Basketball

Category archives for Basketball

Wanted: The Hoosiers of Science

I’ve been revising a chapter on collaboration in science for the book-in-progress, making an analogy to team sports. And it occurred to me as I was trying to find a way to procrastinate, that while science is a highly collaborative endeavor, most of the popular stories that get told about science are not. There’s no…

In which I get a little ranty about basketball. ———– Over at Slate, Matt Yglesias has a column about why everybody ignores the Spurs.: America—at least in its own imagination—stands for certain things. For the idea that hard work and sound judgment bring success, and that success deserves celebration. That winners should be celebrated as…

On Basketball

While in the past, I’ve written a bunch about basketball here, I’ve been unusually silent on the subject this year, confining my commentary to the occasional Links Dump item from Grantland and other sites. This isn’t because the past season was not noteworthy– indeed, it was a rather eventful year for Syracuse basketball, with the…

Jonah Lehrer has a big article at Grantland on concussions in high school football that paints a fairly bleak picture: The sickness will be rooted in football’s tragic flaw, which is that it inflicts concussions on its players with devastating frequency. Although estimates vary, several studies suggest that up to 15 percent of football players…

A little while back, Jonah Lehrer did a nice blog post about reasoning that used the famous study by Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky, The Hot Hand in Basketball (PDF link) as an example of a case where people don’t want to believe scientific results. The researchers found absolutely no statistical evidence of “hot” shooting– a…

Gary Williams

Maryland head basketball coach Gary Williams announced his retirement suddenly yesterday. He was a player at Maryland back in the 60′s, and has been the coach there for 22 years, now. As I didn’t start rooting for the Terps until I went there for graduate school in 1993, he’s the only coach I’ve really seen…

Does the Regular Season Matter?

This past weekend, I ended up hearing sports-radio pinheads holding forth proudly about their ignorance of college basketball. The justification for this is that “the regular season doesn’t matter,” since the NCAA tournament is single-elimination, and lesser-known teams keep ending up making big runs in the tournament. Since there’s apparently no way in their world…

The Trouble With Three

I’m old enough to remember when the three-point shot was a new addition to college basketball, and it was not without controversy. It’s been part of the game for better than twenty years now, and you’ll still hear people talking about how it’s revolutionized the game, generally in a positive way. The case for this…

Advertising Reveals Our Culture

I’ve been watching a lot of basketball lately, and between the channel-flipping and occasional single-game windows, it has not been possible to use the DVR to avoid seeing commercials. Which means I’ve seen a lot of the current paradigm of advertising in America, which seems to consist of two main modes: Smug and “dickish”: The…

This year’s NCAA tournament is being spread over four tv networks, so that every game is shown in its entirety. Previously, you got whatever game was deemed to hold the most interest for your region of the country, plus occasional looks in at games elsewhere, that usually managed to miss the most exciting bits. For…