Thoughts On The Tourney So Far

Posted on March 24, 2011


There is always hype when it comes to certain events.  Whether they live up to it or not is entirely another subjective discussion altogether.  Yet, every March, for one four-day “weekend,” degenerates, die hards and donkey’s alike, throw everything on the back-burner for the NCAA tournament.  This year there has been escalated levels of media coverage prior to the first tip.  Most people, including Cised, focused on the expansion for starters, but little did we know a tsunami of stories were about to flood in.  I’m not here to argue whether this is on pace to be one of the best tourney’s ever.  I am willing to propose that it has been one of the more entertaining on and off the court in recent memory, even if it is only nearly half over.  So here we go with a quick look back:

-In setting this table, it all begins with the NCAA’s attitude of, “Cash rules everything around me. C.R.E.A.M. get the money.  Dolla dolla bill y’all.”  As we alluded to in other posts, expanding the field to 68 is plain old gay.  There is no justification for doing so outside of greenbacks.  It will never matter how many teams are allowed in as there will always be dissention and conflicting views on the last four in/first four out.  Someone is always going to be disappointed.  That is just how sports works.  It’s what it’s all about now-a-days and why we love to argue over it.

-Unpredictability rises up again.  With a total of seventeen games decided by five points or less, there have been a plethora of close matchups.  Five of those games were decided by two points or fewer on the opening day (tied NCAA record).  And let’s be honest, the Dayton games weren’t really the first round, rather four play-in games.  The real second round will always be on Saturday/Sunday.  In the nail bitters, the underdog sprinkled in a few of victories of their own.  The annual 12-5 upset was ever-present with the (Rich-what? Rich-mond!) Spiders and how much fun was it to have a couple of days with endless jokes about Morehead. 

-A small time Kentucky school knocks off a staple with state and national prominence.  Those same MSU jokes were catapulted to new heights due to the fact that they beat Pitino’s Cardinals.  Isn’t this man still meddling through the aftermath of an extortion case involving adulterous sex stories?  Why yes it is!  The sporting Gods came [through] on top yet again.  OK, enough innuendo, maybe.  What was most appalling was his appearance as an analyst less then 48 hours after being bounced in the first round in back to back seasons.  Then he went as far as to take a low blow shot at his players and proceeded to crack jokes that he busted a lot of brackets.  Yeah, he said busted.  If he already didn’t look like a scum bag mafia boss with a used car salesman slick back hair day job cover, who unceremoniously cheats on his wife and kids, he may have come off in a negative light.

-Dorothy Mantooth is a saint, Murda drinks like a champ and a foul is a foul.  All of the talk surrounding the final 7.1 seconds in the Pitt-Butler games is warranted, as long as you focus on the players.  No matter what argument you give, I firmly believe that it was still the players who decided that outcome.  Both donkey’s, who committed some of the most blatant numbskull actions since Shooter tried to run off with the gold jacket, admitted that they may have indeed been part of an infraction and breach of rules.  It wasn’t that the officials thrust themselves into the limelight, or even made a bad call that cost a team, they did what they were supposed to do.  With either one of those plays haphazardly ignored, there would have been even more bedlum and controversy.  They had to make those two calls.  Mack and Robinson did in fact foul on both occasions and it would be negligence to “let them play on.”  It is a foul whether it’s 1.4 seconds into the game or left on the clock.  The story should have been more on the missed free throws.  Bud Kilmer wasn’t just an arrogant dickhead, he was also one hell of a coach (remember his two state titles and 22 district championships) who was right when he told Moxon to, “stick to the basics, stick to the basics.”  Make your free throws and you will advance. 

-Big East bashing has commenced on full tilt.  Granted they haven’t won a title since UCONN a half decade ago, but they are still far and away the best basketball conference.  You cannot deny that fact.  They routinely play the toughest schedules and have the longest conference tournament around.  Maybe they do beat each other up to much and that causes them to wear out at the site of another long stretch of high-octane games.  But when you look at what the tournament is meant to do, put together the best at-large teams in the country, you have to include those top tiered squads.  Their resumes are simply put, better.  If anyone should be scrutinized, it’s the NCAA selection committee.  They are having a tumultuous month.  The usual gripes come with the territory, but their seeding has been as suspect as Aflac claiming they fired Gilbert Gottfried because of the timing of his jokes and not because they do 75% of their business in Japan.  Its like they took one of those “the cow goes moo, the sheep goes baaaaa” farm animal games and doctored it to fit college mascots.  I swear they just pulled the rip cord and it told them what to do, “the Longhorns are a foooouuuuuurrrrrrr seeeeeeeed.”  “The Gators are a twoooooooooooo seeeeeeeeeed.”  “The Johnies are a ssssiiiiiiiiiiiiiixxxxx seeeeeed.”  ” The Rams are a plaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy innnnnn game.”  I always thought that the committee was supposed to seed according to how good a team is, who should win in a particualr match-up.  Oh well. 

-Butler Bulldogs mascott banned, will be impounded.  School officials say Blue II will not travel to New Orleans, where the men’s basketball team faces fourth-seeded Wisconson in Thursday’s regional semifinals. NCAA officials banned live mascots from this weekend’s games, saying there was not enough space and because of the quick turnarounds for other events in those arenas.  Really?  That is a load of dog shit.  Maniacs acting a fool on a bender of four loko and redbull and vodka’s are allowed to roam wildly, but a dog the size of  two basketballs takes up to much space.  The lively English bulldog has become a regular staple at Butler’s home games and some of its road games. Players pet the dog during introductions, he parades through the stands during games and can often be seen chewing on a bone.  Like walking a dog up and down the aisle is more of a hassle to deal with and clean up then the barrage of media outlets covering the spectical?  You’re telling me that dismantaling those reporters sections is less time consuming then throwing a bone outside and watching Blue II chase after it?  If E.T. could follow the reese’s pieces trail, walking like a mix between a penguin and an excited R2D2, then I would wager an athletic doggie will manage just fine.  You gotta feel for him, especially after he was so jacked up he put out a training video:

-What would a college basketball post be without a Maryland update.  Although they were absent from the tourney, which is becoming a little too regular as an AARP member on a strict fiber diet, they did manage to secure an NIT birth.  Wait, they didn’t get an invite there either?  I guess all of those bunny lay-ups Jordan has missed added up in the end.  I wonder what his “true” double-double number would be if his shooting percentage in the paint was higher?  I do think the impending NBA labor dispute will help us in convincing him to stay another much-needed year in College Park.  I’m glad to see that the CBI and CIT both felt such established programs as Montana, Boise St., North Dakota, San Francisco and Furman were a better draw then the Terps.  Well, on the bright side, Gary can get a head start on all of his dry cleaning for those long, drawn out on the road recruiting trips he makes annually.  Oh wait, that doesn’t happen either. 

So as we head to the second half of the tournament, lets hope that the metaphorical final 20 minutes of play keeps rolling on in this noteworthy mannor and not dissipate to the God awful level of the plot to Miss March.  For this is the Maddness that is March and I’m as thouroghly entertained as ever.  Oh, and for you persons who find themselves alone for the upcomming games, I hear that Bruce Pearl is having a family BBQ that I’m certain any and all are invited to.

Posted in: Basketball