When scenarios morph curioser and curioser in the Big Tent that is College Hoops.
Messrs. K and H assure the public/ Their production will be second to none/ And of course Henry The Horse dances the waltz!
Not the least stunning of which developments is viewing the sport’s preeminent color announcer, the usually straight forward Jay Bilas, showing up to do the Arizona/ Colorado game, wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt. Sitting alongside smirking Garciaphile Bill Walton, who, deadpan, pretending to be the voice of reason, intones, “Enough foolishness. There’s a game going on here. Let’s get to the action.”
This morning’s USA Today had a catch up article on this year’s doings. Two months into the season, the paper obviously felt compelled to catch us up on what’s been happening. The undercurrent, one supposes, being they thought we couldn’t possibly have been paying attention until the CFP was over and done.
Maybe in central Ohio, providing some cover for Thad Matta, but, my my, how provincial.1
Well, we, the denizens of the true Bermuda Triangle of college basketball, have been watching all along, thank you very much. We are able to multitask here in Hoopsylvania.
And we have taken notice of the cockamamie twists and turns since league play commenced.
Pitino the Younger’s Golden Gophers entered Big Ten play with a glossy 11-2 record. But now are holding up the league from the cellar, having lost their first five conference contests.
Duke’s kiddie corps were cruising along with an unblemished campaign, looking for all the world as perhaps the only legit contenda to you know who, and looking to give Coach K his 1000th W at the Yum! tomorrow, while Dickie V slobbered all over them on The World Wide Leader.2 Then they lost to the Wolfpack on the road. Followed that with a 16 point meltdown at home, which left Cameron Crazies dazed and confused, wondering what happened to their birthright?
Meanwhile Kansas, Kentucky and Gonzaga are where they seem to always be — atop their league’s standings. Then there’s Maryland atop the Big Ten ladder, UVa and the ‘Cuse at the head of the ACC class, Utah, the leader so far out west, and Wyoming, Bryant and Eastern Washington appear to be schools we might know about before Selection Sunday.
This season might be finalized just as all those citizens of the BBN believe. You know, the ones, intending to beat the rush for their UK Championship ink, who are lined up outside Billy Jim & Edna Mae’s Doughnut & Tattoo Parlor at this moment for a chocolate cream-filled and fresh new big ol’ Wildcat on their left shoulder to match the one on their right.
But, we really need look back but one campaign as a reminder how psychedelic this grand sport can be. That’s when, I trust you recall, UConn was eviscerated in its final regular season tilt by 33 points at the Yum!. Yet a month later, the Huskies were inexplicably cutting down the nets to the strains of “One Shining Moment.”
So, let the party continue.
Having been some days in preparation/ A splendid time is guaranteed for all/ And tonight Mr. Kite is topping the bill!
Or, to toss in one more counter culture quote:
Only time will tell/ Who has fell/ And who’s been left behind
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Great article in the New York Times about the Bellarmine Knights. You can read it here.
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Given the Blue Devils two recent setbacks, and the sudden turnaround in Chris Jones’s mindset, tomorrow’s high noon gunfight is shaping up as the most interesting since Sheriff Gary Cooper, on his wedding day to Grace Kelly, and his last on the job, had to face an old enemy by himself in “High Noon.”
It’s going to reveal a whole lot about both Duke and the Cardinals.
But, since the league season is far from over, it shan’t reveal all.
U of L still has miles to go before it sleeps. Including a couple daunting two game interludes. The first week in February, the Cards travel to Miami, then Charlottesville for the first of two encounters with heralded Virginia. The Cavaliers come to the Yum! for the final regular season game, three days after rising Notre Dame visits.3 The Cardinals also visit long time rival Syracuse, and host the suddenly storming Hurricanes at home.
Card fans wanted the ACC. Card fans got the ACC.
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Today’s Final Four: Kentucky, Virginia, Utah, West Virginia.
— Seedy K