published Thursday, March 13th, 2014

5-at-10: College hoops, NFL moves, multiple Rushmores

College hoops madness

There's a ton of college hoops happening. In fact, our Pop, who is a bona fide college hoops junkie, will spend double-digit hours glued to the TV the next few days. In fact, the 5-at-10's parental units will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary on Saturday, and Pop was late to the ceremony back in 1969 because Davidson and UNC went to overtime in an NCAA tournament game. Good times.

Happy anniversary. And the ball is tipped.

So we will switch from a quick 3 to a slower four corners of things to cover today.

1) Qualifiers: Here's a recap of the teams already in the NCAA tournament: Mercer (A-Sun), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Delaware (Colonial), Harvard (Ivy), Manhattan (MAAC), Wichita State (Missouri Valley), Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley), Wofford (Southern), Gonzaga (West Coast), North Dakota State (Summit), Mount St. Mary's (Northeast), UW-Milwaukee (Horizon) and American (Patriot League). There are no title games tonight.

2) Lunardi's bubble buddies:

Last four byes — Pittsburgh (Wake Forest tonight), Stanford (Arizona State tonight), Nebraska (Ohio State-Purdue winner on Friday), Xavier (Marquette tonight)

Last four in — Tennessee (Arkansas-South Carolina winner Friday), St. Joe's (Dayton-Fordham winner on Friday), Dayton (Fordham tonight), Arkansas (South Carolina tonight)

First four out — Cal (Colorado today), Minnesota (Penn State tonight), St. John's (Providence tonight), Providence (St. John's tonight)

Next four out — Southern Miss (UTEP tonight), FSU (Maryland tonight), Missouri (Texas A&M today), Georgetown (lost to DePaul — bye-bye Hoyas)

3) Casualty No. 1: After losing in the SEC tournament opener, Auburn sacked coach Tony Barbee. Wow, Auburn's spin cycle of bad basketball keeps twirling. And with a super-nice gym too. Alas, world-renown philosopher Sir(cle) Chuckie Barkley said it best that AU hoops needs to go with Nike if it's ever to find a path.

4) Word has it the Mocs could be in the mix for a trip to ETSU in the CIT. Or as it's also known, the CSI:Johnson City. We're in for that, and for the fun the Mocs provided us this winter, here's hoping they get another chance to play. As they chanted in the Astrodome of "Bad News Bears: Breaking Training" — Let them play, Let them play.


NFL free agency

We think Carl Spackler's memorable rant — "rags to riches, a Cinderella story, tears in his eye we guess" — certainly has merit for Mr. Darrelle Revis.

Revis, in the course of a day, went from playing for the floundering Tampa Bay Bucs and floundering under Greg Schiano last year to being a key piece for the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick. Revis provides an upgrade at cornerback after the team lost Aqib Talib, who signed with rival Denver. (Side note: Aqib Talib is on the short list of athletes with names that rhyme. Also there are Amhad Rashad, Sam "Bam" Cunningham, Harry Carey, Shaquille O'Neal, Nicky Anosike and former Providence point guard God Shammgod. Got any others?)

Where were we? Oh yes, Revis Island. The Pats upgraded and Revis went from being the best player that did not fit on a team that was not going anywhere. Even with the coaching change, if your QB options are Luke McCown or Mike Glennon and you're in a division with Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan taking snaps for the other teams, you have no chance. Now Revis has joined forces with one of five or six teams with legit Super Bowl aspirations. (Side note, II: The Bucs defense is pretty staggering and if they add a Khalil Mack or Justin Gilbert in the draft with the No. 7 pick, new coach Lovie Smith and Co. will be modeling their club after the 49ers and Seahawks — cheap QB solution, deep and athletic defense — rather than the QB-centered approach.)

At the opposite end of that spectrum is Eric Decker. Decker used one monster season catching passes for record-setting quarterback Peyton Manning to land a five-year, $36.25-million deal with the New York Jets. Yep, Decker went from running routes and catching passes from Manning to wondering around and scooping short hops from Geno Smith, or whomever the Jets will trot out at QB.


Press Row recap

On Press Row, we started our Sports Movie Madness bracket. Every Wednesday for a month we'll do a Rushmore of a genre sports movies. Yesterday was baseball movies. When we get the four Rushmores — the four Final Fours, if you will — we'll let callers and you good folks at the 5-at-10 vote on which is the best. Deal? Deal.

It was a fun run, with Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, The Natural and Major League making the final cut of a deep list of top-notch baseball movies. We'll seed those 1-4 and let them square off to see which one gets to the Final Four. We'll do basketball movies, football movies and hodgepodge sports movies in the coming weeks. Good times.

(Side note: We'll have another college hoops Rushmore today that could be a lot of fun. We'll announce it around 4:15 or so on ESPN 105.1 FM.)

Also remember the last-in, first-out challenge we'll have next week and the ESPN 105.1 bracket challenge. Here are the early details:

Contestants must have an account on to enter. If they don't have one, they must create one. Click on "Tournament Challenge" under the "Fantasy & Games" tab. Search for the group name "ESPN 105.1 The Zone." Use the password "chattanooga." One bracket per player and prizes are still to be determined.


This and that

— Kobe Bryant reportedly does not want to play for Mike D'Antoni. Bryant is done for year with a series of injuries, and D'Antoni is guiding a Lakers team that is historically bad. Here's saying Kobe likely won't have to worry about it.

— We had a heated debate on Press Row on Wednesday about winning an NBA title with multiple A-players. Our contention that there have been very few teams since the 1980s when the Lakers and Celtics were all-star teams for the most part that have had two legit A players. There also were just a couple of incidents — the early-2000 Pistons come to mind — that won it all with a collection of B players. The double A player discussion led to a caller signing the praises of Scottie Pippen, who we believe to be extremely overrated and, while a very good Robin, Pippen was never really a championship-level Batman. Thoughts?

— Alabama's pro day was a star-studded event with a slew of NFL head coaches converging to see a lot of stars. Three things of note: Apparently C.J. Mosley ran a 4.6ish 40, which would make him a lot of money; AJ McCarron said he felt he was the best QB in the draft; and former Tide and NFL linebacker Rolando McClain was there and said he's considering and NFL comeback after abruptly retiring after a brief NFL career.


Today's question

We had a severely busy Wednesday, so let's recap — sorry gang, got covered up and did not swing back:

  • photo
    This film image released by Sony - Columbia Pictures shows Tom Hanks, center, in "Captain Phillips."
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

• OG: Tom Hanks was a very astute Wooderson comparison. Spicoli also works.

• 9er: Is Poythress one of the most puzzling underachievers in recent memory? Is it strictly a matter of confidence because we believe he has the tools but maybe not the parts (ahem, marbles).

• JMC: Got the package, many thanks. We'll get into the Deion story later today. Great Einstein story, and we are optimistic about Draft Day.

• FE to the C: Here's hoping McFadden has a monster season, although that seems like stretch because of a) injuries and b) your Raiders are having a tough time deciding who they will overpay to pay left tackle. And that median income line was well-played.

• Stewwie: If you are talking public/private divides in general, we can see you point. If you are talking in terms of athletics, well, the percentage of private schools that have more advantages and better chances to win state championships is much greater. That's just simple fact, whether it's facilities, an overflow of coaches at a series of levels or whatever you want it to be.

• GD: Did you blend the Bachelor, Ron Jeremy and Paul Finebaum together and use the word "stem" with duplicitous meaning? Well-played indeed sir.

• Spy: We'll take our chances without a point guard, but we like Kenny Anderson an awful lot. And as much as we loved Lenny, Hansbrough is the ACC's all-time leading scorer.

Great stuff.

Today's real question — and if you can't find something to discuss from above, well OK — is who is on your Rushmore of famous people with an initial in their name. Two early contenders: William H. Macy and L. Ron Hubbard, share today as their birthday. And yes, we believe Harry S. Truman is a front runner. Go.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
chas9 said...

Auburn must be on spring break. lots of Tigers in the street crowd of the Today show this morning. Saw this sign: AU 0:01.

UCSB's Alan Williams is a 6'8" center whose stats prove effort and skills matter more than height: 21.6 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 2.4 bpg. Compare with Studcat Randle's 15.4/10.5/0.8 and Studvol Stokes' 14.5/10.3/1.1.

SEC tourney prediction: In Catlanta Gators win it and Donovan's dandies will beat Kentucky worse than they beat Tennessee, who will just squeak by the scrappy Hogs.

Loved Weeds' tourney war stories today. Wow! Of the original 10 SEC schools, only UT has not won the tourney since 1979. And I'd bet that Jay has also forged credentials to get at the free Co'Colas.

Did Cuonzo ever quote Kirkegaard?

Some editors contend that Truman's S has no period after it because it doesn't stand for anything. No, that's not a political statement. Ulysses S Grant's real name was Hiram Ulysses Grant and his S definitely stood for nothing. Tom T. Hall, T. Boone Pickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Dubya Bush, and Richard M. Nixon are contenders.

I repeat myself: Carlos Santana was better than Ervin.

Poythress' failure to launch is a main reason The Cats fell short this year. Some picked him preseason on an all-SEC squad. Yes, he looks to be a marble or two short of a full bag. I'm thinking he may develop into a worthy competitor if he stays four years, much as Jorts and Liggins did.

March 13, 2014 at 10:42 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...


I can imagine the Deion Story being good foddier for Sports Row (even if it's not a local story). But it is covered "locally" down here in Big D. And this school has been a hot mess from day one (The written description of the buildings makes my ala mater Ganns Middle Valley look like the East Hamilton High building).

Maybe it's me, but it seems like the tournement is starting later and later each year. Case in point. I vividly remember watching round 1 of the tournement on my 22nd birthday (Mocs vs. Georgia) followed by the win against Illinois two days later. Good times but dang.

March 13, 2014 at 11:07 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Rushmore of Santanas: Carlos, Johan, Santana Claus and Rosann-Rosanna Santana (we may have messed up a couple of those but who cares)

Great start on the Initial Rushmore. Well done. We're going to be hard-pressed not to include Homer J. Simpson, too.

Love the AU 0:01 sign. Good times.

March 13, 2014 at 11:08 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

World B Free. Could even go T. Coreghessan Boyle, author of The Road to Wellville.

And T-Rex may be the ACC's leading scorer, but Bias would whip his tail eight ways to Sunday.

March 13, 2014 at 11:23 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent —

John F. Kennedy

Z. Mason

There you go.

Georgetown out. That makes the bubble picture shrink. The Vols are looking safer and safer. They MIGHT get in with a loss to Arkansas on Friday. A loss to South Carolina would be worse. A win over either would probably be enough.

Locked a couple of teams last night. Oklahoma State and Kansas State are in. Put it all together and that leaves 12 spots for 24 teams. About to lock down several others, including Stanford, Arizona State, and Colorado from the Pac 12.

March 13, 2014 at 11:25 a.m.
Stewwie said...

Other names: Robert E. Lee, Susan B. Anthony, Samuel L. Jackson, Johnny B. Goode (do fictional names count?)

The public schools gripe that some Div. II programs can recruit "their" kids and take them away. The politically incorrect implication in those gripes is that most of the "recruitment" is targeted at the poor but very athletic black athletes who wouldn't have gone to a Div. I private school anyway. Maybe that's what the public schools are thinking but are too afraid to say it for obvious reasons. But is this really as big of a problem as they are making it out to be?

As for facilities and coaches, the athletic programs benefit when the parents and boosters bust their rears in making the programs as good as they want to make them. If the Div. I private schools do these things better, why should they effectively be penalized for it? Almost sounds like Obama saying that the 1% make too much money and they basically need to be penalized (i.e. get a tax increase) for succeeding.

In the end, I think it's all sour grapes for public schools. As I said yesterday, I don't believe a full split will benefit anybody overall in the long run. And even if it does benefit somebody, it won't be the public schools.

March 13, 2014 at 11:45 a.m.
chas9 said...

Stew--Great initials mentions.

Scottie B. Wilbeken was a two-star recruit who showed how little recruiting talk matters.

Former UK benchwarmer Steve "Cigar" Masiello has turned a 6-25 Jaspers team into an NCAA tournament team.

March 13, 2014 at 11:56 a.m.
fechancellor said...

George S. Patton, Jr., F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gerald R. Ford, J.E.B (Jeb) Stuart. U. S. Grant, B. H. Liddell Hart, Richard M. Nixon.

I hope Decker doesn't end up like #1 seeing bad passes or none at all.

March 13, 2014 at 12:13 p.m.
titanic said...

Maybe not the most famous, but sound cool to me:

Edward R. Murrow, Booker T. Washington, RC Slocum, and finally FRED G. SANFORD

March 13, 2014 at 12:33 p.m.
mcpell3 said...

JK Rowling, FDR.

Did Barbee get Kiffined? Or was he allowed to make it back to Auburn last night?

March 13, 2014 at 2 p.m.
chas9 said...

Booker T for sure. And the MG's, too.

March 13, 2014 at 2:04 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

From the wide, wide world of music, what about...Gary "US" Bonds and Booker T + the MGs. From CFB, what about Nick "FN" Satan...oops...Saban.

C-Niner: No Joe B Hall? No Ray J Johnson?

Mocs-Bucs in Johnson City, Tue Mar 18, 7pm


March 13, 2014 at 2:10 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

No Tom T. Hall? Sacrilege.

March 13, 2014 at 2:45 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

The good news for Eric Decker is he, just like ZZ Top, "Just Got Paid." The bad news is he will be playing for the J-E-T-S who have Geno Smith at signal caller. Sitting behind Geno at second on the depth chart is a Jugs Machine. Mark Sanchez can't be bothered as he is in a Manhattan nightclub explaining to an aspiring model/actress that the butt fumble was not his fault. And for the record, the Jugs Machine is in no way affiliated with Juggs Magazine.

I can't help but notice that O.J. Simpson is getting no love in the initialed name Rushmore discussion. Man, you brutally murder two people (allegedly) and it's like everyone forgets that you rushed for over 2,000 yards in 1973. Tough crowd.

Jay, perhaps what I did was in the realm of duplicitous meanings, but I was going for double entendre. I think I fell just short and ended up only achieving a single entendre. There's nothing sneaky about my juvenile sense of humor.

March 13, 2014 at 2:56 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

GD, there's a reason for that. At the beginning of this forum, Jay had a prime directive:

O.J. Simpson is not to be discussed on this forum. This is not open for discussion (his words).

Aside from that, slow day (not complaining about it either).

March 13, 2014 at 3:16 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

JMC, that's my bad. I missed it when potentate Jay issued his prime directive concerning the former Heisman winner and double murder suspect who shall remain nameless from this point forward. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. I shall take my punishment like a man. I'm envisioning a Clockwork Orange scenario in which Jay forces me to watch the tip-drill gone wrong touchdown at the end of last season's Georgia-Auburn game on a consecutive loop.


March 13, 2014 at 3:44 p.m.
Stewwie said...

It's worth noting that of the 7 gentlemen who have rushed for 2,000 yards in a season, "Orange Juice" is the only one to do it in 14 games. No surprise then that his avg. YPG (143.1) for his special season is higher than any of the others in that group.

Speaking of double entendre, LeBron had this to say after losing a close one the other night to the Bulls:

[“I dropped the ball,” James said. “That’s a double-entendre, right? A actually dropped the ball, but I also dropped the ball on my team.”]

I am impresed that he even knew the phrase "double entendre". I'm not impressed that he used it in this context though. Unless he wants people thinking that he's gay.

March 13, 2014 at 4:18 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Stewwie, welcome to 10 Ring's "Out House."

March 13, 2014 at 8:23 p.m.
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