Monday, April 05, 2010

They are Not David

I'll leave a full-fledged finals preview to the more proficient prognosticators and budding analysts among our editorial staff, but I want to take a moment to attempt to debunk the popular "David vs. Goliath" theme that's circulating the sports world today, regarding tonight's tournament final.

Butler is from a non-power conference. Butler plays in the state where Hoosiers takes place. Butler has some scrappy Caucasian players and a scrappy Caucasian coach. And even though Duke may well be a Goliath (and Zoubek looks like an oafish ogre), Butler is no David. Here's a quick look at the team's results this year:

Record: 33-4. Three of these losses came against power conference schools (Minnesota, Clemson, Georgetown), two of which were ranked all year. The fourth loss was against UAB, which looks like the lone fart on Butler's schedule. However, UAB was 25-9 this year and had some decent wins of their own. That UAB loss was on December 22nd. Butler has reeled off 25 straight wins since. Among its 26 regular-season wins (pre conference and NCAA tourney wins) are out-of-conference wins against Northwestern, UCLA, Ohio State, Xavier and Siena. And the team ran the table in twenty conference games.

Yes, the coach looks like a nerd, especially when he hip-bumps his players in the locker room. Yes, you may not have known where the school was located. No, they are not David. They are an exceptionally well-coached team with a suffocating defense.

297 comments:

1 – 200 of 297   Newer›   Newest»
Mark said...

Preach it.


I've got some Butler love coming later today.

TJ said...

Amen.

rob said...

i can't shake the nagging dread that they're gonna get hammered.

rob said...

today's rumor has the nets' new bazillionaire owner offering coach k $12-15m/year to leave duke.

zoltan said...

I heard he was going after Izzo.

Dan said...

yeah - dickie v, who i LOVE to hear on monday mornings, was talking about his good friend coach k and the offer...he doesn't think he'll take it.

rob said...

i can't imagine he would take it. he's the king of the world -why fuck with that at this point in his life?

Igor said...

They are a 5-seed to Duke's 1-seed, meaning they were a 17-20th ranked team going against a #4. Not David vs Goliath, but certainly underdog. Like you mention, the lazy sports media will try to make it the stuff of Hollywood filmage.

I think the reason folks associate more of a mismatch with it is the first concession you make: Butler is from a non-power conference. When's the last time one of those won it? UNLV in 1990?

I think a lot of us would like to believe Butler represents the ascension of the mid-majors (whether or not Butler even qualifies has been addressed by Mark and others) and a loosening of the big conferences' grip on the tournament. We'll see.

In the meantime, those of us who loathe Duke basketball to the core are going to go ahead and buy into the Davey and Goliath aspect of tonight's game. Screw Duke and Mark's Laettner love in his youth.

Either way, one sidenote of tonight's viewing will be the presence of more honk on the court in a championship game than there has been in some time.

And Butler does more than play "in the state" where Hoosiers takes place.

TR said...

As much as I want to root for Butler, I think Duke will win in a big way tonight. I loved to rip on Duke for years for being just a bunch of shooters, but they really have some toughness on the interior this year. The Brian Zoubek resurgence is a legit story. And Kyle Singler is a good rebounder, even if he looks like Ethan Hawke when Ethan filmed Explorers.

TR said...

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/KHsDj37YqiQ/0.jpg

Igor said...

Ethan Hawke's NYC neighbors report that he is a "I'm famous so don't even look at me" douchebucket of a guy. He's probably rooting for Duke tonight.

TR said...

Unfortunately for Nets fans, I see the new owner turning to other high profile coaches in the area. I can see Jay Wright taking a boatload of cash to be the coach and having as much success as Calipari, Pitino, Montgomery, etc. before returning to college within 4 years.

TR said...

I used to live in the W. Village and he was a pretty common face around town. I almost bumped into him one morning when I stumbled out early in a blind hangover to get something from a bodega. He was carrying his kid around in a baby Bjorn, which was pretty cool. Never heard any d-bag stories, but he did look greasy and dirty a lot. But if that landed him Uma, good for him.

Dan said...

duke giving 7.5

zoltan said...

Maybe the Russian guy will hire Sergei Igor Rimsky to coach the Nets.

Dan said...

i predict the nets will have the best cheering squad in the league. by "best" i mean choreographically sound of course.

zoltan said...

Daniel-san: your prediction makes sense but for the fact that said cheerleaders will be drawn from northern NJ, not Florida.

TR said...

I beg to differ Z-Man. The New York Jets' Flight Squad has some talented personnel.

Marls said...

"He was carrying his kid around in a baby Bjorn, which was pretty cool."

20 year old TR just jammed himself for this comment.

zoltan said...

The Flight Squad does indeed have some talent. But likely not league-leading talent. And I suspect that the best tri-state area talent wants to be a Knicks City Dancer. Being a Nets dancer has to be pretty far down the "sporting event eye candy" totem pole.

Dan said...

i'm expecting something a bit different from the big russian..the girls will be imported, probably from the likes of iceland, sweden, and norway. they too will have their own jet, and they will be paid for their services. all due respect to the females from jersey, i just don't see any locals being in the mix.

Igor said...

Icelandic girls were the hottest I've ever seen. Just don't make the same mistake we made and assume the Reykjavik strip joints will have Icelandic women in them. Not a one. Russian, Scottish, Hungarian. Yuck.

rob said...

on this, the eve of the eagerly anticipated unveiling of w&m's new mascot, some good news:

per the daily beast, w&m is only the 44th most stressful college in america: http://bit.ly/aXSZ51. though i question the methodology -it doesn't seem they take into account the availability of stress-releasing opportunities.

Dave said...

i thought this "igor" guy would be a little more edgy and controversial.

mark leyner wrote a great piece in "tooth imprints on a corn dog" called "you can't swagger in a snugli."

there's no way ethan hawke is not an asshole, purely based on that face on his face.

zoltan said...

The methodology for the stress survey is as flawed as Manuel Noriega's complexion. Tulane is 34? Florida is ranked at all? And I felt no academic stress at W&M, for what that's worth.

Dave said...

the most academic stress i ever felt at W&M was when my plan to never buy any books for class failed (but of course the money my grandmother had given me for texts was long spent on frivolity)-- the problem was that the library didn't have the poems that were on the test-- so i had to head over to the book store with another "gheorghe" contributor and do some studying in the aisle. it's very hard to concentrate when there's people around actually buying stuff.

TR said...

Tulane could be stressful, in the "what did I do when I was blacked out" type of stress, or the "I hope I don't wander 10 feet off of Bourbon St. and get mugged' type of stress.

TJ said...

I did not find the alma mater very stressful. That might have had something to do with my college lifestyle and laissez fair attitude about virtually everything in life.

zoltan said...

I'm surprised MIT wasn't #1. About 10 years ago a student committed suicide by lighting herself on fire in her dorm room. Possibly the saddest cry for help I've ever read about. Stanford has perfect weather so I don't see how it could be calculably worse than MIT.

TR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry said...

Mets are looking pretty damn good so far.

rob said...

jerry!

Dan said...

light self on fire to commit suicide? hadn't heard of that one.
on a brighter note, and less hot, summer is here and the beachgoers are going.
and lastly - i accidentally saw the space shuttle this morning while out yogging. pretty cool. as it was nearing the point i could see it no longer, i was approaching the guard gate to our neighborhood (don't get the wrong idea, trailer parks have guard gates) - and the guard was outside looking upward. i yelled, "mornin!" he responded - "mornin!....wait'n for the shuttle to go by"
"oh" i said - "well...ya missed it...it went that a way." i guess he didn't think to rotate head/shoulders/body for more expansive views as shuttle flyover time neared...poor guy. i wonder if he'd still be looking if i hadn't said anything.

Dan said...

watching crouching tiger

TJ said...

Happy Dyngus Day All! http://bit.ly/bO6oVr

Igor said...

Rob, we need to go ahead and settle on the Case Bet numbers. I wanted 69, but Baseball Prospectus has the Mets finishing with 77 wins. Good enough for me. Red Sox?

rob said...

i'd like 93. what's bp say?

rob said...

butler's players had to attend all their pre-noon classes today. plucky little hoosierian underdog defenders of all that's good and holy with undercollegiate student-athletics.

TJ said...

I'd like in on this...que es Los Jankess PECOTA?

zoltan said...

Beckett got a new 4 year $68MM deal. He still makes less than Barry Zito.

TR said...

Tiger not afraid to totally ignore the hard questions.

zoltan said...

rob intimated that a 96-team tournament will force some kids to miss a lot of class time. Isn't that one of the reasons why there's no football tournament? I love inconsistencies.

zoltan said...

He makes less than Lackey!?

rob said...

john feinstein tried to get an ncaa official to admit as much in a press conference last week. masters course in obfuscation ensued.

rob said...

not on a per-year basis, if memory serves. didn't lackey get 5/80?

TJ said...

If the NCAA was so worried about revenue generation, they'd scrap the BCS and create a college football playoff. A playoff whose revenues would dwarf the college hoops tourney by the way. But nope, that will never fucking happen.

rob said...

sorry, he got 5/82.5. and he was on the open market.

zoltan said...

You're right. He makes $500k more a year than Lackey.

zoltan said...

Which is nuts, considering Beckett's ginormous post-season cajones.

TJ said...

Say what you want about George W. Bush, and I know may of you have, but he sure as hell throws a better first pitch than the current guy residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Dave said...

i remember that story about the student who burned herself to death at MIT. her roommate made this comment to the paper: "she raised the temperature of the room 14 degrees, using q = m(DT)Cp, where q = heat transferred, DT = the change in temperature and Cp = the specific heat. It stressed me out."

Igor said...

Of course, he couldn't play P-O-T-U-S with Clark Kellogg . . . because in eight years in office, nobody would ever tell him what a POTUS was. Believe you me, he asked a lot of people.

TJ said...

Look, he changes his name, but not his stripes. You keep toeing that party line Igor. Hope it works out for ya.

Igor said...

Rob, I got my figure from the 30 Teams in 30 Days segment on the Mets, where they indicated their Prospectus number for them. Didn't see the Sox edition. A cursory perusal of the BP website shows one dude's blog with the Sox at 92 wins and another article with 93. How does 92.5 sound?

rob said...

i'll take it.

rob said...

i will stipulate teejay's point regarding w's fastball. he could bring it. 'course, he had lots of time to practice, what with dick cheney running the country and all.

rob said...

man, it's like riding a bike.

Igor said...

92.5 - 77. Looks like a banner fucking summer for me and my team. Game on.

TJ said...

You two should spend the rest of the afternoon sucking each other off while reading passages of "The Audacity of Hope" to each other.

rob said...

again?

TJ said...

Good start for the WizNats...

Igor said...

Teej, I changed my name, I didn't go gay or Republican.

[Must . . . resist . . . Geoff joke . . . too easy]

rob said...

lackey and beckett have identical career era numbers (3.81). lackey's whip is a touch higher at 1.22 to 1.31. beckett does have slightly better postseason numbers, and the aforementioned huevos.

zoltan said...

I can't believe you're getting me to do this. Beckett pitched 23 1/3 WS innings, gave up 14 hits, 3 earned runs, 28 K. Evil Red Sox fans have me touting Beckett's stats.

Dan said...

still bi heh

TJ said...

The Nats are...well, the Nats. Wow.

TJ said...

Jason Bergman's ERA? Infinity.

That happens when you enter a game with the bases loaded and groove your first pitch of the seaon right down the middle. Grand slam, exit Bergman, enjoy Triple A pal.

zoltan said...

That guy got like 10 strongest whites and still couldn't get through.

Dan said...

does it annoy the shit out of anyone here besides me when tiger, in pressers, refers to certain people by their nicknames?

Igor said...

Like "Dan" instead of "Daniel"? We get your point, Daniel.

TJ said...

Can we get Nyjer Morgan a jersey that fits please.

TR said...

I agree with you Dan. The way Tiger said something like "Go ahead, Rosy" was grating. It's worse when you realize he gives these nicknames to fat 50 year-old dudes who worship him.

rob said...

i think whitney sandbagged me.

Igor said...

You mean based on today?

If Whitney did, it'd be about time he got you back. But if you think the Mets can't let him down . . . stay tuned.

Igor said...

Only based on today's outing, it'd be best if Mike Jacobs 2.0 gets PH AB's predominantly. K/K/F4/3-1.

Much like in Old Detroit, we need Murphy to come back soon, and much, much better than he was.

rob said...

deadspin has an expose today on vegetable-based papal elections targeted directly at several gtb staffers.

TJ said...

If it's a how to guide I deman royalties.

TJ said...

OCP will have none of that talk.

rob said...

i'm stunned you're not pictured, frankly

TJ said...

Wow. That story sounds very familiar to a Teej story from many moons ago...Jerry was there to witness it. Perhaps later this eve I'll drop the full story in these comments.

Mark said...

When we all went to Jacksonville for the WLOCP I ended up stealing an apple (I know, not a vegetable) from the Lobby of the Hyatt (where we were staying) so TJ and the rest of us could cast ballots before we went out. That was the first of many, many memorable incidents on that fine weekend.

TR said...

How long until the Mets sign Jack Cust?

rob said...

why is frankie rodriguez pitching in a 6-run game?

TR said...

He's pitching for his wounded hermanos in Venezuela.

TJ said...

Mark, you actually stole me a lime I believe... which is the first and only time I used a lime in an election.

Jerry said...

Mets have an off day tomorrow.

Florida had some Angry Men caliber fielding today.

Mark said...

I think you're right TJ. I do remember it being a bit of a challenge for you. I think the apple I tried to steal was plastic.

And it's been discussed here before but that weekend was one of the all time greats when it comes to random events and people.

TJ said...

Vodka Guy. Cards win worls eries. Slats Tyson. Roberto "Relax Guy". Laughing as I type this.

TJ said...

That was a Dan-type comment.

Mark said...

Greg's epic nosebleed, meet me at the Mall, it's going down, Slats' power room, Socks/Turtle...and yeah, I'm laughing too.

TJ said...

Fred's got slacks

Dan said...

tanks

TJ said...

T'anks fuh nutin' Danny.

rob said...

jason heyward, yard.

and butler cancelled classes for tomorrow. i smell karmic trouble.

Mark said...

I see your point, Rob. However, it's the smart move. Virtually none of your students are attending class if the basketball team in is the title game (I know I didn't when UF took on MSU in 2000) absolutely none of them are attending if said title game is in the same city as the University.

rob said...

i know. i'm just engaging in blogging dipshittery to get through the rest of the day.

TR said...

I think 80% of W&M students would shrug off a tourney final and hold to their daily routine. The Baptist Student Union, the Young Republicans and the service fraternities, for example, would all march on without missing a beat. These groups probably encompass 10% of the student body, but represent 100% of its nerdiness.

Marls said...

Due some duoche who could not manage to finish a deposition in 6 hours, I am stuck in Tampa tonight at a hotel by the airport. Any of you Florida degenerates have some recommendations?

TJ said...

Arsenic?

Marls said...

Or douche or dooooche

Marls said...

The embassy suites are not sweet.

Jerry said...

There's no way that all of the dorkiness at W&M can be encompassed in 10% of the population. A solid 70% of the student body sucked hard.

TJ said...

The basketball HOF is inducting entire teams now?

TJ said...

By the way, Marls just emailed a pic of his Embassy Suites couch. If that's the motiff they're going for, Marls will be rocking out to Murph and the Magic Tones in the lounge later.

Marls said...

I'm going to see if Mr. Ronzini is still running the Armada room.

TJ said...

What
The
Fuck

Is Mrs. K wearing?

rob said...

ah, the obligatory 'robert montgomery knight' from dickie v.

TJ said...

I want my two dollars...

rob said...

digger looks like a terrain map - that's a lot of stripes

TR said...

I'm trying to imagine the faces of middle-aged white men as they watched Diddy's intro.

TJ said...

Do you realize the street value of this mountain?

rob said...

anyone catch zoubek's z-hands?

Marls said...

I thunk I just froze the left side of my brain.

rob said...

pina coladas are a bitch

rob said...

matt howard's mustache for the win

TR said...

Matt Howard's stache is porntastically wispy. His middle America accent makes me wonder if it's an ironic mustache or if he is just a farmboy who loves Larry Bird.

TR said...

I did see the Z from Zoubek. We are on the same wavelength with our white center appreciation, Rob. Creepy.

Marls said...

So I walked over to the mall to see the food options. I was surprised to find a Palm. I am currently medicating via the TR method...a JW Black drip.

There is a guy at the bar that TJ would to debate. He has made the following statements in the last 5 min.

1. Mexico is better than brazil and will go farther in the WC
2. The Bucs are going to win the superbowl.
3. Simon and Simon sucked and ALF was the best show of the 80's
4. Death at a funeral looks funny.

TR said...

Duke wins by 17. Zoubek leverages the tourney to become a 2nd round draft pick in June.

Mark said...

I was all set to throw up a post for tonight's game that would supply Butler with a little karmic boost. However, the NCAA Nazis don't won't allow any tournament highlights on the interwebs so we don't get a clip of Mike Miller beating the buzzer (and Butler) back when they really were cinderellas. Thanks a lot, dicks.

rob said...

it pains me, but i agree with at least the first half of tr's prediction.

Dan said...

you guys remember richie cunningham's older brother in the very early Happy Days episodes? Chuck was his name. that's matt howard.
marls - luck is the residue of hard work

Mark said...

Marls -- I think that mall has a Blue Martini as well. Tampa schluts love that place.

TR said...

Butler's shit-eating "happy to be here" grins did not inspire me in the pre-game stuff.

Hayward just got away with a carry.

Dan said...

chucky's gotta hit those 2 footers

rob said...

layup, dammit

TJ said...

Do you realize the street value of this mountain?

Dan said...

marls - i know not what your status is on the significant other front, but if single, i recommend getting in a cabby cab and heading on over to blue martini if within 20 min or so

Geoff said...

Miles Plumlee...villain in a 90210 plotline or seminal wage/price theoretician?

Mark said...

Maybe Duke should stop biting on Howard's pump fakes...

Dan said...

is tavis smiley a duke asst coach?

Mark said...

Shelvin Mack, so underrated.

rob said...

nobody but mack is allowed to shoot

Geoff said...

If the clock fails to function at any point during this game, they should first check to see if Kyle Singler's face made it stop.

Dan said...

awful call

Marls said...

Danimal, status is single not necessarily desired. I meat head over to check on that theory.

He put his testicles all over me.

rob said...

'i meat head' indeed

TJ said...

It's good to have Geoff back...can we please get a McNabb comment?

Mark said...

In college, Zoubek's sudden surge is a good story. In the pros, it has 'contract year' written all over it.

rob said...

duke seems completely dominant. and only leads by 2. hmmmm.

Marls said...

Cut me Mick.

Geoff said...

Initial McNabb reaction: aggressively negative. Over time I'm warming to it if only because he is arguably the best QB the Skins have had since Theismann. He's a major upgrade, though he is very much on the downside of his career. I'm just not sure how done he is. I think he gets the Skins to the playoffs this year or next...I just think that may be his ceiling.

Dan said...

ummm....marls, i think you should slow down on the jdub's...

Mark said...

Butler's game plan has been stay close and eventually let their defense wear down the opposition take the game over in the final 6-7 minutes. So far, the pace and style of this game seem to be trending toward a similar scenario.

rob said...

the shit that's being let go in this game and that's a foul on howard? boooo.

Geoff said...

Butler is playing very physical on the defensive boards (read as: fouling the shit out of duke) and no fouls are being called. Intriguing...

Mark said...

I'm not sure the refs not to officiate Butler. They play so physical on every area of the floor that you could probably call a foul on every play. Which usually leads to inconsistent and uneven officiating. Same thing happened in the MSU game (though MSU's style had a lot to do with that too).

Geoff said...

I've seen the Magic-Bird docu in its entirely 5 times. Its phenomenal...and not just because of Bird's hair and Bryant Gumbel's titillating pomposity.

Mark said...

Indeed.

rob said...

stop the run! remain calm! all is well!

Mark said...

Jon Scheyer is going to make a lot of money...in Spain. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

TJ said...

Follow me to freedom!!!!!

Mark said...

I have to admit that these inbred Indianan fans are really starting to grind my gears.

TJ said...

No guy makes more "hey you suck enjoy Europe fucker" jokes than Mark.

Mark said...

Brad Stevens. Boy Genius.

Igor said...

Mark, does grind your gears mean piss you off or turn you on?

TJ said...

This mack kid is no Charlie Mack.

He was first out of limo...

rob said...

teejay is older than stevens. wrap your mind grapes around that.

Marls said...

Shaddoe Stevens, gay genius.

TJ said...

rob is smaller than the Travelocity gnome.

Bump, set...

Dan said...

i don't think i heard one sports guy today predict a competitive game...

Mark said...

Piss me off, but that kind of turns me on.

Mark said...

You're right Dan but it only because of the name Duke, imo. Look at this Duke team individually. Are they really that much more impressive athletically?

Igor said...

Lazier? Teejay after seven beers or Forest Whitaker's left eye?

Mark said...

"rim jammed"

Mark said...

Somebody should cover Jukes, no?

TJ said...

Or "Whitney" changing names to his abortive drunken nickname?

rob said...

it's been said, but both of these teams defend the shit out of the basketball. really fun first half.

Marls said...

I got rim jammed by a gamma phi. As I recall, it hurt.

Igor said...

Laziest: my comedy. A weak premise, left an "R" out of "Forrest", and it's his eyelid that strays, not his eye. So lame.

Geoff said...

Do I hate Clark Kellogg? Or am I just happy he killed Billy Packer?

rob said...

point, igor. offensive foul, teejay.

Dan said...

nothin like a good rim jam.

TJ said...

Point, teej.

Reacharound, rob.

TJ said...

So how pissed are Sandler and James that they missed the boat? Hot Tub Time Machine just destroyed any chance that shitshow had...

Igor said...

"I see your lazy comedy and I raise you one Carlos Mencia."

--teejay

rob said...

you just gave yourself a point? strong.

TR said...

Da'Sean Butler looks and acts like The Situation. I was bummed at myself for noticing this. He also looks high as shit.

Dan said...

how you guys doin on your woman's bracket?

Geoff said...

While we're giving out points, Zoltan's Jason Bergman strongest whites joke played well to this audience...about 11 hours after he posted it.

TJ said...

I see your name change and raise you one Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.

Mark said...

Well, he is from Newark.

Dan said...

da'sean is doing his interview while stting on huggins' face

TR said...

Can we sequester Marls and The Teej into a private chat-room so they can cyber-fellate each other whilst throwing out 80's movie lines?

Igor said...

Does anyone else see the Huggins/Butler floor hug and think, "Your gun is digging into my hip"? No? Okay.

Geoff said...

I had UConn playing the cast of Designing Women in the final. So, I'm doing well. I've got Dixie Carter guarding Maya Moore and Meshack Taylor on Tina Charles.

Dan said...

and speaking of newark, congratulations for having your first murder-free month in, like, forever

TJ said...

We could, but we'd miss out on your Teen Wolf jokes.

Igor said...

The biggest disappointment of my day? Throwing out a very obscure Robocop reference in the comments of this very post and being sure, just sure that Teej would pick up on it and comment. No love.

TJ said...

Really???

My OCP joke didn't suffice?

TR said...

Geoff - That was one of the oddest meetings in the unstoried history of Unit M. He was a second semester junior and guys were just figuring out if he should be milked for dues and given some Lammie love for putting up with Eddie T's drunken rampages. Shockingly, it was Baldwin who threw down the ebony to squash the orgy of strongest whites. It was a wise move by the future walker.

Geoff said...

Scott Baldwin...level headed about who should be a frat guy...probably poops outside more often than I do laundry.

rob said...

the dude who invented boxed wine died today. somewhere, z-man is in a franzia coma.

zoltan said...

Just got back from working in Newark. Seriously. I drank no Franzia today, although I give it my strongest white. What have I missed?

Dan said...

i think my biggest disappointment of the day will be in about 40 minutes when duke has won by less than 7 points.

TJ said...

Locke is dead. And is now Smokey. We think.

Igor said...

Nice push in the back by "Morning" Zoubek.

rob said...

they are calling nothing. nothing.

rob said...

and by that i mean that butler is mugging people

zoltan said...

Re: Bergman - it was more than just one meeting. It was a series of meetings. First Big Ed threw it out there. Then next week someone else did. Spfechkt threw one out at one point. The Bone noted that "strongest whites mean nothing anymore." Then there was a flurry of strongest whites at one meeting, prompting Miguel to remark "we can't take that guy, he's Berman" and Baldwin retorted "but you're Miguel" and then blacked Bergman for reason, the reason being that he was fucking up the strength of the strongest white or messing with house unity or something really abstract like that. Surprisingly, Baldwin was abstract.

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