I am a college basketball junkie. A hoopaholic.
Even though my team was the very first one eliminated in this year’s tourney, I still spent hour after hour after hour in front of my flat screen, berating myself for microwaving then consuming the entirety of yet another bag of Skinny Pop, enduring Chris Webber, watching googly-eyed as Carsen Edwards went en fuego, failed to notice that a spring cold was filling my chest cavity until it was too late, while watching just about every dribble, missed call and Coach K sneer.
I could not care less — actually I’m pleased as punch — that Rock Chalk Jayhawk, the Baby Blues, Big Blues, Go Blues, and Dukie Blues won’t be in the house come Saturday evening.
For the casual fans, those folks caught in the star maker machinery that’s propelled Zion Whatsisname into mainstream consciousness, sayonara. Enjoy your visit to the cineplex to see “Us.”
I’ll be in front of the telly, embracing this cockamamie quartet of Sparty, UVa, Texas Tech and Auburn.
Speaking of the latter, I will glory in the enthusiasm of one Charles Bark-ley. Thanks to his default I-say-what-I-want-when-I-want personality, and lenient producers, the former Auburn great will be everyfan, unabashedly cheering on his War Eagles.
(He’s there for us all. We who are obsessed, even if our teams are arch rivals, have more in common than we admit. I remember being in the Superdome for the ’82 Final, after my team had been vanquished in the semifinal. I was sitting next to a couple of high school kids, big Tar Heel fans since they were little kids, who had never experienced a title. They were so nervous. They were so invested. They were me. They were us.)
So, to those this week who have wondered during conversations about CBS contemplation of ratings, I Could Care Less.
To those who’ve expressed disappointment that none of the “Big Boys” will be taking the court, I say, Nah Nah Nah Nah/ Hey Hey/ Goodbye.
Bring. It. On.
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Speaking of Big Boys, UCLA used to be a Big Boy. The Biggest Boy.
That John the Hallowed a/k/a Wooden the Sanctimonious retired in 1975, that the Bruins have won but one title since then — in ’95, when coached by scofflaw Jim Harrick — seems to have turned the powers that be in Westwood a bit delusional.
They fired Ben Howland, even though he won 69% of his games, four league titles, and made it to a couple Final Fours in ten seasons.
They offered Coach Cal less money than he makes at Kentucky to relocate to LaLaLand, to have to deal with the LA Freeway to get to work.
And, for some reason this just tickles me, the school is just an $8 million buyout (pocket change for some Hollywoodland alum) away from hiring Jamie Dixon, whose resumé includes being nudged out at Pitt, where his highlight was a lone Elite 8 in ’09, in favor of Kevin Stallings.
OK, I must be fair. Dixon’s crowning achievement in Steel City was leading his ’12 Panthers to the title of the College Basketball Invitational, known to its solid 837 followers and Hoops Weiss as the roman CBI.
Good luck, Bruins. Happy days are absolutely, positively to be there again.
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Speaking of the roman CBI, the crown of which has also been captured Nevada, Loyola Chicago, Oregon, all of which used it to catapult them to greater glories in succeeding seasons, but many other lesser lights who remain feeding at the murky bottom.
Anyway, on Friday evening, the second favorite team of my Most Esteemed Glorious Editor at cardchronicle.com, the mighty DePaul Demons, shall battle South Florida for the championship, each school having already won a tilt in the 2 of 3 final.
The Blue Demons had to go to OT Wednesday night, but outscored the Bulls 18-14 in the extra five for a 100-96 W.
The decider is obviously Must See TV for any hoopaholic.
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As for that other Final Four Saturday evening, the possibilities and permutations are simply too many for me to comment upon at this time.
I just pray to Naismithius, the Great God of Hoops, that CBS doesn’t decide to go with its regular Saturday night lineup instead of the games.
— Seedy K