All That and a Bag of Mail: NCAA Tourney Edition

Mar 19, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; LSU Tigers forward Jordan Mickey (25) reacts after the game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Consol Energy Center. The Wolfpack won 66-65. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports Charles LeClaire USA TODAY Sports

It’s early in the morning out here in Las Vegas, but I’m waking up before the sun’s even hardly up to crank out the mailbag for all you miserable souls who rely on the mailbag to get you through Friday. That’s probably even more necessary on a Friday when you should be skipping work and watching college basketball all day long. So I’m doing this for y’all. 

What an incredible Thursday of college basketball. Underdogs started off the tourney 10-0 and finished 18-4. (That’s against the spread for some of you morons out there. It also includes the first four tourney games on Tuesday and Wednesday.) 18-4!

Just about every game came down to the wire. And what about the total collapses from Baylor and LSU? 

I’m still in shock over that LSU game. I took LSU +115 on the money line because I figured the Tigers would either win by double digits or lose by double digits. That’s just what LSU generally does. And then they don’t make a single basket for the final 10:25 of regulation?! As if that wasn’t enough they missed six free throws down the stretch. 

Six!

I honestly don’t know how LSU fans do it. I know we make fun of Georgia a ton for Georgia’ing, but I’m not sure any school in the country has more talent and consistently worse coaching than LSU. It’s brutal to watch. 

Plus, every single game seems to come down to the last second and be decided by some inexplicable twist of fate. 

So our beaver pelt traders of the week are LSU fans. 

I’m sorry, guys. Now I know why y’all drink more than any other SEC school. 

(By the way, you want to talk about rough gambling luck. There were five games decided by one point yesterday and I had two of those teams on the money line, LSU and Purdue. Both of them covered on the actual line by a point, but they lost on the money line. How often does that even happen? To say nothing of the fact that both teams had those games locked up. I’m still dying over those losses.)

Okay, on to the mailbag. 

Kyle A. writes:

“Clay-

We chatted on the flight back from PHX this year- the same day you were getting crushed about Cousins not being in jail. Great to connect and love what you are doing. I will be in Vegas for the Sweet 16- can’t get enough of March Madness.

How far would UK go in the tourney if I was inserted as part of UK’s players? I am talking as a part of the rotating 10 that Cal plays. I am playing 20-25 mins per game.

I am a 35 yr male…in ok shape…(can run 3-5 miles without passing out shape)

How far does UK go in the tourney?”

Okay, you would be the worst player in the tournament, but 1-9 Kentucky would still have the best players by far. Let’s assume you’re only playing twenty minutes, which is actually quite a bit of the game. The real question here, which is a great one, is how many teams could Kentucky beat playing four on five for half of the game?

There’s no doubt that you’d have to be playing the two guard and there’s also no doubt that Kentucky would probably have to go zone with you in the game. (The other option would be to just allow the opposing team’s guard to blow past you on every possession and rely on the front line to swat their shots, which, honestly, might still work.)

But let’s assume they go zone and you are still too slow to rotate and end up giving up a few open threes every time you’re on the floor. So you’re basically rolling the dice here on how hot a team would be from outside. Your plus/minus would plummet fast. 

On offense you’d never touch the ball. They’d just tell you to stand in the corner and hope a defensive player respected you enough to stay relatively close to you. The defensive player probably wouldn’t, so the real challenge would come with the defensive strategies that a good coach could design if he only had to guard four players. Even with only four players though Kentucky would get shots up on the rim and have a good rebounding chance inside.

This leads me to another fun question, what percentage of shots could you hit wide open from three in a tourney game? Let’s presume that all you do is practice three point shots for a solid month, I’m talking thousands of shots. I’m pretty confident I could hit one in three. Now, the challenge would be fielding the pass and getting off the shot, but with no one near you, I think the odds of getting blocked would be low. You still should never shoot, but it’s fun to think about.   

In the first round of the tournament you’d make absolutely no impact because Kentucky could play you like five minutes in the first half — all one minute or so at a time — and then play you late in the game after they were already up big. In the second tourney game, they’d have to get more creative. I think there would probably be an assistant coach assigned to sub you in and out to try and limit your impact while maximizing your minutes. That coach could work it so you snagged parts of minutes to count toward your totals. For instance, get you in right before the automatic timeouts are coming.

They could also instruct the offense to hold the ball — assuming there’s no fast break opportunity — and limit how much you actually had to move. That way you’d only be on the court for a couple of possessions, limiting the negative impact you could possibly have.

Even with an average 35 year old guy Kentucky would get to the sweet 16 and the elite 8. But the final four would be tricky. You’d have a really good coach with a week to devise a game plan to magnify your inadequacies. The final three games are all going to be against very good teams. 

The key here is that you’re playing at least twenty minutes a game. I don’t think Kentucky could win a title with you playing this many minutes.

Great question. This is now going to be the primary bar debate of Outkick readers for the rest of the NCAA tourney.  

(By the way, it’s always fun to meet Outkick readers. Several of you have come to our Vegas set. Don’t be afraid to come up and say hi. It’s much less creepy than Tweeting that you saw me and didn’t say hi.)

James writes:

“Clay-

I saw the following product online the other day.

Basically, this appears to be a business that sells gummy candy in the shape of dicks. Apparently, they can be sent anonymously, they come in a bag, and come with a card that says “Eat a bag of dicks!”

First, have you received any of these yet? I’d suggest you come up with something creative for when Outkick inevitably receives these in large quantities the next time you piss off #FSUTwitter, Bama fans, or UK fans.

What are the odds that this product was created by an Outkick reader?”

I’m eagerly awaiting my first bag of dicks to eat. 

I just hope it isn’t laced with hemlock. 

And from my wife. 

Kyle P. writes:

“Love the website and columns, but I think you completely missed the boat on the percentage of men who could beat Ronda Rousey on two fronts.

First, statistics put the percentage of people who get the recommended amount of exercise around 20%. As you said, with extremely few exceptions anyone who isn’t in great shape is out already. Of the 20% that is left, the only people who have a chance is anyone with wrestling, boxing or any other type of MMA training. There is no way your typical crossfit meathead is taking her down. I knew a guy in college who weighed about 140 lbs and would on occasion wrestle people after a few beers. Never lost to anyone who didn’t wrestle in high school. The weight doesn’t matter against someone who knows what they are doing. I think the number is less than 1,000.

Secondly, the best fight against a man has to be Mayweather. Who doesn’t watch that? They are close in size and if he doesn’t MMA train, once she gets her hands on him it is over. That would shatter PPV records even though there is no chance the fight would last 60 seconds. Either he knocks her out quickly or she makes him tap. Everyone would be rooting for Rousey. It would be Oregon-FSU all over again. Besides, Mayweather has plenty of experience fighting women, he might as well get paid for it.”

I got a ton of great responses to my Rousey vs. an average dude analysis and just about everyone agreed that I’d overstated the number of guys who could beat her in an MMA fight. 

The best response, which I inevitably lost, asked me how many normal guys I thought would beat Venus or Serena Williams in tennis. The number is tiny, right? The argument that guy made, which I found pretty persuasive, was that MMA isn’t just a sport, it’s a skill that most haven’t mastered. The more raw the athletic event, the more guys could win just based on sheer physical advantages. But once you get into the skill element, it gets infinitely more difficult. 

As for Rousey fighting Mayweather? My God, that would be incredible. Who wouldn’t buy this on pay per view? I think it would be the highest grossing sporting event in world history. 

And I’m not even joking. 

Will writes:

“Clay,

Following the mailbag trend of “who would win in a fight,” my co-workers and I have been debating over who would win in a boxing match between J. J. Watt and Manny Pacquiao. I believe Watt is the clear favorite, but the office is 50/50. While the predictions are split, everyone agrees that it is not even close.

J. J. Watt is 6′-5″ and 290 lbs while 36 year old Pacquiao is 5′-6 1/2″ and weighed in at 143.8 lbs for his last fight against Algieri. For argument’s sake, let’s say Watt is nearly 1 foot taller and 150 lbs heavier. At what point does sheer size and brute force overtake technique?

First, “boxing” is a term that should be used loosely in this scenario. Assuming Watt has zero formal boxing experience, I would not expect him to go into the fight utilizing conventional boxing techniques (a conventional boxing approach might even put him at a disadvantage). Watt has a ridiculous reach advantage. There would be tons of shoving, space-creating jabs, and bear hug wrap-ups to keep Manny away from his inside.

I think a head shot knock out by Manny is unlikely. Swinging up at someone nearly a foot taller than you is awkward and the punches are not powerful. Manny is likely to stick to the ribs. With that said, I think Watt walks away with some bruised ribs as a worst case scenario.

What are the chances Manny gets hit? While he is elusive and has a speed advantage, Watt is not exactly a clumsy giant. Perhaps Watt never lands a single head shot on Manny. What about landing a clean hit anywhere else? If he aims for center mass, he’s bound to catch a shoulder or something. Compound that with some of his less clean shots and you’re talking about a lot of wear on a 144 lb body.

No weapons are involved so Red Viper vs The Mountain holds no value here.”

As persuasive as your rationale is, Pacquiao wins in a decision. 

I just don’t see any way that Watt ever makes serious punching contact with Manny. He’d be too quick and Watt’s punches would be telegraphed. I also don’t think Watt gets knocked out, but I do think his body would take tremendous punishment. So everyone scoring the fight would give it to Manny in a landslide. 

Watt’s only chance would be to try and uncork a knockout punch, but odds are Manny would be too fast to ever get hit squarely.

I’d pay to watch this fight too.  

Nate writes:

“I appreciated your discussion of first amendment rights as it relates to the OU SAE situation. I was talking with my roommates and they brought up the point about university student-conduct policies. Can’t schools expel students for doing or saying certain things that violate the university’s ethics creed? As a current college student at South Carolina, we have certain conduct standards to help promote diversity and inclusion like the Carolinian Creed. I’d assume Oklahoma has a similar student code to which they can hold their students accountable. Aren’t these measures intended to help the university condemn the students or even justify their expulsion in situations like this? Thoughts?”

The First Amendment takes precedence over student codes of conduct for state run universities. So that code wouldn’t come into play if a lawsuit were filed. 

Interestingly, and this is one of many reasons why the first amendment is so fascinating, if Oklahoma were a private university then they could probably expel those students without legal issues. But since it’s a public university the students would win. 

Alicia writes:

“Okay Clay. Need the opinion of a gay Muslim on this because you probably know more about it than any female alive.

Red lipstick: Hot or Not?

Are guys actually super attracted to this? I notice I get hit on a lot more when I wear it. I know it takes an extreme amount of confidence to rock it; you literally have to just swipe it on and own it 100% all night long. But that does mean its the red lipstick dudes are drawn to, or the confidence that is being put off by who is wearing it?

Feel free to try on some different shades to see what your color is. Mine is a fire engine red personally.” 

There are three things that 99.9% of men support even if they’re not smart enough to know that they actually support it: heels, long hair, and lipstick. 

I have never met a straight guy that’s anti heels, long hair or lipstick. 

As for lipstick color, I like bright red so long as it isn’t accompanied by crazy ass Britt on the The Bachelor level mascara. Because then you look like the kind of chick who wouldn’t just send me a bag of dicks, you’d poison them too. 

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.