Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Dusting of Basketball? Surely You Jest

Now that I've reached the acceptance phase of life without college football for the next seven months, I suppose it's time that I publicly acknowledge the existence of college basketball.  Though choppy and at times boring and unwatchable (hello there, Auburn vs. Ole Miss, tonight at 7 PM), it's one of the few crutches I have until September.  Interestingly enough, the end of college basketball is much more depressing than it should be.  Probably because it ends with the Tournament, which is one of the great sporting events in the world (HOW DARE COLLEGE FOOTBALL EVER CONSIDER SOMETHING AWESOME LIKE THIS), but mainly because as soon as the Tournament is over, baseball starts, and the real march across the burned, barren landscape of no football begins.

So, with that pleasant thought in mind, let us lightly skim what has happened and, staring deeply into one of those snow globe things since a real crystal ball is too hard to find, guess what could happen.

These Appear to Be Teams Better Than Everyone Else
Ohio State

I've taken time out of my extremely busy schedule to watch all four play and would have to put Ohio State and Texas above the other two.  Both boast a successful blend of size, athleticism and people who were put on Earth to play basketball.  Duke is Duke and will always struggle against athletic teams and Kansas, well, just remember that when the final seconds are ticking off the clock in another NCAA Tournament loss to a team from the Patriot League in the first weekend of games, you should have known better than to pick them.

They Have a Basketball Team?
San Diego State

And it's 25-1.  And they're doing it without Marshall Faulk's son, who, if he exists, doesn't play for the Aztecs.  In full disclosure, I have no idea if he's on the team (or exists) because I did not take the time to check the roster.

The Basketball Gods, in Fact, Hate the Game of Basketball

Guess what?  They're still churning out 57-48 victories (minus their high-octane shootout with Ohio State, which they won, 71-67) and will be a fairly high seed come NCAA Tournament time.  So someone's favorite team will be forced to have zero fun during the Tournament as long as the Badgers remain alive.  Watching a Wisconsin basketball game is somehow worse than watching two SEC West teams fight to the death with those large, inflatable crayons you can win at the fair.

I Remember When You Were Once Dominant
North Carolina

They can't walk in a pummel teams like they once did, but they've got enough talent to beat just about anybody.  And they can also lose to just about anybody, as losses to Oregon State, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech and Seton Hall indicate.  When filling out my bracket, I will become convinced one of them will make a deep run in the Tournament, choose that team, watch them lose in the first round and fume with rage as the others win two or three games.

Wow, Look at All Those White People
Utah State

Combined record:  47-5.  BYU's Jimmer Fredette is this year's rage in college basketball, mostly due to his ability to average 27.3 points a game and shoot shots you only see taken in YMCAs or student rec centers, and make them.  Here's to hoping his college career doesn't end with a massive collapse in the final minute, leaving him crying on the court, like the last white guy to lead the nation in scoring

Our Next Category Will Be Described by Nelson

South Carolina

Auburn trailed LSU 32-6 at halftime in a game earlier this year, while South Carolina was losing 28-9 to Georgia at halftime in a game last week.

I Immediately Regret This Decision
Mississippi State

Bulldog coach Rick Stansbury essentially murdered his team's season and probably his career at Mississippi State by catering to the reinstatement of standout talent Renardo Sydney. Stansbury shifted his schedule around, forcing the Bulldogs to play something like 12 games in seven hours in three different time zones. Don't ask me how that works, I just know you gain an hour when you move west.

Not only were the Bulldogs beaten in most of those games, they managed to fight each other, make things exciting on Twitter for a few days and obliterate any shot of earning an at-large birth in the Tournament. The good news is Sydney has destroyed any shot at getting drafted and could be back for round two next year!

Please, Let It End
Ole Miss

One of the more unwatchable teams I've ever seen. And that's counting the Rod Barnes era*, where three, four and five conference wins per year were the norm.

*I do not want Rod Barnes anywhere near a basketball team I am obligated to support.

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