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Wishful Thinking

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By Greg Woods

This ridiculous weather has left me with a lot of extra time on my hands this week. Local teams played only two games this week out of the six that were scheduled. So I have had more than enough time to think and that is always dangerous.

I am going to share some of these thoughts with you. I know you didn’t ask, but here it is anyway.

Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge

When I heard about the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge sponsored by Quicken Loans my first thought was that it was a hoax or some kind of misreported rumor. But then I Googled it and sure enough, Warren Buffett and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert are bankrolling the contest.

Then I read what the odds were of picking a perfect bracket and I realized it was indeed a gimmick to get more people to visit the Quicken Loans website. One in 9.2 quadrillion are the odds. I don’t even know how someone calculates such numbers. I’m thinking 9.2 quadrillion is just short of infinity. But math never was my strong suit.

A visit to the Quicken Loans Facebook page shows that many people are eternal optimists. Post after post says things like “Where do I sign up?’ or “Boy, I could do so much with a billion dollars.” This contest might end up being played by more people than any bracket challenge in history. Not that anyone keeps records on that sort of thing.

I think of myself as something of an optimist and I love college basketball, but my picks for last year’s tournament landed me in the middle of the pack for our own contest here at the Henry County Local. So I’m left wondering if it is worth the trouble to sign up for Buffett’s Bracket Blockbuster.

I probably will do it just because they are offering twenty $100,000 dollar prizes for the best picks that are not perfect. Those prizes must be for buying, refinancing or remodeling a home. I can think of $100,000 worth of improvements I would like to make to my home without much trouble at all. I’m thinking; new roof, new carpet, paved driveway, and… an addition designated as the “man-cave” with a big screen TV so that I can watch all those sports shows without interfering with the viewing of the ladies of the house.

I know that you’re thinking the ladies of the house might have something to say about any addition to the house, but I think they would love to have a place to get my oversized recliner and me out of the way.

Owen County has a nice ‘team’

I am probably going to take some flack for this one but I just really like the Owen County Rebels boys’ basketball team. They are not the most talented team around even though they have one of the most talented sophomores in the state in Carson Williams. They are not the most exciting team even though Williams’ dunks can be pretty exciting. They don’t have a power forward – heck they don’t even have a true small forward.

However, the thing I like about them is that they all play within themselves. The sum is greater than the parts. Everybody’s role is defined and for the most part the players don’t deviate from their roles. Coach Devin Duvall does a good job of defining those roles for his players and of getting them in the right offensive sets to take advantage of their strengths.

They have three good shooters to take pressure off Williams inside. They have one lock down defender on the perimeter and they all hit the boards hard to make up for their lack of height outside of Williams.

I don’t know what the future holds for this team. They may not even make it out of a very balanced district tournament, but, as an old coach, I really appreciate the way they play.

Conference confusion

After I finished writing up the one game that Eminence played last week, I had time to do research on how the national collegiate scene was shaping up. When the high school season is in full swing I have a hard time keeping up with what is going in college hoops outside of the Cats and Cards.

I went to a website that had all the conference standings for the entire nation. What was the impression I came away with? I hate all this conference jumping that has been going on. I know it’s not the first time that conferences have reconfigured and it won’t be the last… but in the good old days you could easily keep up with who was playing in what conference.

I hate sounding like the old curmudgeon who hates change but I guess that is who I’m becoming.

Whatever happened to the UCLA-dominated PAC 8? It’s now the PAC 12 and is dominated by Arizona while UCLA struggles to be a middle of the pack team sometimes. At least you can’t get confused with the number of teams in the PAC 12. There are 12 teams as advertised.

That can’t be said for the Big Ten, which now has 12 teams while the Big 12 has only 10 teams. Heck, I remember when the Big 12 was the Big 8.

This latest confusion started when the ACC decided to become a mega-conference. Now all the other major conferences are scrambling to be mega-conferences too. Who knows where it will all end. Maybe someday the Big 12 will be the Big 32.

So now you have another reason to hope for better weather. It will keep me busy and thinking out loud less.