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Golden Nugz 3.15.11- Tubby's back, Lucia's Excuses, and March Madness Upset Odds

A few Gopher links today despite hockey AND basketball season being over for the U.

The big one is news that really isn't news but it's become news: Tubby Smith says he'll be back next year. While Tubby has earned the right to coach here next season, I can't think what he's accomplished in his four seasons in the Barn has been enough for other programs to come calling, but the rumors seem to swirl every year. So he's not going to Arkansas, but Myron says NC State is expected to fire Sidney Lowe, and they pay $3 million per year...around and around it goes.

Gopher hockey coach Don Lucia is disappointed with how the season ended. Really Don? You don't say! He then gives a long list of excuses for why the Gophers couldn't beat a less talented team on home ice. One thing he doesn't say is that he got outcoached. Again. I'm sure he really is frustrated and disappointed. I believe him. But he's been frustrated and disappointed at the end of the last four years, but instead of finding answers and getting better results, things are getting worse. It's the second straight year the Gophers didn't even make the Final Five. But of course, he'll be back next year to try again because with Joel Maturi as your AD, as long as you say you're trying hard and doing what you can, the results don't matter. It's all about the effort. Good ****ing times.

Per the MN Daily, Gopher baseball released their Target Field schedule. Their Big Ten home opener is a double header April 1 at 1:05pm against Purdue. Tickets all season are just $10 for adults, $5 for kids 14 and under, and University of Minnesota students with a valid ID get in free!

Finally, today is the day a lot of people are filling out their brackets. Despite this whole new convoluted system of play-in games that go today and tomorrow, I'm still of the belief your completed brackets shouldn't be due until right before tip-off Thursday morning. That's when the REAL tourney begins! Go to a sports site today- really any of them- and you'll find plenty of tips and advice for sleepers, upset specials and who's going to the Final Four. Of interest to me is what Vegas thinks of the first round games, and looking at the odds, there's some obvious upset specials out there. Too obvious perhaps? Here's a few:

7/10: 7 Texas A&M vs 10 Florida State is a pick 'em
10 seed Penn State +1.5 over Temple

6/11: 11 seed Mizzou is actually FAVORED over 6 seed Cincy. Wow. Cincy is +1.5 right now.
6 seed St Johns is just -1.5 over Gonzaga
6 seed Xavier is just -1 over Marquette

5/12: 5 seed Vandy is -1.5 over Richmond
5 seed KState -2 over Utah St

4/13: Oh those Badgers. Upset victims? 4 seed Sconnie just -4.5 over Belmont

3/15: The only matchup where the 3 seed is giving less than 10 points is #3 BYU just -8 over Wofford. No way Jimmer Fredette goes out in the first round, right? Right?

Anyway, some food for thought when filling out your brackets.