Hoop Dee Doo: It’s the Time of the Season

Still reeling from the Cardinals’ lackluster effort against South Florida, yesterday I was mired in melancholia.

I sat in my recliner idly clicking through channels, stopped for a bit as the Man vs. Food dude went for yard long bratwurst. With two sides, including potato fritters.

Not wanting to sup just yet, I figured I’d best move on.

Then it happened. The bug struck with terrible swift sword. (Stay tuned, I’m going for literary, but think I may be missing the mark. Kind of like U of L’s shooting.)

I came upon VMI against Winthrop. A Big South tourney semi from Asheville. Winner has hope for a Dance card. Loser leaves town. The Keydets from Lexington, Va. rolled.

More important, I felt my body relax. The miasma in which I was stuck dissipated possession by possession. A smile crossed my face. The realization struck.

It’s tournament time. Not only here in Hoopsylvania, but all across this segmented land of ours. Basketball acolytes unite. It is our time.

My name is Seedy K, and I’m a hoopaholic. I may get better, but Doc says I’ll never get well.

I love me some Arch Madness. Then comes March Madness.

* * * * *

The query most prevalent on most folks minds around here, whether you are a member of the Big Blue Nation or a hater thereof, is whether the Cats will run the table?

Many diehards consider UK a lock for the championship. If they don’t succeed, Governor Beshear might have to stop warning of possible severe weather scenarios and declare the Commonwealth on suicide watch.

Conversations on this topic usually go something like this.

“Kentucky’s a lock. You tell me who is going to beat them?”

“Well, Syracuse’s zone could give them trouble. Bilas thinks so. Izzo always comes up something. What about Sullinger? Strange things happen.”

“Yeah but this group is tough. Different than the others Calipari has brought in.”

“Right. But Marquise Teague is not Derrick Rose.”

Etc, etc. until it’s time to get back to work because the boss is looking daggers through her office door.

One guy’s opinion. Kentucky is the best team in the land. They should and will be the favorite. They’ll get to start their trip with two walkovers at the Yum!.

But they are far from a lock. They’ve lost, albeit on a last second trey in Bloomington, where Top 5 teams have gone to die this year. If John Henson pump fakes Anthony Davis, they might have fallen to the Tar Heels.

Weirdness happens this time of the season.

That said, I’m not sure I can name any schools at this time who present serious match up difficulties for UK. But if Davis gets in foul trouble, and Teague gets rattled, who knows what might happen?

* * * * *

In the March 2012 issue of Louisville Magazine, there’s a feisty animated story titled “The Passion of the Pitino.”

Zach Moss wrote it. Steven Bowman illustrated. They did a boffo job.

It is timely. It is dead on. And it should induce a smile. I know it did for me.

Check it out. (Though I did go to loumag.com to see if I could link you up to it, and the issue that comes up if you link to “Current Issue” is from December. Guess you’ll have to check the ‘zine section at your favorite bookstore. You remember bookstores, right?)

* * * * *

What makes the upcoming tourney especially intriguing — as if I wasn’t locked in already despite the minimal chances of success of my favorite team — is Murray State.

No matter how much we love the Racers around here, no matter how much we see them and exhort “They’re really good”, as my pal David has done several times, we still wonder just how far this team can advance?

I can’t wait to watch that story unfold.

While I’m on the subject, let me hip you to an incredible piece of writing by Charles Pierce, who ventured down to western Kentucky to check out the Murray State phenomenon. You owe it to yourself to read this essay. It is a stunning bit of literacy. And you can do so here.

* * * * *

If you’re looking for a bright orange blazer to add to your wardrobe, because Bruce Pearl’s wasn’t exactly the right fit, you’re still in luck.

You might dial up future former Illinois coach Bruce Weber. He won’t be needing his much longer.

* * * * *

Florida State looks like a team that will beat somebody it’s not supposed to in the Dance.

Last night in Charlottesville it outscored UVa, 16-2 to end the game and win at the buzzer.

* * * * *

Stay tuned, my fellow hoopaholics, we’ve only just begun.

– Seedy K

4 Comments

  1. gnash01
    Posted March 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Man, you know it’s Madness when the Nashville daily has a whole separate section devoted to tournament time for the next couple of weeks. Afterall, this is football country!

  2. fred
    Posted March 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I think Kentucky has the best assembly of players in the country. So they did for the John Wall season and we know how that story ended. I know this: If John Calipari can’t get it done with this bunch, then when, John? When? No pressure. It’s a different deal when you’re *expected* to win it all than when you *could* win it all.

  3. Birdie King
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    They not only had the best team two years ago, but they also had the best teaml ast year. But for West Virginia playing over their head in 2010 and one man for UConn beating them last year they would be going for three in a row. Ugh!

  4. bob
    Posted March 3, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The best poker player, the best horse, the best
    team?????

    Count the money at the end of the night.
    Watch who crosses the finish line first.
    Note who has the highest score at the end of play.

    After the 1986 NCAA I had a Duke fan tell me they were the better team and Louisville only won because we scored more points.

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