Monday, March 22, 2010

Sorry, But Gotta Link This First

I haven't posted squat recently, choosing to simply enjoy this past weekend. For all my loyal readers (I love you three guys), I apologize. But before I unleash a bevy of thought provoking and well articulated and vastly entertaining pieces covering as much of the madness as I'm able, I have to draw whatever attention to this article from ESPN that I can:

It's an insider story, so you gotta pay. But 20 bucks for a year subscription to the magazine and all the juicy insider stories (not being facetious, actually juicy) is worth it. It's part of a series entitled "Dance Lessons." The basic premise is to look at "tournament truths" many subscribe to that may or may not have much basis in reality. This particular article, "NBA Talent Required?" debunks the incredibly popular, often parroted view that you need at least three NBA draft picks on your team to win a national championship. After all, that's the way it's been the past three years, so that's the way it is.

Wrong. I'm saying this directly to you Gary Parrish from CBS Sports, even though I know you will never, ever read this. Turns out that just since 2000, four squads have won a national title with teams that had 2 or fewer draft picks. Duke and Syracuse both did it with just 1 in 2001 and 2003. If you go back just one more year to the 99 UConn champs, Rip Hamilton was the only draft pick from that squad. And, as the article points out, the championship often determines the draft pick, rather than the other way around.

I make a special point of calling out Parrish because he loves the NBA Talent = National Titles truism. He even made up some meaningless statistic about how every team for the past umpteen years that has won a national title had three or more NBA players on their team. The trouble is, he didn't count whether or not they got drafted the year their respective college team won it all. In other words, you could have a title team that has 1 player drafted in that year's draft. Then, 2 years later, a sophmore from that team gets drafted. Then, after 2 additional years, a red shirt freshman who sat on the bench during the title game 5 years ago, also gets drafted. This criteria is so broad that it's meaningless. There are probably a dozen or more teams that would meet this standard every single year. Please shelve the cliche, and focus on more than what draft experts are chirping in your ear.

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