Confession: I haven’t been to team workouts since the last game. I didn’t even go to school yesterday. Being a freshman is catching up with me, and I gave myself the long weekend to go home and catch the Atlanta Braves’ Opening Day game vs. the Washington Nationals. The Braves resemble a below-average minor-league team this year, but put a decent scare into the Nationals until talented maker of melted cheese sandwiches and less-talented relief pitcher Jason Grilli entered the game to blow a one-run lead. The Braves luckily managed to survive until the 10th inning, with very little help from formerly good baseball player Gordon Beckham, who threw a routine ground ball 15 feet to the left of Our Lord and Savior Freddie Freeman, allowing notably not-fast-person Ryan Zimmerman not one, but two free bases in the extra inning. A soft double down the left-field line scored Zimmerman, Jonathan “The AntiChrist” Papelbon slammed the door on the admittedly non-threatening Bravos, and it was time to drive back to Nashville.
(More accurately, it was time to walk a mile to the African Methodist church where I paid the pastor $20 to park my car, and then sit on I-75 N for 40 minutes before even getting outside the perimeter, and THEN head back to Nashville). By the time I got back, Kris Jenkins had already stroked the game-winner from the top of the key, and Villanova was the 2015-16 NCAA champion.
The point is, I had a lot of time on my hands to think about college basketball this week.
When people talk about sports, especially college sports, they get irrational. I don’t know if it’s because of their alma mater, or what, but sometimes logic goes out the window. A common argument for teams being better than other teams is “we beat team X, and team X beat team Y, and team Y beat team Z, so we are objectively better than team Z.” Usually in this situation, team Z won something important or was voted by media as better than team X, who came up short.
So, I decided to see if this logic applied to Lipscomb. How many degrees of separation are we from the national champs? (At this point in writing, I have not figured out if this is even going to work, much less counted the number of teams that we would have to go through).
On Jan. 1, we beat North Florida, who beat Austin Peay on Dec. 16. The Governors beat Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament on March 4. Way back on Nov. 13, Belmont beat Marquette, who dealt a loss to Providence on January 5. Finally, Providence gave the NCAA champs a loss on Jan. 24.
Lipscomb was only six degrees away from Providence! I’m not going to lie; I expected more like 16. But there you have it, guys. Lipscomb is better than Villanova, end of discussion. Nice talking to you, don’t overthink it, and keep it real folks.
What do you think about Villanova winning it all? How close is Lipscomb, really?