Land-o-Links – 3/27/2007

Some long overdue links:

(1) Nothing Fluky About This Power Final Four (ESPN.com) – As I alluded to in Sunday’s post, the upshot of having few upsets so far in the NCAA Tournament is that the Final Four is set up to be one of the most competitive ever.  Saturday’s games are going to be extremely compelling, with the Florida-UCLA rematch of last year’s championship game and Roy Hibbert of Georgetown being one of the few people (if not the only person) in the country that has the size to at least put some type of containment on Ohio State’s Greg Oden that doesn’t involve simply getting the Buckeye prodigy into foul trouble.  The college sports world has been anticipating the thought of Florida-Ohio State matchups for national championships in both football and basketball and with the way the two teams have used their size advantages, I’ll put the Gators and Buckeyes in the championship game.  I’ve liked Ohio State to win it all from the get-go with the Oden-Mike Conley, Jr. combination and with the way that senior guard Ron Lewis has torched everyone over the last three games, I’m staying with my Big Ten brethren to go all the way.  This should be a classic weekend of college basketball.

(2) Donovan Has Yet to Rule Out a Job Change (Kentucky.com) – I know that I might be in the minority in not believing that the Kentucky job is the papacy of college basketball and can’t be turned down, but Billy Donovan would be nuts to leave Gainesville for Lexington.  I’ve heard the arguments that Florida will always be a football school first and foremost while hoops is religion in Kentucky, so Donovan ought to move to one of the nation’s marquee programs.  However, with the way that college sports have trended since the creation of the BCS, there are actually few things better for a basketball program than to have a strong football program to leverage itself off of.  Look at the teams that have risen to power in basketball over the past few years in addition to Florida: Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M, Wisconsin – all schools that used football money to upgrade their basketball facilities that have attracted top recruits.  Add on how USC made it to the Sweet Sixteen this season and will be enrolling O.J. Mayo next year, the nation’s top basketball recruit, and we have yet another football power getting some love on the basketball front.  Plus, let’s face it, you can get top recruits to come from anywhere and visit Florida.  Just as Donovan’s football counterpart Urban Meyer knew that the tradition and rabid fan base at Notre Dame couldn’t make up for the combination of support and sunshine in Gainesville, the similar tradition and rabid fan base at Kentucky is fool’s gold in this situation.

(3) Darwin’s God (New York Times) – This is a lengthy article but I highly recommend taking some time to read it.  Essentially, scientists have been studying whether (a) humans are naturally predisposed to believing in God or a higher power and (b) that predisposition is a result of evolution.  Absolutely a fascinating subject.

(4) The Best TV Show… You’re Not Watching (Chicago Tribune) – If my plea for you to watch ‘Friday Night Lights’ from October didn’t convince you to watch this fantastic show, maybe this in-depth write-up from the Tribune’s television critic will get you to take some action.  C’mon people – restore my faith in the taste of the American public.

And finally…

(5) Yakov Smirnoff (Wikipedia) – Don’t ask me how I ended up on the biography of Yakov Smirnoff while performing “research” on Wikipedia, but finding out who his roommate used to be might be one of the top ten random facts that I’ve ever encountered.  In Soviet Russia, Wikipedia researches you!