First things first: An apology is owed to Roll Bama Roll for the uncharacteristic attack yesterday after their e-mail. Simply put, it was uncalled for and I am a better writer than that. I let my emotions get the better of me and that kind of crap rarely happens here, especially since 99% of comments are positive and most of my commentary is nothing but complimentary. If I can be civil when it comes to Notre Dame, a team a despise, I can be civil when presented with a simple e-mail.
The lesson in this, of course, is that maybe even technology isn't infallible. They simply didn't get my e-mail. Sure, Skynet might have prevented my inappropriate outburst, but that whole dooming humanity thing just isn't worth it. I'll be the one that looks like an ass instead.
Now on to Defend That, Digger, our weekly feature where we point out that the the Big East and ACC aren't exactly the end all/be all conference that ESPN and other writers would have you believe them to be. Both conferences have certainly had some great wins to speak of on the season, but this weekend was fantastic for tearing down the perception that the Big East is king.
Exhibit A: Loyola Marymount 87, Notre Dame 85
It's a good thing that this wasn't the days of Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers. Otherwise Notre Dame might have lost by 40. Perhaps that idea of playing a more national schedule isn't such a good idea. This is just too good to be true after ND's diatribe about not wanting to play state schools. The Lions are a 4-7 team. Defend That, Digger!
Exhibit B: Iona 82, Providence 73
Providence is complaining about this being the 4th game in 8 days. Hmm, interesting. That's kind of like playing in the NCAA Tournament with a Friday-Sunday first and second round, then a Thursday-Saturday Regional. How awful and unfair. I am sure if Providence made its own non-conference schedule it wouldn't do that. Oh, wait, they do make their own non-conference schedule. Defend that, Digger!
Exhibit C: Western Carolina 91, Louisville 83
Fear the Catamounts! Western Carolina and Purdue very nearly became the answer to a trivia question in 1996. Purdue was a #1 seed facing the 16th seeded Catamounts. The Boilers pulled off a two-point first round victory when not one, but two 3-point attempts for Western Carolina were missed in the final 10 seconds. We were that close to being the laughingstock of 1 seeds everywhere. 13 years later Western Carolina sort of gets its revenge, knocking off a #1 seed in last year's tournament on its home floor. At least Western Carolina is 10-1 with its only loss to #2 Texas. Clemson had better watch out in its next game. Defend That, Digger!
Exhibit D: Indiana 74, Pittsburgh 64
The Big Ten's worst team a year ago (and likely a lower third team this year) beats a 31-win, #1 seed from last season. I don't need to say anything else other than Defend That, Digger!
Exhibit E: Temple 75, #3 Villanova 65
In Villanova's defense this was a tough Philly Big 5 game. You can basically throw out the records in those games. Villanova has had way too many close calls against the like of George Mason and Fairleigh Dickenson (led by one at halftime). Temple is a legitimately good team with losses to St. Joseph's and Georgetown. Still, Defend That, Digger!
Exhibit F: Wisconsin Green Bay 88, Wisconsin 84 OT
Crap, how did that one get in there. Wisconsin gets bonus points for having the guts to play the Phoenix on the road, but still. Green Bay followed it up with a 24 point loss at Oakland. You win this round, Digger.
Exhibit G: Seeing Digger Phelps in drag for a play during the Purdue-Alabama broadcast
As one reader said during the GameThread: I am leaving my TV on pause for this to see if it will burst into flames. Please don't even talk about this, Digger.