Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Opening Thursday (Including Hoopsdom’s Greatest Video)


Updated and Corrected 12/19 at 12:01 pm.

Even the weather is cooperating here in Hoopsylvania, the epicenter of the hoops universe.

Where the Royals are in town.

From the UK, meaning bespoke Prince Charles, a guy who knows how to wear a suit, along with his inamorata of a bride, thoroughbredish Duchess Camilla.

And THE UK, meaning, you know, Coach Cal’s Cats, who commence their chase of history tonight at the Yum!.

It’s chilly. It’s rainy. Perfect for a day inside, doing what I like to do best, watching hoops.

Fresh batteries in the clicker. Beverages chilled in the fridge. Snack food stocked. Impellizzerri’s Pizza on speed dial.

I’ve even heard rumors the Swope Auto folks opened a temporary WaterCar Panther dealership, selling those funky mobiles that morph into boats. Better to get to the gym, the backside of which is moistened by lapping Ohio River overflow.

So, my fellow hoopaholics . . . let’s tip it off.Before we begin, as always, patriotic, and according to protocol,  our national anthem, sung by Cheech & Chong (Please stand, and gentlemen, kindly remove your hats):

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 I always like to have a favorite team to root for, besides the Cardinals, and besides the school playing Duke, and besides the team playing You Know Who.

This year, it’s Iowa State.

Great nickname: Cyclones. Even the coach, Fred Hoiberg, an Ames homie, has a great moniker, “The Mayor.”

Besides, the school, founded in the late 19th century, was coed from the get go, was the country’s first land grant college, was where tenured prof, John Vincent Atanasoff, conceptualized what would become the first electronic digital computer and was the alma mammy of suffragette Carrie Chapman Lane Catt.1

I could blather on and on about the Cyclones. Instead, I’ll just refer you to a recent piece by my main man, Charles Pierce. You can read it here.

What I love about the Cyclones is they shoot the ball, they hustle and they never give up. Don’t play a lot of D either, but, hey, who is picking nits?

What I also love about the Big 12 tourney champs in their opener today at the Yum! is that they’re playing UAB. I’ve never much cared for the Blazers since they handed Denny Crum his last two losses, both in Freedom Hall.

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I’ve always kind of liked the Boilermakers.

Gene Keady’s Purdue teams were always gritty, usually faring well early on in the Dance.

The bane of his existence, Bobby Knight hated Purdue, which is a good enough reason to love them in and of itself.

The Boilermakers were U of L’s opponent in the first Cardinal game I ever saw, in ’52.

And then, there was that great Cardinal tradition back in Freedom Hall:

Go. Cards. Beat. Purdue.

And, Purdue is facing former U of L rival Cincy in one of those impossible to figure out #8/#9 games. Always tune in to those first in any given time slot, on opening Thursday and Friday.2

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Should Hampton pull off the seemingly impossible this evening, beating Kentucky, will the United States become a Christian theocracy de jure as well as de facto?

I mean, it would give a whole new meaning to WWJD?.

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Do we want Butler to upset Hook ‘Em Horns?


Do we want Larry Brown’s Mustangs to throttle UCLA?


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Another ??? Did Eastern Washington’s Jim Hayford really go Joe Namath, guaranteeing a W over the Hoyas?


It’s the last of Opening Thursday’s games. If I’m still awake at the end to watch it happen, that would be the biggest surprise of the day. Unless, of course, JC is draining threes at the point, leading Hampton to victory.

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Predictions, you ask?

Not really, Getting in touch with my inner Verne Lundquist, I didn’t fill out a bracket.

Okay, one. The best game of the day will be Ohio State/ VCU.

Let’s get this party started.

— Seedy K

6 thoughts on “Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Opening Thursday (Including Hoopsdom’s Greatest Video)

  1. SMU over UCLA will not be an upset. And I have an idea for a new ESPN 30 for 30: I Hate Doug Gottlieb!.

  2. I am disinclined to view announcers and reporters as being biased against one team or another. That said, as I riffed on in a previous blog, it does seem that Gottleib never lets pass a chance to diss the Cardinals. Odd.

    And, you are correct. I misspoke when I said an SMU win would be an upset. Will change.

  3. So glad I did not submit a filled out bracket to the ESPN challenge. Because I too had misplaced belief in the Iowa State U.

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