Arkansas went into bully mode and made sure we didn’t get our first Cinderella of March Madness.
I blame the bracket makers.
Colgate should have been higher than a 14-seed. But the committee didn’t see it like that, and instead of getting a shot at upsetting an unsuspecting 4- or 5-seed, the Raiders had to take on an Arkansas team that just happened to be the worst possible matchup for them.
Initially, it looked like it wouldn’t matter. Colgate showed it was capable of matching Arkansas shot-for-shot, and one stretch of hot shooting helped build a 14-point lead in the first half.
And then Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman realized he had the far more talented team, turned up the pressure and immediately sparked a 20-0 run. A mini-surge to start the second half put Colgate back in the lead but Arkansas’ pressure just overwhelmed the underdogs down the stretch in an 85-68 win in the first round of the Men’s NCAA Tournament.
But we’ll always have that 14-point lead. The crazy thing is, Colgate’s best player, Jordan Burns, didn’t really help build it. Despite some impressive displays of ball-handling, the small guard didn’t make a single shot during the first half. Luckily, contributions from true freshman Jeff Woodward and sharpshooters Nelly Cummings and Jack Furgeson helped to make up for the team’s star laying an egg over the first 20 minutes.
The lumbering big man Woodward was especially entertaining. His old school (slow) game threw off the Razorback bigs, who probably did see a lot of up-and-under moves and hook shots during the regular season. After one post bucket, the Colgate big man lowered his hand to the floor, telling the near-empty Bankers Life Field House that these Arkansas dudes were too small to guard him.
It turned out, the Razorbacks weren’t too small. They started getting the ball inside where they got easy buckets or kick-out opportunities for open 3s. That combined with the full-court pressure was too much for Colgate, which committed 22 turnovers and sent the favorites to the line 29 times. Both are out of character for this Raiders team, which finished fifth nationally in offensive turnover rate and 34th in defensive free throw rate, per Ken Pom.
That first stat is especially impressive because the Raiders play so fast. They played at the 25th-quickest pace in the country, and that speed typically overwhelmed opponents. But Arkansas plays even faster (17th in pace) so it was perfectly suited to handle it, and may have even had the advantage. Its swarming defense forced Colgate to turn it over on 28.2% of its possessions, a season high.
The SEC runners-up also had a pair of pestering guards, Davonte Davis and J.D. Notae, who could make things more difficult on Burns. He eventually adjusted and hit a few DEEP 3s in the second half, but this was always going to be a tough matchup for him. It’s just a shame we won’t see more of this…
With a lead guard who can score and distribute, a pair of 3-point shooters on the wing, a skilled big man with a funky game AND a unique style of play that would be hard to prepare for on shirt notice, Colgate had all the ingredients to go on a deep run.
But an awful first-round matchup prevented it from ever getting started, which will make this March a little less entertaining.
The Chiefs released an amazing time-lapse video of their Super Bowl LIV victory.
The Kansas City Chiefs had a Sunday they and their fans will never forget Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium. KC downed the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, to win Super Bowl LIV and now the team has released a remarkable time-lapse video of the events at the Miami Garden, Fl, venue.
Almost one week later, a handful of Super Bowl spots have really pulled away from the pack, with view counts reaching into the astonishing. With the help of AdBlitz, a YouTube exclusive, we’re able to see what ads submitted to USA Today’s Ad Meter …
Almost one week later, a handful of Super Bowl spots have really pulled away from the pack, with view counts reaching into the astonishing. With the help of AdBlitz, a YouTube exclusive, we’re able to see what ads submitted to USA Today’s Ad Meter have taken Most Viewed honors in the various categories.
Joining in on the award season fun…
Most Viewed in the Comedy category:
Most-viewed of all Ad Meter ads (so far), Amazon’s spot, “Before Alexa,” has been quite the hit. The 60-second ad featuring Ellen and Portia takes a comical look through history, focusing on what people did before the virtual assistant existed.
Most Viewed in the Dramatic category:
Heinz made four different ads in one creative, compacted 30-second spot. The ad, directed by Roman Coppola, has surpassed all the other adds by a few million views.
Most Viewed in the Inspirational category:
Microsoft’s game-changing spot was tops in the ‘Inspirational’ category, sprinting ahead of Budweiser’s “Typical American” by a few million views.
Most Viewed in the Action-Packed category:
This was the closest margin of victory, with the F9 trailer edging out Quibi’s inaugural Super Bowl spot by a million views.
Note:F9 also had the most views in the Teaser category, too.
Most Viewed in the Sentimental category:
“Loretta” was the clear favorite in the ‘Sentimental’ category, and it didn’t leave the door open for any upsets. Google’s heartwarming tale has been one of the most popular ads—it finished third in the Ad Meter rankings—and has reached an impressive number of views.
And thus concludes the show, folks.
Looking for more Super Bowl commercial bliss? Make sure to head over to AdBlitz, a YouTube exclusive!
A former Ohio high school football coach and current right-wing minister is hot under the collar after he believes he was subjected to watch an excessively lascivious Super Bowl LIV halftime show, courtesy of J-Lo and Shakira. Dave Daubenmire, the …
A former Ohio high school football coach and current right-wing minister is hot under the collar after he believes he was subjected to watch an excessively lascivious Super Bowl LIV halftime show, courtesy of J-Lo and Shakira.
“I think we ought to sue,” he said. “Would that halftime show, would that have been rated PG? Were there any warnings that your 12-year-old son – whose hormones are just starting to operate – was there any warning that what he was going to see might cause him to get sexually excited?” He also asked: “Could I go into a courtroom and say, ‘viewing what you put on that screen put me in danger of hellfire?”
The controversial evangelist thinks a settlement of $867 trillion would be fair compensation for the “crotch shots” viewers were forced to watch.
You can watch the entire rant below:
In an interview with Newsweek Friday, Daubenmire clarified his comments:
“My position is not about my own salvation; my salvation is secure. I’m not gonna lose my salvation for watching a clip at the Super Bowl,” he added. “Parents have the right to know pornography is coming into their home.”
Daubenmire told Newsweek his fight is for parental rights to keep pornography out of the minds of children. “Soft pornography was pumped into homes of God-fearing people without the approval of their parents. That’s my point.”
On the podcast, Daubenmire said the halftime performance was filled with unsolicited “crotch shots” from Lopez and Shakira. He later explained to Newsweek that if the NFL wanted to do that, they have should have warned their viewers beforehand.
“If the NFL wants to have crotch shots at halftime, put up a warning ‘May not be suitable for young children,'” he said.
In all fairness, most people agree the halftime show was a bit risque — what did you expect from a Super Bowl played in President Trump’s beloved Florida? — but couldn’t have just changed the channel or turned off the TV?
It’s rare that a lending company-albeit the largest in America-would be expected to make a huge splash in the Ad Meter rankings. They don’t sell beer, or candy, or chips, or soft drinks. And they aren’t releasing the next box-office hit. At the …
It’s rare that a lending company—albeit the largest in America—would be expected to make a huge splash in the Ad Meter rankings. They don’t sell beer, or candy, or chips, or soft drinks. And they aren’t releasing the next box-office hit. At the most, you’d expect them to cause a small ripple.
But, then again, when you have Aquaman…
Rocket Mortgage will forever remember Super Bowl LIV. The Detroit-based lending company was back in the Big Game-mania this year with a spot that featured actor Jason Momoa for their campaign, “Get Comfortable.” That alone seems like a story worth remembering, but it’s merely the gameplan and the not the final drive.
Out of the 60-plus ads and trailers that were submitted, the spot ended the night as the fifth highest-rated commercial in the Ad Meter rankings.
You can count the number of mortgage companies that have accomplished that ranking with a closed fist. The success teetered on the unbelievable, even for an experienced Super Bowl ad veteran like Quicken Loans CMO, Casey Hurbis, who Ad Meter caught up with to talk about the big night.
“When you’ve got a lot of brands there (on Ad Meter) that are habitually in the top 10,” Hurbis noted, “to be a mortgage company—a commodity-based company and brand—that’s in the top 5 is something to be super excited about.”
When we first spoke before Super Bowl Sunday, what the actual commercial would look like was still a close secret. Instead, the company and the star of the spot had released several teasers—which did incredibly well—and as the CMO explained, “lent itself to people wondering, ‘What does it really mean for Jason Momoa to be comfortable at home? What is that going to look like?'”
The anticipation would last until the first quarter of the Super Bowl when the final product aired—a sleight of hand that took a comedic one-eighty from the teasers.
It was an epic moment for the 75 Rocket Mortgage employees gathered at the office. “It was sixty seconds of dead silence, and then an eruption of cheers,” Hubris said in awe.
But this was also a busy night, as he pointed out:
“We were activating the Rocket Mortgage Super Bowl Squares, and about five minutes before the commercial ran, there was a score. And for the first time, we were like, ‘OK. We have to pull the name, and we have to announce it.’ Then the commercial ran, and we’re celebrating, and then there was a score shortly after that.”
Zero rest isn’t uncommon on this type of night for brands. But the work and effort has been the exciting part of this particular journey for Rocket Mortgage—a “partnership”, as Hurbis describes it, and learning experience. As previously mentioned, he doesn’t always believe that Super Bowl spots should be released before the actual airtime. “You can argue the pros and cons of it,” he explained. “But what this showed us was by teasing it and doing fun, engaging, leaned-in content, you can build up a lot of that buzz and anticipation, and then you show America the spot for the first time.”
(The content is still making the rounds on social media, including these two photos of the—ahem—real Jason Momoa:)
When the night finally ended all that was left were the restless hours until the Ad Meter rankings were released. “It was a late night—we didn’t wrap up until well after midnight,” Hurbis recalled. “But we woke up Sunday morning with smiles on our faces, and it’s been a great week!”
A great week, indeed, one that seems to be continuing.
“People are coming up to Jason and telling him how funny it was and how much they enjoyed the commercial,” Hubris said of Momoa—who reached out to the CMO Sunday night and shared in the joy of how well the spot turned out and has since continued to post behind-the-scenes footage.
“It’s humbling,” Hurbis also added, now having a few days to let the rush of it all settle. “We had a great campaign and a great partner to bring it life, and we’re excited that America affirmed that—the amount of positive sentiment we have is overwhelming.”
It was an impressive showing for Rocket Mortgage, the excitement of the commercial’s success resonated in each answer Hurbis gave. And rightfully so. But that doesn’t mean it’s one-and-done for him or the hard-working team. We ended the conversation by chatting about the future, the “Get Comfortable” campaign, and what it means for Rocket Mortgage.
Hurbis replied: “When you’re America’s largest lender, you’re right back to work and getting ready for the next exciting project.”
With the company’s success in this year’s Ad Meter, that type of forward brand momentum would be expected.
Some Super Bowl ads can be funny, while others are sad (hello, Google), while others tend to touch on the dramatic. There were a handful of Super Bowl spots in this year’s Ad Meter rankings that could fall into the latter category, and according to …
Some Super Bowl ads can be funny, while others are sad (hello, Google), while others tend to touch on the dramatic. There were a handful of Super Bowl spots in this year’s Ad Meter rankings that could fall into the latter category, and according to Ad Blitz, a YouTube exclusive, these have been the most-viewed so far:
3. Hulu: Tom Brady’s Big Announcement
Tom Brady’s cryptic tweet that was sent out before the Super Bowl had fans (especially in New England) shook. What did he mean? Was he leaving Boston? What. Was. It?!
It turned out to be a tease for Hulu’s dram-com SB spot—one that had the decorated QB and Ted 2 actor reading directly from a script. So far the ad has been a hit, too, with the view count continuing to rise.
2. GMC: “Quiet Revolution”
GMC introduced its HUMMER EV with a creative spot titled “Quiet Revolution.” And it certainly was quiet, the entire 30 seconds completely void of sound—even LeBron James is silent.
Probably an unanswerable question: How many people have watched this and immediately started fidgeting with the volume control on the device they’re using?
Roman Coppola, the director of the HEINZ ad, explained it best: “To think of a way that four stories can share resemblance, be on the screen together, be cohesive and visually attractive, and be inviting for the viewer to watch, was a fun challenge that gave a very interesting set of parameters to work within,” he explained. “We tried to be creative and also strict about the form, to make the ad best suited for people to see four things at once.”
And it was mission: accomplished. The commercial currently sits at No. 1 most-viewed in the “Dramatic Ads” category on AdBlitz.
Kyle Shanahan saved his timeouts at the end of the first half so Patrick Mahomes wouldn’t get the ball back.
One of the hot-button issues after the 49ers’ Super Bowl loss was whether head coach Kyle Shanahan should’ve called a timeout near the end of the first half. He told reporters Thursday that he believed in the moment he was playing it right, and still believes it days after the game.
San Francisco got a stop against Kansas City with just under 1:50 left in the second quarter. Rather than calling the first of his three timeouts, Shanahan elected to let the clock run, and Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt nearly dropped it at the 1-yard-line. It bounced into the end zone though and gave San Francisco the ball at their own 20 with 59 seconds left.
Shanahan said he still believes he played it right. Via a transcript from the team:
No, absolutely not. I think that was one of the reasons we were up 10 points going into the fourth quarter. Absolutely wouldn’t have called a timeout at that time because we were expecting to be backed up and inside the 10, just like we probably should have been at the one, if they didn’t mess that play up. No, I was as confident as what we did in that situation as anything we’ve done all year. I mean that strongly. That’s something you work at for two weeks studying that team, what they’re capable of doing. You’re not going to give the ball back to them no matter what in that situation. The way he did that third-and-15 at the end of the game is how he does the two-minute drive. Felt extremely good with how we went. Not using the timeout there was a no-brainer. If we would have gotten an explosive run on the first one, then it would have been a whole different deal. But, we got a two-and-a-half-yard run. The whole goal was to not let them call a timeout there. You hurry to the line to act like you’re going, but then you don’t so you can ensure that [Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick] Mahomes won’t have an opportunity. And then we run a ball and then we make them use one of their timeouts. Now it’s third down, at least we’ve made them use one of their timeouts, we’ve taken enough time off that if we don’t get this, it’s going to be harder. But, there is still a lot of pressure. You’ve got to move the chains there. They brought a corner blitz. [RB] Jeff [Wilson Jr.] did an awesome job. We got a big play. Ended up having an opportunity to score if we don’t get the offensive PI.
They nearly got into scoring range, but an offensive pass interference flag on tight end George Kittle negated a 42-yard completion that would’ve put San Francisco deep into Chiefs territory. Instead they had to kneel and run the final seconds off to enter the half tied at 10.
In hindsight, with a blown fourth-quarter lead under their belts, trying harder to score at the end of the first half seems paramount, and makes the non-timeout look like a blunder.
However, the 49ers still held a 10-point lead with 6:23 left in the game in part because of their choice to not let Kansas City have the ball back at the end of the half. They also nearly had points to close the first half had Kittle not been flagged for offensive pass interference. Had they scored with no time left in the half, Shanahan would’ve been lauded for his outstanding clock management.
One of the wrinkles in the post-game analysis of that sequence was a shot of 49ers general manager John Lynch in his suite signaling for a timeout after the third-down stop by the 49ers defense.
Lynch told reporters it was a spur-of-the-moment reaction that he quickly regretted.
“Yeah, I think it’s just as if I was a player looking at the sidelines saying timeout, timeout,” he said. “I was thrilled for our guys. I get excited watching these games. Not much I can do up there, but I’ve got these guys’ backs. It’s not my role to do time management. I don’t focus a lot on it. I was proud of our guys getting a big stop. That was my initial reaction. (President of 49ers Enterprises and EVP of Football Operations) Paraag [Marathe] does study a lot of time management. I’m also asking him, ‘Should we get the timeout?’ That’s all it was. It was quickly erased when they almost pinned us at the half yard line. Kyle knows that. I watch the game with emotion because I care. That’s all that was.”
Since the goal was to not give the Chiefs the ball back, Shanahan made the right move, and it makes sense that he wouldn’t go back and change it.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s poor fourth-quarter performance in Super Bowl 54 sparked questions about his viability as the 49ers’ franchise quarterback moving forward. Head coach Kyle Shanahan on Thursday skewered rumors of a split with Garoppolo during his post-season press conference.
Shanahan said the loss doesn’t squarely fall on Garoppolo’s shoulders and pointed out that he likely would’ve been the game’s MVP had the team not fallen apart at the end. Then Shanahan explained why he’s optimistic about his quarterback moving forward.
“I think Jimmy is one of the main reasons we got to the Super Bowl,” Shanahan said. “I think he overcame a lot. This was his first year in his career going through an entire NFL season. He still doesn’t have as many starts and stuff as (Browns QB) Baker Mayfield. I think he had a hell of a first year truly playing the position, especially coming off an ACL where you have to fight through that a ton as a quarterback, where your rhythm and everything is not there at the beginning of the year. For him to be like that and to not let the pressure get to him, and to improve as the year went, I think says a ton about Jimmy. I can’t tell you how much I loved coaching the guy as a player and as a person this year.”
Garoppolo tore his ACL in Week 3 of the 2018 season, but returned to start all 16 games in 2019. After a slow start, his productivity picked up over the back half of the season, and his comfort in the offense was apparent en route to guiding San Francisco to a 13-3 record and their first playoff trip since 2013.
After throwing just 27 passes in two playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl, questions started piling up about whether Shanahan trusted his quarterback. The importance of those two games certainly magnify Garoppolo’s relative absence in the offense and force fans to search for answers.
However, Garoppolo was among the best quarterbacks in the league statistically during the regular season. His 3,978 yards were the fourth-most ever by a 49ers quarterback. He also finished sixth in touchdown passes and third in yards-per-attempt among all quarterbacks in 2019.
The notion that San Francisco was going to move on from Garoppolo because of a half quarter of football was always ludicrous, but the strong vote of confidence from Shanahan moving into the offseason is a further indicator that he’ll be under center for San Francisco as they try and get back to the Super Bowl in 2020.