/1
Chi. Cubs 14/1
Colorado 20/1
N.Y. Mets 20/1
San Francisco 30/1
Texas 30/1
Minnesota 30/1

Again. If the Yankees were in the World Series, they'd be about about 1/1, so why take less than 3/1 in March? If your goal is to make $200 on the World Series this year, you could either bet about $65 on them in March, or about $110 in October. I'd prefer the latter, since if you do the latter, you at least know that the Yankoffs are IN the world series. Same for Boston and Philly, If the WS were the Yanks and Philly, Philly would be about 3/1, so why take them now at 6/1?

The only real value I can see might be with the White Sox and Mets, and I am not really sold on either.

World Cup- I got it from this site.

2010 FIFA World Cup – June 11 – July 11 – South Africa

Spain 9/2

Brazil 5/1

England 11/2

Argentina 9/1

Italy 11/1

Germany 12/1

Netherlands 12/1

France 14/1

Ivory Coast 25/1

Portugal 28/1

USA 50/1

Your guess is as good as mine, but my value play is Germany. True story: I have ESPN on while I am typing this and while typing Germany was my value play, I saw they lost 1-0 to Argentina. It's probably an omen. The only stand I will take is to not bet on England, they are just total wussies and love choking on the big stage. Don't believe me? Ask Tim Henman how his Wimbledon career went. England reminds me a bit of the Cubs- they make a lot of not noise, play up their tradition and love of the game, occasionally don't suck, have a huge and wild fanbase, and often confuse their bed for their toilet so to speak.

That's how I roll.