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Secret To Canes' Success: Kanye?

A few items of interest:

-- The link of the day: audio of a drunken Rick Sutcliffe from a recent San Diego Padres telecast. You must hear this.

-- NC State's top-seeded softball team won its ACC tournament opener against Boston College today, 8-0. The Pack will take on fifth-seeded Florida State tomorrow. Tourney Central.

-- Several years ago, economist David Romer wrote a paper that examined the tendencies of NFL coaches on 4th down and concluded that, in order to maximize the probability of winning a game, coaches should go for it on fourth down more often than they do. This week, Doug Drinen has written a pair of interesting posts on fourth down strategy which expand on Romer's findings and calculations.

I especially recommend Doug's second post on the subject, as it includes a discussion of this chart.

-- Here's a funny Hurricanes-related note from the News & Observer today:

After Wednesday's 3-2 victory, Carolina has won 59 games total this season. Nary a one has passed without Kanye West's "Gold Digger" greeting the Canes in the locker room.

Team DJ Erik Cole said the tradition started early in October at the behest of Justin Williams. By the time the team wrapped up a franchise-record, nine-game winning streak in the second week of November, there was no turning back for the superstitious group.

The song was picked for its driving kazoo-like beats, not for the message, Cole said, although he acknowledged the exquisite irony of a group of millionaire white guys dancing around to a rap song that includes the line:

"If you ain't no punk, holla we want pre-nup."

"Hey," Cole said, "nobody said we were dancing around."

By the way, Eminem's "Shake That" is at No. 2 with a bullet in the postgame rotation.

You think they rap along to the song? I'd kill for footage of that.

-- Ken Pomeroy takes a look at height and rebounding percentage. At the bottom of the post, he graphs the average OR% and DR% for players ranging from 5-6 to 7-2. You can compare those averages to the Wolfpack players' rebounding percentages by viewing the 2006 NC State scouting report.

And in case you missed the announcement, individual stats from the 2005 season are now available.