Happy Monday, everyone. It was quite a weekend in Tuscaloosa:
- The baseball team earned an opening weekend sweep,
- The Gym Tide won again.
- Softball won three of five.
- Men’s basketball grabbed a huge win over LSU on Wendell Hudson night.
- Womens’ basketball came up just short in Athens for the only real blemish, losing by a single point in overtime.
Hard to complain about that.
There are rumblings that Charlie Strong will be headed to Tuscaloosa in an off-field capacity.
Charlie Strong: Source tells FootballScoop after fielding a number of offers from various SEC programs, Charlie Strong appears to have selected Alabama as his next stop. We hear an agreement could be in place soon. Stay tuned…
Odds are that Strong will fill the Burton Burns vacancy that was filled for about a week by Brian Baker. It’s tough to imagine a better in-house closer on the recruiting front, and he has a wealth of defensive knowledge to share with the staff as well. He may find himself back on the field at some point, but he will be 60 by the time the 2021 season kicks off and may well be content to avoid recruiting on the road at this stage. Time will tell.
BamaOnline is ranking the best plays of the Saban era, and the most recent are Rocky Block and Marcel Dareus’ interception return against Texas, checking in at a respective #3 and #2 on the list. Great memories, and I think we all know which play will rank first.
In hoops news, check out this this very accurate piece about the WCC’s tournament prospects from Gonzaga’s SBNation site.
A solid win over then #15 Utah State (KenPom - #39, NET - #42, RPI - #38), a win over Wisconsin (KenPom - #27, NET - #29, RPI - #36) on a neutral court, and a quality loss to Obi Toppin and then #19 Dayton (KenPom - #6, NET - #5, RPI - #5) will grab the selection committee’s attention. Splitting with BYU in the regular season also helps the NCAA Tournament case for both Saint Mary’s and the Cougars, especially based on the fact that both games were determined by the last possession. The Gaels will end up competing in March Madness for the third time in the last four seasons.
The writer of this article is exactly right. Those are the Saint Mary’s resume bullets, in their entirety. The Gaels sit one spot above Alabama in the NET rankings at #34. Their record is 20-6, but 14 of their 20 wins are Q3 and Q4, while six of Alabama’s 11 losses came on the road against teams ranked in the top 36 of the NET. That awful Penn loss that Alabama fans keep harping on? It’s a Q3 loss, and the Gaels have two of those. Both teams have six Q1 and Q2 wins, though the Gaels have a better winning percentage against the two top quadrants.
As I mentioned yesterday though, the quadrants are stupid.
The Gaels have four wins that count as Q2, but two of them are #101 San Francisco and #115 Pacific. They have exactly four wins all season against teams that rank in the top 100 per the NET and have played only eight total top 100 games, yet they are solidly in the field as a 9 seed per CBS and ESPN while Alabama is on the outside with six wins against the top 72. Bottom line, Saint Marys’ win over Pacific counts the same as Alabama’s win over Mississippi State, and the records are different because the Gaels played seven more games against bad teams while the Tide was playing an impressively tough schedule.
This isn’t to pick on the Gaels as they are hardly the only example, but the system is set up to emphasize pandering to conferences outside the power leagues rather than putting the best teams or even the best resumes in the field, and it’s simply ridiculous.
Last, Alabama’s students were a little rough to Trendon Watford on Saturday, and his former high school coach took exception to it.
Not sure there’s a bigger bama fan than me. Have supported the sports programs since birth and always will. Whole family went to bama. @Trendon_2 grew up the same way- with a love and continued love 4 the university.— Bucky McMillan (@BuckyBasketball) February 16, 2020
Sad to see so many people have animosity for 1 of our own. https://t.co/M6auxbWpF3
Bucky, this is college basketball you are talking about. The students are close to the action, much moreso than Coleman at some arenas, and they tend to give opponents hell. Add in the fact that Trendon went to Mountain Brook and had two schools in his top three in Memphis and LSU who have either had NCAA issues or a coach caught on tape admitting to brokering a pay for play deal, and there is likely to be some backlash in Tuscaloosa. Right or wrong, the perception is that LSU simply won the bid.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.