Man, what an incredible weekend in the NCAA Tournament.
I love the Tournament every year, of course; it’s like sex and pizza: even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.
But sakes alive (nobody says that anymore, do they?), the last few days have been sensational, even for the Tournament.
The titanic Virginia-Michigan State battle on Friday night (going on simultaneously as the Kentucky-Louisville thriller, and man did America’s remote controls get a workout there). Wisconsin and Arizona going to the wire on Saturday. Kentucky and Michigan trading buckets and playing a wildly entertaining game on Sunday.
A wonderful weekend of hoops, which leaves us with a Final Four of Florida, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Kentucky.
Some scattered thoughts from my hoops-overloaded brain:
— I hate John Calipari. Loathe the man, everything he stands for, and just about everything he’s done in his long, sleazy career. I root against him at all times, even rooting for the hated Tar Heels a couple years ago when they played Kentucky.
But even though I think he’s scum, I have to give it up to him: He’s an outstanding, outstanding basketball coach. This Kentucky team lost 10 games this year, some to really bad teams (South Carolina?), but has played sensational ball the last two weeks. The Harrison twins, Julius Randle, Alex Poythress, all have gotten so much better. I hate to say it, but I think they might win the national title. Here’s the great Pat Forde of Yahoo! on Cal.
— Real happy for Wisconsin and their highly underrated coach, Bo Ryan (above). But man did those last five seconds of the Badgers’ win over Arizona take forever. I like instant replay, but to take 10 minutes on an out-of-bounds call is ridiculous. The refs screwed up twice in the final seconds, with a terrible offensive foul call on the Wildcats, then by reversing the out-of-bounds call.
— Sean Miller of Arizona, by the way, is now the “best coach to never reach a Final Four.” He’s tremendous.
— I know a lot of people bash him because he knows nothing about college hoops, but Charles Barkley cracks me up. Here’s him talking about Shaq:
— Michigan State. What a miserable performance offensively on Sunday. I can’t believe that Keith Appling and Branden Dawson played so poorly in such a big game, and even Adreian Payne didn’t play well down the stretch. Really have to give credit to UConn, tremendous defense they played Sunday.
— Rough day for the state of Michigan. Both big-time schools lost nail-biters. But Nik Stauskas can play for me anytime; what a scorer.
–Finally, not sure who’s going to win on Saturday. My first instinct is that Florida beats UConn, and Kentucky ekes past Wisconsin, giving us an all-SEC championship game in a year that that league was as bad as its ever been.
Whatever happens, it’s sure been a hell of a tournament.
**Sunday was a historic day in game-show history milestones: “Jeopardy,” maybe the best game-show ever invented, turned 50. (My personal favorite game shows?: Gotta go with tree from my childhood: “Sale of the Century,” (loved me some Summer Bartholomew) “Card Sharks,” and of course, “25,000 Pyramid.” Loved me some Nipsey Russell, too).
“Jeopardy”‘s brilliance? Watching it makes you smarter. I have no doubt that much of the useless knowledge I have in my head came from Alex Trebek’s 30 minutes of brain stimulation.
One story and one video to share to commemorate. First, the great Chris Jones of Esquire wrote a little piece about why “Jeopardy” is so great, and then “Saturday Night Live” did a funny parody called “Black Jeopardy” last weekend.
**And finally, because it’s Monday and nobody wants to be at work but so many of us have to be, here’s a little mood-brightener. Unless you hate babies, or pets, or babies playing with pets. And if you hate all of those things, well, get off my blog.
A site called hoperaised.com has put together 22 adorable pictures of kids playing with their furry friends. The photo above is my favorite, but really, they’re all pretty awesome. I love the one below, too.
Go ahead and click, I guarantee you’ll smile.