I'll never forget Christmas 1987. The anticipation made my little underdeveloped heart jackrabbit in its bony cage. I recall bounding down the old toasty staircase, pushing my little sister aside, my eyes wide as canned hams. And there, 'neath the tinsel-topped tree, was the box I'd longed for so long! Its shape told its true inner tale. I clawed and shredded the wrapping paper (using techniques I'd perfect years later on a redheaded hooker in Pittsburgh), and marveled at the blue box in front of me. It was a Fisher-Price, bipod-stand, 6 AA-battery PXL-2000 camcorder.
Oh, how I loved my trusty Pixelvision camcorder! It recorded video on cassette tapes -- 11 minutes per C-90 tape -- in glorious grainy black and white. For months and months, I shot everything I could see. I shot my sister. I shot my cat Moosey. I shot the house, the car, my friends, and I even shot my own fake Jean Shepherd monologues. I shot my eye out.
In the 20 years since the PXL-2000, pixel video technology has progressed to the point that people can harness its power to watch college basketball on their computers... in full color! It used to be that you could only watch hoops on ESPN, which currently has a monopoly on it, but Pixelvision is bringing Our Game to the people. February 3 is the day we celebrate the pioneers and innovators, the hackers, whackers and booty-slappers. Today we thank the Pixelvision Gods for their blessings.
Tonight, starting at 7 pm ET, we will be having a giant Pixelvision party on midmajority.com and on the Tweeter-2000. Starting with the 6:30 ET Pixelvision pregame show, you can come here to the site and take part in a live six-hour chat, where I'll be answering your basketball questions and typing stupid things on a keyboard. All the while, we have an army of 20 or so Pixelvision Pals (gunning for big prizes) who will be live-tweeting games around the country, which they'll be watching in stunning 360px on their own computers. Their observations will be streamed live in the chat, and also on Twitter using hashtag #pixelvision.
National Pixelvision Day is important, one of the most important things that have ever been done on this site or the rest of the web. There are even logos. (Thanks, @thrashsoundly, @nickwynne and @mwmiller20!)
Eat your heart out, Lou Gramm! (No, really, eat it... it tastes like candy!) Come on by tonight, and get pixelated!
Serious Basketball Talk!
Probably the most exciting thing that happened last night in Hoops Nation was that there was a leak in the roof at Tennessee State's Gentry Center, forcing the postponement of the Tigers' OVC matchup with Jacksonville State. But a few games made their way to completion.
Atlantic 14: Rhode Island 90, at La Salle 83 -- About a month ago, Rhode Island was easily the best team in the A-14. Fantastically efficient offense. The Rams had a 12-1 record coming into conference play, and there wasn't anything cheap about it: three RLU's against Oklahoma State, Boston College and Providence. A quick look at their NCAA selection sheet shows that this is still a team that the committee will look at seriously; their average RPI loss is 32 (Xavier, Temple and VCU), and that's 19th in the whole country. The ARPIW is 143, which is also good, and they have three more shots at top 50 opponents. So URI pretty much has its destiny in its own hands.
Colonial: Northeastern 67, at Delaware 51 -- This Northeastern team (15-8, 10-2 CAA) has the same personnel as the squad from last year that slow-jammed their way to a 12-6 regular-season record and got ripped by No. 10-seed Towson. I said all along that it was a mirage. But the Huskies came back mentally and physically tougher, are hitting more short-range shots, and aren't just slowing the pace to cover up rebounding weaknesses anymore. But if you really want to beat Northeastern, drag them into a physical, punishing, bare-knuckle streetfight; this is why Drexel swept the season series and represents the only two losses on NU's record. But there are no other teams in this league capable of doing that. So the Huskies' NCAA chances basically come down to the tourney draw in Richmond, which we won't know for another month.
Big South: Radford 111, at Virginia Military Institute 84 -- The league champion Highlanders (12-10, 8-4) have had a really tough stretch, losing three of four to sink back in the BSC race behind the Giant Teal Chickens of Coastal Carolina. You can blame poor shooting (they topped out at 40 percent during that stretch) and a performance dropoff from former MMBOW Artsiom Parakhouski (3-of-15 from the floor in Sunday's loss at UNC Asheville). But these days, a game against systematic VMI (7-14, 2-9) is a good way to get well. In sweeping the season series, Radford scored 220 total points.