Tag Archives: NCAA Tournament

Seedy K’s Game Cap: Texas

Hook that on your home court, ye Horns.

Inside Austin City Limits, the final tally in the Round of 32 read: Louisville 73, Texas  51.

It wasn’t that close.

Top Ten early on, Jeff Walz’s Cards dropped out of the Top 25 early in the campaign.

Now, they stand among the Sweet Sixteen. Familiar territory.

Ole Miss, upset victor over Stanford, awaits surging U of L in the Seattle Regional.

 * * * * *

As is often the case during Walz’s reign, Louisville rushed out to a 7-0 advantage from the tip.

The Longhorns steadied. 16-16 after the 1st.

Then the hammer came down. The game turned. Continue reading Seedy K’s Game Cap: Texas

First Weekend Musings: Hoopaholic’s Gazette

Now there are three.

Clear contenders, that is, for the biggest college hoops upset ever.

Some remain in the Chaminade over UVa corner. 1982. it was so long ago.

When reporting the score on ESPN, after confirming it was not a mistake, Chris Berman said, “We can’t tell you what happened, but the No. 1 team in college basketball has lost to—we don’t even know who they are.”

Others, more inclined toward recency bias: UMBC, a 16 seed over top line Virginia. Oh that school again. By 20 no less as a twenty point dog.

The new entry in the hopper? Fairleigh Dickinson over Purdue.

While huge, this opinionated dude is going to discount that first one by the Silver Swords. Not that it wasn’t monumental, it was. Ralph Sampson was a Wahoo. But it was in Hawai’i, after a long trip. On Chaminade’s court. And in the middle of the night back here on the mainland.

Not on TV. Nor are there videos that I’m aware of. So, did it really happen?

Yes, but you catch my drift.

The Retrievers from the Land o’ The Wire essentially broke UVa, thereby perpetuating the dialog at the time that Tony Bennett’s deliberate style of play could never prevail in the Dance. Which debunked train of thinking again sprang forth after the Cavaliers lost to Furman this weekend.

So UMBC’s W has to be hugely considered.

But, Fairleigh Dickinson over Purdue, pour moi, is clearly the most surprising, improbable and dumbfounding. Continue reading First Weekend Musings: Hoopaholic’s Gazette

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. Continue reading Hoopaholics Gazette: The First Window

My Feelings After Cards Won ’13 NCAA

The 2013 NCAA National Basketball Champion Louisville Cardinals will be honored Saturday night at the Clemson game. This is a piece I wrote in the immediate aftermath of that title. It includes a couple stories oft told before and after. (Frankly not sure how the Jerry Lee anecdote is pertinent. Sorta made sense at the time. To me. Verbosity über alles.) I am intent on leaning into these emotions during this current season of woe. Remembering I only wanted one.

Omne trium perfectum.

If we are lucky as we slip into our dotage, if more synapses stay connected than not, we’ll remember salient moments, significant snippets of dialog from yesteryear.

A cunning retort. A pithy aside. Legit advice that resonates.

A life changing admonition. A homily to guide. A comforting whisper, such as the one that really should begin this piece, But first, as if to illustrate, a moment of insight into celebrity. Continue reading My Feelings After Cards Won ’13 NCAA

Card Nine’s Season Ends in a Grinder

Of the nuances of another game we love, Larry Bird once observed — and I paraphrase — a free throw made or missed in the 1st quarter is just as important as one in the final seconds.

This thinking applies in college baseball, both micro in a specific game being contested, but also macro if somewhat differently over the course of the long season.

In ultra-steamy College Station, Texas, U of L’s Cardinals dropped two one-run Super Regional affairs, grinders in balance until the final AB. To a similarly talented ball club, blessed to be sleeping in their own beds.

Playing in familiar confines, before a rabid Aggie crowd with that institutional 12th Man attitude, as loud and quirky and inclined to try to get under foe’s skin as any in the land.

Given how the collegiate post-season is structured, what happens in March and April and May informs the scenario come tournament time.

I can’t help but wonder what if . . . Continue reading Card Nine’s Season Ends in a Grinder

Regional Roundup: Cards Balk Way to Supers

Monday. Inclemency imminent.

Loser packs spikes for season. Winner to College Station for Super Texas Death Match.

High Noon. Do not forsake me, oh my darlin’.

PRP fave son Garrett Schmeltz surrenders two to Wolverines in top of 1st.

Looking to capture third straight in Astro stripes, U of L Cardinals blast back in their half.

Knapczyk single. Metzinger walk. Two go down. Usher doubles to right. Two score. Masterman drives him home. Humphrey HBP. Beard single scores another. Bianco HBP. Sacks full. Knapczyk bunt RBI. Metzinger walks again, run scores. Rushing reaches on error, Bianco tallies.

And, just like that, Cards up 7-2.

The fun had just begun. Continue reading Regional Roundup: Cards Balk Way to Supers

Monday Musing: The Tourney Draw & Griff’s Shot

Idling at entrance of the Cul de Sac, the Cardinal Nine hit reverse in the ACC tourney, driving themselves out of a possible coveted Top #8 seed in the NCAA tourney.

So, a #12 it is.

It could be worse. There’s a regional on the home diamond at the Jim.

Last year the Cards were in line at the Dairy Kastle, when they ran out of soft serve at closing time. While 64 schools advanced to the playdown.

Despite the double meltdown last week at Truist Park, this campaign isn’t over, U of L lives for another day.

While the Cards might have hoped for more clutch knocks last week, it would appear they’re only going to advance as far as the guys taking the mound carry them.

Last week’s hurling performances fell short of engendering hope.

Their ace and closer gave up the tying and winning runs in the opener against Pitt. And umpteen hurlers failed to derail the Ramblin’ Wreck, who loaded the bases in four different innings, and scored a lot of runs.

But, as we wags are wont to offer, everybody’s equal at the moment.

A part of me wants to point out that U of L fans should also be pulling for TCU, Louisiana and Oral Roberts. Those are the three schools journeying to College Station to join #5 seed regional host Texas A&M. The winner of the foursome here plays the survivor of that one in a Super, at the home of the higher seeded school.

You do the math.

Then again, I must admonish myself as I so very often admonish others.

It’s the post season. You only play whom you play. Continue reading Monday Musing: The Tourney Draw & Griff’s Shot

Hoopaholic’s FF E2: Off the Court Ponderings

Trying to deal with severe withdrawal symptoms, awaiting anxiously all the news that will be breaking about the Louisville Cardinals men’s program in weeks and months to come, a few last morsels of snark from last weekend’s Last Weekend.

Every time I look at Bill Self, I wonder: Is he wearing a toupee?

Always thought so.

A few years back, I presented the question in the media room before a game. It was universal that my supposition was absurd.

I remain skeptical those follicles atop his noggin’ are all ones grown naturally.

I am not alone. Write this in your search engine, “Does Bill Self wear a toupee?” and there are a plethora of articles considering the same curiosity. The consensus of conclusions: Yes he does.

I posed the query during a recent lengthy hoops colloquy with Doc. Who is an actual medical M.D., not somebody who just plays one on TV or stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

He agrees with me.

It’s a rug.

 * * * * *

For the opening portions of U of L’s semi against South Carolina, I watched the alternative telecast. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s FF E2: Off the Court Ponderings

Hoopaholic’s Final Fours E1: On the Court

As an admitted, not yet in recovery hoopaholic, I saw every dribble, Friday through Monday. Except, I’ll admit,  for a moment or two at the fridge for just a smidge more guac. And the periodic nature’s calling moments. I took notes. This first edition includes a few random thoughts about what transpired on the hardwood. You’ve already read enough I am so very sure. Coming soon, some snark, the peripheral stuff. 

The most impressive performance: Destanni Henderson.

Setting aside for a moment how she completely shut down U of L sparkplug Hailey Van Lith, Henderson totally dominated South Carolina’s title game spanking of UConn.

Yes, Aliyah Boston was all that. 11 and 16 against the Huskies. An obvious winner of the FF MOP award, combining that with her presence in the semi against the Cards. But Ms. Destanni was all that, plus much more in the final.

Career high and game leading 27 points. She controlled tempo. She set the Gamecock O in motion throughout.

Plus, as she did checking HVL, she throttled the nation’s most talented baller for the entirety. That would be Paige Bueckers.

One thing struck me as a Louisville fan. Henderson is 5-7. The same height as Van Lith. But with significantly more savvy and experience.

Which is to say, and it’s only partially wishful thinking with a lot of expectation, HVL will be kicking it up a notch or four next campaign. Given her legendary drive and work ethic, I wouldn’t be surprised if she passed on spring break at the beach to break down film, work on her game. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Final Fours E1: On the Court

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Final Four Final Four Weekend

Okay, pretend for a moment you know nothing about basketball, you know nothing about U of L hoops, or rivalries, or even are aware it is the season’s glorious capstone weekend.

You’re walking through a mall, say, Oxmoor, on your way to ask some Apple t-shirted acolyte how to delete a spam message on the new iPhone your daughter gave you for your birthday.

You’re walking by, oh, H & M, and see a couple college aged girls, laughing at something, punching each other in the upper arm as buddies do when they are giving each other congenial shit.

The shorter one, though still kind of tall, has a rounded face, blonde hair braided and a birth mark on her cheek.

The other, a few inches taller, has a face that looks to you, an elder, like she could be 14 or so, but you know that’s not true just by the way she’s acting.

Then you notice a basketball court tatted on the calf of the taller one.

Hmm, that’s odd, you think, wonder if she/they play basketball at some school around here? Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Final Four Final Four Weekend