Tipoff is Today: Basketballmanac, First Thursday

Chips ✔

Beverages ✔

Impellizzeri’s on Speed Dial ✔

New batteries in the clicker ✔

Fresh coat of leather softener on the Ekornes recliner ✔

Alrighty then. I am ready for the Cards. And the Cats. And fourteen — count ‘em, 14 — other first round matchups.

Yes, it has dawned gorgeous outside. Winter’s leaves need to be raked. The lawn looks like it could actually use the first trim of the season. Buuuuuuuuuut . . . that will have to wait. Monday, for sure.

* * * * *

Loyal readers, always willing to call me out, shall be bemused to know I’ve ignored my own salient advice.

In my ABCs of this edition of the NCAA tournament, which can be read by clicking here, I herald the relatively unheralded Belmont Bruins. They play the tough, but oh so very conservative Wisconsin Badgers. Bo Ryan’s team tallied a total of 33 in its loss to Penn State last week.

You know where this is going. I went with the Badgers in my bracket.

Don’t ask.

My other prognostications for the day — which I admit is improper usage of that word — are: Penn State over Temple, because Fran Dunphy rarely wins in March. Pitt in a romp over that hyphenate they’re playing. Richmond over Vandy, because Spiders is a real cool mascot.

San Diego State to win its first tourney game ever. The Gators and the Cougars, because them’s some fierce animals. UConn because of you know who. Mizzou because pedal to the metal is the way to play at tournament time.

Gonzaga because I’m really tired of hearing how great a job Steve Lavin has done, when Norm Roberts tossed him a great squad as he was booted out the door. Plus, his two assistants have done all the work.  Michigan State, because a wise man never bets against Izzo this time of the season. Utah State, because they’re due.

Of course, the Cards and the Cats shall survive and advance.

* * * * *

Since I filled out my bracket before the completion of last night’s play in tilts, I’ll find myself rooting for this squad tomorrow: First Four #3. I think Georgetown is vulnerable, thus I went with FF#3 a/k/a VCU. It coulda been USC, but the Trojans lost.

Which is a mighty shame actually. Because, well, did you see the Souther Cal cheerleaders?

Those ladies don’t need no stinkin’ bows in their hair. Those ladies are H*O*L*L*Y*W*O*O*D. Nothing perky about those Anne Hathaway wannabes.

* * * * *

A couple other thoughts as I count down to tip off.

1. We all love Gus Johnson, right?: (And, not only because his dad grew up in Louisville.) He’s just the perfect announcer for college hoops. Credit to CBS for teaming him with the more cerebral, more contained, but eminently incisive barrister/ commentator, Len Elmore. They’re a great announcing combo.

2. I HATE the generic playing courts. For the last couple of seasons, the NCAA has dictated that all playing venues have a surface that looks exactly the same. A little visual diversity is okay, fellas.

3. Before the tournament is over, a game is going to be lost because of a play like the one that occurred last night that could have cost Virginia Commonwealth its W. A Southern Cal guy had the ball on a breakaway. The trailing VCU player grabbed him, NBA-style, to prevent the lay up, without making a play on the ball.

Kids are watching too much pro ball. It’s an intentional foul every time in college. Two shots and the ball. Mark my words, some team in the next few days is going to get burned.

– Seedy K


  1. doug
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Just curious….with your column named SCORE, are you offended by the latest fashionable, but grammatically puzzling use of the word “score”? What is the score? Who scored? OK.
    But, “score the basketball”??? Where in the hell did Jimmy Dykes, Doris Burke, Clark Kellogg come up with that? Have we re-defined the word?

  2. Seedy K
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Indeed, my lawyers have this very day filed an action for trademark infringement. And I am advised, since it’s in litigation, that I make no further comments. :-)

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