The Washington Post

D.C. Sports Bog Live: NCAA Tournament, Maryland, Georgetown, Caps, Ovechkin and Wizards

Mar 16, 2010

D.C. sports bogger Dan Steinberg takes your questions about Alex Ovechkin's suspension, what to expect from local teams in the the NCAA tournament and all the area's breaking sports news.

So...I bought my first partial Nationals season ticket plan right before spring training. I bought them assuming that they would not lose more than 100, but couldn't possibly win more than 81. So, ah...yah - they are 0-11 in spring training. Can you tell me something that will cheer me up, other than "Strasburg will be here in June"?

hey all. Sorry for making this late, and then being late for the late time, and now being on a bad computer without wireless.


Long story, but I'm in Sunrise for a story that has been completely botched because of a certain incident in Chicago. But the flight was non-refundable, so here I am. Never been to hockey game in Florida. Maybe I should have given up and driven to Viera.


Anyhow, as for your question, I tried doing Nexis on "0-11" and "spring training" and failed to find much. So maybe this team could make spring training history, I guess.

Actually, this is better: The relievers are getting all their meltdowns out of the way right now, so for the first few weeks of the season they';ll be better than expected. That's what I'm going with.

Also, my slow Internet means a lot more Boznian punctuation marks scattered throughout this chat. Apologies in advance.

Now someone ask me about the weather.

With regards to Virginia Tech and the tournament, I know VT can't complain because it should have just won more games. But how come head-to-head results don't seem to matter with the selection committee? VT didn't choose it's conference schedule, but the one game each it played Wake Forest, Clemson and GT, it beat them all yet they all made it in over VT. Isn't head-to-head the best actual comparision between teams instead of comparing them on paper (using SOS, RPI, OOC-SOS, etc.)? These 4 bubble teams played and there were actual results of who is better, rather than a hypothetical comparison.

Apparently alone among many of my colleagues,  I agree with you. Wake Forest's gag in the ACC tournament was also gaggier.

And someone sent me a long email this morning comparing last season's RPI numbers of this season's schedules for Maryland and Virginia Tech. His point was Maryland's OOC turned out to be tougher than expected, while Tech's turned out to be easier, through no fault of Seth or Gary.

Now, to some extent you can probably predict that UMBC is going to be worse this year than last, I guess. But it seems like Tech did get a few bad breaks on the OOC SOS.

I really don't know enough about teams like UTEP and Utah State to judge them against the Hokies, but if I had to put money on one head to head neutral court game between Wake and Virginia Tech this week, I'm taking the Hokies.

I also think anything that encourages BCS teams to schedule up is a good thing, though.

Mr. Bog: Is the proposed expansion from 64 to 96 teams a sure thing? If so, I can assume my (men) Huskers will really be in the pits next year when they don't make a field of 96.

From what you read, it's an extremely probable possibility. But no, not a sure thing.

I think this is one of the big story lines that's been missed with all the talk of expansion helping job security. Ok fine, the 9th place ACC coach can now brag "Hey, we made the tournament, this year was a success." But how's it look for the 12th place ACC coach who DIDN'T make a 96-teamer? I think job security DECREASES for him. No excuse to miss a 96-team event. So I say the job security issue winds up being a wash.

So once March Madness ends...and the NHL playoffs are over...and the Nats establish that they'll finish below .500 again, Strasburg or'll have time to cover DC United, right? Right?

I hear Wale's playing the season opener. Whether United plays the season opener is still TBD

Hey Dan, Despite your weaselly looks and teenage adolescent voice, I believe you have aged into a fine writer. I've been reading the Post for over 10 years now, and sadly to say, for the writers who have had other distractions (I'm looking at you, Wilbon, Wise, and Kornheiser), the quality of the columns have decreased. The Sports Bog is more entertaining to read than many of the sports columns. I think you're better than Hamilton, Wilbon, Wise, and just a shade below Jenkins, Feinstein, and the Couch Slouch. I don't read Boswell because he mostly talks about baseball, which is boorrrring. So what say you, when will you become a regular sports columnist?

This is a compliment, right? Or not. Unclear.

I don't think I'd be a good "regular sports columnist." I think, among other things, that requires

* More opinions, more concisely and powerfully expressed

* More expertise

* Superior writing ability

* A willingness to travel

* An ability to go more than three hours without publishing and not go crazy.

I lack all of those things. So I'll just stick with the Bog as long as I'm allowed.

Can you explain Bruce Boudreau''s comments about Crosby and a year? That quote just didn't make sense to me. He is a great coach but he seems to be goofy too.

Thanks for asking this, I saw there was some question about this in comments this morning.

I think the glut of sports coverage has led to people using more quotes, and more quotes that don't always make sense. Like all of us, athletes and coaches don't always speak perfectly when going off the cuff. But if you have six minutes of tape, you want to use it all.

Anyhow, Bruce was trying to touch on the inherent subjectiveness of such things. He has strong defended Ovechkin, yesterday and today, but he was saying that people outside DC will inevitably see it differently. "Along the same lines" he might have continued if he had a speech writer, "if Sidney Crosby took a dirty hit and only got two games, non-Penguins fans would complain bitterly, exaggerating their case by asking for a year suspension, while Penguins fans wouldn't want him suspended at all." That's what he meant

Hey, did you borrow Wilbon's watch or something? It's 1:38 p.m., where are you?

Well, I hope I've dealt with this in my intro, but FYI, I'm now chatting in the passnger seat of Tarik's rental car. A Chevy Impala. He wasn't happy with the car, but there weren't many choices.

We're on our way to Taco Bell. This is the glamorous career that boys and girls dream about: chatting on a dodgy Internet connection while driving a rental car toward a fast food chain.

Is the Atlantic 11 kaput, or can we expect to see the pithy genius of the voters back again next year?

I've enjoyed the poll very much for four years, but there are definitely a couple issues that trouble me

1) Every year voter participation drops by about 50 percent over the course of the season.

2) The Internet age doesn't look kindly upon stagnation, and the concept and execution haven't changed much for four years.

3) Originally I thought it would be fun to judge local teams against each other especially in the year after Mason's Final Four run, GW's top-10 ranking, etc. But Georgetown's utter domination, and the pretty similar position of all the other schools, just makes it not that interesting. If everyone knows the answer, why ask the question?

4) Compiling it every week is sort of a bear, and it keeps me from transcribing Redskins radio interviews.

Hey, Are you gonna answer some questions about march madness or gloat over Tiger coming back like Mike Wilbon did. hey breaking news: Brett Favre is coming back. do you think playing late on friday will make a difference when Maryland suits up against Houston?

I think it'll make less difference for Maryland than it might for a CAA school. The Terps play those 9 pm games all the time.

I hear Wilbon didn't take any questions on Ovechkin? Shocking. This would have been a fine, and deserved, opportunity to say "Told you so."

If you want some quick NCAA thoughts, here goes: the Baylor Final Four stuff makes me giggle, I really wanted to have Ohio State and Kansas meet for the national title in my bracket so thanks for nothing selection committee, Llike everyone else I like Old Dominion in the first round, I have half a mind to send Richmond to the elite eight for a loss to duke and very well might do so, Purdue didn't play just one game without Hummel and isn't nearly as bad as they looked, and I'm feeling like picking against all the mediocre ACC teams in the first round though I know that's never wise.

Who do you look for upset wins in the first round of the NCAA tourney?

If we're counting upsets as anything below a 10, I like things like ODU, Utah State, UTEP, Murray State.

Siena is tricky. They're really good, but I just don't believe Purdue is that bad. And I like Temple, which hurts because Cornell is obviously a great, great 12. But I think I'm sticking with Temple on that one.

Are you excited to read the Esquire piece about Gilbert? It seems as though we will finally get to hear what he thinks in his own words, but at the same time the hopeless situation for the Wiz has really sapped my enthusiasm.

Here it is.


It's pretty compelling. Interesting that they have Crittenton inserting the clip without getting a response from him. But it's a great read.

If Ted's successful in taking over the Wiz does he keep Grunfeld? Arenas? Or does he blow up the ship and start over?

The weather is glorious. It just is. I like living in Washington, but when you come to some place like this you can't help but wonder, why doesn't everyone in the world live in a place where winter doesn't exist.

By the way, Tarik gave up on Taco Bell, so now I'm doing this from the lobby of a hotel. This chat has taken you virtually from BankAtlantic Center to an Impala to a hotel lobby. I hope you're entertained.

As for your question...I don't know that he has much choice on Arenas. I don't want to speculate on Grunfeld. but regardless, I think the ship's pretty well blown up.

I think that what alot of people are missing is that it is *always* a dangerous play to hit someone from behind (or even partially from behind) 6-8 feet from the boards. Open ice, fine, up agains the boards, fine. While not intending to injure, Ovechkin should know better than to "push" a player that distance to the boards. If someone hit Ovechkin like that, wouldn't there be a huge cry of "Foul" and "Suspend that rat?" C'mon folks, the best player in the world simply SHOULD KNOW BETTER!

During two hours at the rink, I talked about the hit with or listened to other people talk about it at least 10 or 12 times. Media, coaches, players. And there's just no consensus, among diehard hockey people.

Here's something I dont think you can question: what Knuble said on Monday about a lot of thigns happening "around" Ovechkin, or whatever the word was. If you could find a way to still have Ovechkin be Ovechkin without "things happening," if that makes sense, that would be better for everyone. And yes, people will always always always get injured in a contact sport like hockey, but at some point there is a trend. Not towards dirtiness necessarily -- that's one of the subjective parts -- but towards "things happening," certainly.

As for your second point, I think some would argue the Craig Adams hit on Ovechkin during the snowpocalypse game was very much similar. Of course, Alex didn't get hurt, but that cycles us back to the argument about whether the injury should affect the punishment.

These aren't easy questions, at all. At least 10 hockey players, and I'm not exaggerating, have said something like "if you make alex back off, do you diminish his entire game?" People don't know the answers.

Penn State: #70 RPI last year, #194 this year Iowa: #121 RPI last year, #210 this year VMI: #128 RPI last year, #308 this year UMBC: #162 RPI last year, #333 this year Sure, you can expect UMBC to be worse this year, but to literally double their RPI? Penn St. (whom we played on the road) to almost triple last year's RPI? Iowa (also road, whom we didn't get to pick b/c of the ACC/Big10 Challenge) to have their worst season in 50 years? These things are not VT's fault. The schedule was made in good faith. Too much stock was put in things beyond their control and not enough in things within their control (their record).

Well, there you go. Wait, are you the guy who emailed me this info? Nice work, if so, and impressive googling if not.

I really do understand why people think expansion is such a bad idea, but Virginia Tech, Wake, Clemson, FSU, even Georgia Tech and Maryland, I don't think any is massively better than another. I don't see how the Hokies being the 66th team in would make it a lesser event, and I wouldn't be surprised if they did just as well as the rest of these teams.

Here's another point about expansion: some of the loudest critics (media folks) get to enjoy the tourney regardless. At least the national folks, they get to go no matter how many teams are out. But look at the Virginia Tech kids' reactions and tell me that they wouldn't be happier if they were in, even in a watered down field.

So, I want to rant about the suspension, but it seems like everything that could possibly have been said has been said. So, despite the fact that it was a totally bogus suspension, I'll say I'm actually kind of happy with it. The Caps played better in the third period and OT on Sunday than they have since the Olympic break, and actually looked like they deserved to win. Last time OV got suspended, the team came together and improved as a whole, which I think directly led to the winning streak. I like the timing of this suspension with respect to the playoffs.

It also lessens by one Bruce Boudreau's daily lineup conundrum. You figure eventually an injury will do the same thing, but with a remarkably healthy roster right now, there are NHL-caliber guys getting scratched every single game.

Today's scratches will apparently be Steckel, Erskine, Walker and Poti, with Q Laing getting on the ice again.

They are BOTH at fault! Don't leave your Non-con SOS up to the whims of William & Mary and Campbell - go out and schedule real home and homes against real tournament level schools. Florida and Wake Forest both have series with Xavier - they know the Musketeers will give them a game and will help their non-conference status.


Why there? Isn't Key Arena in Seattle available since the Sonic bolted ot OKC with one of the best yound players in the NBA? Spokane=blah Seattle=NICE

This is a question I'd like someone to answer for me. Maybe Prisbell is reading this chat. He'd been saying Spokane for weeks. Why? Why was it so likely 5 seeds would be there? I didn't understand, and I still don't, but congrats to all the media folks who pre-booked on Southwest to Spokane and hit the jackpot.

I've never been there, but I think I'd rather be in Sunrise.

Though there's now something like a 40-60 chance I'll have to go to Providence this weekend. Another long story.

Ever since Blatche became a full-time starter, he has been averaging 25/10/3/1 (Points/Rebounds/Assists/Blocks). Is the 14 game sample telling? Is he a bonafide all-star in this league?

Well, my only hesitation is that SOMEONE has to score. NBA teams don't go out there and drop 50 points a game, no matter how bad they are. And with a roster like the Wizards have, there just aren't too many candidates to get those points.

But never mind all that. Mike Prada from Bullets Forever, whom I trust, is leaning toward being convinced. Someone else was writing this week about Blatche possibly being one of the best players from his draft class. He just doesn't look like the same kid any more; whether he's a bona fide all-star or not, he seems like a bona fide NBA professional, which wasn't always the case in the past.

But they've also lost eight straight. I just wouldn't get excited about anything concerning a team that had lost eight straight.

Couple of bracket questions, if you would indulge me: You think WVU is as good as everyone says? Their last four games were won by a combined 9 points. Momentum? A bit of luck? How would New Mexico stack up? Also, you said Baylor makes you giggle. Why? Are you feeling Nova more?

Well, maybe you can laugh at me in three weeks, but Baylor feels like a pick that I used to make all the time: Want to find an upset, don't really like the one seed, not really feeling the two seed, convince self that random three seed is the team.

But if you didn't love Baylor last week, just being in Duke's bracket shouldn't make you love them now. That's my opinion. If all the other choices are poor, just suck it up and take Duke. Or even Purdue. That's my gut feeling. Maybe I'll look foolish.

West Virginia is good, but I think Kentucky is a better team, with better talent, and West Virginia's penchant for letting teams back into games sort of worries me. I also try to keep myself from overvaluing conference tournament results. Last year's Big East final was Louisvile-Cuse, right, and a lot of people had those teams in the Final Four. Cuse lost in the regional semis, and Louisville in the regional final, and yet two other Big East teams made the Final Four.

I'm still thinking about a Kentucky-Ohio State final, which would be of extreme interest to Wizards fans.

Well, they might not be good enough for you and Tarik, but SOMEONE sure likes them: D.C. Police

They're fine for me. I spent three years driving my parents' hand-me-down Dodge Caravan. Tarik is more of a snob.

But he did say we would look like police.

Haven't heard anything from OV's teammates on the suspension. Besides Knuble , before it was handed out, and GMGM and coaches comments, any vibes from the players?

I have lots of quotes, sure. I could use them if you want. Mostly they say what you'd expect: he plays hard, doesn't want to hurt anybody, feels bad, etc.

These guys are pretty good about not popping off though. There will be plenty more chances for them to talk about Alex over the course of this season.


Gary's got to be feeling great right now with former high-level recruits Lance Stephenson and Gus Gilchrest playing in the NIT. Aside from Bobby Mays, playing for No. 6 seeded Tennessee, there aren't too many recruits that turned Gary down that I'd rather see on this team right now.

But Gary has such a short memory. There's no chance he's thinking of players who turned him down, or of newspapers that wrote three-part series on what the heck happened to his program. No chance at all.

Do NCAA Tourney bubble teams that fail to make the dance usually win the NIT? Go Hokies!

I have to say I've done very little research on who wins the NIT. I used to enter an annual NIT pool, but that's been a couple years now. Anyone?

Penn State was certainly a bubble team for all of March last year, and then the Nittany Lions won the NIT.

You're in Florida driving to a hockey game - I'm at work nervously glancing over my shoulder while typign this, all while working on those pesky TPS reports. How's the weather?

Best of both worlds, incidentally; after dropping me at the hotel, Tarik went off by himself and brought me Taco Bell!

I'm just saying, there's not a lot of beach time in these trips. And I spent three hours today freezing around a sheet of ice, weather notwithstanding.

But whatever. You're right, I have no inclination to drop my laptop and pick up TPS reports, whatever those are.

Told you so about what? That Brian Campbell's skate would catch a toe just as Ovie pushed him slightly from behind? That didn't even deserve a major, not to mention a suspension.

Well, "from behind" is the key word, isn't it?

There's no sense in going back and forth indefinitely, but I think Alex's style of play has become a very very big national issue this week, and while I don't agree with his conclusion, Wilbon went there before all this week's participants did. And there are certainly plenty of people who agree wtih the general tone of his piece.

Thoughts on Gil in Esquire??

One thing I forgot to mention earlier; I'm pretty sure that  this still doesn't completely mesh with the government's proffer of facts that was presented when Gilbert pleaded guilty. That proffer suggested that Gilbert brought his guns to the arena on the day of the incident, whereas his Esquire tale says they were in a locked box next to his locker.

I don't know how much it matters at this point, but bringing them in specifically that day shows a greater degree of planning for his "prank." I'm curious which is true.

Dan, Did you see the article where Gilbert claims to have several hundred guns? And more importantly, him and Crittendon settled their differences in the hot tub? WTF? I think I watch too much reality dating shows cause I kept on wondering whether Gilbert gave Javaris a rose afterwards

He didn't really say they settled their differences there, it was more like they didn't have any differences to begin with.

But yeah, for sure, add the hot tub to the indelible memories of this incident. Maybe next year he can be Jacuzzi instead of Hibachi.

Hi Dan: I know you're going to get a bunch of Ovi/suspension questions ... here's one more to add to the mix. Where is the accountability for Colin Campbell? Who does he answer too? Clearly someone is in his pocket. You can't apply the rules this inconsistently and have no accountability!

Obviously he answers to Gary Bettman and others in the league offices. Damien Cox made a really interesting argument that Bettman should wipe Campbell's role away and do the discipline himself, at least for the big decisions like this. It's hard to imagine he's not involved anyhow; take the heat, and explain what is being done and why. These incidents are great for Web copy, but you don't want the perpetual focus of your league to be discipline.

Read it here.

Hi Dan, I really wanted to keep my mouth shut. My wife and I are both Russian and huge Caps fans. We know AO on a personal level and I have to say that it's clear that the NHL has a hatred toward Russian Players. There I said it.

I find it easier to criticize a few Canadian media outlets for their Ovechkin coverage than to say that the NHL hates him, or all Russians. I mean, I know that Caps fans are convinced the NHL promtes Crosby to the detriment of Ovechkin, but if the league actually "hated" Russians wouldn't they also promote, I dont know, Rick Nash to the detriment of Ovechkin? He gets the second most love from the league on virtually everything, and he keeps them relevant in D.C., and in lots more markets.

by the way, can you e-mail me? I have a question that I need to ask a Russian Caps fan.

HI Dan- Did anyone get a worse deal than Purdue as a 4 seed? With their record, RPI and wins over six (?) top ten teams it seems the Boilers got the cold shoulder. Not that the blowout loss to Minnesota or the blowout to Hummel's knee helped, but ye gads.

The committe has always been up front about injuries counting. And even as as four, people aren't talking about the Boilers as a real Final Four threat. I mean, they scored like 3 points in the first half against Minnesota.

Siena's a brutal first round draw, but if you deserve to be a top three or four seed, you have to be able to beat Siena. After that, I think they're matched up with the most vulnerable one seed, and after everything that's happened, they have virtually no expectations. That's a pretty nice place for a team with that record to be.

Hey Steinz, I'm the guy who harasses you endlessly in the comments section every time you post some idiotic new entry about Gilbert's favorite flavor of toothpaste. I just wanted to let you know that it's not personal, you're still my boy and all, but also that you probably shouldn't expect it to stop any time soon, either. Mostly because it's just fun for me, but also because you and I are kinda like Batman and The Joker, destined to torment each other for all of eternity. Err, something like that. Or, alternatively, you could just stop posting Zards junk.


Look, people are still interested in the Wizards. More interested than in the Nats, I'd guess. And yet I can't bring myself to do a breakdown on the long-term prospects of Alonzo Gee Whiz, or the shooting of Quinton Ross.

Thus, I'm left posting not much of anything about every tiny morsel of Arenas news. Put it this way: if it's a morsel of Arenas news I would click on myself, I'll probably post something about it. Your best option, aside from tormenting me for all of eternity, would be not reading those items.

Even with everything that's happened, there aren't more than five or six more fascinating and important D.C. athletes right now than Gilbert Arenas. If he leaves Washington, that will end, but he's still the franchise player for the third-most popular team in this town.

Will Vasquez keep his mouth shut this year if and when maryland goes up against Michigan State. Still can't help to think that cost us any hope of beating Memphis.

I mean, maybe you can make that argument for a mid-December game with Memphis. Maybe.

But this was a Memphis team coming off a crushing loss in the NCAA championship game. They were seen as a legit Final Four contender again. They were playing an ACC team. You're telling me they needed Greivis Vasquez's press conference words to get fired up, in any way? I don't buy that. I just don't see it.

Whether Greivis would pop off about the Big 10, I don't know. The ACC-Big 10 challenge already provides a pretty good idea of what would happen if any teams switched conferences.

Did you notice what an 'easy' bracket Duke is in compared to the bracket that Georgetown and Maryland are in for the NCAA tournament? Duke also does not travel while Maryland has to initially go to the west coast. Remember in 2000 when Maryland won the national championship and the refs went and gave the championship to Duke. It was amazing to hear Billy Packer scream at the refs on national TV in 2000 as he watched the refs clumsily give the game to Duke over a much better Maryland team. Maryland got to keep the national championship trophy in 2001, but Duke still has their 2000 trophy. They should give it back.

This year Georgetown and Maryland are in the same bracket with Kansas, Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee, and Oklahoma State. All the really good teams are the same bracket.

I want to agree with you here, because Duke is in a bracket softer than Alex Ovechkin's mom's hair mousse, and because you hate Billy Packer, and because your blood courses with admirable Internet rage.

My list on Friday of teams I'd like to put in the Final Four included Kansas and Ohio State, with Georgetown and Michigan State both as maybes, so I hated this bracket too.

But I just don't think I can endorse "all the really good teams are [in] the same bracket." Sorry. That was too much Internet rage for me. I think Kentucky is good. I think Syracuse, Pitt, West Virginia, Villanova are good. I suppose Kansas State is good, though I haven't seen them much.

And Maryland could always mix an ACC title in. That might help their seeding.

Really? The schedule isn't Seth Greenberg's fault? I understand there's no guarantee that the teams you schedule are going to be as good as you think they are, but if you schedule enough tough teams you should be alright.

Look at Maryland, they always have two or three non-conference games against tough teams, and that's always enough to remove the "scheduling cupcakes" label that can be such a killer. And this year they didn't even have to beat any of them!

Basically, when you're saying things like "We didn't think Penn State was going to be as bad as they were," it's time to take a step back and look at how you're scheduling.

I get this, too, but the issue is that the OOC crippled them from making the tournament, and that as conceived it might not have done so.

Obviously the school has already responded, and it seems like the scheduling approach might change. I can't believe I'm defending the Hokies here, but they were tied for third in a conference that sent, what, six teams to the tournament? That seems a little odd, no? At some point, you are attempting to reward the best teams, right?

Dan, your comments were interesting on the expanded field but you didn't acknowledge that it's about money and more importantly will take games off free TV.

Well, it is about money, but that shouldn't change the merits. As I wrote somewhere, Orville Reddenbacher's likely made money from the introduction of kettle corn, but that doesn't mean it still didn't make the world a better place. The wild card likely generates more money for MLB, but it's great and is a positive for everyone.

And who relies on free TV anyhow? I mean, if you're a sports fan, you certainly don't.

Bigger cry babies: Hoyas fans or Terps fans? I would say the latter, but of course I am the former. But Terps fans seem to think the Hoyas get a pass and preferential treatment from The Post when the Terps obviously and demonstrably get a TON more coverage ...

Well, both fan bases cry about lots and lots of different things.

If we're only limiting ourselves to crying over WaPo coverage, Hoyas fans have no prayer of a chance of being bigger crybabies. We regularly have two writers at Terps games and press conferences, and almost never do for the Hoyas. We have a Terps blog. There's me, and I write way, way more about Maryland than Georgetown.

I think there's legitimately more interest in the Terps, and their conference is more DMVish, and I think these are both fair reasons for focusing more on Maryland as a paper. But I can see where Georgetown fans feel put-upon.

On the other hand, Maryland fans don't want the bad that goes along with that good, which is more scrutiny. I still think our series on Maryland last year had a fine premise, but to Terps fans, it was ridiculous that such criticism was leveled at what turned out to be a tourney team while the Hoyas and JTIII skated.

Your boy ranting about Duke's bracket compared to Maryland's shows his ignorance. Duke won the 2001 title (after beating MD in the Final Four) and Maryland won the 2002 title. He has his seasons wrong. Also, get over it. If Maryland/Georgetown/etc are any good they'll be able to prove it on the court. And I hate Duke as much as the next guy.

How do you know it was a boy?

Just grant me that you'd rather play Villanova than Ohio State, would rather play Baylor than Georgetown, would rather play a wounded Purdue than Maryland (I think) and would rather play A&M than Michigan State. I think at least four of those are no-brainers.

My friend is about to buy a house with his Reston. What should I tell him to convince him not to do this?

Someone tell Carolyn Hax!!!! Her questions have been misrouted!!!!!

What's your problem, the "buy a house," the "with his girlfriend," or the "in Reston?" I once bought a house with my fiancee and it worked just fine, except for the drunk driver who once plowed through our fence, and the flaming pile of dung someone once threw onto our porch, and the multiple shovels that got stolen from our front yard, and the fact that my minivan got stolen from outside our house, and the fact that we once left my daughter's toy basketball hoop on the front lawn and someone took it, and the little weed baggies and empty bottles of Heineken that were forever populating our weedy mess of a backyard. Other than that, it was all swell.

So tell him to go ahead and buy. Nothing can go wrong from investing in real estate. And Reston has some good ethnic food, I think.

Steinz, this radio transcription jag you've been on is all well and good, but whatever happened to the days when you used to cover rugby? We're right in the middle of the Six Nations tournament, and not a peep from you.

I used to think it was incredibly comedic to write thousands and thousands of words about a sport I didn't know anything about. Turns out that I was just writing thousands and thousands of words that no one was reading. That is indeed comedic, but not in the way I intended. So now I concentrate on what I know: Redskins radio transcriptions.

Anyhow, that's gonna do it for me. I'm still in the lobby of a hotel in lovely Sunrise, and a middle-aged guy just walked by talking about Jason Taylor. Yes, that Jason Taylor. That's my sign that it's been long enough.

See you back in D.C., or maybe in Providence, though I still need to think of an excellent excuse why I can't make that particular trip.

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Dan Steinberg
Washington Post staff writer and D.C. Sports Bogger.

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