Before I move on to matters that matter, I must work to lift a Cease & Desist Order (CDO) imposed on me by the Assimilation & Enforcement Committee (AEC) of the United States United Sports Writers of America Association (USUSWAA).
Apparently I’ve violated association policy in that I haven’t mentioned Peyton Manning enough to meet minimum requirements at my blog here.
So I do now.
Perhaps this governing body will also provide medical help for the virulent case of Peyton Manning Syndrome (PMS) with which I now suffer.
The former QB for the Indianapolis Colts is the future QB — assuming his health is in order — for the Denver Broncos. Which is causing much relief, I’m sure, and great joy to all who reside in the Mile High City. Except for yesterday’s deity, Tim Tebow, who, it is said, will soon be toiling in another town.
The latter of which realities makes no sense to me. When I watch Tebow, I think of what Saint Vince (For whom Lombardi High School was named) did with the Golden Boy. Louisville’s heralded Paul Hornung was the Heisman winning QB for Notre Dame, but whose skills were better suited as a running back during the golden era of the Packers of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
How about Manning and Tebow in the same backfield?
I know, I can hear you, who gives a rat’s ass? You’re right, of course.
And, thus having fulfilled my responsibilities and hopefully having purged myself of of the transgressions I allegedly committed against the bylaws of my governing organization, I/ we can move on to more pertinent matters.
* * * * *
Like, I dunno, basketball.
* * * * *
Before moving on to the male gender of the species, a shout out to the distaff side. Particularly, the University of Louisville Women’s Team. They fell in a gutty performance last night against Maryland. On Maryland’s home court.
(An aside. Proof that the women’s game will have fully arrived will come when schools are no longer allowed to play on their home court during the NCAA tournament. Until then, it remains standing on shaky ground.)
The Terps have a better team. Which is why, as gallant an effort as the Cards exerted, they came up short. But Jeff Walz deserves credit for taking his squad this far without two starters with season ending injuries.
I enjoy the women’s game. It is obviously different from the men’s. The teams that excel are those that can execute the basics. Making all your layups. Blocking out on free throws. Breaking a press or traps. Maryland did all those better than the Cards last night. Next year, it won’t happen.
* * * * *
Pass the butter and jam. Want to savor some of that Blue Devil toast.
* * * * *
Okay, before I get to the current tournament, I must mention that rumors are about that Murray State’ Steve Prohm is being wooed by Mississippi State.
Which, since he’s been a head coach for less than one full year, would be the ultimate one and done should he head to Starkville.
As much as I’d love to see him stay at Murray, I assume the SEC school will make him an offer he can’t refuse.
I’d suggest he chat up Darren Horn before packing his bags. Though the Bulldogs do have a stronger hoops tradition than South Carolina.
* * * * *
There are certainly some intriguing matchups Thursday and Friday nights in the Round of 16.
Not topping the list is UK vs. IU. If the Hoosiers are within 15 of the Cats at the buzzer, it will be a testament of how very very far the Crimson & Crean have come this season. This is a dangerous Kentucky team when they’re simply going through the motions. The chance for revenge for their only regular season L should have the Cats frothing at the mouth and ready to pounce.
Syracuse vs. Wisconsin should be a tactical gem. The Badgers play it slow on O. The Orange like to slow things down on D with their finite zone. Which team prevails?
Florida vs. Marquette intrigues. The Gators had a walk through the sub-regional but that often engenders a swagger and inner belief for success. The Warriors W over Murray State was the second most intense from beginning to end of the Round of 32. (Cincy/ Florida State topped that list, in case you’re wondering.) Both teams like to move the ball. Both teams body up.
Cincinnati vs Ohio State. There was a time — the early 60s if you must know — when this was THE rivalry in all of college hoops. The Jerry Lucas/ John Havlicek Buckeyes were destined for three national titles. After the first in 1960, they lost in the national title game the next two seasons to Cincy. The second one was here in Louisville.
Ponder that for a second. Two in-state rivals just down the road from each other, one the state school, the 0ther an urban upstart, meeting for the national title two consecutive tourneys. This is a rivalry fueled by the schools failure to play on a regular basis.
Sound familiar, Cards and Cats fans?
* * * * *
I trust I’ll consider Louisville’s upcoming battle with Michigan State in more detail in the next couple days.
It’s fascinating because both teams are extremely well coached. Both have big hoops traditions. Both have come this far after up and down seasons.
They have a history in the tourney. Sparty stopped Louisville’s run to the Final Four a couple of years ago. Which is what a truly underdog Louisville team did to the Green in ’59, also in the regional final.
* * * * *
I have no great love for North Carolina. But it is sad to see their lynchpin Kendall Marshall break his wrist at such an inopportune time.
I have even less love for Baylor, since I believe it to have the dirtiest program in the land. You tell me how Drew gets all those AAU faves to come to a severely Baptist school in Waco, Texas?
But, should Baylor get by Xavier — far from a given — it could give Kentucky a real battle.
All of which pondering shall cease on Thursday when the Round of 16 tips off. The Cats, Cards and Hoosiers are still alive. The TV ratings will be through the roof. Shpilkes shall be running rampant.
– Seedy K