I took young Jake to Friday night’s NCAA tournament games at UD Arena. We ran into Buck-I-Guy and the famous Ohio State fan agreed to pose for a photo (he does that a lot and seems to enjoy it). I hurriedly reached for my smart phone and snapped a picture. Of my finger. Luckily, Mr. Guy is a good sport and we took a clear shot later.
Ohio State has no gimme today against Iowa State. The Cyclones destroyed Notre Dame in every way in the first round. (Yeah, I called it the first round; are we supposed to believe 60 teams got byes into the “second round?”) ISU beat the Irish on the court and off. The Cyclones’ vocal fans, cheerleaders and pep band were far superior to what ND brought to town.
The key to OSU-ISU could be the point guards: Aaron Craft and Korie Lucious. OSU’s energetic Craft has become a cult hero who is playing the best basketball of his career. ISU’s Lucious is a gifted transfer from Michigan State who will not be intimidated by a Big Ten bully. Wouldn’t be surprised if this game went to the wire.
The First Four was a smashing success, thanks to the local businesses that bought more than $500,000 worth of tickets to create an artificial sellout. There’s no way the event would sell out on its own. It’s a fun event, but this is a basketball town, which means people are smart enough to question the NCAA’s overpriced $45 tickets.
Speaking of the NCAA, the hypocrites who run the tourney (and give the wheel to CBS) have absolutely no regard for the fans. The strategy to play most of this weekend’s games in prime time (and later) means more inconvenience for the paying customers. Some of them might have to, you know, work on Monday. BTW, Duke and Creighton tip off at 9:40 tonight.
Great story by CBS on Michigan State big man Adreian Payne and his relationship with a young girl who is battling cancer. The youngster has an “Adreian Wall” and said the favorite thing the Jefferson High School graduate has given her is a hug. Kleenex, please.
I’m not a fan of the latest basketball fashion accessory: leg warmers that look like soccer shin guards. Stay true to your sport, guys. Hopefully these things will go the way of the John Wall arm sleeves.
Next year, I’m just picking every 12 seed to win in the first round. … Good to see the Big Ten live up to the regular-season hype. … Glad I stayed up late Thursday to watch Harvard’s upset of New Mexico. The look of disbelief on Steve Alford’s face was worth it.
Knucklehead of the Week
Brian Mackin is UAB’s athletic director. He’s also the guy on the NCAA women’s basketball selection committee who was in charge of monitoring the Atlantic 10. Dayton suffered only two road losses to good teams this season and has been ranked in the top 20 for weeks. So how did the committee reward the Flyers? With a 7 seed and a road game today at St. John’s. That committee mailed it in. Embarrassing.