Tag Archives: College Basketball

The 345 Challenge

Greetings readers,

This post is about something I found on StumbleUpon and thought you, the reader, might enjoy. I found this quiz and thought those of you College Basketball fans would like to give it a try. It’s located on JetPunk.com, which has a lot of quizzes out there for the general public.

This quiz has the taker to list all Division I schools that play basketball. Currently, there are 345 schools the quiz asks for.

It is a tough feat to list all of the teams on the quiz. I will admit, I’ve only made it to about 80% filled. You get twenty minutes to guess all 345.

Give it a try! If college basketball isn’t your thing, check this link out and take another sports quiz.

Source of information from StumbleUpon and jetpunk.com.

Until next time,

-Lee

Raiders Back to the Screen

Greetings readers,

Wright State and Dayton’s CW recently came to an agreement to air some Men’s Basketball games, as you can see in this press release from wsuraiders.com.

As someone who grew up in the Dayton area, I remember as a kid watching WDTN during the evening news and seeing the WSU updates, with the Raider Viking logo on the side. I don’t remember the game highlights, but I remember seeing the logo. Along the way, I’ve purchased a few old media guides, with the most recent one being from 1996-1997. In the media guide, there was an insert talking about the games that would be broadcasted on Channel 2.

Fast forward to 2011, a pair of new mascot suits, and a college degree in my hand; and Channel 2 has struck a deal with Wright State for rights to broadcast the games. The main difference is: the games will air live on Channel 26, which is Dayton’s CW and there will be three games live.

I say it’s about time that Wright State got back to the airwaves. It’s been way too long since we seen the Raiders on TV (it might have been Schilling’s first year where the contract ended, but this is all just a guess. Point is, they haven’t been on TV in awhile.)

You might argue with the fact that WWRD actually was on the scene a few years back, but not everyone got that station. It took me awhile to figure out that it was Time Warner Cable Channel 997-ish (this was when the first game was on. I think it was changed shortly afterwards to Ch. 23.) Point is though, not everyone got that channel.

I think it’s great that local television is picking Wright State games up again. Next year hopefully, we’ll see more games on the set.

Source of information from Wright State University’s Athletic website.

Until next time,

-Lee

ScoreMobile vs. ESPN ScoreCenter – An App Comparison

Greetings readers,

Today I have another app review for you. Actually, two. Today, I’m comparing the ESPN ScoreCenter application with the ScoreMobile app.

If you have a smart phone, you might not want to have two applications that are designed to do the same thing. Both are designed to give you scores around the nation. Both give you options to pick your favorite teams so you can see those scores first.

Before we begin, let’s get to the basics. ScoreCenter is created by ESPN, and you can find their webpage here. ScoreMobile is created by Score Media, and you can find their website here.

On the Android Market, the ESPN ScoreCenter has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 (as of 10-6-11.) Recent comments talk about how slow the app runs and how unstable it has become. Recently, users have been complaining about having “No Internet Connection” when in a Wi-Fi or a 3G zone. At Apple’s App Store, ScoreCenter has a 3.5 stars, where the main complaint is the ads.

ScoreMobile ranks in the Android Market with a 4.4 out of 5. The recent comments describe how they like it, but one does say it’s slowed down as of late because of the Gingerbread upgrade. In the App Store, it has three stars and two user comments liking it better than ScoreCenter because of the vast selection of options.

From personal experience, I have used ScoreMobile on my phone and ScoreCenter twice; on my iPod and my phone. I loved using ScoreCenter on my iPod, since it was smooth to use and the sliding from league to league was well designed.

When I got my phone, I downloaded it first and was disappointed with the lack of sliding to get to the next league, as well as the slow loading times (it took about a minute to load the NFL scores.) It  ran a lot slower than the iPod counterpart. It took me awhile to decide to download ScoreMobile, but I was glad I did. It runs so much smoother on Android than the ScoreCenter app. This one has options for standings, stats for games, and more leagues available.

I also emailed the makers of ScoreMobile to suggest adding a sport, and I got an email the next day. They were quick about replying, and very kind as well. (By the way, I requested College Baseball scores, which neither app has.)

As of recently, you can slide on ScoreCenter. It takes a few seconds to load, but the sliding animation is a bit jerky. With ScoreMobile, you have to pick the league from a button. Both have options to pick your favorite teams, both show scores, both have previews. Both have tons of sports to follow.

With ScoreCenter, you have the ESPN signature scrolling news bar below, as well as news in the league, and full standings. There’s also a page just dedicated for your teams, as well. With ScoreMobile, there are injury reports, options to looking at entire schedules, stats, standings, video, and news underneath the option button.

In other words, both are very similar. The main difference: performance. ScoreMobile wins in this regard, with its smooth operation and fast load times whereas ScoreCenter is still a bit jerky and does take a bit to finish.

To wrap it up: both are terrific apps. If you’re a fan of news and ESPN’s coverage, check out ESPN ScoreCenter. If you want the same features but a quicker app, download ScoreMobile.

Sources of information from the Android Market and the Apple App Store, as well as ESPN.com and thescore.com. All ratings and comments are recent as of October 6th, 2011 at 9:21AM. I am not affiliated with either company.

Until next time,

-Lee

Falling Down the Summit (League)

Greetings readers,

Earlier today, I saw an article about how the Summit League should disband, written by Bleacher Report. You can read that article here if you are interested. If you are unfamiliar with the Summit League, let me give you a little rundown on the conference.

The Summit League is a NCAA Division I conference which currently houses ten teams, from Michigan to Utah. After this season, Centenary and Southern Utah will be leaving. SUU will join up with the Big Sky Conference in 2012, whereas Centenary is moving down to NCAA Division III (as mentioned in my “The Fighting New Nicknames” article.) The Summit has been around since 1982, but named as the Association of Mid-Continent Universities before switching to the Mid-Continent Conference name in 1989.

Currently, Indiana is home to two Summit League teams (IUPUI and IPFW) whereas other states just have one member. Western Illinois University has called the Summit League home the longest, since 1982. The newest members are IPFW, North Dakota State, and South Dakota State. South Dakota will join the league in Fall 2011, making the state of South Dakota have two league members as well as Indiana. With Southern Utah gone in 2012, the league will have all schools in the Midwest. This will help out some schools on the travel budget, as Utah is quite a bit away from the other schools.

As a whole, the conference has seen nineteen other teams join and leave the league. The biggest movement of teams to leave the conference at once happened in 1994, when Wright State, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Northern Illinois, Cleveland State, and UIC all moved to the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now called the Horizon League, since 2001.) As a response, the Mid-Con absorbed teams from the East Coast Conference, like Central Connecticut State, Chicago State, Troy State (now known as Troy), Northeastern Illinois, and Buffalo. All of those teams have moved on, with Northeastern Illinois folding athletics altogether in 1998.

Two more teams would leave the Mid-Con for the Horizon League. Youngstown State joined in 2001, followed by Valparaiso in 2007. Before YSU joined the Horizon League, Northern Illinois left  in 1997.

According to the article from Bleacher Report, the summit League should disband because on how low their RPI is in Men’s Basketball. Currently, Oakland is on top of the Summit League with a RPI ranking of 74th out of 345 teams. The next Summit League team is IUPUI at 111. Centenary is near the bottom of the RPI list at 343rd. As a whole, the Summit League ranks 23rd out of 31 conferences and independents. (this is from 2/1/11)

The article does have a good point on the RPI, but does that mean they have to fold completely? If that conference folds, you have eight teams looking for a new conference home. The writer recommends IPFW, IUPUI, and Oakland to check out the Horizon League, but the league is looking for stability. While there are demands from the loyal fans of the HL teams to dump YSU because the majority of the teams don’t compete well enough (Women’s Track usually does exceptionally well), I don’t think the league is looking to dump or add anyone. Sure, it would be a fit geographically, but that doesn’t always make a successful equation.

For the western Summit teams, the writer recommends the Missouri Valley Conference. If that were to happen, that’s sixteen teams. That is very tough to manage, although it seems like the Big East can do it. Keep in mind though, not all teams in the Big East play everything, like football and baseball. Also, keep in mind that’s a different situation as well.

I wish I could spend time of other college sports, since it’s not just basketball. The article and my post just look at that since it’s the sport most fans are watching. Remember, this is where most Horizon League schools got their start in Division I, like Wright State and Cleveland State. Folding teams will not solve anything, since we are in an era of teams leaving for more another conference. I don’t think looking at one number will be a deciding fact on folding a conference. You also have your monetary I will say this, the teams that entered in the 1990’s are still there, which could be a good sign for their long stay in the league.

I guess my point is that folding is not always the answer. Recruiting, scheduling tougher, and playing great will have its rewards.

Sources from Bleacher Report and Real Time RPI (2/1/11). Image from WikiMedia.

Until next time,

-Lee

Mascot Midnight Madness Mayhem!

Greetings readers,

Last week, I had someone ask me why the Cleveland Cavaliers have a dog as a mascot, when they are the Cavaliers. I thought it brought up an interesting point. Sometimes the mascot suit itself doesn’t go along with the nickname of the athletic team. I know this might be common to some teams, probably your favorite team does this too.

First off, what are the purposes of mascots themselves? It’s to bring entertainment to the casual fans and everyone alike. I bring up the casual fans just because the people there to watch their teams won’t notice the mascot unless they do something to interrupt the game itself or walk right by them. It also brings an additional feel to the environment, to make it the team’s own. Are mascots needed, by any chance? Not entirely. Like I mentioned before, the casual fans love them and children also love mascots as well.

There’s probably a lot more teams that I don’t mention here,  but I’ll mention a few. Of course, I should mention that this isn’t the important thing of sports, but it is an interesting topic.

Indiana Pacers– If you don’t know what a Pacer is (I didn’t either when I first saw a game in 2009), it’s a combination of horse racing pacers and the pace car used in the auto racing field (moreso at the Indianapolis 500.) Both of those things have rich histories in Indiana, and there’s an interesting story on wherever to call the team Indiana or Indianapolis, but more on that later. That said, here’s Boomer and Bowser. Boomer is a cat and Bowser is a dog. Boomer, born in 1991, saw the beginning of the Reggie Miller era, while Bowser (2001) only saw a few years of the player now on TNT. If you look at their bios, it talks about what they like and don’t like (the one that made me laugh was “Bowser’s Salary: 365 Dog Bones.) Besides what I mentioned above, with the environment and the children, what does a dog and a cat have to do with a nickname based on an object in horse racing and auto racing? Granted, having someone dress up as a race car probably wouldn’t be something to remember, but it does raise an interesting a question.

Cleveland Cavaliers– The Cavs are currently rebuilding to replace their former star LeBron James, who is now playing for the Miami Heat as you know. One thing that never be taken away from the city of Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Enter Moondog (the picture you see on the article.) Disc Jockey Alan Freed coined the “Rock and Roll” phrase, as well as the “Moondog” nickname. If you want to see something funny though, check out Moondog’s profile on CavFanatic and look under favorite types of music. There is no mention of rock and roll but classical, jazz, and “sassy.”

Stanford University- This school from the PAC-10 calls itself the Cardinal (no ‘s’.) It’s different from Cardinals because it’s not referring to the bird but rather a color in the color palette. Until 1972, the school had a nickname of Indians. When that was dropped, the nickname was the Cardinals, but not representing the bird. In 1981, the school decided to drop the ‘s’ and stick with Cardinal. This is an interesting case, since the school itself does NOT recognize the tree as an official mascot. Granted, it is a representation of the El Pato Alto and the redwood trees. However, the media (sportscasts and college games) will still have the tree as their official mascot.

Troy Bruins- As you might know, I am an internee with the Bruins. Also, I wrote an article about Troy’s hockey team earlier in the year. One thing I didn’t mention is the mascot suit. If you are a Dayton Bombers fan back in the day, you might recognize the tale (no pun intended) of the squirrel who couldn’t fly since he broke his tail so he flew planes instead. It made sense, since the the Bombers were based on Dayton’s history of flight and had a logo of a fighter in their last logo. It kind of makes sense in Troy since it’s in the same area of Dayton and there is Waco Field, just a few minutes outside Troy’s limits.

Ottawa Senators- When you think of the term “Senators, chances are you are thinking about Politics in America. If you’re in Canada or you love some NHL, you think about the hockey team. The past few years have been splendid for this team born in 1992. This second-franchise of the Sens (first one played until 1934 and won 11 Stanley Cups)  has yet to win a Stanley Cup but did come close in the 2007 Finals. The term Senators does not represent what we Americans think and hear about on those news networks, but rather a form of a Roman General. The mascot suit itself is “Spartacat“, a lion that is proudly recognized within the city of Ottawa. Its rival is Carlton the Bear, the mascot of the Toronto Maple Leafs (originally I thought about talking about Carlton, but I decided to leave him out just because I didn’t want to have a super long article and bore the readers.) Spartacat has been with the Senators since 1992 as well.

Those are only a few examples of nicknames that don’t match with the mascot suits. Like I said earlier, it’s not a huge deal if this happens, but it can be common. This might warrant a few sequels (by sequels I mean future posts) on the subject, since I left out a few examples out.

It doesn’t matter who/what the mascot is, it just matters who you root for. The players make the team, not the mascot suits.

Until next time,

-Lee