Blinded by the Light

So I want to clarify a couple of things I wrote the other day, and I think I can do them quickly.

Camraderie: It’s an odd thing for the CAA. Drexel and Delaware can’t stand each other. Ditto VCU and ODU. You personally have a team you hate, and I guarantee there is someone out there that hates you. But for some reason—and if you think about it, you know the reason—VCU will be pulling for ODU against Clemson; ODU fans will want VCU to knock off Xavier and then Villanova in St.Thomas.

Outside of rivalries CAA teams will be pulling for each other in the nonconference season. (Side note: there is a special place in every CAA fan’s heart for Bill Coen and Northeastern and the juggernaut they call a nonconference schedule.

You don’t see this in the ACC, Big East, or Big Ten. Michigan fans would prefer Michigan State to go 0-28, with the added bonus of Tom Izzo breaking his leg. The only game Wake fans want Duke to win is against North Carolina, and even then they hold out hope for the Bird Flu.

Major conference fans are selfish, arrogant, and rude. They are out for their one purpose and cannot see the big picture. (Of course there isn’t much “rooting” that needs to occur when your nonconference schedule is comprised mostly of home games against the Massachusetts Culinary Institute, but I digress…)

The translation for what it all means is simple for me: fans of mid major teams are better human beings. And smarter, too.

***

The second clarification has to do with the FFFactor. I think I explained that poorly. The FFFactor has nothing to do with actual, on court wins and losses. George Mason, ODU, Towson, or anybody can start the season 10-0 or 0-10 or anywhere in between. W/L is transparent. The FFFactor is the change in how the conference and teams are perceived based on expectations, which are based from a final four run.

For example, Mason starts 5-3 with losses to Duke, Creighton, and Wichita State. In any other year the start is somewhat expected and not cause for concern. There are new guys to replace three senior leaders. It takes time to blend, and besides, there are no bad losses. We’re okay.

Now apply the FFFactor. How does that change your view? How does that change the national view?

Look at it a different way. Drop a pencil on December 20 of last year. You now know that your team made it to the NIT semis, or that George Mason went to the Final Four. Knowing now how it all turned out, would you rationalize things differently?

Presto: the FFFactor.

***

I got to see VCUs “94 feet both ways” approach up close last night. For those that are wondering, don’t expect Loyola Marymount. I’m not even sure you should expect a Nolan Richardson Arkansas team.

But do expect pace and intensity, especially defensively. The Rams did not jack up a pile of threes and frequently worked through offensive sets. The real driver is the defense. They pressed all over the floor, all game long.

They caused 28 turnovers and didn’t force one single 10-second violation. That is your telling statistic. The attack forces guards out of their comfort zone, playing at a much faster pace than they expect. If that isn’t bad enough, they force the big men to do the same. Nearly all of the turnovers were of the latent variety—they came after the actual ball pressure.

VCU gave up a pile of layups, too. I don’t know yet how much that is expected.

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~ by mglitos on November 9, 2006.

3 Responses to “Blinded by the Light”

  1. screw that, i have no love for the other schools, I hope they all lose in OOC games.

    Screw the CAA love.

    Were a one bid league and that’s not changing this year.

  2. You are clearly the exception to the “mid-major fans are smarter” line. I am a long-time Mason fan who understands that even though there are programs in the CAA that I love to hate, I pull for them out of self-interest, not “CAA love”. I’ll break it down for you, pea brain. When your conference rivals win key OOC games your RPI gets a boost when you beat them. Plus the overall conference RPI rises and improves the chances for multiple bids. If the CAA wasn’t as strong as it was last season (at least the top half), Mason never would have had a chance for that run through the NCAAs to the FF. So props to Hofstra, the Dub, ODU, VCU, Northeastern and Drexel.

    Class dismissed.

    Go CAA!

  3. I don’t know if we root for our fellow CAA teams because we are smarter fans or just out of necessity. We need all CAA to perform well for the league to take us more serioulsy during selection time and scheduling.

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