There were a lot of upsets this weekend – Northern Iowa beat Kansas, St. Mary’s knocked off Villanova, Washington surprised New Mexico and the Democrats stunned the Republicans on a late three pointer by Barry Obama to put Healthcare U over the top.
While I don’t really need to be reminded I am every year when March rolls around. The NCAA Basketball Tournament (AKA March Madness) is the best thing going.
While I was watching Ali Farokhmanesh pull up and bury a three to seal the win for Northern Iowa and the next day seeing Korie Lucious drain a buzzer beating game winner for Michigan State, I was thinking…isn’t anybody from the NCAA rules committee taking notes and thinking of a way to fix college football?
Millions, no billions, of dollars could be made on a college football playoff system. Think of a do or die game between USC and Alabama where the winner could face Texas in the Final. That’s the topic for another column. And it will be written. That’s a dead horse that needs to be beaten. Back to the greatest show on earth.
There are a few familiar names that have been popping up in the Tournament. Former NBA players Ralph Sampson, Glen Rice, and John Lucas all have sons that participated in the Madness. Ralph Sampson III played for Minnesota, Jai Lucas suited up for Texas and Glen Rice Jr. is at Georgia Tech.
Other notable sons playing college basketball and their famous fathers are Mychel Thompson at Pepperdine and Klay Thompson at Washington State – Mychal Thompson, Larry Drew II at North Carolina – Larry Drew, Luke Sikma at Portland – Jack Sikma, and Malcom Washington at Penn- Denzel Washington. Oh and Jeff Jordan at Illinois and Marcus Jordan at Central Florida – father is some guy named Michael.
I almost forgot former Kentucky Coach Tubby Smith was still around until I saw him sitting on the Minnesota bench guiding the Gophers.
Despite a couple shockers, there are still three number one seeds (Kentucky, Duke, Syracuse) and three number twos (Ohio State, West Virginia, Kansas State) still alive in the sweet sixteen.
No wonder Kansas State is playing so well. Coach Frank Martin has the look of a guy that you don’t want to mess with.
Best name in the tournament- If it’s not Farokhmanesh, it’s Tweety Carter of Baylor. Carter has chirped his way to 15 points per game this season and has led Baylor into the sweet sixteen.
No disrespect to St. Mary’s, who has played the role of Cinderella perfectly so far, but Villanova was ranked way too high at a number two seed. Has anybody seen Scottie Reynolds?
Duke was thought to have the easiest road to the final four when the brackets were first announced but with Purdue and either Baylor or St. Mary’s still in the way the path is no walk in the park.
I like Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer but they’ll never make anybody forget Grant Hill and Christian Laettner. Whatever happened to Bobby Hurley?
Unless it’s Vin Scully, Dick Enberg, Bob Miller or the late Chick Hearn, I’m usually critical of announcers. But I could listen to Gus Johnson call tournament games all day on CBS.
As with all John Calipari coached teams, while Kentucky has been brought back to prominence and into the sweet sixteen, my next thought is – when is the hammer going to fall?
While Obama may have won in healthcare he lost in his brackets. The President had second round loser Kansas winning the whole thing. He’s currently drawing up a bill that will have the government select the winner of the NCAA champion beginning in 2011.
I like Kentucky, Duke, Syracuse and Northern Iowa in the final four with Kentucky beating Syracuse in the final. After the game the NCAA will hit Kentucky with severe sanctions including suspension from post season play for two years for the illegal recruitment of players.
That’s my principle.
Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.