I watched Bradley University play Illinois College (D-3) and Robert Morris (Springfield, NAIA) in baseball. Needless to say, Bradley won both games easily. But the thing was, the games were still relatively fun to watch; I wondered why.
Here what I think is going on: in baseball, the real “player to player” duel is between the pitcher and batter; once the ball is hit, it is the player versus the ball. Hence the losing team can still make great fielding plays and hence it can still be entertaining, even if lacking in drama.
Basketball: Yes, D-III Eureka can still play Bradley, but the game was boring; the Bradley players were too quick, too fast, and too strong. The action in basketball is player versus player. But the competition is still “safe”; there is little extra danger of injury.
Football: too big of a difference in level can lead to unsafe conditions; I can only imagine the bloodbath a D-III team versus a Big Ten team would be. The difference in strength, speed, quickness and power could well lead to injuries.
Boxing: a tough sport, but could well be dangerous, even fatal if the mismatch is too great.
I filled out a NCAA men’s basketball bracket this year; and I ended up with exactly one team in the final four. My results were terrible!
What is going on: if you scroll through my blog you can see that I watched Bradley; I have season tickets for both the men’s and women’s teams and I make games faithfully. So I got interested in this team. When I did watch a game on television or on ESPN3, it was usually a Bradley road game OR another Missouri Valley Conference game. So I knew that Wichita State sometimes fades in the conference tournament and that Evansville and Northern Iowa were hot going into MVC play.
BUT: though the MVC did win its first round games (and the play-in game), the MVC is not a national powerhouse conference. So I knew next to nothing about the ACC, Pac-10, Big-12, and even the Big-10 (though I knew that Illinois was struggling). So when it came time to fill out a bracket, I mostly went by “higher seed”, with poor results.
The true basketball fan probably watched a variety of games from the power conferences and knew much more than I did.
Something similar happens with football: I have season tickets for the University of Illinois. But an Illinois game means a 90 minute drive there, game, 90 minute drive back. A real football fan watches two games during that stretch. Then when I watch a game on TV, it is usually the Illinois road game or another Big Ten game; again, I know very little about what is going on in the SEC, Pac 10 or other conference (I sometimes catch the Texas, Notre Dame and Navy game). So I might know a little more about NCAA football as there are fewer teams to keep track of, I know less about the game overall than I did before I started to watch football in person.
Something similar happened with me during my NFL game binge last year.
Guess what: when you hold the opponent to 15 percent from the field (no, that is NOT a misprint), you are going to win the game.
BU raced to a 30-19 halftime lead and though ISU did pull to within 7 points a few times, they basically held their 40-26 third quarter lead the rest of game. It was excellent defensive effort, and just what I needed to perk up from this cold.
Afterward, I had Mexican food with Tracy and got to listen to how her “second life as a student” is going and talk some politics. Wonderful stuff!
I know that Barbara is having a blast on her trip…and..well, I am enjoying myself as well.
Now to shake this stupid cold…probably a step back week in terms of working out. I still need to do a little something.
So, if you are feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day, remember that things could be worse. A lot worse.
If is cold here (10 F) and will stay that way until about Monday. Bradley’s shooting was that cold last night:
29 percent from the field, 15 percent from 3, 37.5 percent from the free throw line..and of course they lost 54-43. They had 4 points in the first 10 minutes and trailed 47-34 before a rally cut it to 47-43 with under 2 minutes to play. Then a cold shooting Loyola did just enough to seal a road win. This one was UGLY; both teams had a lot of effort, but not much go into the basket.
Now to get in a treadmill run followed by a cold outside walk.
Well, the weekend started on Friday when the Bradley women beat Evansville by 12. That was a great start.
So this morning I start out for a 15 mile run. It was 27 F at the start but it did warm up a bit; it took me 2:56 to do and I had to work through some rough patches at mile 12 or so.
Course: to Bass Pro, back to the trail and then to the “almost 3 mile mark; the little driveway before the angled road crossing and back.
1. While running over the Bob Michael Bridge (ON the sidewalk) I heard one honk. Then I saw a SUV honk a couple of times…and then someone evidently flipped me off (or flipping off another driver? It sure looked like it was aimed at me…) Hmmm.
2. On the trail toward East Peoria a “30-40 year old” woman passed me..not that fast. Perhaps she was doing 10 minute miles or thereabouts? She walked, I caught her, she caught me again and she stopped at Main Street in East Peoria. I kept going.
3. On the way back I had a rough patch or two where I wanted to mentally quit. I didn’t and it was ok.
Later, I shared Indian Buffet with a dear friend. We probably spent 1:30-1:45 there or so, just talking about many things. It was great food and great company.
We both had some professional work to do so both of us went to our respective offices.
I took some photos for “proof” (and to play along with a Facebook “back and forth” ). And Lynn, if you are reading this, yes, it is really that bad, most of the time.
I did get one task done (need to do one more).
They raced out to a 33-23 lead at the half and left to a standing ovation. Indiana State came back to cut it to a 3 point lead. Bradley got it back to 9, but ISU came back again and it was all even with 3:3x left in the game. But BU played with poise, got some stops and hit some big free throws. It was a 4 point lead with 3x seconds to go, then only a 1, but BU held on and ended up winning 63-58.
Now the women go for the weekend sweep tomorrow (before the Super Bowl) and I’ll be there, this time with a friend.
So, I saw none of the Republican debate. Others did, and evidently it didn’t go that well for Marco Rubio. I’ll watch clips in the morning.
Got up early to take my wife to the bus; she is off to Central America and not due to return until the 28’th of February.
So that gave me a “late start” at the gym. No matter; I had 20 minutes of weights:
pull ups: 15-10-10-10-5
rotator cuff (dumbbell)
military presses: 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported (dumbbell), 10 x 200 (100 each arm) machine
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 (dumbbell)
abs (leg lifts, twist crunches, 2 sets each)
swim: 500 easy, 5 x 100 drill/swim with fins.
1000 alternating 100 pull, 100 free (chased Jason for a bit)
2 x 100 IM
Basketball: Bradley Basketball had a bizarre game against Missouri State. They failed to make a basket for the first 11:30 of the game and trailed 22-4 (4 free shots)
Then then rallied to pull to 37-35 in the second half only to trail 60-48, and then rallied again to cut it to 73-71 with 42 seconds to go. They lost 76-71, but at least turned it into an entertaining game.
Yeah, I know, I am sounding like a Bernie Sanders supporter (crowing about a closer than expected loss). And yes, Missouri State probably got complacent with a big lead. But BU at least looked like a MVC team for the final 25 minutes of the game.
It was a rough homestand for Bradley Women’s basketball. They lost 76-64 to league leading Drake (but lead at first) and then lost today 55-47 to the 3’rd place team in the league (Northern Iowa). In today’s game, Bradley lead a times, and it was tied with 3:30 to go in the game.
Maybe this is a fan’s wishful thinking, but I think that if they play this well in other games, they might win a few of them.
Last night, we attended an event called “For the Love of the Game”; it honored women’s sports at Bradley. During the dinner session, Barbara and I sat with some cross country team members and a couple of basketball players.
In the more close up photo, you can barely make out Barbara’s plaid jacket (NOT the one on the younger woman in the foreground). Here is a take on it via the Peoria Journal Star.
Yes, we took Lynn to the game. And it was only 35-32 at the half, as Bradley rallied from an 11 point deficit by getting their offense going. Then in the second half…Bradley actually LEAD 38-37 with 17:25 to go in the game. UNI hit a 3 to take a 40-38 lead and it remained that exact score…until 13:18 was left. Neither team scored for 4:07!!!
Then came a rash of turnovers and the three point shots just rained down. With 3:03 left in the game it was 66-47; it was a 26-9 spurt in that 10 minute segment. UNI was 22-46 in shooting, but a torrid 15-25 from 3 point land (60 percent!) Bradley only shot 37 percent.
Well, BU played a decent “first 30 minutes” …now to make it to 40 minutes.
I got started too late this morning due to last night’s basketball game.
Yes, Bradley lost to Illinois State 55-52, but BU was down 41-27 with 12:xx to go and rallied to cut it to 4 with 3:xx left in the game. The team IS looking better; I see clear progress. There were fewer turn overs and the big players held their own this time.
Yes, it WAS an ugly game with not much scoring early on.
Now about the run: lane 2 of the track: 10:02, 9:36, 9:30, 9:21 (38:21), 9:11 (47:43), 8:57 (56:40), 59:03 for 10K (50 laps). I had a few people to chase from time to time.
Then 14:55 walk on the treadmill (1 mile) to cool down.
Outside: 17 F, but the roads are still mostly snow/ice covered.
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