Worry wort that I am, it seems to me that my beloved Louisville Cardinals still have work to do, to absolutely, positively secure a spot in the Dance.
The current consensus has them as an #8 seed, playing somebody like Oregon or Drake or Rutgers, or Xavier in the opening round.
With, you know, one of those top line teams in the 2d, should U of L prevail.
While I’m a You Only Play Whom You Play absolutist, I’d offer, for daydreaming sake, that falling to the #10 or #11 line might provide a more manageable road to the second weekend.
It’s the kind of place the minds of us hoopaholics go, when one’s faves are on a COVID hiatus.
The first round would be tougher. But the #6s and #7s, like Purdue or Florida or Southern Cal, aren’t but a wafer thin better than the projected #8s and #9s.
But a hoped for 2d round foe — say, Iowa which plays no D, or Tennessee which plays no O — would provide a better chance for advancement.
But, Seedy, get back to reality, get back into this day.
Louisville Cardinals, get and stay healthy.
Make the Dance.
* * * * *
You Know Who, that team out in apple country that’s been waltzing through its schedule, and Them, that gang from Deep in the Heart of, didn’t meet when they were scheduled to in December.
So, most hoopaholics across the land have been frothing at the mouth for a matchup of undefeateds for the national crown. Everybody, that is, except for Quinn Buckner and his pals, and the citizens of the state where that battle would take place.
It’s that ’76 thing.
And, I suppose I too would cherish such a grand moment, and pray that the game itself matched the anticipation.
But, if you haven’t noticed, it’s been a strange season.
What if something odd happened on Selection Sunday? Say the Selection Committee, suffering from, oh, Zoom Fatigue Syndrome, or Pizza Toxicity, misfired on the S Curve, and Baylor and Gonzaga ended up on the same side of the bracket.
I know, improbable, but work with me here, I’m trying to keep your interest while the Cards are missing two tilts out with the COVID.
I don’t think there’s any school out there that could beat both teams in the tournament. But if the Zags and Bears met in the semis, wore each other out, somebody could maybe catch a hum that last Monday and prevail.
Like, say, ’86, when Duke and Kansas had a knock down drag out on Saturday, and Danny Ferry’s attempt to Night Train Lane Jeff Hall came too late on Monday.
Strange things happen in March.
Jump in the Way Back Machine with me, Sherman and Mr. Peabody for a quick trip to a decade ago.
I understand Cardinal fans don’t wish to be reminded of the ’11 NCAA tourney, for reasons I shall not elucidate. Nor, really does anybody else who cares about the sanctity of Our Blessed Mad Dance.
That was the year UConn, a #9 seed in the Big East tourney, prevailed over somebody or another by 30 in the Garden for the title, then slithered its way to the national championship over Butler, in what is generally considered not only the ugliest title game ever contested, but arguably the least aesthetic game ever played anywhere.
Which leads me to ask, is there a Kemba Walker out there, who with a little help from his friends, could pull it off?
Yes, Ayo Dosunmu. He plays for Illinois.
The Illini were my Dark Horse before the season began.
They remain so today.
Plus they are one of only four squads, which currently meet steadfast criteria to capture the crown. Top Twenty in Ken Pomeroy’s Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, and Defensive Efficiency.
The other besides Baylor and Gonzaga is Michigan. But I don’t know if they have the one dude who can carry his mates on his back, like my man Ayo.
Plus Brad Underwood has Kofi Cockburn, who is starting to dominate in the paint.
And the most exciting player in college hoops, Andre Curbelo. A rookie, he still plays out of control, but at other times he reminds of, oh I dunno, Kemba Walker.
Curbelo’s a magician with the ball, a Master of Legerdemain.
Now, having found a way to use that great word, I’ll take my leave.
My name is Seedy K, and I’m a Hoopaholic.