4:23pm – Nothing to add besides the fact that I’m working late today… but since I knew I was working late I came in late. So it feels like it’s like 1:45 right now. Just totally weird… Montana still up… they aren’t a bad team in fact. Our Jesuit team of the moment, Marquette, is down ten to Alabama… and Bruce Pearl’s head might explode the way he’s screaming on the sidelines right now.
4:29pm – Opening our mail here… we just got something from the New Jersey Roadrunners and AAU team asking for money it looks like. Anyway, the head coach has a perm and the assistant director couldn’t look more like an scum bag unless you were looking at Bruce Pearl himself (btw Wintrop just took the lead over Tennessee). Seriously, these AAU guys have to be among the lowest of the low, just above childhood kidnappers and 29 year male old middle school gym teachers. But this caught my eye: “The following are some NBA players who got their start with the New Jersey Roadrunners:
Chris Jent (NBA Coach)
And the list keeps growing…..”
I wish I was making that list up. But ‘dem the facts, Jack. I haven’t even heard of most of these guys. Harrington isn’t that good, Hurley started the “Duke point guard who almost kills himself and ends his NBA career in a horrible motor vehicle accident” tradition, and Terry Dehere… a guy I totally forgot about.
4:42pm - I’ve been debating on where the Tourney fits among the ranks of best sporting events. First of all is it great? Sure… but at the same time it’s one of those events that sort of creeps up on you. That’s partly because I know only three people who follow college basketball religiously. It doesn’t have a year round following like so many other sports. It’s one of those things that you look up about a week after the Super Bowl and say, oh yeah, the Tourney starts in four weeks. I’ve never, I mean never, have found myself sitting around in the middle of September thinking… “I wonder who’s going to win the NCAA Tournament this year?” I’ve found myself thinking that about baseball in January, or the NFL in June, or college football in March… but never the NCAA Tournament.
So when you look at it that way it sort of tarnishes the ‘greatness’ of it all. But these two days are so much fun at the same time. And in a way, the NCAA Tournament is one of those things where the team that wins it all isn’t the most important thing about the Tournament itself (unless of course you’re team makes the Final Four, then who wins matters). That the team that wins doesn’t matter as much… it’s the games themselves that we watch and love. The one and done, the small school upsetting the big school, the bench going nuts over every position. In a way we wish that all sports were like this, that the players cared more about winning and showing that emotion than anything else. Baseball players are the only ones who come close to capturing that excitement and emotion when they’re in the dugout. There are just too many NFL players, and NBA players are far too stoic in the end.
So where does it fit? As a sporting event, I’d put it in my top five with the baseball playoffs, Fifa World Cup, the Masters, and pretty much any Saturday in the fall. But the Tournament is also an event that happens to feature sports, like the Super Bowl. So it’s really one of those few sporting events that transcends sports and becomes a cultural phenomenon. You almost have to care about it because everyone else has some sort of interest in it… the office pools and the such.
Good for the tournament and good for us. We get something that we can enjoy and all talk about… something to bring us together and just hang out and have a good time with. The emotion and passion from the players keeps us watching and allows us to connect to the players, because many times we feel the same way as those guys on the bench do jumping up and down. And the competitive nature and set up of the tournament almost reminds us on how special and unique life can be day by day. The ups and downs, how each day is one and done and so important. Sure I’m over glorifying all this a bit, but I think there is some truth there. About those few days in a month or year where our stomics are turned inside out, our emotions are played with, where we feel that sort of joy that they players do… it’s because in the end we can realate to these guys. Maybe not the guy who’s hitting the game winner, but the #10 guy who’s arms are locked with the #9 and #11 guy on his team… that’s the guy most of us are. And that’s what we love.
5:14pm – Tennessee just got a dunk with a 1:14 to play to take the lead… but wait, now it says the game is still tied and it’s Winthrop’s ball. Weird. BTW, if Winthrop wins this game, the number of people who called this is staggering. Almost freaky. Almost saying to the selection committee… what were you guys thinking making a Tennessee team that is a best a #4 seed the #2 seed? But I’m not kidding, I heard about three or four ‘experts’ pick Winthrop over Tennessee. You NEVER hear that sort of talk.
5:17pm – This has been a great game; Winthrop just missed a three to take a three point lead. Now it’s Tennessee ball with 21 ticks left.
5:19pm – Tennessee misses the game ‘winner’ with 12 seconds left and the long rebound goes into the back court when the Vols get it back. The guy who gets it drives to the basket and seems to get off a bad shot, but then they called timeout… I have no clue what’s going out since I don’t have sound. But there’s 1.8 seconds left or something… did the guy from Winthrop foul the guy from Tennessee? BTW, Marquette has battled back to make it close against the Tide. And yeah looks like it was a foul. Crazy. Unless someone on Tennessee called timeout, which would be one of the WORST timeouts ever. Okay this makes sense now… they called timeout with 2.9 left. I get it! Sound is a wonderful thing isn’t it?
5:23pm – Wow. The guy from Tennessee just threw up a prayer and it went in… Tennessee up two with .4 left. Damn, I want Winthrop to win this game.
5:36pm – Tennessee just won and they’re going to get killed by Wichita State on Saturday. This Vols team is not very good.
5:37pm – Looks like we might have our 5/12 upset taken care of already… Montana is up by 12 over Nevada with 2:30 left. Everyone in upstate New York is happy.
5:52pm – Even though they’re down big, Nevada won’t give up and this Montana Nevada game is lasting longer than it should… Montana is going to win. Marquette is down 3 with 19 to go… Let’s go Marquette and whatever they’re calling you these days be it Gold/Warriors/Brewers/Lites/Golden Eagles.
6:05pm – With this break in the action… I’m going to do the same…
7:14pm – Haven’t really been following the UCLA game, but they were down early and now are up by more than 10 at the half. I’m going to switch over too… LSU and Iona. These tourney games can stay close because the three point line is so friggin close. This always annoys the Hell out of me in the regular season, but come Field of 64, I love it. These under dogs are always in it if those threes fall. Like one just did for Iona.
7:18pm – Woah… the Women’s Tournament has a reginal final in Bridgeport? Bridgeport, CT? Hasn’t anyone from the NCAA been to Bridgeport, CT? It’s not exactly Gary, IN but it’s no New Haven, CT either. That’s sort of a weird place to have a regional final… I understand Connecticut being the Capital of Women’s Basketball and all (and every male from Connecticut just shivered), but why Bridgeport over New Haven or Hartford? Or better yet, let’s get the guys interested in the games and put it at Foxwoods.
7:23pm - MARADI, NIGER—More than 60,000 urgently needed Bibles arrived to allay suffering throughout the famine-stricken nation of Niger Friday, in one of the largest humanitarian-relief operations ever attempted by a Christian ministry.
7:24pm – The Gonzaga and Xavier game just tipped off… the killer of all first round match ups for me. How can I root against a Jesuit team? And in this one, I’ve got to root against Xavier since Gonzaga is a much better team. And seeing that I want to see the Jesuits go as far as possible and this isn’t a ‘at least one of the will get though’ game, it’s going to rip my heart out if it’s close and Xavier has a chance to win near the end. Go Zags!
7:26pm - WASHINGTON, DC—With many of his administration's policies facing growing public disapproval, President Bush is reportedly becoming more concerned with how he will be portrayed by future revisionist historians. "Just last summer, the president never reflected on how apologists would spin his increased lobbying for an unpopular war, or how future far-right generations would justify his failed domestic policy initiatives," presidential scholar Dr. Robert Dallek said. "He reportedly asked an aide if, decades from now, the deluded would see him as great, like Ronald Reagan, or merely as a fully redeemed elder statesman, like Richard Nixon." Margaret Meehan, a spokesman for the National Board Of Historical Revision, offered no comment on any future portrayal of "America's most beloved and accomplished president."
7:29pm – You just have to love the Onion. Have to. And why is it that all the West Coast/Western areas have bad lightening? Has anyone ever looked into this? The New Mexico floor constantly has bad lighting. This Utah floor has bad lighting. The Bosie State floor has bad lighting… could it be that they always play these first round games at the same place but they just change the floor? So one year it says Utah, the next New Mexico, and then Bosie State after that? It’s like they have one flood light at these places and they shine it on the floor. It’s so weird. And if you don’t believe me go back and whatch some old highlights over the last ten years at those three arenas.
7:40pm – Looks like Iona is going to stick around with LSU… this is the game I’m gonna watch then… or at least until I get to leave in a few minutes.
7:57pm – And with that… we’re out of here. Enjoy the games. Hope you sort of enjoyed this… maybe I’ll do it again tomorrow. And go USA!