Amir: Is that how we're starting?
Ethan: Did I stutter? I said, "Bubble."
Amir: It must be that time of year again, when we take words like "Bracketology" "At-Large bids" "Davidson" and "Joe Lunardi" out of the closet for a month or so before putting them back into the basement of our minds.
Ethan: Says you. I have a Joe Lunardi poster in my room. I really can't believe the ACC and Big Ten may only get four teams in this year, especially with this shrinking bubble. Way to choke, South Alabama! Can't our nation count on your for anything? Does Arizona make it in?
Amir: 8-10 in the Pac-10 does not bode well for their chances Unless assistant coach Miles Simon laces up again and takes them on a miraculous Pac-10 tournament run, I don't see it.
Ethan: Where's A.J. Bramlett and Michael Dickerson when you need them? They've stumbled badly down the stretch, but their strength of schedule is either 1 or 2 and their RPI is 29. Also, Lute Olson's not busy, so he could just go glare at the selection committee they crumble. Bubble bobble the case for another bubble team.
Amir: Kentucky won their bubble battle with Florida which means the bubble may be better for the Cats than for the bubbling bursting Bubble Gators. Don't you get carry-over points from last years tourney?
Ethan: Only if they bring back Joakim Noah. The Bulls would probably be happy to lend him out for a week or two. Oh, and take Chris Duhon's whiny ass while you're at it.
Amir: Speaking of Duke, fun to see Carolina take it to them this weekend.
Ethan: Is Tyler Hansbrough going to replace Brett Favre as the sports media's new darling? It takes a lot to get your jersey retired while you're still wearing it.
Amir: He can't even wear it anymore.
Ethan: He's going to have to be on the skins for every game for the rest of his career.
Amir: I want to hypothesize as to whether Hansbrough will be a good NBA player but Jay Bilas hasn't told me his wingspan yet, so I have no idea. What do you think? Give us a best case/worst case.
Ethan: Hmmmm worst case scenario, let's go with Danny Ferry. Best-case scenario, Larry Bird. That's always the best-case scenario for any white guy, right? As long as he's not terrible, he's the next Larry Bird, right? I felt the same way about Matt Nover.
Amir: Speaking of the National Basketball Association, are the Rockets ever going to lose?
Ethan: Not until 2025, maybe. At that point, T Mac will be old, gray, and putting up 37 a night as part of a 1500-game winning streak. And Dikembe Mutombo will still be contending he's only 42. Can they keep doing this in the playoffs?
Amir: Definitely not. And it's crazy to think, but they may even miss the playoffs. They have a potential 0-5 stretch coming up: Lakers, Boston, at New Orleans, at Golden State, at Phoenix. In the West, where the margin for error is so thin we may be seeing T-mac crying sooner rather than later.
Ethan: I like how every team in the West is "in danger of missing the playoffs." The Rockets have beaten some good teams on this streak, and they're not going to lose all five of those games. A team like Dallas with a much smaller margin for error is much more likely than Houston to miss the playoffs. And then Mark Cuban can blame bloggers for being such jerks. Who's the next person to give up on the Heat?
Amir: How can you fall so fast so quickly? This is something Pat Riley wouldn't even wish upon his worst Van Gundy.
Ethan: I like that Riley's going to take some time off to scout, Wade's done for the season I'm hoping Shawn Marion just decides to start doing a sudoku on the bench during games. "You want me to go in? Shit, help me finish up this square, and I'm in."
Amir: "Try 1 then 9. It's our record since you got here."
Ethan: Speaking of how the mighty have fallen, Shaun Alexander is now less desirable than Julius Jones?
Amir: Pretty much. Old running backs being sent out to pasture seems to be the theme this offseason. Just ask Warrick Dunn.
Ethan: At least Dunn hasn't been on the cover of Cat Fancy. You like the Cards signing Larry Fitzgerald to a big extension? They're like a fantasy team that drafts WR in the first two rounds. Sure, they're not going to win much, but man, do they have receivers.
Amir: My question is, why did Atlanta sign Michael Turner? They already have one Jerious Norwood, and they don't even use him!
Ethan: I like the two-pronged attack of two different types of career backup. One little fast guy, and one big bruiser. Could work. Of course, they just resigned Joey Harrington. On second thought, nothing will work there.
Amir: What do you make of these rumors that state JaMarcus Russell is tipping the scales at 300
Ethan: He must have beaten Warren Sapp in a "Loser Retires" eating contest.
And supposedly Russell only really weighs around 275. Which is a moderate relief to Raiders fans, I guess. Got an interesting fact this week?
Amir: Do I! Do I?
Ethan: I don't know.
Amir: I do. Since 2001, Joe Lunardi has picked 64 of the 65 tournament teams, every year.
Ethan: Even weirder, he's missed the same team every year: Kansas. He's always got them in his "Last Four Out," even when they're ranked in the top five.
Amir: Weirder still, he chooses after the tournament committee.
Ethan: Until next week, pick Oral Roberts in the Final Four. Trust us.
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