Sunday PG: Murray State Steps Up, Karl Hess Should Step Down & Mo’

Yes, St. Mary’s was a bit short handed. And, yes, the Gaels were coming off a midweek league loss at Loyola Marymount, and had to make the arduous road trip from the Bay Area to western KY.

All that said, the left coasters were gobsmacked last night. The Murray State Racers came up huge.

They were all over the visitors from the get go.

What impressed was how poised was the Racers’ play. With the biggest home crowd in school history, with the spotlight of ESPN glaring and the cockamamie presence that Dickie V brings to an adoring arena which has never experienced him before and clamors for his love, with doubts about their abilities simmering after the home L to Tennessee State, Isiah Canaan and his cohorts showed up calm, cool and collected and controlled the game from the get go.

This is a club whose stature has been questioned because of the company it keeps. The Ohio Valley doesn’t sparkle like even the Colonial or A 10, so Murray State remains a question mark for many.

What I can tell you is I hope my favorite team doesn’t play them before the round of 16.

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You remember Karl Hess, right?

He’s the zebra who was perfectly positioned to see the goaltend call he didn’t make that allowed Syracuse to escape West Virginia.

Well, he was front and center yesterday because of his rabbit ears and short fuse. He got a cop to expel from the gym two former NC State Wolfpack stars, Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta, because of their fan-like taunts from the stands.

I’m not sure why he’s so testy, but it may be this. The guy has refereed 73 games already this season. That’s three times as many as college players have played and they are half his age at least.

He could use a rest. Until next season.

* * * * *

It’s time for a hats off to an unassuming coach who seems to git ‘er done wherever he roams the sidelines.

After turning West Virginia into a factor and almost pittsnogling its way to the Final Four, Jim Beilein has turned the Michigan Wolverines into a legit Top 25 team again. Ohio State felt the sting last night.

His style of play is unique, suited for players who might never experience a glance from Thad Matta or Coach Cal.

* * * * *

What excites me about the upcoming NCAA is that there should be more “mid-majors” than usual. Given the big conference mediocrity, teams with .500 or under league records might just have to settle for hosting an NIT opener. It’s a good thing. If the NC selection committee has the balls to piss off Mike Slive and do it.

Let’s hear it for the Wichita States and Creightons and New Mexicos and Ionas of the world.

* * * * *

What in the world happened to UCLA?

* * * * *

Baylor and Mississippi State are on the downslide. And, I dunno why, it kind of makes me smile. I don’t trust either school’s coach.

* * * * *

This has to be Jim Calhoun’s last season coaching, right?

– Seedy K

5 Comments

  1. cbcard
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Hess has always had an attitude and rabbit ears. Lovely combination.

  2. fred
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    What stuns me is now I know what happened to the ref who blew the obvious goal tending call in the ‘Cuse-West Virginia game…Nuthin.

  3. cbcard
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Refs could hold up banks and not be penalized.

  4. Phil
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    maybe I’m just getting old, and things bother me that i didn’t even notice before, but I CANNOT STAND THEATRICAL REFEREES!
    They’re supposed to be impartial, right? There not supposed to influenced by the home crowd, the coach, etc. right? Then why do some of them, particularly when calling a charge, an out of bounds possession, and and 1 in favor of the home team (who happens to be in the middle of a big “run”) make such a production of their call?! you know what I mean…and overly theatrical or exaggerated arm motion which may or may not include a little skip or hop. It is as if they are swept up in the momentum of the home team and they want so much to be part of the fun.
    They should take a page from the NFL referees, who with only a few exceptions, are complete pros, who skip all the drama, and just make the call.

  5. cbcard
    Posted February 22, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I always loved to have Dick Paparo on the road and hated him at home. He, more than any Zebra I have ever seen, bent over backwards to show he wasn’t influenced by a home crowd. He was the Ultimate Anti-Homer.

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