Posted: 2:51 a.m. Tuesday, March 19, 2013
There are always some fabulous things to read this time of year. One of our favorites so far is by SI: the coolest person who went to each school in the field.
Duke gets Ken Jeong, the physician who has found a wonderful second (perhaps first now) career as an actor; State gets Zach Galifanakis, which fits.
And UNC? He. He he he he.
Honestly, though, Davidson should trade Woodrow Wilson in because he’s not nearly as cool as Stephen Curry.
Incidentally, Albany’s coolest? Steve Gutenberg.
Also Facebook, despite many lamentable shortcomings, offers chances to gather information in new and unexpected ways. Witness this map based on Likes for each team in the field: Duke is literally nationwide.
On a personal level many of the colors are hard for us to distinguish, but some things seem clear and if those of you with razor sharp color vision find us in err, please just let us know.
Duke and UNC are hugely popular nationwide. Gonzaga has a solid base across the Northwest and into the Rockies. Ohio State, Indiana, Illinois, Syracuse, Arizona, New Mexico, Pitt, Minnesota and perhaps most of all Georgetown are strikingly regional. NC State too, for that matter, and Miami more so than State.
But here’s the one we can’t figure: Oklahoma. Yes, they’re in with Kansas, but they barely get any of their own state. Oklahoma State, by contrast, is very well represented.
Also, as we say, while our sense of color is distinctly inferior, there is a broad patch in Maine which suggests a strong following for…Liberty?
Finally, there’s Nate Silver, who reaches the edge of his considerable abilities in this column. Take for instance this assertion: “The saving grace for Louisville is its travel itinerary: its road to the championship would run through Lexington, Ky. (just 70 miles from campus)…”
Anyone who thinks going to Lexington is easy for Louisville has mastered the math but not the mindset. That’s not easy at all and it’s certainly not home: Kentucky fans will turn out just to jeer the Cardinals and Quick Rick Pitino.
When he turns to Florida he says that had they split their single digit losses (since luck flips around), they’d have ended much better. Okay, but who did they lose to in that manner? The list Arizona by one, Kansas State by six, Missouri by three, UK by four and Ole Miss by three.
Since UK isn’t in the field and he gives Arizona an 8.1% chance to make the Final Four, and Ole Miss a 0.6% shot, K-State a 4.7% chance and Mizzou a 2.8% chance, don’t those losses look kind of bad?
Finally, let’s consider his comments on UNC: “North Carolina, the No. 8 seed, could also give Kansas problems if it begins to play up to its preseason billing.”
What did we just see in Greensboro? This is what happens when you watch the wrong screen too much. You can learn a lot from a computer formula, but there are none on earth which could have predicted UNC’s terrific play in the ACC Tournament.
There are also no known ways to plug, say, Miami’s Shane Larkin, who is not just unbelievably quick, smart and competent, but also fearless.
Nate should turn around this weekend and spend a bit of time watching the telly. There are things you have to see to understand.