March Madness: Are you ready? Are you sure?

03/09/2012 1:41 am
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Do you ever watch the NCAA tournament games online? I do. It's probably one of the greatest uses of the internet ever. Especially since it's been free the last few years.

Well, guess what? It's not free anymore. It's $3.99 this year. Which isn't terrible. And it actually allows you access to view the games on many mobile devices also.

But wait! You can get the games without paying the fee!
Text "0" followed by your favorite college team (for example I texted "0wisconsinbadgers") to 2653 and the good people at Coke Zero will text you a code you can use to get the games for free.

Here's a link to a Yahoo! story about the switch to the fee program which also mentions the Coke Zero promo.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/coke-zero-jump-starts-ncaa-171100392.html

And a link to FAQs

http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2012-02-13/march-madness-live-faq
jon.jpgJon - 1 bajillion posts
03/09/2012 @ 01:48:53 AM
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p.s. the article says the promo is "through March 10 (or while supplies last)" so be aware.
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Jon perfected this at 03/09/2012 1:51:14 am
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
03/09/2012 @ 08:06:20 AM
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I always double take a little bit when I see Jon mention the Badgers has is favorite team. I think the Badgers and the God team are the only team we have in common, sports, political, or otherwise.
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jon.jpgJon - many posts
03/09/2012 @ 03:56:41 PM
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God team? Really? did you just coin a phrase there? not sure if I approve.

Also, I don't think I watched one entire badger game this year and I hardly remember even watching parts of any. But I haven't really watched any college games this year. My nba to ncaa viewing ratio is off the charts at this point.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
03/09/2012 @ 06:43:12 PM
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I watched the Badger game today on my phone, that's the first full badger game I've watched this year.
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sarah.jpgSarah - How do you use these things?
03/09/2012 @ 08:49:53 PM
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March is the worst for sports. #Disapprove
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
03/09/2012 @ 08:55:42 PM
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February is the worst. At least March has spring training.
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sarah.jpgSarah - 4091 Posts
03/09/2012 @ 09:22:17 PM
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It's all bad.
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sarah.jpgSarah - 4091 Posts
03/10/2012 @ 01:31:09 PM
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Rubio is out for probably at least a year, will of course miss the rest of the season and the Olympics. Poor Ricky Rubio.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
03/12/2012 @ 02:39:20 AM
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I guess I'll post it here rather than start a new thread.

2012 Yahoo! Tourney Pick'em

Group: Nutcan.com
ID#: 100499
Pass: picks

Sign-up here:
http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/t1/register/joinprivategroup?.scrumb=bbCp1vSFKW4

or if that doesn't work try here:
http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/t1

We only had 6 people last year, so feel free to invite anyone who might want to join this year.
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
03/15/2012 @ 08:10:32 AM
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Come on and watch some basketball
you'll watch it all...day long
come one and watch some basketball
till yooour pool sheet is done

Try it to CBS's NCAA basketball theme. It's pretty catchy.

here's a link to youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkaS6sgbEg4&feature=related
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Scott perfected this at 03/15/2012 8:12:02 am
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
03/16/2012 @ 07:16:56 AM
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My bracket is pretty bad. I claim that it's because I'm all thrown off by the fact that they are referring to the Thursday and Friday games as either "round 2" or "the round of 64". So apparently a couple of play-in games counts as a round?
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
03/16/2012 @ 09:16:36 AM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 07:16:56 AM
My bracket is pretty bad. I claim that it's because I'm all thrown off by the fact that they are referring to the Thursday and Friday games as either "round 2" or "the round of 64". So apparently a couple of play-in games counts as a round?


Not in my book, didn't even pay any attention to "round 1".
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
03/16/2012 @ 09:34:02 AM
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I'm not sure if they refered to them as play-in games this year. But that language would imply that those games are not part of the tournament, since you would have to "play" to get "in" to the tournament. Maybe they officially dropped that terminology. And how is it the a "play-in" game, or a "round 1 game" resulted in USF being a number 12 seed? So the 12 seed had to "play-in" but the other 13, 14, 15, and 16 seeds didn't? Does that seem strange to anyone else?
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jon.jpgJon - 1000000 posts (and counting!)
03/16/2012 @ 04:30:12 PM
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They were never play in games. I think they used to refer to the first game as the "opening round" and now they refer to them as the "first four" but I paid little attention to those games.

USF was one of the last at-large bids so they had to play against another one of the last at-large bids. The teams below them all had automatic bids, so they weren't really on the edge of not making the tournament like USF was.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
03/17/2012 @ 07:34:38 AM
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Melissa got 23 of 32 correct in her bracket, and her elite 8 is still intact #completelyrandom
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
03/19/2012 @ 02:44:36 PM
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Speaking of bad reffing, I'll point out one (or two) example.

At the end of the first half of the Wisconsin game on Saturday, Jordan Taylor braced to take a charge from a driving Vanderbilt player, his feet clearly outside of the under-the-basket ring. Taylor took the charge in textbook fashion. The ref, who was literally right there, called the foul on Taylor, and in doing so vehemently and dramatically pointed to Taylor to show that he thought Taylor was in side the circle, which would mean Taylor was not in a position to be a defender. Well, the only reason Taylor was inside that circle was because he was laying flat on his back after taking the charge. Luckily it only cost the Badgers 1 point (the Badgers only won by 3 points, so that one point could have been huge in the event of a buzzer beating 3 pointer), but what should have been no points for Vandy and the Badgers ball turn out to be a foul on Wisconsin and free throws for Vanderbilt.

Also, UNC-Asheville got robbed of a chance to tie Syracuse. With under a minute to play, UNC-Ash down by 3, Syracuse was inbounding from under their own basket. The pass went off the hands of the Syracuse player and out of bounds. The receiving Syracuse player was being defended, but the live action and replay were so clear that the UNC player never really came close to touching the ball. Had that call been correct, UNC-Asheville would have had to chance to inbound the ball down by only three, having a chance to tie the game in the last seconds. Instead, Syracuse was giving a mulligan, inbounded correctly the second time, and the foul that followed essentially sealed the game. Number 1s should have to earn it a little more than that. After the game, the UNC-Ash coach said he felt his team was the better team that day, and some analysts called him on the carpet for throwing the refs under the bus. Given the circumstance, if a 16 comes othat close to beating a 1, and a huge factor in the 1 winning is a terrible call with 30 seconds left, I think the coach of the 16 seed deserves the benefit of being able to stick up for his "nobody gave them a chance" team without the elite sports media acting like he's Rex Ryan saying the Jets are better than the Super Bowl champs every year.

All that being said, is there ever a March Madness year where you don't hear about bad officiating? Or is it just that because there are so many games going on that the "mistakes" are more magnified.
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Scott edited this at 03/19/2012 3:27:14 pm
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
03/19/2012 @ 02:48:05 PM
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Jon Wrote - 03/16/2012 @ 04:30:12 PM
They were never play in games. I think they used to refer to the first game as the "opening round" and now they refer to them as the "first four" but I paid little attention to those games.

Play-in or Opening Round

The Opening Round game, (commonly known as the Play-In Game) of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship was the first official game of the tournament, played between two of the lowest-seeded teams to qualify for an automatic bid to the tournament.

...

The reason the game is not officially referred to as a "play-in" is because the two teams are officially in the tournament before the game is played. As recently as 1991, the NCAA has conducted play-in games (usually between champions of what were considered to be the weakest conferences[citation needed]) prior to the announcement of the brackets; the losers were not considered to have been in the tournament.


Once again, Jon is a genius (or he just read this wikipedia article before I did)
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Scott messed with this 2 times, last at 03/19/2012 2:48:56 pm
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
03/19/2012 @ 03:36:27 PM
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Worst call I saw was calling the lane violation on a free throw on a player coming in from behind the shooter, on the shooter's team. Notre Dame I believe, down by 2 with 2 seconds left, and he made the first free throw but it was disallowed, ball to Xavier, game over.
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
03/19/2012 @ 03:41:21 PM
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But that call was actually correct. A player from behind the arc cannot enter the arc until after the ball hits the rim. I don't have the replay in front of me, but I'm pretty sure they actually got that call correct. Jon's in-game tweet went from 'bad call" to "correct. analyst explained rule incorrectly. can't go inside arc til it HITS THE RIM."

It didn't help that the announcers were equally confused about it, so the replay they were showing was focusing on a guy lined up at the lane.
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Scott perfected this 3 times, last at 03/19/2012 3:46:29 pm
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
03/19/2012 @ 11:23:56 PM
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Correct call or not, it was not the correct call. They could technically call carrying all game long too on some point guards I saw (might have been Appling for MSU that was pretty blatant, someone in green trim). You can't end a game on some lame technicality that had no effect on the play at all, and if anything would have been a distraction to the shooter.

Speaking of overly anal officiating, way too many T's for hanging on the rim as well. Which is more of a judgment call, and bad judgment was used. That shouldn't be called unless the guy is on like his 3rd pullup on the rim or the other 9 players on the court are already back on the other end.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
03/20/2012 @ 08:05:26 AM
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So because they let some things go, they should ignore everything that might be seen as a technicality by some people (and why is that even a technicality any more than "you can't pull a players arm when he's shooting" "well, technically I pulled his arm, but only if you read the rules as they are written")? So the defensive players that didn't cross the arc because they knew the rules should be punished by virtue of allowing the offensive team break the rule at what was a crucial point of the game, thus possibly changing the outcome in the opposite way? Flawless thinking.

In fact, if you don't call something like that, players will start getting running starts from half court and charging the lane constantly, since, of course, the refs shouldn't call it because it would have no effect on the play. Or should they call it only if it has an effect on the play? Would that then become a calculation on the players part of "oh, well, I'll do this because maybe I won't get caught. If I time it right, it'll be fine, but if I time it wrong, and it has no effect on the play, the refs won't care."

It's like at the end of a hockey game when you pull your goalie. Every other time during the game the refs are not watching line changes that closely to see if a player was close enough to the bench for the new player to enter the ice. But when the goalie is coming off at the end of a game during live action, the refs watch that closely, and (at least at the level I played at) they will call it if the player leaves the bench too early. Nit-picky? Maybe, but if they didn't call it, what's to stop a player from leaving right as the goalie is leaving the crease? It's like in Jon's "worst ideas in sports" article; you don't not call something just because it's a bad time in the game for a call like that.
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Scott screwed with this 6 times, last at 03/20/2012 8:16:37 am
2887.gifAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
03/20/2012 @ 12:19:18 PM
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The point is there are judgment calls all game long in basketball, and I think that ref should have let that slide. Or he could have waited and if the free throw was bricked and bounced right to the guy that came in a millisecond early he could have blown the whistle then.

Scott Wrote - Today @ 08:05:26 AM
In fact, if you don't call something like that, players will start getting running starts from half court and charging the lane constantly, since, of course, the refs shouldn't call it because it would have no effect on the play. Or should they call it only if it has an effect on the play? Would that then become a calculation on the players part of "oh, well, I'll do this because maybe I won't get caught. If I time it right, it'll be fine, but if I time it wrong, and it has no effect on the play, the refs won't care."


Really?

And the hockey thing is not equivalent.
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
03/20/2012 @ 12:28:01 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 12:19:18 PM
The point is there are judgment calls all game long in basketball, and I think that ref should have let that slide. Or he could have waited and if the free throw was bricked and bounced right to the guy that came in a millisecond early he could have blown the whistle then.


In my opinion, I don't think rules should be enforced soley based on the net result of the violation. If a guy crosses the arc before the shot hits the rim, it's against the rules. Should lane violations never get called? Should they remove that rule? Either it's in the rules and it should be enforced, or it should be taken out of the rulebook and allowed.

Also, part of what you quoted from me is actually exactly what you are saying:

Alex Wrote - Today @ 12:19:18 PM

Scott Wrote - Today @ 08:05:26 AM
If I time it right, it'll be fine, but if I time it wrong, and it has no effect on the play, the refs won't care."


So what part of that do you have a problem with. I'm pretty sure this says exactly what you said within the same comment.

And regarding the hockey thing, my point was that if you don't like this call because you wrongfully believe it is simply a technicality, why stop with that rule? "Technically he stepped across the line in violation of the rule, but it doesn't matter because it happened at an important part of the game and the end result didn't effect the play, and enforcing the rule as it is written will alter my enjoyment of this game." If you don't want calls like this to be made, don't break the rules that will require a call like this.
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Scott screwed with this 6 times, last at 03/20/2012 12:33:36 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
03/20/2012 @ 12:38:37 PM
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and of course, I can't find any highlights of it, so we'll just have to take my word on it.

And in fact, I think the hockey thing is dead on. Refs are going to be looking for that more closely especially when they know late in the game is the time when the teams are going to be more aggressive in trying something like that, whether it is pulling your goalie in hockey, or whether you are going to try to get an advantage on rebounding a free throw. It's the perfect example.

As in any thing in sports, if you're reaction at the end of a game is "you can't call that there", then it probably means it should get called. If it can get called in the first qtr, it should get called the same in the 4th.
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Scott screwed with this 3 times, last at 03/20/2012 12:52:43 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
03/20/2012 @ 12:49:04 PM
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http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaab-the-dagger-college-basketball-blog/costly-lane-violation-thwarts-notre-dame-comeback-bid-055247953.html

I found a highlight. The guy in violation is about 15 feet over the arc line when the ball hits the rim. He didn't just have his foot on the line; I could see the complaint if that were the case. The guy was beyond the free throw line when the ball finally went through the rim. I don't see how you can say that shouldn't get called.*

Game. Set. Match.


*the only way I could see this is if you thought that the only time a lane violation should ever get called is if the violation directly benefitted the violating team. I still don't think that's a good idea. I just don't think you should change the way you call something based on how much time is left and what the score happens to be at the time. But even if you did think all that, it is all irrelevant because the rule is what it is. If you disagree with the rule, that's one thing. If you disagree with the call, (I can't find a less blunt way of stating this) you're just wrong At best, the only thing you can say about how the ND-Xavier game ended was that it was unfortunate that a call like that had to be made, not that the call shouldn't have been made.
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Scott screwed with this 5 times, last at 03/20/2012 1:20:33 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
03/20/2012 @ 03:21:18 PM
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I can see it both ways. On one hand I generally subscribe to Jon's "the refs shouldn't 'swallow the whistles' when it matters most, because all that does it benefit the least disciplined team." line of thinking.

On the other, it's tough to end the game on a call where many of the viewers, and even some adamant fans, have to go "wait, you can't do what?" Not only that, but getting hyper technical then, if you hadn't been before, is also rough.

Put it this way, you can never really tell on TV, but when you're at NFL games you'll see it happen ALL the time where, especially when a team is on one end of the field or another, guys on the sidelines bow out onto the field a few feet so they can see. If the ref decided the game on making that too-many-men call it would be "right," but people would also be right in bemoaning/questioning why then, on that play, did they all of a sudden pounce on some irrelevant technicality.
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Jeremy edited this at 03/20/2012 3:25:04 pm
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
03/20/2012 @ 04:27:49 PM
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I would agree if it is something that they let you get away with all the time. But do they let lane violations go all the time? Or are they just really infrequent that the only time they happen is when a player is being too aggressive (like at the end of a game) and gets a little carried away. And I'm not saying you are advocating this but rather highlighting the argument, it is tough to end a game on a play that isn't commonly known by the general viewing public; that's why it is best that it is unfortunate that it had to be called. A viewers lack of knowledge of the game shouldn't change how the ref calls it. It was a crappy way to end the game, no doubt. But it wasn't the refs fault the guy came in way ahead of schedule. And I think it would be arguable if it should have been called if the guy was barely across, but he was way way way over the line that it would have been more questionable to not have called it.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - I hate our freedoms
03/20/2012 @ 04:41:42 PM
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Well, I didn't mean the viewers knowledge should play a part per se, I just meant like someone who watches, a football game is going to get a pretty good idea of what a False Start is, simply because it's called so often.

The fact that no one knows a rule speaks to it's obscurity, and it's obscurity speaks to the fact that it's rarely called because it's a technical thing, or so easy to miss it may as well not be a rule. (Of course it might also mean that it is a genuinely rare occurrence....but then you get into is it reasonable to have so many rules that no one, not even the players or refs, know them all. And I don't know if this specific violation qualifies as rare, I'm just going off of the overall reaction from people on it.)

Losing an NFL game because of a false start is tough to argue with. Losing a game because of something like Defensive delay of game, which according to the partially complete, and slated to be completed in 2019, nutcan penalty tracker, happened 2 times last season, would suck, because chances are the refs overlooked the defense being "slow" a bunch of other times. (And the offense need not wait for them to be lined up anyway.)
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
03/20/2012 @ 05:25:36 PM
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well, the player acknowledged that he knew the rule. He said basically that "they say 'you can't call that at the end of the game'".
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
03/20/2012 @ 06:01:43 PM
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The "Really?" comment was in regards to your slippery slope.

Scott are you taking the "the rules are the rules" position, or "the rules are actually more important at the end of the game" position?

Also I would say that the general rule of lane violations (so including everyone lined up on the key) isn't called particularly tight all the time, maybe it is more tight on the coming from outside the arc portion though.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
03/20/2012 @ 08:23:30 PM
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I would say the rules are the rules, but particularly important at the end of the game. Basically, those two statements don't have to be mutually exclusive. I don't notice that many lane violations called that often, but the guy in the Xavier-ND game was so incredibly off that it had to be called. Like I said, if he had barely been over with his foot on the line or something, I think you could make the argument that at the end of a game like that you just let that one go. But he was so ridiculously in the lane that there was no question about calling it.
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
03/20/2012 @ 10:35:08 PM
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I can see it both ways to some extent, but I would say that in this particular situation, lane violations are a big enough deal to call. Rebounding position ended up not meaning anything to the play because he made it, but if the free throw is missed there, the rebound pretty much decides the game, so positioning is huge.

It's a sucky way to have the game end, but I don't think it's too nit-picky to call.

Also, I don't know how much a referee ever debates within him/herself before he/she makes the call. I imagine they do a lot more "reacting" to what they see and know to be a violation. It's probably a trait that makes them a pretty good ref. But I'm speculating.

p.s. I was cheering for Notre Dame, though admittedly I had very little investment one way or the other.
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Jon perfected this at 03/20/2012 10:36:10 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
03/24/2012 @ 01:20:57 AM
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As best I can tell this is the official rule

Rule 9, Section 1, Article 2, Part G
Players not in a legal marked lane space shall remain behind the freethrow line extended and behind the three-point field-goal line until the ball strikes the ring, flange or backboard, or until the free throw
ends.

In the NC State - Kansas game tonight, with 4s left Kansas missed a free throw but an NC State player crossed the 3 point line before the ball hit the rim. NC State got the rebound (not the guy who crossed early), no violation called. Then their coach took a stupid timeout (with 2.9s and the ball in hand of a 3 point shooter they should have let him go, as opposed to when Wilson had the ball for Wisconsin with 10s left and everyone just standing still and they didn't take a timeout) and they failed miserably anyway, but I wonder how many people even noticed the violation.

Conspiracy theory! ESPN and NCAA video recaps don't include the missed free throw...
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
03/26/2012 @ 09:15:22 AM
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I'm shocked that I'm in anything but last place, and I'm so far in third place. And according to Yahoo!'s scenario generator, I can finish as high as 2nd, but no lower than 3rd. Basically, if Kansas beats Ohio State, I'll finish 2nd no matter how the Kentucky-Louisville game goes, or how the championship game goes. If Ohito State wins, I'll finish third. Not a bad year, I guess, considering I spent literally about 30 seconds filling it out this year.
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
04/06/2012 @ 09:27:30 AM
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Even with my super homerish picks of Marquette and Wisconsin in the final four, I still managed to crack the top 3. emoticon
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2887.gifAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
04/06/2012 @ 11:50:06 AM
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I was too lazy to port my picks from ESPN to Yahoo!, but I hit the 98th percentile on ESPN, which had twice the total entries that Yahoo! did. Luckily I'm not really a fan of Marquette so I only had Wisconsin in the final four.
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