Welcome to the JR and Henry live blog for the Final Four. It's 4:40 and the television is on. The players are slowly rolling in. I just mixed my first cocktail. JR's getting his ass whipped Kid Dynamite for the 100th consecutive time in Tyson's Punch Out. G Baby, our host, has a cold Smithwick's.
Why is Ernie Kent on the pregame show? Probably trying to get that Harvard job. Lord knows he ain't even qualified for that. The Razorbacks, and that damn buffoon Broyles, still don't have a coach, although the crew is full of laughter at those on Hogville posting that Jerry Tarkanian is the next coach of the Razorbacks.
The menu tonight is quite extravagant. G Baby had some lobsters and crab cakes flown in today from Maine. Fresh boiled shrimp and lots and lots of booze.
Here are the players: JR, Henry, G Baby, Gibby06, DY, Hero Harris, and the dames. Via satellite, the Sheikh and Lo.
Tip off is in 25 minutes. Track the games with us. It's certain to be a ridiculous time.
4:47: Just watched "One Shining Moment." JR wants to know where was Scotty Thurman's shot in the national title in 1994? Mad Dog Madsen sighting. Dude is straight up WHITE.
4:51 - Who puked on the court?
4:53 - Gibby06 (Ohio State); G Baby (Georgetown); DY (Georgetown); JR (Ohio State). And the correct answer is, Georgetown. As of this posting, the Razorbacks still don't have a coach. Nice work, Frank.
4:54 - Nice shirt Craig O'Neil.
4:55 - Alright, here's what happens when you put a bunch of lawyers in the room. Freaking lawyers. Two of them are huddled in the corner talking jurisdiction in the Paul Eells case. Barf.
4:57 - DG just plowed through the front door. Hair in tact.
4:59 - Shaikh has it from an inside source that a deal is in the works to bring Stan Heath back. Seems more plausible to us than anything else save hiring Porter Moser.
5:01 - Waiting for the annual "Hello Friends" spawns a conversation about the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Who gives a damn?
5:05 - Second round of drinks coming out. That didn't take long. Prime viewing spots being gobbled up. DG brought cigars, I suppose to celebrate his latest haricut, but who knows. JR will smoke one fo shizzle. DG laughing at his own jokes. Does Georgetown have 5 fans at this game?
5:09 - Thad Matta is 39 years old? Come on. One thing is for sure, neither one of these teams should be in the Final Four. We have a Tennessee alum in the house. Tough to swallow blowing a 20 point lead over the Buckeyes. And here's the tip!
5:10 - 18 seconds into the game and Hibbert has foul No. 1. That's not good for the Hoyas. gibby06 and JR just predicted that Oden would use Hibbert. DY just said that Greg Oden was discovered at the Real Deal on the Hill citing Otis Kirk. Good lord. It only took 40 minutes for someone to cite Otis as a reliable source. DY just got sucker punched.
5:12 - 18:30 left in first half and the Hogs still don't have a coach. The Shaikh has disappeared into the booze. Lo is silent. JR and Packer on the same page. Sad.
5:13 - Happy, happy. Oden just picked up his second foul with 17:10 left in the first half. Time for the Hoyas to dominate. G Baby reminds the crowd that Mike Conley, Jr. didn't even sniff Arkansas during the recruiting process, although Mr. Inside Otis Kirk would tell you otherwise.
5:17 - Bruce Pearl makes his first commercial appearance working the E Trade floor.
5:20 - Hero Harris makes an appearance to a thunderous applause.
5:21 - How is that the Buckeyes play better without Oden? Answer: Mike Conley, Jr. Dude and can straight up hoop.
5:23 - Hero Harris mentions G'Town playing tight. Everyone admits Hogs got no chance to get a good coach.
5:25 - How is it that G'Town only has 7 points with Oden on the bench? Rumors swirling that Frank Broyles is hiding in the UA plane. What we want to know is why didn't Broyles stick around for the games? What, is he scared of good basketball?
5:27 - Shaikh offers that JT3 must be the milk man's son because he looks nothing like JT2. Fair point.
5:29 - G'Town finally gets into double digits. G Baby planning his annual Rib Party. Scheduling around the dames. Smart play.
5:33 - G Baby cheesin' on JR's lady. Talking about buying a puppy and cleaning his house. Pitiful.
5:35 - Hero offers another name for the Hog head coaching job: Jamie Dixon. Ok, Jamie Dixon isn't coming here. I could suggest Phil Jackson and someone would run with it.
5:40 - Lots of chatter about JR and Henry and their columns. Huge fans in the room. Huge!
5:42 - Oh wait, there's a Final Four game on. This game is a snooze-fest. Straight up boring. Shaikh's wife sends a shout out. She loves her some hoops. Diamond Hogs won another one 4-3. Arkansas Baseball is an example of what you get when you go and pay for a quality coach. Why we still mess around with Houston Nutt is beyond us. And yes, we still don't have a basketball coach.
5:47 - The topic has turned to baseball. G Baby loves the Royals. Hero admits that the only good thing about the Royals is that you get good seats for cheap prices. G Baby just threw out Steve "Bye Bye" Balboni. Hero admits that the sad thing about KC is that they dump good talent quicker than the LA Clippers. G Baby trying to justify drafting Ken Harvey over Albert Pujols. Gibby06: "two words, Gil Meche."
5:49 - Back to basketball. G Baby sporting an elbow sleeve. Shaikh chimes in and notes that he's on beer 10 and no buzz. Impressive. Lo wants to know if Dave Van Horn's brother is available to come coach the Razorback basketball team.
5:53 - It's halftime. This game looks a lot like Arkansas v. Auburn except that both of these teams have better players, better coaches and well, better everything else, including athletic directors. Crab cakes in the oven. And if Georgetown doesn't have an AD (a la Vandy), whomever it is that oversees athletics is better than Broyles, who might actually register a negative on a job performance examination.
5:57 - G Baby playing "ain't nothin' but a G Thing Baby. Watching Bill Walton on some HBO special on UCLA. "You can't erase the stigma and stain from my soul." Well, we sure can't erase those horse chops from this television.
6:04 - More chicks just arrived. Talking to G Baby like Broyles talked to Nolan.
6:06 - Lots of James Bond chatter. Gibby06 lobbying for "For Your Eyes Only" and "Casino Royale" as the top 2 Bond films. I'd throw "Goldfinger" in there, but "Casino Royale" takes the prize. Daniel Craig makes Pierce Brosnan look like Tinkerbell.
6:15 - Crab cakes are out. Ohio State looks lost to start the second half. Just cracked a bottle of South African pinot.
6:17 - The FOX affiliate in Memphis is reporting that Arkansas has been granted permission to talk to John Calipari. Of course, this is is the same network that alleged that Arkansas tried to buy Thaddeus Young. We'll see how reliable this is. G Baby wants the Hogs to go after Bruce Pearl. Yeah, and JR and Henry ought to win a Pulitzer.
6:25 - Back to basketball. Why does Oden lift up his knees every time he dunks the basketball? Mike Conley is so good. Too bad Stan Heath didn't start recruiting him until his junior year. That what Otis would call "gettin' in on him late."
6:27 - DG just went "Frito + crab cake." I suppose we'll start listening to Hank Jr and drinking Boone's Farm soon.
6:27 - Lo comments that he hopes Calipari insists on a decent Italian restaurant opening in F-Ville as part of his contract. Guess he's never been to Pesto Cafe.
6:30 - Oden beginning to roll. Then picks up third. Refs need to consult with CBS.
6:35 - Hibbert working in Oden's abscense. G and DG talking about man trip to Chicago. And then to Milwaukee to see the sausage races. draw your own conclusions.
6:38 - Hibbert picks up garbage foul from Teddy Valentine. Let em play.
6:40 - Time for G'Town get a TO. Hibbert with 4 is a huge disadvantage. JR all over the crab cakes. I just hauled my ass up the street to pick up more pots for the corn and who knows what else. There's enough food here to feed Rick Majerus. Ok, maybe not.
6:41 - Oh come on! How is that a blocking foul? Let the players play. Goodness. This is the Final freaking Four. Everyone up in arms over the horrendous officiating. Not surprising since Teddy V is involved, but come on NCAA, get it together.
6:43 - Big debate over the appropriate reference to the University of Arkansas which is located in Fayetteville. There's a consensus: It's the "U of A," "UA" or "the University." Why the Dem-Gaz and anyone else refer to it as the "University of Arkansas at Fayetteville" is beyond us.
6:46 - Georgetown can't score. JR wants to know how Georgetown thinks they can win a national title scoring this few points. Good question. Ohio State just nailed a three. Looking a lot like the Buckeyes will pull away. G'Town answers!
6:49 - JR says Jeff Green's lack of play tonight is the difference. JR's experience comes from working the scorer's table at junior high basketball games. Georgetown is fighting back. Jeff Green does draw the 4th on Oden. Could be a turning point for the Hoyas. This South African wine is tasty.
6:53 - Does Teddy V have money on this game? 2 minutes to go. That's the ballgame with that play by Lighty. Hero argues that Stan Heath is the worst recruiter to be called a "good recruiter."
7:02 - DY is calling for Teddy Valentine to be fired. Seems convinced that Bruce Pearl would author an op-ed to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
7:03 - It is even more apparent to us how much Roy Williams was outcoached by JT3. Pitiful. UNC should have rolled G'Town. If they'd played the same game they played in the first half, JR and I both agree that the Tar Heels would be the first team in the national title game. As it stands, the most boring team in America awaits the winner of Florida - UCLA on Monday night. Hero wants to buy the "One Shining Moment" album. Hero needs to get out.
7:05 - JR and I just got the following e-mail: "Calipari would be a great choice. He's done wonders at Memphis. He has numerous Arkansas ties and once showed up at a fundraiser for Representaive Marion Berry in Memphis."
7:07 - we just got a call from one of our inside sources who says that Broyles spent the entire rest of the day after Heath was fired to try and find a good number to get Billy Gillespie on the phone.
7:09 - Ohio State in the national title game. Are Greg Oden and Mike Conley, Jr the 2007 equivalent of Carmelo Anthony? 50 cent now playin on the Hi Fi. DG just pulled a Mad Dog Madsen. Conley just named game MVP. Seriosuly isn't missing out on him the modern day equivalent of missing out on Karl Malone? If Arkansas needed one thing this season it was a point guard. And no, Gary Ervin wasn't the answer.
7:12 - Remeber in 1994 when Nolan punked Billy Packer referring to the time when Corey Back entered the game with 9 minutes left and 4 fouls. Packer asked Nolan (and we're paraphrasing) "Nolan, it was key when you got Corey Beck back into the game. That, to me, was the difference." Nolan's response: "Hell, Billy, a blind man could have seen that." One of the classic moments in Final Four history. Remember that during the Richardson employment discrimination trial, Broyles (a.k.a cluster-frank) testified that this was one of the incidents that bothered him. What we want to know is how did Broyles know this first hand? He heard second hand.
7:17 - Speaking of Nolan, why hasn't the UA ever honored the 1994 national title team? We have our theories. Nolan and John McDonnell are the only two coaches in UA history to win LEGITMATE national titles. Broyles "alleged" national title was awarded by the Football Writers Association only. The wire services gave it to other teams. Still, the UA honors athletic teams that simply make it to the NCAA tournament. It's completely unacceptable that the 1994 team has never been honored. The shame on the UA permeates.
7:22 - We're taking bets: will the OSU BBall team score more in the national title game than the OSU football team? And a bit of trivia: the last time the national title games in football and basketball featured the same two teams in the same academic year? Post your comments below.
7:26 - Just got a call from Cubbie Bear (no, not the bar) in Chicago. He loves Ohio State. He's thinking about flying in for the announcement of Doc Sadler as the new basketball coach.
7:28 - JR is back in front of Tyson's Punch Out. He'll get his ass whipped again for certain. Dude might have Tourette's.
7:32 - DG hates Joakim Noah. JR likes the Florida look. The Shaikh is bombed. Lobsters are being served.
7:33 - DY wants to know if Donovan's strategy of recruiting good players who were also wealthy as a strategy to keep them in school longer paid off. Well, if it's accurate, then yes, it did.
7:35 - Lo wants to know if Thurston Howell is hosting our Final Four party.
7:37 - G Baby wants the world to know that he has a signed photo of Bill Walton on his wall. G Baby saying that he's willing to pay Big Red's speaking fee to fly him in for Rib Party 10 in 2009.
7:38 - JR up against Kid Dynamite again. Loser.
7:39 - Yahoo! sports now reporting that Arkansas has requested permission to talk to Memphis coach John Calipari. This would be a good hire although it would surely infuriate Nolan Richardson, which may be one of the motivations behind Broyles actions.
7:41 - From Lo, "Billy Packer looks like Gorbachev with that mole on his scalp. He ought to see a dermatologist."
7:44 - Here come the introductions for the real game. JR just put a huge lobster down on the table. "I'm living the good life," he says. Billy Donovan looks like he's on his way to a second consecutive national title and then a $3 million contract at UK. It might even be $3.5, which means that both Michigan and UF are open - both better jobs that the Hogs. Again, thanks Frank.
7:50 - JR pulling heavily for the Gators. His girl demands it. Actually, it's Gator Nation over here. SEC bias probably. That, and we all remember Toby Bailey and 1995.
7:53 - Shaikh must be passed out. It's a seafood frenzy over here. Absolutely delicious. G Baby has gone above and beyond the call of duty. This is the Final Four party of the decade. Would have been nice if this were circa 1994, but we deal.
7:59 - We have a Shaikh citing. Claims to have the gill lit and that the brown water (a.k.a. Maker's Mark) is doing the trick. No doubt.
8:01 - Is there anything better than seafood dipped in warm butter? By the way, how obvious is Billy Packer in his love for UCLA? Packer just said how important it is to have a point guard who can take control when the shot clock is winding down. Sure wish the Hogs had a PG. Sure wish we had Mike Conley Jr.
8:04 - JR, DG, G Baby and Gibby06 all have faith that the Gators will turn the corner. G Baby is the only one who applied to UF, still not sure why. He ended up at OU before tansferring bak to the UA. Why he claims Gator pride is beyond everyone here.
8:07 - From Lo, "I think Mata's schnoz just poked me in the eye through the TV. Tommy Lee Jones could have used his help tracking Dr. Richard Kimball." Shaikh says "Florida is done."
8:09 - Afflalo picks up his third foul. Not sure how the Bruins recover from that. Of course, the Gators can't buy a bucket. Shaikh wants everyone to know that he hates UCLA. Also, he's leading the charge to for the UA to hire Rick Majerus. We told him that Broyles passed on Majerus and that Iowa is getting him. Shaikh is in denial.
8:15 - 7-6 with 11:22. Howland playing the exact game he wants. Hero says that Florida needs a huge game from Corey Brewer and he's going to get it. Hero thinks Donovan doing exactly what he should be doing. JR and I disagree. DG just said Noah looks like that guy Sanjaya or however you spell it from American Idol. Noah at least has talent.
8:17 - Jay Bilas makes Billy Packer look like Rick Schaffer. Billy Packer might as well sport a UCLA sweatshirt and serve water to the players.
8:22 - Just polished off my lobster. G Baby, perhaps the biggest sports fan we know, if off playing drinking games with the very pretty girls. Ok, I though it would sound dumb when I started typing. Now it doesn't so much.
8:24 - Corey Brewer en el fuego. I think G Baby is playing flip cup with hot chicks. We're watching the game and typing on this blog. Yeah, who looks like fools again?
8:26 - Great transition by the Gators. Noah pulled a great rebound and Billy Packer is silent. Shocking.
8:30 -ok, taking a break for a game of flip cup. Back in a minute.
8:42 - Dr. T and her team kicking serious ass in flip cup. My team, only because of a lack of practice, is getting schooled. But we're fighting back. Florida REPRESENT!
8:49 - Hero here. I'm judging the flip cup game. I'm pissed that Florida has 10 turnovers in the first half to UCLA's one. This would be a 22-point game if UF could cut down the stupid mistakes. More exciting is this flip cup game. Somebody said, "start cheating." The cheaters side ends up winning. Nobody complains. Kinda like Billy Packer calling it for Ohio State in the first game, and is he ever the homer for UCLA in the second?
9:04 - Just spent 30 minutes back in college. Good times had by all. Now back to the Final Four. Joakin Noah finally scores with 17:32 left. Interesting that Florida started out in a 2-3. But they did stop UCLA twice so Donovan may be doing something unexpected. And how long can UCLA continue with the double down on the baseline? Questions . . .
9:08 - Dessert time. Alice, who caters to you as well as anyone can, straight brought it with her latest chocolate delicious. Party folks enjoying it.
9:11 - Juris Doctor K says we need more flip cup, less hoops. She a UF alum and not worried about the team. She's a member of Billy's D's. Sin-a-Men is loving the flip cup and the NWA. Dr. T is anxious for redemption because her team took a straight flip cup ass kickin'. She claims her tream has skillz. Fo shizzle, mo dizzle.
9:14 - This from Lo, "Noah has some teeth. If I were Matta I would be wearing a garlic necklace." Atta boy, Lo.
9:17 - OK, I just woke up and realized UCLA has 28 points with 13:16 left. Now 32. Not cool. Florida should turn on the after burners. This has "ballgame" written all over it.
9:20 - Juris Doctor K is pretty impressed that her alma mater is about to capture a spot in the Big Game for the second year in a row. Yeah, sure, we're all fans tonight. Hero is upset at the refs. JR going for another drink. Gibby06 enjoying some pinot grigio. PMAC, a new addition, curious about the entire event. Dude probably wants some lobster. Hero got pissed when I asked about this bad music. It's Billy Joel. DG creeping. I can smell his hair gel.
9:25 - Could Billy Packer be more pissed that UF is dominating? Brewer just makes a sound block and Packer expresses the enthusiasm of a turtle. Maybe Packer is a turtle?
9:35 - Hero is on the dart board. Gibby06 is dropping F bombs. Shaikh hearing that John Calipari is the front runner. Dude has mad sources. Sike. Looks like the top 3 coaches in this order are: John Calipari (Memphis), Mike Montogomery (Golden State Warriors, Stanford) and Dana Altman (Creighton) are the leaders in the coaching search.
9:37 -- Doctor T and Juris Doctor K here. Noah's hair looks like big perm, big worm. Doctor T just performed hand surgery in the kitchen. No big thang.
9:41 -- Florida is up by 15. If you ain't a Gator, you're Gator bait. Gibby's wife is gushing blood, but the game goes on . . .
9:42 -- Only team better than Florida is the Harrison Goblins. They rock. And G Baby loves them. Doctor T and Juris Doctor K heart them. Florida now up by 18.
9:44 -- Hero and DG playing darts because they're so confident in Florida's victory. JR refuses to play flipcup until Florida's victory is assured (meaning that the buzzer has sounded). Henry hanging out with moviegoing friend. Leaving Doctor T and I to blog for him (dangerous proposition, we know).
9:46 -- Lo says "was that Nelson Mandela at half court with Bill Russell?"
9:47 -- DG rockin' out to "Poncho and Lefty." The Merle Haggard part is by far the best. No doubt.
9:49 -- Doctor T setting up for more flipcup post-game. JR refusing to pay attention until the game is decided. Juris Doctor K admiring JR's love for the game.
9:50 -- DG kicking Hero's ass at darts. Actually, they're only 1 for 1. But DG has it under control. He's playing darts Joakim Noah style.
9:51 -- DG just decided that P-Mac is a complete wanker.
9:52 -- 1:20 to play before flipcup can continue.
9:53 -- 1:12 to play. DG wanting to smoke cigars. DG's wife, Doctor T, wanting to play flipcup. JR concentrating. DG commenting on Babba O'Reilly's "best song ever written."
9:56 -- Doctor T setting up for flipcup. Ready to rock high school style. Last time, Doctor T, DG, G Baby, and Gibby's wife got their tails kicked by JR, Henry, Juris Doctor K, and Gibby. DG just sat on Fibber's new bed.
9:59 -- 20.2 seconds left in the game. Juris Doctor K not letting G Baby toss off his FSU hat. It's over!!! Juris Doctor K celebrating!
10:00 -- Florida in the final game!!! JR celebrating. Florida is his adopted team, now that Arkansas is . . . um . . . struggling.
10:02 -- This was fun, y'all. Come back for the championship game. We can't promise lobster, but we can promise good times. DG singing "where the streets have no name." 'Nuff said.
10:03 -- Doctor T and Juris Doctor K signing off. Devoting our full energy to flipcup. Wishing all bloggers happy flipping. Already missing moviegoing friend's moves. She rocks at flipcup.
10:13 - Flip Cup Part Deux. DG might be the worst flip cup player ever. Are we all 18 again? Sure feels like it.
10:15 - Florida v. Ohio State. Yeah, that's Florida's to lose. Of course, we said that about the Hogs in 1995.
10:21 - Hero is shooting darts. Poorly.
10:22 - Down to 2 on 2 flip cup. Yeah, might be time to pack it in. Now the darts are out. Seriously, there is a screaming dog the size of that dog in Austin Powers. Might be the same dog come to think of it.
10:24 - Gibby06 just hit Juris Doctor K in the face with an empty beer can. She was thinking about going to sleep. Now she might take a flame thrower to his cranium.
10:30 - henry = loser. juris doctor k is taking care of this blog.
10:37 - JR enjoying a victory cigar. Not so much that he cares about UF, but his lady does. Will make life easier fo shizzle.
10:39 - Shaikh is over and out. Watching the news. Casey Dick is terrible. Just terrible. Doctor T wants to know how Dick can complete an interview without getting injured.
10:59 - KTHV is reporting that we're offering John Calipari. JR wants to know if we're offering everyone we think Kentucky will offer.
11:01 - DG sleeping face down on the carpet. Doctor T trying to play Nintendo. We are all leaving the dream. A great party and a great night. JR and Henry are signing off. And yes, the Razorbacks still don't have a coach.