Last Look Back: College Hoops ’11-’12

And so we bid a fond adieu to the mesmerizing land of Hoopsylvania, with her soaring giants, ever changing native garb, quaint folk ways and odd choice of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” as its national anthem.

Some final thoughts.

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Post season polls always bring a smile.

It’s as if the voters watch what happens then adjust their preconceived notions to the reality of who won and who didn’t on the generic NCAA courts. Nothing changed at the tip top. Kentucky was clearly #1 from the moment Anthony Davis blocked Tar Hell John Henson’s jumper back last calendar year.

Below that however it took a phalanx of Vegas card dealers to shuffle the teams into some semblance of respectable order.

No school was subject to miscalculation more than Louisville. At the end of the regular season, the Cardinals weren’t to be found in the Top 25. After the Big East tourney, the champion Cards had “vaulted” to 18th place. In the final poll — vote taken after UK cut down the nets in New Orleans — U of L had made the biggest jump, from 18th to 4th.

I’m thinking back to December when the Cards were riding that early season undefeated streak, which most of us knew was a false positive, and reached #4.  And, begosh and begorren, Louisville, when all was said and done, turned out to be no worse than the fourth best team in the land.

That experts in the poll still consider Ohio State better than U of L tells us preconceived notions are hard to shake. And won’t it be interesting to see what former sure fire lottery pick Jared Sullinger chooses to do? Heralded for eschewing the draft after his frosh season, he did nothing to enhance his desirability in the Final Four. An undersized guy who play with his back to the basket does not exactly have NBA GMs frothing at the mouth. (Note: Since I wrote this, but before I posted it, Mr. Sullenger has announced he’s going pro.)

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As for the Rick & Cal Show.

The latter, now an NCAA championship coach, remains feisty and combative. In public, he declares winning is no big deal, but snipes at the media. In private he’s dancing in the locker room with his players, joyous that the monkey on his back hitched a ride to Columbus with Thad Matta.

Cal says he’ll kick back for a day or two, then hit the recruiting trail in search of yet another how does he do it class of matriculating student athletes to don big blue unis. Stay hungry, my man, stay hungry.

Meanwhile The Rick didn’t even return to town with his team — so much for bonding — opting to immediately head to FLA for R & R, neither of which is recruiting. Check the golf courses and race tracks.

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In this week’s print edition of LEO — available online as always — I’ve done a look back at the U of L/ UK semi-final and what it means for the Cardinals. You can read it here.

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Wonder if Jim Calhoun is going to be coaching UConn next season?

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There are $40 million reasons why Louisville is more than likely to stay in the Big East rather than jump to either the Big 12 (a reasonable possibility) or the ACC (no way, Jose).

Alcohol sales at the Yum!

The school doesn’t make that much just from gouging fans for beer, but it’s a portion of that big big number, which is how much the basketball program generated during the season before the one just completed. And that number is $12 million more than the second place school.

U of L has a righteous deal with the Yum! which includes both entities making mucho moolah from demon rum. Going to a league that prohibits the sale of such at games therefore isn’t much of an option. Goodbye, Syracuse and West Virginia, hello Texas A & P and Northwestern Mid Florida Tech.

The good news is Louisville will have to beef up the non league schedule to get the team’s RPI into double digits.

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The only fans more anxiously awaiting next year than U of L’s could be Hoosiers. IU’s a legit national contender. Unless Coach Cal dampens everyone’s expectations by signing three more McD’s All-Americans, besides the ones already contractually obligated.

– Seedy K

6 Comments

  1. ctk
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    hey seedy, there is only one conference that has an explicit ban on alcohol sales at the venue.

    the big 12 isn’t it.

    should uofl go to the big 12 (or the acc) booze sales wouldn’t be affected. those other schools just choose not to sell alcohol. nothing wrong with that.

  2. Birdie King
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    We could be required to serve nothing but water at our events and I still can’t wait to enter the Big 12. Goodbye Big East and thug basketball and weak football.

  3. JJ
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    CTK is correct.
    This very topic has been discussed to death on the message boards. It will not be an issue for the Ville.

  4. Seedy K
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m not sure what the denizens of the message boards think. But I’ve spoken with two people on the Athletic Board, who are involved in the process, who assure me it is a very real issue that impacts what moves U of L might or might not make.

  5. J J
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Just a hint. There are some very well connected people who actually post on premium message boards.
    Oh and on the Cal recruiting thing, how hard is it to recruit when all you do is call World Wide Wes and say who ya’ got lined up for me?

  6. cbcard
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Calhoun, the UConn pres has said it is a shame that present students have to suffer for the fault of those no longer enrolled at UConn. It would seem she has placed all of the blame on past players and none on Calhoun, the academic advisers and support staff, the AD, the ………..

    What an incredible hypocrite!

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