Friday, March 6, 2015

It is time.

It is time.

If you share living space with someone who is not a college basketball fan, and you are--it might be an opportunity for someone to take an extended vacation.

March, beginning today, will be a buffet of basketball that will fill up even the most serious fan.  The conference tournaments begin in earnest now. Tomorrow, one so inclined will be able to watch more than a dozen games without doing a whole lot except using the remote control

And the upsets have begun.  In the Big South the number one seed Charleston Southern coming into the game at 19-11 succumbed to Longwood who came to the tournament as a 9 seed at 11-22.  Charleston Southern is gone goodbye. They have no chance as in zero, of being invited to the Big Dance.

The tournaments that begin this weekend are for conference champions who can only get a ticket to the dance if they win.  Nobody from the Big South gets invited unless they win the tournament. The same is true for the America East and the CAA and probably the MAAC all conferences that will be playing this weekend.  My alma mater Albany State (now called UAlbany) is a one seed and finished 15-1 in the America East.  Lose on Sunday to New Hampshire and it's sayonnara.

(A sad day that would be for the the descendants of the august crew pictured below--my freshman Albany State basketball team circa 1967.  I showed this photo to two colleagues and neither one--who work with me daily--could pick me out).

My current university, Northeastern,  begins a quest to go to the dance tomorrow night playing in Baltimore against the University of Delaware. Lose its game then, or the next night, or on Monday and the players can go back to being full time students.

The MAAC is another conference with several strong teams: Iona, Monmouth, Manhattan, and Canisius.  Iona dominated during the regular season.  If it loses once in the next four days they are done.  And I think they will. I do not see Iona prevailing in the MAAC.

There are no fewer than 13 conferences playing tournaments this weekend and 18 more beginning tournaments next week.  Of the 13 playing tournaments now, only one conference--the Missouri Valley--is likely to obtain Big Dance invitations for more than one team.  Of the 18 starting next week 7 are almost guaranteed to get only one invite. This means that 19 tournaments will be played in the next two weeks at a frenzied level because only the winner gets to go to the NCAA tournament.

I may attend a few games this weekend. The atmosphere is so charged.  I will never forget a George Mason--VCU game a few years back.  The energy in the place was beyond what could be expected. Some of the Albany-Vermont finals in the America East have been similarly wild.

Some overall predictions:  Kentucky, Virginia, and Wisconsin will be three of the four teams in the final four.  Gonzaga will disappear sooner than later.   If Duke gets to the final four, it might be able to beat Kentucky.

That is all for now.  I have to make sure my remote is working.


  1. Hi Zeke
    Hope all is well up there in the north pole. Congrats on Northeastern getting in. Congrats to both of us on Albany getting in. Last year they had a little fireplug who made things interesting. I lived in Woburn for a few months in the brutal 1996 winter and got into the local basketball scene. Lots of fun. About your hip, I'm sitting on an ice pack a week today after getting my second hip replacement. No big deal. Just get a surgeon who's up on anterior or superior (newest) replacement. Guys our age learned the barbaric posterior approach and are still doing it. Enjoy the tournament. Gene

  2. Good to hear from you Gene. Yes, North Pole indeed. Today, for the first time, since January I saw grass on small parts of lawns. And that is only because today and yesterday were above 40. Really terrible winter. Great news about Northeastern and yes, hope Albany can win on Saturday to go again. They have three players from down under who are good and a transfer student who is also a scorer. Enjoying the conference championships with the one and only conferences. Thanks for the encouragement on the hip. I just have to do it. Somedays it is not so bad and my job now is sedentary so I don't always feel the pain, but even on good days people are looking at me like I need a cane. Take care. Hope you're doing well. Zeke