|9:00||Tune Squad||Blue Coconuts|
|3:00||Slow Mavs||Flying Squirrels|
|4:00||Metta World Peace||Straight Pippen|
|7:00||Scrap Attack||Ben's Frens|
With four weeks left in the regular season, only three of the 35 teams remain undefeated and only three are winless. (Take Over was invited to leave the league, but their 0-3 mark will remain on the books.) It should be a tight race to the finish in all four divisions.
Somebody asked me the other day why I break the playoffs into smaller brackets. I will explain it again. We have three weeks to complete the playoffs. If, for example, we had four groups of eight teams each. We would need 16 hours to complete all of the first-round games. That means that we would have to go from 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. or perhaps 8 a.m. until midnight. Not exactly conducive to playoff basketball and/or playoff-level officiating. If we had four groups of nine (as in the regular season), we would actually need 20 hours(!) to complete the first round. If we had five brackets (four groups of seven and one of eight), we would again need 16 hours. However, if we have six groups of six, we only need 12 hours for the first round, 12 for the second round, and six for the championships. It just works out that way. I'm not one of those "Let's give everybody a trophy!" guys, but it works out well with six.
As for this week's action, Illuminati returned from a two-week layoff and posted a tight 66-55 win over Wolf Pack. Illuminati had four players in double figures and the fifth, Jay Nussberger, had nine points. Wolf Pack actually had nine players score points, but came up short in the game.
Zach Clark had 16 points and 16 rebounds to lead Game Time past Straight Pippen, 64-59.
Hickory held a slim two-point lead over Slow Mavs at the half, but pulled away late for a 58-49 win. Josh Arnold had a double-double (12 and 10) in the win.
Nick Gorosave poured in 33 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Hey Arnold! to a 72-50 win over Team Shady. Hey Arnold! is just a game back of unbeaten Scrap Attack in the Chris Mullin Division. Scrap held off a late surge by Trees for a 70-64 win. Kevin "Hacksaw" Harris had 23 points and 14 boards for the winners, while Alberto Almeida had 29 points in a losing effort.
Anthony "Junior" Hackworth scored 24 points and grabbed an amazing 20 rebounds in the Monstars' 61-51 loss to Icy Hots. More than half of Junior's rebounds were of the offensive variety.
Donte Williams had 30 points and 14 rebounds for The Hawgs in their 80-54 win over FndF. The 30 points actually dragged his season scoring average down a bit.
Five players scored in doluble figures as Heroes beat back Young Gunz, 82-68. The game marked the return of one of the league's all-time favorite players, Jeff Clark, who pulled down 11 boards for the Gunz.
Ben Martin had 12 points and 18 rebounds to help lead his Frens to their fourth win in five games. After winning back-to-back overtime games, the Frens had an easier time with a 10-point victory over Supers.
After starting the season 4-0, the Royals suffered their second-straight setback, falling to hot-shooting Sour Patch Kids, 92-73. All five players for the Kids hit at least one three-pointer and they had 20 threes as a team. That's crazy.
The bleachers are getting really messy again. I always give out fruit snacks to the kids and last night, I found three or four empty wrappers in the stands. It's nice when the kids know to throw them away, but it's the parents' responsibility to teach them to do so. I'm tiptoe-ing up to banning food and drink again. Please tell your fans to clean up after themselves and the children. Thank you.
And finally, I am announcing what will forever hence be known as the Cole Engle Rule. I've been around basketball for a loooong time and I've seen fads come and go. Most are just silly (The arm sleeve, for example, is one of the great scams of all time. Thirty bucks for a fashion statement that doesn't help one's game in any way.) Some go beyond silly to annoying. Baseball caps on a basketball floor is seriously lame. And the latest--one which I absolutely will not tolerate--is headphones/earbuds on the court. You're not cool; it doesn't help your "game" (such as it is); and it's just stupid. I hate it.
For the rest of this season, if a player has music-listening devices on his person (in his ears, draped over his shoulders, whatever), it's a technical foul to start the game. And that counts as a personal foul, as well. Starting with the next season, such a player will not be allowed to play in the game that day. That should clear up the outbreak of fake-ass coolness in a big damn hurry.
Have a nice week.