By HAL McCOY
UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave after celebrating our anniversary with Nadine at the Oakwood Club, where I got French onion soup, fried onion rings and heartburn.
—The NCAA has adopted a new system to rate college basketball teams, replacing RPI. It is called Net and the formula, which is heavy on analytics, is about as complicated as the formula for the Atomic Bomb. The basics are: Game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, the quality of wins and losses. Isn’t that what the RPI did?
Anyway, somehow the NET formula came up with Ohio State as the No. 1 team in the country this week, which had heads shaking at Gonzaga, Duke, Kentucky and Michigan.
Then the 6-and-0 Buckeyes, playing at home Wednesday night, lost to 3-and-2 Syracuse, 72-62. The only NET the NCAA should pay attention to is NetFlix, where it can watch Hoosiers and White Men Can’t Jump.
Speaking of players who can’t jump, Syracuse has a 7-foot-2 player named Paschal Chukwu who has not dunked a ball in the ‘Cuse’s first six games.
The Buckeyes made their first four shots to jump to a 9-2 lead and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim quickly made two substitutions because two players didn’t hustle on the Syracuse zone defense.
Using that scrappy and confounding zone, Syracuse ran away in the second half.
—QUOTE: From Dayton’s own writer/humorist Erma Bombeck: “If a man watches three football games in a row he should be declared legally dead.” (If that includes basketball, I’ve died three times this week.)
—Is it interesting, or embarrassing, depending upon your allegiance, that the Cleveland Browns are no longer the laughingstock of the NFL, but the butt of the joke remains in Ohio? Just sayin.’
–QUOTE: From former University of Houston wide receiver Torrin Polk about his coach: “He treats us like men. He lets us wear ear rings.” (Hey, Torrin, do you think you could run pass patterns if he let you wear high heels, too?)
—Miami (the Ohio variety) is expected to be a player this year in the Mid-American Conference, but the RedHawks were handed a basketball treatise Wednesday night by Xavier, 82-55, at the Cintas Center.
The major difference was that Xavier outscored Miami, 28-0, off turnovers. Yikes. The Cintas company furnishes and maintains corporate uniforms and Miami might consider sending out their red road uniforms to Cintas to wash out those turnovers.
Miami was dazzled by quick and clever Xavier guard Naji Marshall — 17 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists. He shot 7 of 10, including two of three from three-point territory.
—QUOTE: From my favorite writer/novelist, Ernest Hemingway: “Auto racing, bull fighting and mountain climbing are the only real sports. All others are games.” (Sorry, Ernest, until they give bulls a sword and a cape there is no sport in bull fighting.)
—The New York Yankees traded infielder Ron Torreyes to the Chicago Cubs Wednesday. Remember Torreyes? Vaguely, right?
He was originally signed by the Cincinnati Reds and traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2011 along with outfielder Dave Sappelt and pitcher Travis Wood for relief pitcher Sean Marshall.
Since then Torreyes has moved from Chicago to Houston to Toronto to Los Angeles (Dodgers) to New York (Yankees) to Los Angeles (Angels), back to New York (Yankees) and now back to Chicago (Cubs). His suitcase is running out of sticker space.
By the way, have the Reds signed or traded for any starting pitchers yet? I thought not.
—QUOTE: From former Baltimore Orioles manager Early Weaver: “The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals and three-run homers.” (The Cincinnati Reds have the three-run homer part down pat, but need work on the pitching and fundamentals.)
—In one of those head-scratching scheduling moves, Kentucky lured Monmouth University (0-and-7) into Rupp Arena Wednesday night. The Hawks took their 90-44 beating and went home to New Jersey happy with their $80,000 check for showing up.
Before being snacked upon by UK, Monmouth had lost to Lehigh, Colgate, Saint Joseph’s, West Virginia, Valparaiso, Cal State-Fullerton and Princeton.
—QUOTE: From legendary Indiana coach Bob Knight, who will be the subject of an ESPN documentary Thursday night, ‘The Last Days of Knight,’: “If the NBA were on channel five and a bunch of frogs making love was on channel four, I’d watch the frogs even if they were coming in fuzzy.”
Oh, yeah. The Cleveland Cavaliers lost again Wednesday night, 100-83, to the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cadavers are now 4-and-16. Hey, the Atlanta Hawks are 5-and-17 and they didn’t lose LeBron James.