Tag Archives: college basketball

MCM 2019: March Madness

From my “March Madness preview” about ten days ago:

“It has been 37 years since I watched the Braves defat the University of Tulsa 82-79 to clinch the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. Although they lost the MVC tournament semifinal to archival Illinois State, they did make a run to the 1982 National Invitational title. I was in the stands for the quarterfinal victory over Tulane that put them in the semifinals to be played at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Courtesy of my high school speech therapist I got a chance to work Bradley games my sophomore and junior year (1985 thru 1987).

My beloved Braves have had a long, rough year plagued with issues on scoring points. They have had a brief revival of a four game winning streak, ended abruptly with a 77-68 loss at Drake on Wednesday. Starting today, they have three games left, and sit in a four team jam at 7-8, just outside the top six teams that will receive first round byes in the conference tournament. If Bradley finishes 7th or lower, they will play the dreaded Thursday play-in game, and will need four straight wins to win the tournament and the trip to the Big Dance.

Today the braves host dead-last Evansville, then host Valparaiso, one of the teams that they are tied at 7-8 with. They end the regular season next Saturday at defending champion Loyola of Chicago, Bradley REALLY needs to sweep all three games and get that top-six birth; from there, anything can happen. The Braves did beat Loyola at home earlier this season…if that means anything.”

Sunday, March 10, 4:20 p.m. EST: Bradley 57, Northern Iowa 54.

MVC Tournament Champions for the first time since 1988, and first NCAA bid of any kind since 2006.

I couldn’t pick out any of the current roster out of a police lineup, but I DO know that fourth-year head coach started his Bradley career with a roster of eight freshman. Three of them took the floor in today’s starting lineup.

The game started out like butt for the Braves. They couldn’t shoot field goals, they couldn’t shoot free throws, and they couldn’t defend UNI’s three point shooting. Despite a brief rally, BU trailed the Panthers 27-15 at the half. On merit.

The Braves were down 18 with about 14 1/2 minutes to go, and then they got HOT. The defense made some stops, they Braves shooting got much better, and wouldn’t you know it, they Braves drew a flagrant foul 1…four straight unopposed (no rebounding the miss) and the ball.

“Please, God…please, God…” four times, and four times he made the free throws. The Braves inbounded on the next possession and got the bucket. BU 56, UNI 50. After a nervous final minute plus, two more free throws and a missed Panther three pointer…

…and there you go.

A week ago last Saturday the Braves got rolled at Loyola-Chicago. I stopped watching the game with about ten minutes to go, thinking that the Braves were headed for the Thursday Matinee of Horror. They ended up as the fifth seed with a bye to the quarterfinals. For the record, UNI was the sixth seed, finishing 9-9 and ending 2019 at 16-18…

…and there you go. Anything can happen.

Now that I’ve been back at the gym for about a month, it’s time to really start working out. Here’s my proposed weight increases for the next 30 days:

  1. Leg press: 80 to 100 lbs.
  2. Chest press: 60 to 80 lbs.
  3. Lateral pulldown: 60 to 80 lbs.
  4. Overhead (dumbbell) shoulder press: (2 x 15 lbs.) x 12 reps
  5. Leg extension: 80 to 100 lbs.
  6. Bicep curl (dumbbell): (2 x 15 lbs.) x 12 reps
  7. Leg curl: 80 to 100 lbs.
  8. Abs curl: 100 to 120 lbs.

All of this is subject to me being able to perform 12 repetitions of each exercise, using proper form and technique. My focus is on gradually building a physique that is able to withstand the rigors of training for a marathon. I’m not gonna be the next Arnold, but if my legs can go 26.2 miles without straining my hamstrings, thighs groin, or ligaments, then it’s all good.

I am also lengthening my elliptical time from 32 to 47 minutes, with the goal of burning more calories and helping me get back to my running form. I am thinking first week of April (April 2 to be exact) before I actually hit the road.

I t has been months since I actually hit the scale, and I’m getting ready for another double dose of MLS Soccer with a side of DiGiorno’s Deep Dish pizza for the second game. I’ll probably weigh in before I start my trek to the gym tomorrow morning.

Song of the Day: three random tracks because MLS is stating in about 60 seconds:

Kasabian/”Club Foot:” band named themselves after on of the Symbionese Liberation Army members that kidnapped Patricia Hearst. or was she a member of the Manson family? Good trivia question. This band plays some killer make you wanna jump up and down stuff, tho’.

Led Zeppelin/”Immigrant Song:” “On we sweep with/A threshing oar/Our only goal is the western shore!” Yes I picked this over Kashmir. My blog, my rules.

Iron Maiden/”Run to the Hills:” Bradley University adopted the nom de guerre of “Braves” in reference to the Native American influence on the Peoria area. If I could go to the Braves upcoming NCAA game, I would attend in full “Injun” headdress, war paint, and leather made trousers and moccasins, political correctness and social justice warriors be damned. By the way, I didn’t know there was a seven minute version of this song, unless this version is about two minutes of silence…DAMMITT!!!

Sorry, game’s on…talk to you tomorrow.

Lifestyle 1989: The EP

Confession: I never made it out of the house today. All it did today was rain, and I didn’t;t feel like dealing with that today.

However, as promised, my Songs of the Day for my extended college basketball post today.

In 1989, I was in my first full year as  Marine. I was finishing up my A school at Naval Air Station Memphis in Millington, TN, then I headed to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC for my actual Military Operational Specialty training. I reported to MCAS Yuma, AZ on July 31 as my permanent duty station. I didn’t have a car so I didn’t;t go out that much, but as long as I had a walkman and a way to make tapes, I always had music.

MY SOTD Extended Play album comes from the Entertainment Weekly Greatest Hits 1989 collection. 1989 was a pretty good year…

Soul II Soul-“Back to Life:” Ahhh, Caron Wheeler and Jazzie B…where have you gone? A lonely music world needs you so bad. The original album version was sung a cappella by Caron, Not sure about the decision to add the music track, Not that I’m complaining.

Young MC-“Bust a Move:” With a slamming’, slapping’ bass line by Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers (or so the video tells me), this is yet another chapter in man’s ongoing quest for female companionship…or something.

Art of Noise w/Tom Jones-“Kiss:” There is a fascinating short story behind how art-house instrumental group AoN teamed up with Welsh superstar Tom Jones (italics borrowed from Memphis radio show hosts from my NAS Memphis days), but I don’t know it right now. They didn’t try to ape or outdo Prince; Art of Noise did what they do best and turned Tom Jones loose. That’s what’s new, pussycat, and it isn’t that unusual.

Michael Damian-“Rock On” Damian was starring on soap opera “The Young and the Restless” when he cut this cover of the David Essex 70s hit. This song was for the soundtrack of the movie “Dream a Little Dream,” starring 90s broheims Corey Feldman and Corey Haim. I actually enjoyed the movie, and I liked Damain’s version better than Davis Essex’s version; Michale had a little more snap and more bite to it.

Love and Rockets-“So Alive:” Because SEX, that’s why. Seriously, if you don’t get a LITTLE turned on by this song, then you’re missing something.

Fast facts from the album jacket:

  1. Soul II Soul member Nellee Hooper also produced hit singles for Madonna, U2, Tina Turner, and Bjork
  2. Marvin “M.C.” Young won a Grammy for Best New Rap Performance for “BaM” and co-wrote Tone-Loc’s “Funky Cold Medina.,” which also appears on this album.
  3. Tom Jones’ work with Art of Noise on “Kiss” garnered him his first Top 40 hit since 1977.
  4. Michael Damian Weir (full name) was a struggling young singer during his tenure on Y&R.
  5. Love and Rockets, formed by former members of the goth group Bauhaus (“Bela Lugosi’s Dead”), took their name from an underground (independent/alternate) comic book publisher. I do remember picking up a few issues, way back in the day. Not enough interest for me to buy any.

PS: Bauhaus lead singer Peter Murphy kept himself busy after Bauhaus folded, with a solo hit single in “Cuts You Up” and with the group Spacehog and “In the Meantime.”

Did Peter Murphy play bass for Bauhaus? Not sure.

Update: Bradley 63, Evansville 61. One down, two to go. Bonus track: “Fire on High” from Electric Light Orchestra was the bumper music for local NBC affiliate WEEK-TV, when they used to carry Bradley Braves basketball games…like the one I watched on TV thirty-seven years ago.”

The Music is Reversible, but Time is not. Turn Back, Turn Back, Turn Back, Turn Back!”

 

CBB 2019: March Sadness for the Land of Lincoln

This morning’s elliptical workout: I came, I did 32 minutes, I went.

Because of my current weight and the workout level I am inputting into the True brand elliptical for my workouts, I believe my workouts will have at least 50% at a heavy workload. I started off at medium high for the first two minutes, then spent the next fifteen on a gradual stepladder up in intensity from low to high workload, and then worked heavy for six minutes. The second half of the workout was mostly high, with a two minute break at low before going high again. I burned 553 calories in the 32 minutes.

Six days, six 0430 reveilles, six workouts in the book. Progress.

 

The NCAA Men’s College Basketball regular season is winding down. During the first full week of March, the mid-major conferences will start their conference tournaments, then the next week, the five major conferences (Big 10, Pacific12, Big 12, Atlantic Coast, and Southeastern) will begin theirs.

The NCAA Tournament will have 68 berths available. Most of them will be snapped up by the Major conference schools that didn’t win their conference tournaments, but had a good enough season to merit an at-large berth. For about 100 schools in the mid-major conferences, their best shot at a berth is by winning their conference tournament and the automatic berth that comes with it.

I currently live in Maryland, but I am originally from Peoria IL. My allegiance to the state’s college and pro teams has dimmed, but not completely waned. My interest in NCAAA athletics in Maryland (my Maryland) has been one University of MD football game which I won free tickets for. That was almost 11 tears ago and I haven’t been back since.

Long story short: Illinois is largely irrelevant in terms of NCAA Division I football or basketball. The Land of Lincoln especially sucks at basketball. The one school that I regularly follow is Bradley University, from my hometown of Peoria.

It has been 37 years since I watched the Braves defat the University of Tulsa 82-79 to clinch the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. Although they lost the MVC tournament semifinal to archival Illinois State, they did make a run to the 1982 National Invitational title. I was in the stands for the quarterfinal victory over Tulane that put them in the semifinals to be played at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Courtesy of my high school speech therapist I got a chance to work Bradley games my sophomore and junior year (1985 thru 1987).

My beloved Braves have had a long, rough year plagued with issues on scoring points. They have had a brief revival of a four game winning streak, ended abruptly with a 77-68 loss at Drake on Wednesday. Starting today, they have three games left, and sit in a four team jam at 7-8, just outside the top six teams that will receive first round byes in the conference tournament. If Bradley finishes 7th or lower, they will play the dreaded Thursday play-in game, and will need four straight wins to win the tournament and the trip to the Big Dance.

Today the braves host dead-last Evansville, then host Valparaiso, one of the teams that they are tied at 7-8 with. They end the regular season next Saturday at defending champion Loyola of Chicago, Bradley REALLY needs to sweep all three games and get that top-six birth; from there, anything can happen. The Braves did beat Loyola at home earlier this season…if that means anything.

The rest of the Land of Lincoln, by school and conference:

Illinois State (Missouri Valley 7-7, 14-14 overall). Currently on a five game losing streak. Home to Drake and Missouri State, two of the top three in the Valley. Away at Southern Illinois, the other 7-8 team, to finish the season. All the momentum is in the wrong direction. One and done in the Valley tournament.

Southern Illinois (7-8, 14-14). Hit-and miss all season. The Salukis hold the tie breaker in the &-8 logjam and have home games against Loyola and Illinois State around an away thrip to Evansville. They need that top six berth, so they need to handle their business with ISU and E-ville, pull off an upset against Loyola and hope everybody else stumbles. Now would be a good time to get fellas, if you want to make the Dance.

Southern Illinois-Edwadrsville (5-10 Ohio Valley, 9-18 overall) Their win at Tennessee State was their second road win of the year. The Cougars look too far out of their depth to make any noise in the post season.

Eastern Illinois (7-8 Ohio Valley, 14-14 overall). Fifth in the conference, but five games out of fourth. The Panthers might win a game, but good luck making it out of the quarterfinals of the OVC tourney.

Western Illinois (3-10 Summit, 8-18 overall). After back-to-back hone losses to North Dakota (74-73) and North Dakota State (78-76) you could say the bottom has dropped out for the Leathernecks. Losers of five straight right now. Yeah…no.

Chicago State (0-12 Western Athletic Conference, 3-24 overall). The most easternmost team to ever play in the Western Athletic Conference. The won-loss records say it all. Next!

(my God his is more depressing than I thought it would be)

Northern Illinois (5-8 Mid American West,  12-14 overall). Another team from the L of L trending in the wrong direction (five game losing streak). They have five games left to try and find a spark, but most likely the Huskies will be one and done like their other state-sponsored bretheren.

Illinois-Chicago (8-7 Horizon League, 14-14 overall) Lost back-to back, but finish with Milwaukee (4-11), at Oakland (8-7) and at Detroit (7-8). Only two games separate the third place school (9-7 Green Bay) from the eighth place school (Detroit). IF the Flames can run the table, they have as good as a shot as anybody for taking the Horizon tournament.

Illinois (6-10 Big Ten, 10-17 overall). There are a few bright spots in the Fighting Illini darkness, such as a road win at 24th ranked Maryland, and a 79-74 home win against no. 10 Michigan State. Unfortunately, a road loss to damn0near bottom feeding Penn State today kind of dims my hopes for this team. After a midweek trip to no. 15 Purdue, the Illini finish with Northwestern (away), Indiana (home) and at Penn State (away). If Illinois want to be serious about  taking the Big Ten’s NCAA berth (via the Big Ten tournament), beating Purdue is CRITICAL, then they must sweep the dregs of the conference to build some momentum.

Northwestern (3-12 Big Ten, 12-14 overall) are utter doormats. DePaul (5-9 Big East, 13-12 overall) are two games out of third place but a half-game above last place Providence. Yeah…no. To both teams.

I have places to go and shopping to do, so I will close for now, An extended Song of the Day playlist will be posted later tonight.

Maybe.

I hope…?