Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Upsets ‘r’ Us

b-ballOne of the things I love about NJIT — other than, of course, that the Highlanders perpetrated the most out of the blue upset in college hoops since Chaminade beat Ralph Sampson and UVa — is that the school keeps the “I” in its name.

Unlike Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech, the folks in Jersey are proud of being an “Institute of Technology.” So their athletes wear all four letters proudly on their orange unis.

Because you might be mildly curious, let me edify you a might about the school. Which is located in beautiful, downtown Newark, the comeback city of the millennium. 10,000 students, give or take a dropout or three, including lots of majors in computer sciences. Read: Future Hackers apply here. Ranked the 149th best school in the land by U.S. News.

And, now, thanks to its improbable 72-70 W in Ann Arbor, NJIT, still an independent without conference affiliation, has made it into the hoopaholic vernacular.

Perhaps the school should change its nickname to Hackers. How cool would that be?

* * * * *

Despite years now of underachievement come tournament time, Gonzaga almost had me hooked the other day, while battling Arizona.

Mark Few’s team has size. Mark Few’s team has strength. Mark Few’s team has speed. Mark Few’s team has style. Plus they have Sabonis, Domantis, who, as son of beastly but deft Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, sports some serious b-ball genes.

They had the Wildcats by the short and curlies. So I’m thinking this might be the year the Bulldogs break on through to the other side. Could this be the year they play on the final weekend of the season, I’m wondering to myself as Kyle Wiltjer is floating little jump hooks through the twine.

I was ready to put them in my projected Final Four, which shall be a regular feature this season in each edition of Hoopaholic’s Gazette. Then they gagged in OT.

So I’m back in Missouri mode on the Zags. Show me.

* * * * *

Next I wish to offer to my pal Mike, a regular weekly lunch companion, that I’m feeling his pain. The former Waggener Wildcat pivot, played collegiately at Yale.

But for NJIT’s victory over the Wolverines, I’d have led with his alma mammy’s W over defending national champion UConn.1

On the other hand, Yale, ranked considerably above 149th academically in the nation, will grab all of NJIT’s thunder, should the Ivy Leaguers from New Haven upend Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators.

— Seedy K

8 thoughts on “Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Upsets ‘r’ Us

  1. There you go again….wanting to re-brand the NJIT team after your favorite announcer, Ralph Hacker. Have you no shame?????????

    Why don’t we just rename the Louisville Cardinals the Louisville “Cawoods”? or just call us the “Doctors of C.M. Newtonstein”?

    Man, you have a lot of nerve, even for a Cayut fan….

    Now that’s not to say that calling the ‘reck of GaTech “GIT” or the Hokies “VIT” might not provide a laugh or two, but the Hackers? After the best dressed man in radio—and absolutely the worst play-by-play man ever after Ledford retired? Please…

  2. When I traveled many years ago for my fraternity, I visited the chapter at NJIT only then it had a far more descriptive name…NCE or Newark College of Engineering. The chapter house was a brownstone, very narrow and four stories high. They had open and constantly full garbage cans on each floor and in the middle of the “living room” and it seemed every member of the chapter was Italian and had very “Joisey” accents. The campus was is downtown Newark and was so unlike the college campus stereotype that I didn’t think it was real. The chapter is still there, in a much better house, and is thriving. And I am sure had one helluva party this past weekend.

  3. I have not forgotten Towson State. Worst U of L loss . . . EVER. But that was not one of the Cardinals’ better teams. And it was on Towson State’s court.

  4. A real Cards fan can think of many loses worse than Towson State….Houston ’83; Arkie ’81; UCLA 75; your Cayuts, ’13… But what would you know of this?…..

  5. Mr. Joyner has obviously been wassailing with the egg nog a bit early this year. Those losses he mentions were to legit teams. Towson State couldn’t have gone .500 in the JCC “C” League.

    My favorite Ralph Hacker story, though, sadly, I wasn’t there. Hunter Thompson was being honored at some dinner at UK. Where he was to give a reading of some of his writings. Hacker was emcee. As was his wont, Thompson was seriously drunk and stoned, to the point of incoherence, and to the point, those who were there say, he pissed himself on stage. So, Hacker gave the reading of Thompson’s writings. Those there say he was great, a real trooper, doing it without condescension.

  6. Seedy, you write “…my projected Final Four, which shall be a regular feature this season in each edition of Hoopaholic’s Gazette.” May I please ask what is this week’s?

  7. My current Final Four quartet hasn’t changed . . . yet. Just forgot to name ‘em.

    UK, Duke, ‘Nova, UVa.

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