Alright, what did I say we were going to do today? Oscars, AI, and NCAA Tournament. Okay, here we go, in reverse order.
Pinewood Joe (see below) wants to know if Maryland will get into the Tournament this year. Well, it's certainly easier to say yes after the win over Florida State last night, but they still have to finish well. The Terps are now 21-7, 7-6 in the ACC, with games remaining at Duke, and home against UNC and NC State. If they only win the NC State game, they'll need at least one win in the ACC Tourney to make sure. In that scenario, they would still be only 6-4 over their last 10 with their best road wins this year being at Illinois and Clemson, neither of whom is a lock to get in either.
Before the ACC fans start to bluster about how strong the conference is, let's take a look at the Illini: 20-9, tied for fourth with an 8-6 mark in the Big 10 (home of #1 Ohio State and #2 Wisconsin). Yes, they lost at Xavier, but they didn't let anyone as bad as Miiami beat them at home, and they have won five of their last six, just like Maryland. Illinois also lost at Arizona, who is 17-9 and sixth in the Pac-10 but had an out of conference schedule that also included UNC, Louisville, UNLV, Virginia and Memphis.
Or how about Notre Dame, which gave Maryland its first loss of the season? The Big East has five teams in the Top 25, including West Virginia, currently in seventh place in the conference standings. The Fighting Irish are tied for fourth with a 9-5 league record, 21-6 overall, with a loss at lowly South Florida but wins at Georgetown and at home against #5 Alabama.
The point is, you can't take five or six teams from all the big conferences. The Mountain West has three teams with 21 or more wins and the CAA has four teams with 20, and after George Mason's run to the Final Four, you cannot discount the lesser conferences so easily and limit them to only one bid.
If that sounds complicated, that's the point. Maryland is in pretty good shape, but they still need to win some games in the next two weeks .
Okay switching over to American Idol. For once,and hopefully this is the only time this will ever happen, I agree with Ryan Seacrest, who told us on Tuesday night, "If five hours of American Idol this week isn't enough for you, perhaps you should seek professional help." I have only caught bits and pieces, so I'm not ready to handicap or predict who will be sent packing tonight, but I do have one observation/question? Who is helping these people choose the songs? Knights in White Satin is a great tune if you have the backing of a full symphony orchestra and a gospel choir and even better if the audience is in the 50+ age demographic, but of all the songs you could pick .... And it's not as if that was an aberration. Last night, one of the girls sang Eric Carmen's All By Myself, which I hadn't heard in at least 30 years, and the only reason I remember it is because there was a girl in our neighborhood who used to cry every time she heard it. I cry also, but I think for different reasons. I learned today that Celine Dion has also performed this song recently, just another reason to hate it. Like I said, I haven't seen everyone, but my favorites so far are Lakisha, Chris Sligh and the Beat Box guy. If he hangs around a few more weeks, maybe I will learn his name.
With any luck, I'll have a full preview tomorrow before noon but for now, here's a little Oscar trivia for you, courtesy of my new friend Kevin: If Forest Whitaker wins for his performance in The Last King of Scotland, he will be the third member of the cast of Fast Times at Ridgemont High to receive a Best Actor or Actress Award. Who are the other two? The Godfather has four (Brando, Duvall, Keaton, Pacino), so one could argue that Fast Times is nearly its cinematic equal. One could, but one wouldn't.