Lamest Final Four EVAR 


Home-court advantage in the NCAA tournament 

Every year various teams in the NCAA basketball tournament get shafted when the game venues are chosen. East #1 seed North Carolina just played four games in its home state, while South #1 seed Memphis gets to play #2 seed Texas in Texas for a spot in the Final Four. Meanwhile, scores of lower-seeded teams are forced to bear huge travel costs by flying cross-country for their games.

I think the NCAA really needs to smooth out these home-court inequities in the future -- either keep every team in its natural geographic region to cut down travel costs, or spread the travel burdens around equally. There is absolutely no reason for any team to be burdened with excessive travel or a significant home-court disadvantage.

However, in the libertarian spirit of this blog, I would propose another solution (which, needless to say, will never fly): when the selection committee selects its 64 65 teams, seed them 1-65 and let them choose, in order, which regional they want to play in. Obviously the very lowest seeds are still going to get screwed over, but it would be very interesting to see exactly how low a seed a team would be willing to take in exchange for playing close to home. I think avoiding a cross-country trip is easily worth a drop of one seed, and possibly two.


Federal government to bail out losing gamblers at taxpayer expense 

From the WaPo:

The Bush administration is finalizing details of a plan to rescue thousands of homeowners at risk of foreclosure by helping them refinance into more affordable mortgages backed by public funds, government officials said.

The proposal is aimed at assisting borrowers who owe their banks more than their homes are worth because of plummeting prices, an issue at the heart of the nation's housing crisis. Under the plan, the Federal Housing Administration would encourage lenders to forgive a portion of those loans and issue new, smaller mortgages in exchange for the financial backing of the federal government.



Somehow "Sweet Caroline" has become the anthem of the Davidson basketball team. Ordinarily I'd be outraged that they stole one of the Boston Red Sox' oldest and most precious sacraments, but since they made me a quick $25 over the weekend I'll let it slide.


Dear Cuban soccer kids, 

If you want to come to the US that badly, the least you could have done is not to bone us over by playing your full squad against our team and then defecting.


RIP Gary Gygax 

The inventor of Dungeons & Dragons passed away yesterday.

Having learned a little bit about the regular Platonic solids when I was a kid, I remember the first time I saw a 10-sided die. It blew my mind.


Muddy Waters must be homotoping in his grave 

Topologist Scott Carter plays the Quantum Gravity-Topological Quantum Field Theory blues. (Lyrics are here.)

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