Archive for January, 2012

Every year, I have been fascinated by teams outside of the “Big Six” conferences in Division I men’s basketball, such as Butler two years ago and ever since I started following Ivy League teams seriously, the Ivy champion that goes to the Big Dance.

This year, I root for not just one, not even two, but THREE teams – Harvard, Murray State and St. Mary’s (California). Here’s my breakdown of each team’s performance thus far (record as of January 22, Manila time):

Harvard Crimson
Conference: Ivy League
Current Record: 16-2 (2-0 conference)
Most Significant Wins*: Florida State
Most Significant Losses: UConn, Fordham

This season’s Harvard team is arguably the most talented Crimson squad to ever take the court. They didn’t lose anyone to graduation last year (and added eight freshmen, some of whom became significant reserves this season) and won the Battle 4 Atlantis (partly attributable to UConn being upset there by UCF in the semi-finals) that led them to a stay in the top 25 poll. However, a humiliating loss to Fordham that dropped them out of the top 25 has hurt their chances of a top 10 seed come the Big Dance (if they win it all.)

Murray State Racers
Conference: Ohio Valley
Current Record: 20-0 (8-0 conference)
Most Significant Wins*: Memphis
Most Significant Losses: none so far

The Racers’ upset of then-ranked Memphis on Dec. 11 put them on the radar of the 2011-2012 NCAA men’s basketball season. If they continue to keep up this pace and finish all the way undefeated, they can be ranked as high as a 3 (can be the highest seed a mid-major has achieved), 4 or 5 seed. (Princeton in the 1997-1998 season was a 5 seed.)

St. Mary’s (California) Gaels
Conference: West Coast
Current Record: 19-2 (8-0 conference)
Most Significant Wins: no significant non-conference wins
Most Significant Losses: Denver, Baylor

The Gaels (along with the Crimson) were one of the most significant tournament snubs in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, but they lost easily in the NIT first round (the Crimson also lost easily in that NIT). Now, with a strong showing in conference play thus far (with Gonzaga not far behind) can they still be consistent come tournament time to punch yet another Big Dance ticket?

*I only count non-conference wins here.


United Against SOPA and PIPA

If you haven’t yet heard of these two dreaded U.S. laws by now, I should tell you the truth: these two laws, if they pass, are going to change the way how we inform and are informed forever.

If you are like me who would suffer from the effects of the SOPA and PIPA if both laws pass, download this picture and set it as your profile picture on Facebook (or any other social network of your choice) until further notice, as long as you credit me. 🙂

And do share this link with your circles of friends and in groups you are a member of. I’m trying hard to spread the word against the two dreaded U.S. laws out.

P.S. Sorry for people who are offended by my choice of yellow – it is the only color our flag has that doesn’t share with the U.S. flag 😦