Friday, March 23, 2018


I have watched a high percentage of the fifty-six games played thus far. There may be only three or four that I've missed entirely, and there are a few that were on late at night when the snooze button in my head was repetitively activated. And then, like last night, there are times when games are concurrently played so, if at home like last night, there is only one game I can see at a time.

But I have watched a bunch. Some comments.

Several teams are playing with little guys. Little guys, in college basketball are about six four.  And sometimes these teams are prevailing. Last night Kansas State somehow beat the University of Kentucky and it was like the little guys against the big guys out there. The winning layup was made by a relative midget driving against a tall Kentucky player.  In an earlier game, Loyola and Vermont were scoring often by driving to the hoop with no shot blocker there to swat the ball away.

Three of the four teams already in the Elite Eight are nine seeds or higher. This is remarkable and an indication of either poor seeding or parity or just some bizarre games. Speaking of bizarre games...

UMBC lost to my alma mater by forty points early this year. And then they beat the number one seed in the tournament, Virginia, by 20. By 20.  And because of this the coach of UMBC is now hot stuff. When he lost to Albany by 40 I imagine he was considering taking the head coaching job at PS 194 in Brooklyn, my elementary school where the gym smelled, every single day, like tomato soup.  And now, no tomato soup gym for this coach, he is likely to make over a million dollars next year because of one FLUKE win.  For those not following the tournament, UMBC got into March Madness only because a player hit a long shot at the buzzer of his preliminary tournament. When I played every once in a while I would get so hot that everything I tossed up went down. UMBC had a night like that against Virginia.  It was a FLUKE.  A million dollar FLUKE.

I loved the way Syracuse beat Michigan State. That was as gritty a win as I have ever seen. Syracuse's zone is unpredictable. Sometimes they look like five old guys playing a 2-1-2 at the Y. And other times you simply cannot penetrate the zone.  My favorite part of the game was when some Syracuse players fouled out and the Orange had to put in a player for six very meaningful minutes who had played a grand total of 11 meaningless minutes the entire year. 

Too bad for Gonzaga. Mark Few is supposed to be one of the good guys.

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