First off, congratulations to Penn guard Ibrahim Jaaber, who has been invited to play at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. If you're not familiar with the event, it's a showcase tournament for college seniors to show off for NBA and foreign scouts, held in Portsmouth, Va., early next month.
The last Penn player to play there was Tim Begley two years ago. Hopefully Jaaber can impress enough to get a shot to make an NBA roster over the summer.
Now, for the irrelevant, but good stuff:
Much has been made about Penn's nine-game NCAA Tournament losing streak. Last year, we figured out that Fran Dunphy's eight-game slide is the longest for all coaches. But are the Quakers in possession of the longest slide in history?
Not quite, but they're close. Here are the top 12 losing streaks of all time (with 11 of them happening to be current)...years of the streak are in parentheses:
1- Murray State: 11 -- 1 2nd round, 10 1st round (1988-present)
2t- North Carolina A&T: 9 -- Never won a game, including seven straight years from '82-'88 (1982-present)
2t- Holy Cross: 9 -- 1 Elite 8, 8 1st round (1953-present)
2t- Penn: 9 -- 1 2nd round, 8 1st round (1994-present)
5t- Louisiana-Monroe: 7 -- Never won a game (1982-present)
5t- Eastern Kentucky: 7 -- Ditto. (1953-present)
5t- Davidson: 7 -- 1 Elite 8, 6 1st round (1969-present)
9t- Nebraska: 6 -- Never won a game (1986-present)
9t- BYU: 6 -- 1 2nd round, 5 1st round (1993-present)
By the way, BYU has just passed Princeton for the worst record to .500 in NCAA Tournament history, at 11-25. The Tigers are 13-27. Penn, meanwhile, sits in third worst at 13-25.
9t- Northeastern: 6 -- 1 2nd round, 5 1st round (1982-present)
9t- Winthrop: 6 -- Broken this year! 6 1st round (1999-2006)
Next up, we have the title of "Worst Team Ever." Every tournament in all sports, I like to see who is the "worst" team, in that it lost to a team that lost to a team that lost to a team, etc., until the champion. For example, last year's team was Iowa, which lost to Northwestern State, which lost to West Virginia, which lost to Texas, which lost to LSU, which lost to UCLA, which lost to Florida.
Since the NCAA Tournament began in 1939, the team that has done this more than any other, and thus is "The Worst Team Ever," are your Wyoming Cowboys! Here are all the teams to have done this at least twice (Don't worry Penn fans, the Quakers can't do it this year since Texas A&M beat Louisville):
Wyoming, 4: 1941, 1947, 1948, 1953
BYU, 3: 1950, 1957, 1979
Kentucky, 3: 1945, 1955, 1964
Princeton, 3: 1952, 1969, 2001
St. John's, 3: 1978, 1984, 1988
Arkansas, 2: 1949, 1958
Bowling Green, 2: 1959, 1968
Furman, 2: 1973, 1975
Louisville, 2: 1974, 1977
Rhode Island, 2: 1961, 1966
Temple, 2: 1944, 1967
Incidentally, Penn has only done this once, in 1970.
Finally, we have an Anything but Uniform special edition. You may have noticed that Nike decided that four teams needed radically different uniform designs just for the postseason, so they unveiled The "System of Dress" for Syracuse, Arizona, Florida and Ohio State.
I don't normally like to comment on national uniform issues, but when we were in Lexington last week I couldn't resist asking an Ohio State player about it. Also, it doubled as a legitimate excuse to go to the Buckeyes' locker room to see the Man-Child.
So I asked Ivan Harris what he thought of the uniforms, and I got an interesting answer. First, he liked the fact that the OSU unis, as opposed to all the other System of Dress teams, have the LeBron James logo on them. What's funny about that, of course, is that when I say LeBron, I'm sure college basketball is exactly what you think of. But he is from Ohio, and maybe would have been at OSU for a year if the NBA age limit was in effect then. Never mind, it's still ridiculous.
Harris also said he likes the look of the tight jersey and huge baggy shorts.
"It's a nice fit. It's a nice style," he said.
The best thing he said though, was specifically about the tight jerseys.
"Not much to grab, that's good for the jersey," Harris said.
That's a pretty good point, and goes along with football players having tighter and tighter sleeves to reduce holding. It is probably annoying to be constantly getting grabbed when playing. I think all Princeton opponents would benefit from this kind of jersey.
Anyway, that's it for me. Enjoy Bill Raftery.
scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; overflow:hidden; width:100px; height:27px;" allowTransparency="true">