Posted on: December 30, 2011 9:09 am
Edited on: December 30, 2011 9:16 am
By Matt Norlander
That is Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis at last night's Kansas game. She is beyond reproach in that cap. He looks like the lucky doofus he is. Let's get to the final Wakeup Call of the year.
Many are angry about Verizon's $2 fee to pay their bill, but if you set up autopay you're in the clear. // This thing, this horrifying more-than-animal, didn't get discovered until 2011. // Boston as America's drunkest city, since I guess we're celebrating such a thing. // Cringe-worthy after-date text-messaging. We all know someone like this. The question is, were/are YOU like this? ...
★ Nice move by former Rutgers guard Mike Rosario after last night's loss against his former team.
★ Insane story: Juco school with 13-3 record kicks all but two players off its team and forfeits the rest of its season.
★ Boston College is not good this year. Think how good it would be if all these players were still on the team.
★ George Blaney's multitude of looks will get your weekend off to the right start.
★ If you'd like to see the personal side of Seth Davis, you'd best read this start to finish.
★ And here's Seth's 10 predictions for hoops in 2012. His final one I'd love to see happen, of course, but we'll disagree.
★ Good hustle from Jeff Eisenberg to present the back story on the revival of the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry.
★ The cookie is great, but the Christmas card from DeMarcus Cousins is beyond words.
★ I'd absolutely put the A10 and Mountain West ahead of the Pac-12 right now, wouldn't you?
★ A Stanford pick to win the Pac-12. I can see it happening.
★ This was great: a thorough takedown of the primary reason Washington State is limited.
★ The work of an occupied headline writer with more important matters to attend to.
★ The case is made for Louisville-Kentucky being a better rivalry thank any other in college hoops.
► This ought to get you fired up for tomorrow at noon.
♬ We'll close up shop in 2011 by playing one of my favorite songs off one of my favorite 2011 albums. My Morning Jacket is the best live rock act going. "The Day Is Coming" is a good lookahead to twenty twelve.
Pic via Twitter
Posted on: December 29, 2011 8:55 am
Edited on: December 29, 2011 8:57 am
By Matt Norlander
You'll love Honest Logos. // Samoa quits Friday, leaves our side of the dateline. // The most illegally viewed movies of the year. // I often link to cool picture galleries. I've never seen a sports photo like this. // Dangerous package at the library turned out to be ...
★ Rest in peace, Voice of Cameron.
★ USA Today took the lead on writing about coaches and power and if it's too much and whether it can be curbed. Start here.
★ Why that Louisville loss was inevitable last night.
★ Some more end-of-2011 college hoops awards to vote on.
★ Uh, wow. Here's a suggestion of how distant Harvard is from everyone else in the Ivy this season.
★ Telling you, the Hurley stories will come weekly if Wagner starts resembling a respectable program in greater NYC.
★ I spent 2,100 words passive aggressively (and just plain aggressively) going after the Pac-12, so I guess the joke's on me.
★ Already looking like another Carrier Dome attendance record will be set later this season.
★ Even with NBA players the past few years, the Pac-12 has sucked, though.
★ Big, wanted changes are coming to the recruiting trail in April. Here's how things will be altered.
★ I know Ohio State's a juggernaut, but Northwestern getting pasted like this reaffirms my belief: Wildcats won't be dancing this year, either.
★ Pat Forde writes on Rick Majerus. Pat Forde writes very well on Rick Majerus.
★ Hand down, man transferring. Mark Jackson Jr. leaving Louisville.
★ By the way, if you'd like to get primed on all our conference resets, click on this. Info and jokes and not-taking-ourselves-too-seriously prose.
♬ Ween. Such an interesting band. I really, really love a lot of what they do (like this one, "Chocolate Town," one of my favorite early-morning songs) but hate a portion of their catalogue as well.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: December 28, 2011 8:53 am
By Matt Norlander
Happy to be back in the routine of the Wakeup Call after a few days off. We've got a worthy batch of links to share, so let's ...
Man inherits Pearl Jam-signed guitar from deceased brother. Guitar gets stolen. Pearl Jam sends man another guitar. // The future of Internet monitoring seems scary but inevitable. // My two youngest brothers live together. I bought them a ping pong table for Christmas and have forwarded them the best table tennis shots of the year. // MY HEART, IT'S IN A PUDDLE ON THE FLOOR ...
★ What was the college basketball play of 2011? A very tough vote.
★ I and others believe that teams don't play as well from about Dec. 20 to the 27 because of natural distraction. John Ezekowitz went to the facts and disproved that. Still, if I were a coach I wouldn't schedule in theat eight-day time frame because I wouldn't want to chance it.
★ The fellas behind the best non-mainstream sports blog are prepping for an epic road trip. You know their stuff -- toss a few quarters their way and help make a great college basketball project come true.
★ Georgetown has a significantly better chance at winning the Big East than UConn. Do you believe that?
★ The Christmas weekend lends itself to a good story or two falling through the cracks. I did my best to keep tabs on all of them. This is one of the best stories of the month.
★ Almost did a standalone post on this story yesterday. Jim O'Brien slinging it at the D-III level and loving life.
★ I slipped up as well by picking Georgia State to finish 11th in the CAA. Panthers are playing quite well and could be a factor in that league.
★ Dion Waiters will retweet almost anything you say about him. Andre Drummond at UConn is like this as well.
★ Again, this is the place for all your critical Big Sky information.
★ Few pieces will better inform you on the critical, essential differences between stats and eye test, why both are necessary and how both so easily muddy debate and conversation.
★ Darnell Dodson: fairing well in his new home.
★ How college basketball went all NBA last night.
★ More on the death of Mac Irvin, a power player and positively influential figure in prep basketball.
★ Which teams are getting what odds in Vegas right now?
► Kemba Walker's been lost to the NBA now, but I can't not show this video. Great stuff. Kemba remains a class act and genuine article.
♬ We're back on schedule with a band/artist recommendation daily. Let's go with Muse, an amazing live band with a few reliable/predictable tricks up its sleeve but is still kickass nonetheless. This is one outside the Muse formula in that it's early work (2002) and pretty hard compared to what the guys are composing these days. Warning: This will bump your speakers, so check that volume.
Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: December 23, 2011 8:59 am
Edited on: December 23, 2011 9:08 am
By Matt Norlander
Santa Claus is coming to town. // The final tweets of some famous people who've passed on. Kill me if Gaga or Kim K is part of my final digital burst to the world. // Some of the most beautiful libraries. // The tracking-Santa-on-Christmas-Eve is an entertaining thing. // And isn't this nice: an estimated $1.84 billion will get shoplifted this holiday season ...
★ Good idea for a CBB Tumblr.
★ Good look at teams playing freshmen a lot of minutes. No squad is overcoming being green like Georgetown.
★ The best dribbler in college hoops?
★ I had to drive to Hartford and cover UConn last night, so I've read very few things in today's Call. What I'm not nervous about sharing: Luke Winn's Power Rankings.
★ I thought we'd get through the week without hearing from Bobby Davis. I thought wrong.
★ Damn. I wanted to believe in Stanford.
★ If you missed my interactive timeline and column on Rick Pitino ...
★ ... read that, but then read John Gasaway's similar-but-different take on the Cards.
★ College players singing Christmas carols.
★ Pe'Shon Howard coming back today for Maryland and boy is that big.
★ Get to know Mississippi State's Dee Bost, who is undervalued right now, for sure.
★ You think you know why Creighton's good? You don't know until you read this.
★ What Florida needs to be asking from Santa.
► Here's Voltron (Florida's Patric Young) with one of the best blocks I've seen at the college level.
♬ This is THE DEFINITIVE CHRISTMAS SONG. In fact, it's the absolute best song to play at approximately 10:43 p.m. on Christmas Eve. It's not my favorite, but without question it's in the top three. I always wish the guitar solo was 15 or 20 seconds longer.
Posted on: December 22, 2011 8:48 am
By Matt Norlander
This is what a pen looks like after it sits in your stomach for more than two decades. // Fascinating, some scarily accurate, others not much so: a man, in 1949, predicts what will happen by the year 2000. // Yesterday I linked you to the year in photos, part one; here's part two. I love No. 43. // Eight-month-old boy born dear hears for the first time ...
★ If you came here hoping to find audio of Tom Izzo playing an accordion, I'm thrilled to fulfill your wishes.
★ Perhaps one of the most well-thought-out things I've read on the St. Joe's situation, which will not be resolved until Phil Martelli addresses the issue.
★ I'll be at Fairfield-UConn in Hartford tonight. One of the storylines with this game is two brothers will face each other.
★ Speaking of UConn, the Twitter habits of Alex Oriakhi remain entertaining.
★ Of concern: Why Illinois' offense is broken right now.
★ If you want the latest and largest example of just how different Texas is from last year compared to now, it came at UNC last night.
★ Towson had a worse 2011 than any other program.
★ The Diamond Head Classic begins tonight, and it's sneaky-good.
★ A most fascinating read about two basketball teams you'll never see play.
★ If and when Indiana starts winning twice as many games in the Big Ten as they lose, Cody Zeller's profile will really soar. But he's already moving up high on draft charts.
★ My snarky film/screencap session from yesterday inspired a blogger to examine the trend as a whole. I think he understood my approach was entirely sarcastic, but I'm not certain.
★ Jim Boeheim schooled Fab Melo on the court this week.
★ There are some teams that have/can/will compile wins and losses against others when star players aren't involved. How should the Selection Committee weigh these results?
★ The best sixth man in the country, Indiana's Will Sheehey, was injured in practice.
► I'm trying to get into the spirit here, but this is a bad effort, Rebels. C'mon!
♬ Only two more days to post some of my favorite Christmas classics. This one makes you feel about 8 years old, which is part of the charm and power of Dec. 25.
Photo via an MSU mole
Posted on: December 21, 2011 8:35 am
By Matt Norlander
The 10 biggest discoveries in our world in 2011. // A different set of discoveries: the best viral videos of the year. // This could be a day-maker. // The lava lake and abandoned Ferris wheel are my favorites. // A devastating, tragic story, because the girl never knew she was about to die. Her last memory/vision is an innocent millisecond before non-existence. // Vote for the worst Christmas song here; I actually don't have anything against "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" ...
★ I really love what Goodman's done with his informative/notebook-esque Tuesday column. A mushy stew of great info.
★ How about this St. Joe's transfer story from two years ago.
★ In wake of the Xavier-Cincy mess, I think two games would've been better than one, but either way, any punches thrown in hoops need to result in suspension, almost always.
★ One of the five best things Rob Dauster has written in 2011.
★ Will Shabazz Napier be out for Thursday's game against Fairfield?
★ "As long as the schools make rules to give the Todd Grahams of the world all the power, the Todd O'Briens don't stand a chance." Agreed. But the Todd Grahams are never losing the power.
★ I still disagree -- silly, stupid, irrelevant writer's opinion, I know -- with playing Sullinger when he's got tweaks to kink out, but he did play well against Lamar last night.
★ Seth Greenberg has some interesting protocol his players must cater to on Twitter.
★ If we must ditch "true point guard" then I'm immediately going to start using "pass-first point guard."
★ Saint Mary's has won eight straight, but I've gotta see them against better competition. No one talks about how Randy Bennett tends to schedule so lightly.
★ By mid-January, I think we see Brad Beal become a real force.
★ Bernie Fine accuser Zach Tomaselli pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of his own.
★ Forgot to link this yesterday, but it's been officially one year since this blog was launched. Very proud of what we've done here in 366 days, and hope to get even better, even prettier and even tighter in the next year. Thank you for continuing to come back -- our numbers have been improving more and more. We love you.
► Robbie Hummel once again can jump. He couldn't get six inches off the ground two months ago.
♬ This is an order from the Member of the Tribe who resides at this blog, one Mr. Goodman, who wanted Sandler's holiday tune in this spot today.
Photo: US PRESSWIRE
Posted on: December 20, 2011 9:14 am
The GIF comes via ever-reliable @bubbaprog.
By Matt Norlander
This list might as well be how I get my weekdays started. // The best of real-life lacrosse names. Read it and ironically feel superior to such WASP-y identification. // "The Dark Knight Rises" trailer you absolutely have already watched. // Where has this bad year for sports gone ...
★ This is the story that really took off yesterday, and we'll absolutely be addressing this on the site soon.
★ A bizarre situation in college basketball, as we've had a third coach leave his post so far this season.
★ That $2,000 stipend that got voted off legislation? Here's the list of schools who made the NCAA turn heel.
★ If you'd like the video of the fight depicted above, we'll send you here.
★ Pitt's Talib Zanna does some serious light-shedding on Khem Birch leaving town.
★ Basketball player phones home to mom, finds out the house has burned. This almost happened to me when I was 9, but it was due to my father grilling in the garage amid a late-arriving rainstorm. So, different story entirely.
★ The NCAA forcing North Dakota to change its nickname remains among its greatest missteps of all-time.
★ John Calipari rolled up to watch recruits last night like this.
★ Virginia as the third-best team in the ACC? Virginia?! Read the case.
★ More on that Marquette loss last night, which I think ends up meaning nothing by March.
★ Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg speaks from experience on Jeff Green's heart condition.
★ What is Kansas doing losing to a team like Davidson outside of March?
► The year in review, through the lens of Google
♬ We all know the 30 or 35 Christmas classics, but everyone's got that handful of lesser-known holiday beauties they mix into the rotation. Julie Andrews' "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" is easily a top-five Christmas song in the Norlander household.
Posted on: December 19, 2011 8:35 am
By Matt Norlander
Kim Jong-il's death will dominate the news today. A photo gallery of the neglected/repressed country he leaves behind. // It was quite a weekend for world news. This is the face of the last U.S. solider to leave Iraq. // How social networking has predictably killed off so much of the fun of high school reunions. // Can't remember if I linked this last week or not, but either way I don't care, because it's that good: the best/worst of 2011 band names. // This is what it looks like to have your life flash before your eyes ...
★ So much for the three-week injury. Tyshawn Taylor is apparently going to give it a go tonight against Davidson.
★ Baylor knocked off UConn in a big night for women's hoops Sunday.
★ If there was a must-read from over the weekend, it was this.
★ This is a biggie: the University of Houston has seen a considerable amount of its assets vanish in the wake of David Salinas' suicide.
★ You need to go back and watch every one of these dunks.
★ Basketball "through the eyes of a child" was one of my favorite reads of the weekend.
★ An interview with SI.com college hoops writer Andy Glockner, who understands the importance of clarity when conveying his thoughts.
★ A great look at how assist-makers in college basketball get their help.
★ The West Coast Conference fascinates me, and this post examinating who can do what in the league is worth a look.
★ Herb Pope, who's like 25 by the way, is getting closer and closer to playing at a level he probably didn't think possible.
★ No. 1 Syracuse is the fifth-biggest favorite to win it all. UK is now atop the betting lines.
★ Deaf player gets clearance from NCAA to play final 20 games of his fifth season. Good on you, NCAA.
★ Summit League just dominated Night Court this weekend. Here's what lies ahead for a conference that will probably only be a one-bid league, but it's a hell of a race getting thre.
★ Have always loved me some Weekly Watch, but the video of Katz is unsettling to me for reasons I can't explain.
► My buddy Jeff Eisenberg introduced me to this insane D-III dunk over the weekend.
♬ I've been posting some of my favorite Christmas tunes, and The Carpenters' "Merry Christmas Darling" is among the guilty pleasures, although maybe guilty pleasure isn't the right term. This is a great missing-you Christmas tune, and the best part comes at the end: that layered harmony is so buttery.