CHICAGO -- We're holding off on announcing the winner of our Hunan: Return of the Phoenix movie contest, because there are two sterling entries that we're having trouble choosing between. Right now, we're in the process of sending them to friends and asking them to tell us which one makes them laugh more. We'd let you decide, but lack the proper computer savvy to set up a poll on this "blog" contraption.
But we're starting a new contest today! It's a lot easier than the last one, and we're giving you until next Tuesday to complete the task. If you're just joining us, the prize for every TMM contest this year is a stuffed Bally (the cute orange basketball with arms and legs that's the mascot and undisputed star of the website). Like those swords in the Marines, these are earned and never given (OK, so Will Leitch
has one, but that's it). We appreciate your bribes, barters and offers, but you've got to win one.
This new contest tests your LOL abilities. You may be familiar with lolcats
or any other variation on the theme, which Wikipedia (always right) defines
as "an image combining a photograph of an animal, most frequently a cat, with a subjectively humorous and idiosyncratic caption in broken English referred to as Kitty Pidgin, Kitteh, or lolspeak." Superimposed text, usually in the Impact or Arial Black typefaces (white with black borders), describes what the subject is "saying." It's the funniest thing since Tex Avery cartoons, and The Official Wife™ and I are attending the big ROFLCon
once the season is complete.
Your job is to create a LOLBally based on a snapshot of our orange friend, one we provide. Fire up your Photoshop, then send in your submission to lolbally at midmajority dot com
. (Please note that this is an auto-box, and any other mail to this address won't be read or returned.) After the jump, the base image -- once again, contributed by our good friend Rod in Asheville. Wright State.
It was the "Butler Bowl" last night in Cleveland, the only two teams that have beaten the nationally-ranked Bulldogs. And the defending tourney champion Raiders prevailed, jumping on the hosts early and grinding out a 55-49
by answering any and all CSU runs with bursts of their own. That's what WSU does -- ties you up on defense, and if you break through, they're going to use some stored energy for offense (mostly well-selected 3's). The Raiders aren't going to win any blowout games, but they're winning games. Seven in a row, in fact, to move into a one-place tie for second place at 8-4.
A quick word about Todd Brown
, the WSU sophomore guard who was a bit player last year but an emerging star in 2007-08. At 13.8 ppg, he's the second-leading scorer on the team, 11th best in the conference. And he gets up very, very high in the air for shots and rebounds. He's going to be a great, great player in this conference.
As for Cleveland State (14-10, 7-5), the Vikings are in virtual freefall -- five straight losses after a 7-0 start. I asked Gary Waters what the difference between the two distinct eras has been, and he exhaled and said, "Teams are just driving at us now, they've learned they can have success doing that." The Atlantic 10 (.500 or better teams).
We spent a lot of pixels on our favorite in-between conference yesterday, the Larger-Than-Average East. And it was a hot night in the old A-14 for sure, as league leaders Xavier looked shaky at Saint Louis and needed a late tip-in to overcome the bewildering Billikens. 70-68
We know about Xavier and its occasional struggles away from the Cintas Center, but what's up with SLU? We've seen them three times this season up close, and they've occasionally looked like they could play with anybody and destroy the nobodies... including the game against Houston Baptist where Rick Majerus beat a transitional D-I so badly he forgot who he'd just played five minutes later. Or hang with a team that could make the Elite Eight, like last night. Was this really the team that scored 20 points?
Here's an example of how crazy inconsistent this team is: worst in the league at forcing turnovers (11.1 topg defense), but best at stopping shots (40 percent in league games).
And what of Rhode Island, which was hoisted by its own petard last night? Beaten at its own game last night in a crazy, up-and-down 78-76 loss
at UMass, in which the Rams shot 34 percent. URI is 5-3 in the league now, a four-game win streak was snapped, and MAC-style parity reigns supreme. I miss all the URI fans that used to come to my chats when they were 14-1 and flying high, and get on me just because I questioned the team's defense and free-throw shooting. Where my Rams at?
Before we go for the weekend...How 'Bout™
Western Kentucky? The 11-1 (19-5 overall) Hilltoppers kept pace with South Alabama (whompers of Arkansas State by 28
) in the Sun Belt East division by knocking off North Texas at the Super Pit, 94-84.
WKU shot 55 percent and got 31 from Courtney Lee
(who's good at basketball), and instantly jumped from 40 to 32 in our real-time State sub-index
. They'd been held down by defensive inefficiency early in the season, but that seems to be coming around.
Also, How 'Bout™
Belmont? In a battle atop the Atlantic Sun that turned into the shooting contest we dearly love the league for, the two-time defending champs held off current conference leader Jacksonville 85-78
to pull into an 8-2 tie. Junior guard Shane Dansby
brought the sexy, scoring a career-high 28 and adding eight rebounds in a game where both teams shot 50 percent.
Or How 'Bout™
Lamar? With a 72-68
win down in the bayou at Nicholls State, the Cardinals still boast the best record in the Southland at 6-1. A li'l TMM luv for 5-9 junior Kenny Dawkins
, averaging 14.3 points per game and contributor of 20 points last night at the home of Biddy Basketball.
And, of course, How 'Bout™
those Golden Badlands badasses of Oral Roberts, who play for a school where you can't say the word "badass?" The G'Eagles shut down the G'Grizzlies of Oakland last night 60-53
to go 11-0 in the B to the L. You could say that this was ORU's finest defensive performance of the year, holding Oakland to 30 percent shooting and winning the board battle by eight. Flippin' golden!
And How 'Bout™
Sacred Heart? My goodness. Eight straight wins to steam ahead of the Northeast Conference pack, including last night's 74-62
wipeout of once-proud, now-woeful Monmouth (5-18, 2-9 NEC). Dave Bike is riding a three-wheeled offense with sophomore Chauncey Hardy
and seniors Drew Shubik
and Bryce Brooks
. All average anywhere between 10-12 points per game, but each is capable of carrying the team on any night. Last night, it was Hardy's turn, with 18.
Finally, How 'Bout™
Furman and North Florida? Not for their results, a three-point SoCon drop
at Chattanooga and an A-Sun blowout loss at Lipscomb
, respectively. No, the Paladins and Ospreys managed to do something very special, and that's make zero free throws in a game. That's only happened six times all season
. Eat that
, Jason McCallum!
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