Hoopaholics Gazette: The First Window

They sentenced me to eight decades of hoopdom . . .

Respects to Leonard Cohen.

Unlike many fans whose team like mine has an empty dance card, I’m a hoopaholic.

I’m locked in.

Though, in a sign of maturity, or so I would crow, I missed the opening half of Huggy Bear vs. Terrapins, while keeping a lunch engagement made a month ago.

I did not linger.

This is one of my favorite days of the year, every year.

Some random musings follow.

 * * * * *

The Professor called and asked if JP Pegues, the Furman Paladin who hit the game winning triple against UVa is the son of Mike Pegues, former U of L coach, now on Thad Matta’s staff at Butler.

Correct Answer: No.

Smart Guy noted of that same upset how ironic that 17 year senior Kihei Clark, the paradigm of mature steadiness, threw the ill-advised pass out of a trap that directly led to the winning score.

Keen observation, there.

 * * * * *

Speaking of irony.

Kevin Willard’s Maryland Terps pulled out their 8/9 matchup against West Virginia by out-toughing the Mountaineers down the stretch.

That does not happen often.

 * * * * *

During his day before presser, Iona Gael coach Rick Pitino said he wanted to coach until he’s 80.

Which he’ll more than likely do at St. John’s.

 * * * * *

College of Charleston fell to San Diego State in their opener in the South Region.

But had the coolest unis.

Which simply said “College” above the numbers.

Clair Bee, author of the Chip Hilton books, is smilin’ somewhere. Since College has to be in the same league as Tech and State.

 * * * * *

Even though my Cards are out, I still checked the records to look for any opening rounds memories from the days of yore.

One of the more memorable and arguably my biggest disappointment as U of L fan came in ’67 when the 2d ranked Cards fell to SMU. The Mustangs converted off a jump ball run out with seconds to play.

The Final Four was in Freedom Hall that year. The Cards did not make it.

I remember sitting in The Professor’s den, head in hands, dumbstruck, not moving for a long time.

’82 was pretty cool in Vandy’s Memorial Gym. The team U of L was supposed to play didn’t show. They sent Middle Tennessee in their place.

The ’89 subregional in Indy was fun. Beat Arkansas- Little Rock and Arkansas to advance.

My runnin’ podner, The Professor and I didn’t have tickets. So we got up there early to score some on the street. We started with breakfast at Shapiro’s. Got some great seats. Ate lunch at Shapiro’s. Beat Little Rock. Ate dinner at Shaprio’s.

What more can a husko gordo Card fan want from a day?

There’s that L to Creighton in Orlando I chatted about the other day here. No need to revisit.

Yeah, nothing much memorable,  but I had to look.

’81 against Arkansas in Austin? Not goin’ there.

 * * * * *

2 seed Arizona is the first school off the top two lines to fall.

Opening afternoon to Ivy League Princeton.

Tigers scored the last 9 points to steal the W.

 * * * * *

Yeah, I’m a hoopaholic.

— c d kaplan


6 thoughts on “Hoopaholics Gazette: The First Window

  1. I was in freedom hall for the last two final fours at that venue and guess who I sat next to Karine’s parents who couldn’t have been nicer and invited me to UCLA parties. I’ve got a UCLA fan ever since.

  2. Let,s get Princeton’s star to transfer to UL. He’s graduating so ineligible to play in the Ivy League, so enters the portal when Princeton loses.

  3. Enjoy your articles. Married to a class of ’62 Rebel as in Atherton. Guess I should have said Raven. Smile CD.

  4. The ’67 loss to SMU still smarts. Cards with Unseld/Beard were ranked 2nd in the country behind UCLA — Lew Alcindor’s sophomore year, his first year of eligibility. Final Four in Freedom Hall — a perfect setup for an Unseld-Alcindor semifinal. A lackadaisical performance against SMU in the opening round left us clinging to -0- point lead at the very end, when SMU tied us up our own end with just a few seconds remaining. Time out, then jump ball, and SMU guy swats the ball down court to a waiting teammate. Layup, game over, we lose. Arrggh, as Charlie Brown was wont to say. My mother, who grew up in Los Angeles pre-war, had attended UCLA for two years before joining the Navy in 1943. A week after the SMU loss, she surprised my father, brother and me with tickets to the Final Four — seats in the front row of the UCLA section, on the floor behind the UCLA bench. I despised UCLA so much, but was there to see the semifinal matchup between Houston with Elvin Hayes, and UCLA with the 19-year old, He-Would-Would-Become-Kareem. I think I recall that Houston’s only lead was after the first play. The Bruins would go on to win the championship against Dayton with Don May. All at Freedom Hall, the greatest college basketball venue of all time.

  5. I also enjoyed the ’89 sub-regional. Drove from Terre Haute to Indy as a college basketball fan, respectful of the Louisville program. I knew of my employer’s business connection to Louisville hoops, but did not yet know a year later I would be in Louisville and on my way to becoming a Cards fan. Scored some great tickets outside and was up close. I remember the immense size of Felton Spencer, may he rest in peace. I didn’t eat at Shapiro’s on this trip but have respect for your dining choices.

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