(Business Insider)

Beating Fast

Sean-lympics Day 9

Group A Wrap-Up, Group B Projection and Feature Story.

Basketball

USA:100 def. France:97

It is safe to say that nobody is that scared of team USA anymore. They are now routinely playing lackadaisical defense and have little to no killer instinct. When they went up by ten early in the second quarter they should have all out blitzed from there. The coaching isn’t helping at all either, no single player is getting a rhythm from the constant hockey subbing that K seems to favor. Not only that but his lineups that he does throw out are wack. I really someone is monitoring Thibs because he may be considering jumping off the ship. I mean that both metaphorically and literally. Keep in mind that Tony Parker sat this one out and it looked like France more wanted to embarrass team USA than beat them. All in all, I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. fails to get gold. I also would not be surprised if they start paying attention on the defensive end, create a real game plan and blow everyone out in the knockout stage.

Australia:81 def. Venezuela:56

The other Spurs point guard at the tourney also sat his team’s game out. It was a business effort from Australia, who used Venezuela’s poor initial shooting to basically kill the game off. Gave their stars a good run out but let their bench players shine. Team USA could really learn a lesson from the Australians. They play with a purpose, have an actual game plan and seem to love doing it. They’re excited when they win not relieved. It was good to see Venezuela at this tournament, but I hope they aren’t back for the next one. This would have been much more fun if it were Canada.

Serbia:94 def. China:60

The third quarter play from Serbia was a real warning shot to whoever they meet in the next round. It was great to see Kalinic get a really nice stretch of time to show what he can do. He was one of the younger guys who I highlighted and his activity level was nice. I am not sure he’ll ever be an NBA player and a game against China isn’t the best indication one way or the other but I liked how he looked tonight. Serbia has a chance to beat the top seed in the other group, which would make this tournament very interesting.

Final Standings

  1. USA
  2. Australia
  3. France
  4. Serbia
  5. Venezuela (Eliminated)
  6. China (Eliminated)

Who Will They Play?

Bracket One
USA vs. B4
B2 vs. France

Bracket Two
B1 vs. Serbia
Australia vs. B3

But it isn’t simple at all, first off I am not totally sure what the tie breakers are. I have heard it referenced that it is point differential in the games which the tied teams participated in. But I cannot find this documented anywhere and others have expressed a similar distress. Not only that but by my calculations, Spain and Croatia both have chances to either place first or be eliminated. Spain’s chances for both are much more real.

Lithuania: Already qualified, can realistically place first, third or fourth.
Argentina: Already qualified, can realistically place first, second or third.
Spain: Yet to qualify, can realistically place first, second or fifth.
Croatia: Yet to qualify, can realistically place second, third, fourth or fifth.
Brazil: Yet to qualify, can realistically place fourth, fifth or sixth.
Nigeria: Yet to qualify, can realistically place fourth, fifth or sixth.

See all outcomes below…

By Seeding

B1 (Could be Lithuania, Argentina, or Spain) Plays Serbia
Lithuania: If they win.
Argentina: If Lithuania loses and they win.
Spain: If both Lithuania and Argentina lose. Unless, Croatia overcomes their current 38 point lead in point differential.
Prediction: Lithuania

B2 (Argentina, Spain, or Croatia) Plays France
Argentina: If Lithuania and Argentina win.
Spain: If Lithuania wins and Argentina loses.
Croatia: If Argentina wins and Lithuania loses. Or if Lithuania and Argentina lose, all top four teams will be tied at 3–2 and Croatia would get second despite beating all of the tied teams because of Spain’s 50-point beatdown of Lithuania unless Croatia has a similar performance.
Prediction: Spain

B3 (Croatia, Spain, Lithuania, or Argentina) Plays Australia
Croatia: If Lithuania, Argentina and Brazil win.
Spain: If Lithuania and Argentina win but Brazil loses.
Lithuania: If Argentina and Brazil win but Lithuania loses.
Argentina: If Lithuania and Brazil win but Argentina loses or if both Lithuania and Argentina lose.
Prediction: Argentina

B4 (Croatia, Nigeria, Lithuania, or Brazil) Plays USA
Croatia: If Lithuania and Brazil win but Argentina loses.
Nigeria: If Lithuania and Argentina win but Brazil loses.
Lithuania: If both Lithuania and Argentina lose.
Brazil: If Lithuania, Argentina and Brazil win or if Argentina and Brazil win but Lithuania loses.
Prediction: Croatia

B5 (Croatia, Nigeria, Brazil or Spain) ELIMINATED
Croatia: If Lithuania and Argentina win but Brazil loses.
Nigeria: If Lithuania, Argentina and Brazil lose.
Brazil: If Lithuania and Brazil win but Argentina loses or if Lithuania and Argentina lose and Brazil wins.
Spain: If Lithuania, Argentina, and Brazil win or if Argentina and Brazil win but Lithuania loses.
Prediction: Brazil

B6 (Brazil or Nigeria) ELIMINATED
Brazil: If they lose to Nigeria.
Nigeria: If they lose to Brazil.
Prediction: Nigeria

By Game Result

If Lithuania, Argentina, and Brazil Win:
B1- Lithuania 4–1(beat Argentina)
B2- Argentina 4–1 (lost to Lithuania)
B3- Croatia 2–3 (beat both Spain and Brazil, point differential of +6)
B4- Brazil 2–3 (beat Spain lost to Croatia, point differential of -3)
B5- Spain 2–3 (lost to both Croatia and Brazil, pt. diff. of -3) ELIMINATED
B6- Nigeria 1–4 ELIMINATED
(I am guessing that head to head comes after tied point differentials, but I have no idea.)

If Lithuania and Argentina Win and Brazil Loses: 
B1- Lithuania 4–1(beat Argentina)
B2- Argentina 4–1 (lost to Lithuania)
B3- Spain 2–3 (point differential of +7)
B4- Nigeria 2–3 (point differential of +5)
B5- Croatia 2–3 (point differential of -12) ELIMINATED
B6- Brazil 1–4 ELIMINATED

If Lithuania and Brazil Win and Argentina Loses:
B1- Lithuania 4–1
B2- Spain 3–2 (would have beaten Argentina)
B3- Argentina 3–2 (would have lost to Spain)
B4- Croatia 2–3 (beat Brazil)
B5- Brazil 2–3 (lost to Croatia) ELIMINATED
B6- Nigeria 1–4 ELIMINATED

If Argentina and Brazil Win and Lithuania Loses:
B1- Argentina 4–1
B2- Croatia 3–2 (would have beaten Lithuania)
B3- Lithuania 3–2 (would have lost to Croatia)
B4- Brazil 2–3 (beat Spain)
B5- Spain 2–3 (lost to Brazil) ELIMINATED
B6- Nigeria 1–4 ELIMINATED

If Lithuania and Argentina Lose: (Brazil’s Outcome is Irrelevant)
B1- Spain 3–2 (current point differential: +48)
B2- Croatia 3–2 (current point differential: +10)
B3- Argentina 3–2 (current point differential: -16)
B4- Lithuania 3–2 (current point differential: -42)
B5- Brazil 2–3 ELIMINATED
B6- Nigeria 1–4 ELIMINATED

Meaning My Predictions Are:

Bracket One
USA vs. Croatia
Spain vs. France

Bracket Two
Lithuania vs. Serbia
Australia vs. Argentina

Hope that made some sense of it. Let me know what your predictions are.


(Business Insider)

Beating Fast

Feature Story

When the 400 meters started I had little idea what I was in for. I hadn’t watched the prelims, I was not that familiar with the athletes, I didn’t sense history. I knew it would be fast. I just didn’t know he would beat fast.

I, like many casual track fans, know the name, Michael Johnson. I have watched the highlights, been exposed to the greatness, heard the story of the gold shoes. Michael Johnson, from what I gather, was Usain Bolt before Usain Bolt. He was the world’s fastest man not only in record but in spirit. His 200 meter record stood for 17 years until the aforementioned Bolt finally bested it. His 400 meter time seemed more untouchable. I could list off all the accolades, but it is fair to say that Michael Johnson was fast.

I didn’t know Wayde van Niekerk’s name, and I should have.

(SpeedEndurance.com)

These were the splits from van Niekerk’s 400 at the World Championships last year. He beats Michael Johnson over the first 200 and is beating him at the 300 mark. It isn’t until a bad final split that he loses the world record. Tonight he didn’t lose it.

Running from the far outside lane, van Niekerk took off. It didn’t look like he was going that fast but nobody was gaining on him. The camera turned with the track, my depth perception couldn’t make out who was in the lead. It seemed as though the three favorites were close. Then the final turn, I was confused, van Niekerk was meters ahead. Nobody was gaining on him. He crossed the line. I gasped. He had just beaten fast.

He seemed as shocked as me. Almost emotionless, he went and congratulated other racers. Then finally it seemed to hit him, he was the new world record holder. And when he made his way over to the time board, my heart was still beating fast.