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Follow The NCAA Tourney

images[1] Once again gogoraleigh is your home for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Schedule. It is a Google Calendar which contains all 33 First Round games. Keep following it, though, as the next round games will be added as soon as they are determined. Subscribe in Google Calendar, on your iPhone , or other capable device!

The Feeds


Kings Of Leon Coming to Time Warner Pavilion

kingsofleon On Monday, September 13, Kings Of Leon will make their return to area. This time they are moving up to Time Warner Pavilion. Tickets go on sale Friday (3/20) at Ticketmaster outlets.


Jack Johnson Coming to TWC Pavilion

jackjohnson Contain yourselves… Jack Johnson is coming to the Time Warner Pavilion on August 21.


Lady Gaga Coming to RBC Center

gaga On September 19 Lady Gaga is coming to the RBC Center.


Jason’s Deli Replacing Bear Rock at Crossroads

Great news for Crossroads Plaza in Cary! The Crossroads location of Bear Rock Cafe is the latest to close in the faltering chain. Luckily, though, the space will be occupied in the late spring by Jason’s Deli.


Yoho at North Hills Closes, Spring Rolls Replacement Coming

Yoho Asian Bistro’s now-shuttered North Hills location has a notice on the door. Printed on North Hills’ stationary, the note announces that “Spring Rolls”, an Asian Fusion restaurant, will be replacing Yoho this spring. Given the source of the notice, it isn’t likely that these will be the same owners.


A Blurb On Herb

IMG_1101 In spring of 2006 Herb Sendek accepted a job offer from Arizona State, ending his 10-year tenure as N.C. State’s basketball coach. While the coach had led the Wolfpack to five straight NCAA tournament appearances, attendance was poor during Sendek’s tenure, and many Wolfpack fans felt that Sendek had reached his potential as the school’s coach. While N.C. State did not fire Sendek, they made no effort to retain the coach when Arizona State came calling.

Venomous criticism of Wolfpack fans ensued from the national basketball world. Sendek’s former boss, Rick Pitino, said, "He’s not Jimmy Valvano, and that’s something N.C. State couldn’t understand," says Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who hired Sendek as an assistant at Providence and Kentucky. "The fans don’t understand how good he is." ESPN analyst Dick Vitale called Sendek "a steal for ASU. He got totally frustrated about never being truly accepted" at North Carolina State. "There you better have a lot of personality. That’s why Jimmy V was such a big success. Personality plays a big part in trying to offset the popularity and strength of Duke and North Carolina.

The comment that stirred the most response, however, was Gregg Doyal of CBSSports.com who wrote:

Wolfpack fans should be ashamed. In a day and age where coaches outright cheat or clandestinely cut so many corners that emergency ethics meetings are called, Sendek was honorable. For a guy as smart as he was, he was too dumb to cheat, too naïve to know that you almost can’t win at a place like N.C. State without looking the other way. But he was such a good coach, he won in spite of himself.  Around the country, coaches know. Sendek was treated shabbily by Wolfpack nation — by sniping fans, reader-pandering media and an administration that never once stood up and said ENOUGH!

So, Sendek left the “unrealistic fanbase” for a happier place. Finally , he would be appreciated for his work, right? After all, it took Arizona State 30 years to make 5 NCAA trips, and they had only had three 20-win seasons in the past 25 years. It stands to reason that a coach that comes in and goes 75-53 in his first four seasons would electrify the fanbase and be regarded as a hero. Right?

Arizona State plays their home games in the 14,000-seat Wells Fargo Arena in Phoenix, the 5th largest city in the United States. These fans, after so many years of bad basketball, should fill the place up after last year’s 25-10 season. This season has been good so far, but not quite as successful. The team is 22-9, has an RPI ranking of #54, and stands a good shot of getting back into the NCAA tournament with a good showing this weekend. Reality, though, is a quite different thing.

Average attendance at Arizona State’s home games was 7,765 (55% capacity) this season, down 17% from last season. In only 36% of the games did they exceed that average. Sendek’s team only drew more than 10,000 fans twice in 19 games. Only 57% of the time was the arena even half full . No wonder Sendek thought the RBC Center would be “an unmitigated disaster” if its capacity exceeded 15,000.

Yes, it is the same old Herb. Put together a schedule with some horrendously awful non-conference nobodies at home, lose to good teams on the road, and never win a game you aren’t supposed to win. It appears that Arizona State fans are voting with their feet. People in Phoenix would rather be doing almost anything else than watching Herb Sendek’s team. In a couple of years they will start to grumble, and the rallying cry from the media and Pitino protégés will start again. Yet nobody will acknowledge that it wasn’t repulsive fans that ended Sendek’s term in Raleigh. It was his repulsive product.

Part II (3/11/2010)

Since the smartypants with an “observer” IP address isn’t satisfied with this analysis, I’ll continue. Let’s look at the attendance and winning percentages for each Arizona State and N.C. State over the past 11 seasons.

Year ASU Att ASU W% NCS Att NCS W%
2000 8975 0.594 16535 0.588
2001 7105 0.448 14072 0.448
2002 6984 0.483 13468 0.676
2003 8418 0.625 13563 0.581
2004 8953 0.370 14576 0.677
2005 8313 0.563 14464 0.600
2006 6731 0.393 14472 0.688
2007 6931 0.267 13952 0.556
2008 8008 0.618 15043 0.484
2009 9354 0.714 13456 0.533
2010 7765 0.677 13013 0.548

Average attendance for the past 11 seasons at Arizona State was 7,957 and they have won 52.2% of the time. As one can see, the team has won much more than average this season, yet attendance is below the 11-year average. Here in Raleigh NCSU has averaged 14,238 over the past seasons and won 58% of the time. This season’s average attendance and winning percentage is below the average. (Though it should be noted that this season there was a snowy day for a game which resulted in attendance of only 2,000 and there was a Reynolds Coliseum game where only about 4,500 people attended. Removing that snowy anomaly attendance was around 13,800, far closer to the 11-year average.)

This year aside, NCSU fans are much less likely to be swayed by the team’s record than Arizona State fans are. If we run a multiple regression analyses on both data tables, we get R-Squared values of 0.327 for Arizona State and 0.002 for NCSU. Both values show that the team’s record is a very poor predictor for attendance. There is something else involved. Certainly factors such as arena age, schedule difficulty, weather, timing of the games (New Years, competing against bowl games, weekend games, television coverage, etc) play roles into fans choices to attend.

As a 37-year fan of basketball in the area, with intense study of each fanbase, my conclusion is that the the brand of basketball on the court and the perception of the team’s ability to win games both play overwhelming roles over long periods of time. Heralded recruits, coaches who talk positively about winning, and teams that surprise fans with wins over higher-ranked teams are the chief causes for higher attendance.

In the six years preceding Herb Sendek’s arrival at Arizona State, the program won 49.7% of its games. Sendek has won 56.9% of his games, yet average attendance has only risen by 89 fans (between the two periods), a 1% increase. Keep in mind that that “increase” includes the period when Pendergraph as well as a host of other inherited ASU players were on the court. This is Herb’s ship now, and it’s headed in a course that is all too familiar.

Now, isn’t that a little more in-depth analysis than we get from something like Rimshots? Journalists aren’t losing their jobs because of the failure to compare trends across the PAC-10, they are losing their jobs because of their failure to present a compelling product. Circulation is down for a reason, and it isn’t because people with “observer” in their email addresses are doing such wonderful, in-depth analyses when they write articles like Rimshots and articles implying that the RBC Center is too big for N.C. State’s basketball program. Also, I don’t mind criticism and tactful disagreement, but I respect it a lot more when someone has the guts to use their real name.


The Swell Season Coming to NCMA

swellseason On Friday, May 21, The Swell Season will make their return to Raleigh. This time the stars of the film Once will play at the amphitheater at the North Carolina Museum of Art.


The Church Coming to Lincoln Theatre

thechurch Alt legends The Church will be coming to the Lincoln Theatre in downtown Raleigh on April 29.


Download The Ultimate ACC Tournament Guide

ACCTourneyBk Now you can download the ultimate guide to the ACC Tournament. The 16-page booklet contains player and team statistics, schedule information, and tournament brackets. It’s must-have for any ACC basketball fan, and it’s FREE! Follow these instructions for assembly:

  • Download ACCGuide2010.pdf
  • Print the guide on front and back (duplex along short edge)
  • Stack the pages in the following manner:
    • Position Virginia in the upper left
    • On top of that, add the next page so Va. Tech is in the upper left.
    • On top of that, add the next page so that Miami is in the upper left.
    • Finally, place the page with UNC in the upper left.
  • Fold into a booklet, and staple to bind. (If you do not have a long stapler, just do your best near the top and bottom of the fold.

The final product shows the UVA/BC, WFU/Miami, GT/UNC, and Clemson/NCSU game information on facing pages.


Performance Bicycles Coming to Sutton Square

performance TBJ is reporting that Chapel Hill’s Performance Bicycles is opening a store in Sutton Square in May. The store will be about 9,000 square feet. The bike chain has 90 stores nationwide.


Theatre In The Park Hosting Oscar Gala

In honor of tonight’s Oscars, Theatre In The Park is hosting a big Oscar Night Gala . The Master of Ceremonies will be Larry Stogner and the Host will be Ira David Wood III. Tickets are $50, ($100 for VIP)

  • Red carpet arrival with paparazzi photo.

  • Catered buffet dinner provided by The Angus Barn.

  • Open bar provided by Mutual Distributing Company and Carolina Brewing Company.

  • Watch the Academy Awards on one of Raleigh’s biggest screens.

  • Take home a copy of the official Oscar Night program.

  • Participate in a silent auction that includes a number of rarely available autographed Hollywood, Broadway and Sports items.

  • Dress for the red carpet or come as your favorite movie star. Black Tie Optional.

  • All proceeds benefit the theatre’s community arts and education programs.

Silent Auction Items Include:

  • Twilight Saga: New Moon Poster autographed by Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner

  • Shoes worn to 2009 Academy Award by Evan Rachel Wood
  • Broadway Show Poster from Rent autographed by the cast
  • Carolina Panthers Football autographed by Julius Peppers
  • Mary Tyler Moore show script from "Chuckles Bites The Dust" autographed by Mary Tyler Moore
  • Dan Aykroyd autographed photo and autographed bottle of Crystal Head Vodka
  • Night at The Umstead Hotel
  • Night at Fearrington House
  • Estate Collection Jewelry from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry
  • "Wall of Wine" containing over 15 bottles of wine
  • A Christmas Carol Package including 4 premium tickets to show, backstage tour, autographed photo of Scrooge and more
  • NYC getaway with tickets to Broadway show, Chicago, tickets for tour of the William Ivey Long Studios, and gift certificate to Shoolbred’s (William Ivey Long’s bar)
  • Celebrities from “The Full Monty” are expected to attend.


    OK Go Coming to Lincoln Theatre

    The guys who made the famous treadmill video are back. With a staggering number of cascading mechanisms featured, OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass” video is rightfully the internet’s newest viral sensation. The band will be in Raleigh May 11 at the Lincoln Theatre . Earl Greyhound and Robert Francis open.

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