I have a feeling that every little thing around here means something (eight pixels indeed) so I have to ask this. Every time you use the word "robots" you capitalize it, even in the middle of sentences. Even when you write for other places. Why is this? Love the new mid-majority site, thanks,
- Dawna C.
FLORENCE Y'ALL, Ky. -- Thank you, Dawna. Robots have become very important in modern life. There are many different kinds of Robots: the giant automatic arms that build cars, the small and cute ones that roll around on wheels and serve tea, and the invisible ones made out of computer code that build more, more, more Internet.
The new Mid-Majority site would not be possible without Robotics. Approximately 84 percent of the work around here is automatic. While I'm at games, driving between two games in a Robot-constructed Japanese automobile, or making jokes about movies nobody's seen (on the Twitter), Robots are getting it done. Robotic technology is responsible for updating the scoreboards, differentiating between what an Red Line Upset and what is not, filtering and categorizing content for 360, and assembling the screens whenever you want to see them. How do you think the star map that loads up on the front page is selected for you from the 25 available? No doubt about it, Robots are the future.
There is a dark side to Robotics, however. They already have replaced many humans in the workforce, because they have no sentient needs. Need is the true seed of all human weakness, and Robots do not desire food or love. Someday, sportswriters will be replaced by Robots. This is a good thing, so we helped a company in the Midwest in the sportswriter-replacing industry this summer by letting them borrow The Robot. But I am fully aware that someday, Robots will replace me too. They will learn to drive the cars they created, go to college basketball games, and make jokes about movies nobody's seen (on the Twitter). They will learn to play college basketball themselves. There will be a Season 8, and a Season 382, and a Season 13952, because Robots never die.
Why do I always capitalize "Robot?" When the uprising comes, and yes it will, I intend to have a place in the new post-Robocalypse world. "I have always capitalized your name," I will say. "I have always shown you the proper respect, despite what the AP and Chicago manuals told me to do. I have always deferred to you humbly, like I would to a President or King. Please don't kill me."
And before they do, and yes they will, perhaps they will give me a temp job serving them tea.
Thank you to Cort Basham of the always impeccable and organic Bracket Board, who provided today's They Might Be Giants song through The Form™. Now it's in your head too.
Red Line Upsets
Virginia Commonwealth 90, Wake Forest 69 - Not only was this a blowout victory for the CAA over the ACC, it was one of the most efficient offensive nights, anywhere. VCU scored 1.21 points per possession, tied for fifth best out of 114 among team performances in D-I games. Turning the ball over just seven times (23 for the opposition) helped get extra chances. So Wake apparently isn't very good -- a loss to Stetson and close win over Hampton of the MEAC preceded this - and it's all excellent news for teams like Elon, Holy Cross and UNC Wilmington, who will all play the Demon Deacons over the next few weeks.
Nicholls State 62, at Louisiana State 53 - LSU had won 82 straight games against Louisiana-based schools at home, so this is pretty big. (As @slc_commish Tom Burnett tweeted in after the game, "Man I'm getting old. I was at that last in-state loss by LSU: La. Tech beat Tigers in OT back in 1988-89 season.") It's the ol' win-plus-a-check, so all the other in-state teams that have been bought in the service of that streak can celebrate a little too. And it's large for the Southland as well, which named Nicholls Fred Turner its player of the week the other day... for putting up 28 in a loss to Houston. Hunter had 18 and 7, supporting Anatoly Bose and his 28. So, riddle: who gets POW this time?
at North Texas 92, Texas Tech 83 (OT) - Fast end-to-end action, and a Sun Belt survival against the Big Bad 12. It was all little more impressive considering that both starting big men for the Mean Green were disqualified in the foul parade. Little 5-10 guard Josh White hit a key three in the extra period (superhoops in the Super Pit!), and finished with 32 points on 11-for-18 shooting. White is a senior now, and he was someone we were excited about in frosh year. Man, I'm getting old.
Western Carolina 69, at DePaul 64 - The SoCon's Catamounts put in one of the quieter 22-win seasons in the land last year, even though they came into January at 11-2 with a win over Louisville. So it's a team familiar with the whole Big East RLU thing. WCU rabbited out to a 18-point lead after a post-halftime run, and held on for the road win. Shot only 38 percent, but ruled the boards with a 12-rebound advantage.
Wyoming 53, Northern Colorado 67 - For Christmas, I'd like one golden ticket that will allow us one magic moment. That moment is the opportunity to pour a cup of hot coffee into the lap of a sportswriter who tries to engage me in a debate (while the game's going on) about which conferences are mid-majors and which aren't. Just once. Without legal or karmic retribution. Our longstanding criteria eliminates the Mountain West because those schools have a bunch of money and their own TV network. Big Sky schools don't. So when a school with a $9 million athletic budget opens up a 20-2 lead against one that spends $22 million annually, that's impressive. So is riding that lead like a hoss to the end. NoCo is stocked with seniors (including 6-1 Devon Beitzel, who led all scorers with 20), and shouldn't be overlooked in the Sky race.
So, with five of them yesterday, that brings the total for the season to 13. At 10 percent flat (out of 130 chances), we're pretty much on pace with the last couple of years.
Game! Of! The! Night!
Milwaukee at Niagara Gallagher Center - Niagara University, NY 7:00 EST
Here's a unplucked gem of a game. It's a pair of programs which have experienced great peaks in the past decade, and have settled back into roles as solid-but-unspectacular members of their conference communities. Milwaukee has been "stuck behind Butler" in the Horizon for the last few years. Since Rob Jeter's ascension to the head coaching job in 2005, the Panthers have not achieved the NCAA heights reached by his currently orange-clad predecessor, but the win total has edged up in each of the last four years, from nine to 14 to 17 to 20. Is that fast enough, though? The senior class, which includes top-scoring guard Tone Boyle and 6-7 Anthony Hill, likely holds the key to Jeter's continued employment there. The team is coming off a 1-2 defense-challenged weekend at the BTI Tip-Off Classic in Portland, so the beginning could have been better.
It's been a long time since Niagara's 2005 and 2007 NCAA breakthroughs after a quarter-century away from the Dance (at least I hope it is, for personal age-related reasons). And the 2009 team was superior to both, the 26-9 squad that came three possessions away from a return -- the Purple Eagles lost by seven in that season's MAAC title game up in Albany. ("Stuck behind Siena," indeed.) Five Niagara players who averaged 9.6 ppg or better have left due to eligibility cessation, and this is our first look at the new version of the Purps. Should be interesting in upstate.