Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

Hey! What time is that Wichita State vs. NMSU game tomorrow?

Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale, Seth Davis, Mike Greenberg, Andy Katz, Mike Golic…what do these sports personalities have in common?

They predicted Wichita State to go on to the Sweet 16. The majority of them also picked New Mexico State to upset Indiana.

Neither of these things happened.

I’m not knocking them for their picks. I’ve made some outrageous picks before – like Davidson over Louisville this year (which didn’t happen). I just find it interesting that they managed to turn Wichita State and New Mexico State into sexy tournament picks.

All I heard this week was how New Mexico State has three big men. They’re going to push Cody Zeller around. It started to sound like a given that the Aggies were going to run roughshod over the Hoosiers. And if Indiana managed to get by NMSU, then it was a just a given that the Shockers were going to win the next round. After all, Indiana hasn’t performed as well on the road (never mind the fact that tournament games are on neutral courts). Go ahead and ink Wichita State into the Sweet Sixteen. Why even bother playing the game?

This is a great example of how people can live in an echo chamber where what they say is repeated over and over again and we think that what we believe is just a given. It’s going to happen because everyone seems to think it will. It reminds me of the oft-quoted (and misquoted) observation from Pauline Kael: “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know.” The sports media folk live in a rather special world. And sometimes they don’t have any idea who these teams really are. That’s what makes March Madness so beautiful – it doesn’t matter what these guys think. The game is won and lost on the court.

The same situation occurs in college football. Matchups are established on paper and debated in the media. Games are won and lost in these debates. An imaginary playoff is set up through their conversations, eliminating teams through reasoning that “oh, everyone agrees with this – it’s a given that Team A from the SEC would beat Team B from any other conference,” never giving any thought that maybe they could be wrong.

The problem is that these same people talking into the echo chamber of college football media actually influence who plays in the national championship. I’m glad the Pac-12 has started to see the light. It’s about time. I hope other conferences follow suit.

But there’s something bigger here. How many people do I know who think differently than I do? How many people do I know who have a completely different worldview from mine? How many people do I know who have a different outlook on life than I do? We hear all the time about Christians locking themselves up into their own little Christian bubbles (or ghettos), but I’m not even talking about that. I don’t want to live in the echo chamber. I don’t want to live in a world that only sees things the way I see them. I need to have my assumptions challenged. If diversity is a beautiful thing in God’s kingdom, it should be a beautiful thing in my own life, too.

In the meantime, I’m going to search the TV schedule for that New Mexico State vs. Wichita State game. I’m sure it’s going to be aired somewhere.

Bob Knight & Assembly Hall

Assembly Hall
Assembly Hall

I don’t know if he’s still doing it, but for a very long time, Dick Vitale was relentlessly calling for IU to rename Assembly Hall to Robert Montgomery Knight Assembly Hall. Nevermind the fact that the school usually doesn’t name facilities after someone until after that person has died. And although Knight has retired from coaching, he’s far from dead.

Knight brought three of these five banners to Bloomington
Knight brought three of these five banners to Bloomington

I think there was also a time that Vitale lobbied for the court to be named after Knight, similar to Coach K Court at Cameron Indoor. But the court has already been named after Branch McCracken.

Strike two.

The thing is, Knight already has a lasting legacy at Assembly Hall. And I’m not talking about the three NCAA Championship banners that hang from the rafters there.

Here’s a hint:

If I remember correctly, Tom Crean even tried to pick up a chair this season during one of the games where the officiating was especially terrible.

He couldn’t.

Why? Because of Knight’s lasting legacy at Assembly Hall.

If you look closely at the chairs, you’ll notice that they are essentially tied together and bolted to the floor.

Why don’t they just name it the Robert Montgomery Knight Team Bench? Maybe Mr. Vitale could start lobbying for this name-change. It would be a fitting tribute, don’t you think?

And I’m only half-joking.

I tried to get a close-up of the chain running through the chairs on the floor.
I tried to get a close-up of the ‘chain’ running through the chairs on the floor.

On a somewhat related note, does anyone remember a song that was played on the radio during IU’s 1987 tournament run that had the line, “Come on, Bobby Knight, throw some chairs tonight. And Stevie, shoot a three-pointer!”? I’ve looked all over for a recording of that.

Dear Dick Vitale,

Please stop talking!

You’ve done great things for college basketball. You helped bring it to the national discussion. But it’s time to stop beating this horse. It’s dead already! Hear me? D-E-A-D!

Knight doesn’t want anything to do with IU. Many Hoosier fans don’t want him back, either.

Please, please, please TURN THE PAGE ALREADY!!!

I’m not a Betting Man

Las Vegas is known for having lines on every event in the Super Bowl, including the coin toss. Did I really hear that they had a line on what color Gatorade the winning coach would be drenched with?

I wonder if Vegas has a line for how many times Dick Vitale mentions “one Robert Montgomery Knight” during tonight’s IU/MSU game. I’m sure the over/under would be pretty high.

That being said, I’m glad that he has recovered from his throat surgery. He may be annoying at times, but college basketball just ain’t the same without him.

Welcome back, Dicky V!

Basketball announcers

I’m watching the ACC championship with Aiden on ESPN. Dickie V was raving on and on (as he normally does) about Duke, when Aiden finally chuckled and said:

“Why does he have to talk so loud?”

I had to laugh. I can’t answer such a question because I wonder the same thing. See – certain people are even annoying to 5 year olds. Just wait till he gets a load of Billy Packer. Now there’s a guy who’s annoying.

I wish there was a “mute” button for the announcers. Why don’t these networks convene some type of forum or soemthing to figure out how to do that. It would be great to be able to watch these games without hearing:

“Slam, Jam, Bam, Baby!”

“He’s a Diaper Dandy!”

“It’s awesome, Baby!”

Or my favorite one I just heard a few minutes ago: “Call the fire chief! Call the fire chief! Call the fire chief! He’s burning down the nets!” (in other words, Reddick had a hot hand for about a minute).