NCAA Tournament Picks and Land-o-Links – 3/23/2006

My quick picks for tonight’s NCAA Tournament games are all chalk: Memphis over Bradley (although I’m proud of the Braves, the Tigers have too much firepower), Duke over LSU (probably will be a really close game), Texas over West Virginia (no longer will “Pittsnogle” be used as a verb in basketball), UCLA over Gonzaga (I will continue to pick Gonzaga to lose and call them overrated until the basketball gods rightfully bounce such an atrocious defensive team – they are the college version of the Dallas Mavericks).

Now, on to today’s links:

1) 2007 TV Rights Are On Big Ten’s Mind – Could Fox pay the Big Ten enough money to get the conference to abandon ESPN? I don’t care what the price is – leaving ESPN for more money would be fool’s gold for the Big Ten. The fact that no one outside of the Pacific time zone sees Pac-10 games has less to do with geography and more because none of their games are on ESPN. Plenty of hoops junkies have seen West Coast-based mid-major conferences such as the Mountain West, WCC, and Big West as a result of ESPN’s Big Monday. According to Teddy Greenstein, it looks like the Big Ten is going to do the right thing in the end and stay put.

2) Soap and the Campus: A Web-Site Spoof Succeeds – Have you ever met someone who went to Boston College? The old joke about them rings true: they think they’re Harvard in academics and Notre Dame in football. That’s a lot of bluster from a school that’s tied with our fair University of Illinois in the latest U.S. News rankings.

3) First Stadiums, Now Teams Take a Corporate Identity – If the MLS expands to Milwaukee, you know that the team must be called Milwaukee’s Best. There’s no other choice.

4) Chicago Parking Map – For those of you who can’t find a free parking space on the street and are willing to just give up and pay up, this should be a useful tool.

5) Signing New QB Should Have Been a Brees – I know that (a) Brian Griese isn’t exactly an addition to the Bears that makes my heart flutter and (b) complaining that Jay Mariotti is nuts is sort of like complaining that Chicago has corrupt politicians – it sucks but it’s never going to change. Still, what exactly were people expecting out of the Bears? It was a reasonable demand for the Bears to go out and get a solid backup quarterback, which is what they did in this situation by signing Griese. The Bears had as much of a chance of nabbing Drew Brees or Daunte Culpepper as the White Sox and Cubs had of trading for A-Rod a couple of years ago. Maybe I’m so happy to see that the Bears were proactive on the QB front for once that it’s coloring my thought process, but my gut reaction is that Mariotti needs to stop whining.