Afternoon Linkage: Get tourney-ready

  • When I went to Indianapolis to do the mock selection committee jig a couple of weeks ago, at least one of you asked to see the NCAA's "team sheets" -- the lists of information about each team given to the selection committee upon request in the committee room. Trust me when I say they're not all that cool. It's just a list of RPI wins, strength of schedule, opponents' strength of schedule, and the like, organized in a format that takes at least an hour to get used to. In any case, if you want to see what one such sheet looks like, Crashing The Dance has an awfully close reproduction. Even the colors are similar.

  • That link comes via Yet Another Basketball Blog, which runs through a bit of quasi-bubble talk before launching into a solid defense of the committee's selection process.

  • Kansas' Sherron Collins is nine wins away from tying Shane Battier's all-time NCAA record for wins in a career. But will Kansas get those nine wins? It has three more regular-season games -- which, if it runs the table, would complete a perfect conference season -- as well as the Big 12 tournament and the NCAA. Provided Kansas handles business in the conference and doesn't get upset early in the tournament, Battier's record is entirely within reach.

  • Buster Sports' Chip Patterson unveils a model he used to rank the watchability of conference tournaments based on pace and potential for drama. The Big East is the most likely place to catch tight, overtime-ready basketball, while the SEC and the Big 12 will feature the most teams willing to get out and run. But what about those of us who are going to try to watch every conference tournament game at the same time, like Ozymandias in his TV lair? Your results may vary.

  • Josh Pastner isn't maintaining any illusions about Memphis' chances of snatching an at-large bid: "We control our own destiny, and that means you have to win games. If we do our job by winning games we'll be in the tournament," Pastner said. "I don't play mind games. I'm not a psychologist, I'm a coach. I'm very honest with our players, and that's the truth. Our backs are against the wall, and our margin of error is slim-to-none. They know it, they understand it."

  • CBS' Gary Parrish jumps on the Jim Calhoun bandwagon, in so far as that bandwagon exists, saying the school should give Calhoun a "lifetime contract" as soon as Calhoun can give them a doctor's note clearing the man of the health issues that have plagued his last two seasons with the team. Hey, why mess with success?

  • Ole Miss is going to search for a new mascot to replace the ever-controversial Colonel Reb. Might I suggest Nightmare Ant?

  • When is an injury to your starting point guard good thing? When you're Texas coach Rick Barnes, and you can't seem to figure out your rotation. The injury to Dogus Balbay could, according to Rush The Court, end up being a positive, because whoever Barnes chooses to replace Balbay will "have the luxury of knowing that his minutes will likely increase and he’s not going to be yanked for one poor decision." Of course, Barnes actually has to choose one of his replacements first. Meanwhile, BIAH isn't convinced by the sunny side.

  • Georgia Tech uber-frosh Derrick Favors is doing his best to stay grounded in Atlanta. How does he do this? By ignoring ESPN, opting for cartoons instead: "He always tells me, ‘Man, cartoons are the only thing that keeps it real nowadays,'" said Tech freshman and fellow suitemate Brian Oliver. "If they say something he doesn't like [on ESPN], he'll say ‘See, I told you. You watch Tom and Jerry, it'll be all right.'" Favors might also spend a little more time studying the game; he's been good this year, especially on the glass, but he hasn't been spectacular, as was promised. Meanwhile, his team has lost four of its last five, has dropped out of the Top 25, and is limping its way toward the NCAA tournament. Hype should be the furthest thing from Derrick's mind, no?

  • Yeah, Steve Alford is feeling the love in New Mexico. The next question: When does Alford start getting other offers? And will he listen?

  • Some requisite ESPN link love: New Forde minutes! Katz on refs and coaches! O'Neil on redemption! Collect all three!

As always, follow me on Twitter to send me links and tips.