"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history," said the arrogantly obnoxious George Bernard Shaw. From the Spanish sage Santayana we are cautioned: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
Choose your sage, but the tumultuous college basketball season concludes in less than a month and to our understanding, it is also full of lessons to be learned.
First, third, sixth and ninth were the answers. The preseason question? Where will ORU, OSU, TU and OU finish in their conferences respectively?
Oral Roberts held up their end of the bargain. A third straight 20 win season capped off another Mid-Con regular season championship. The regular season crown assures the Golden Eagles of postseason play.
By the time you pick up this issue, we will know whether the postseason run takes place in the NCAA or NIT. Either way, opponents should fear the Eagles.
Caleb Green captured his third consecutive Mid-Continent Conference Player of the Year award. Coincidentally, the last time someone not named Caleb Green won the award is the same year a team not named ORU won the regular season title.
Joining Green on the all-conference first-team is his diminutive sidekick, sharp-shooter extraordinaire, fellow senior Ken Tutt.
Head Coach Scott Sutton's team keeps ringing in the accolades. Marchello Vealy was named Sixth Man of the Year in the Mid-Con. Junior center Shawn King was chosen to the All-Newcomer team by league coaches.
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane finished 6-8 in conference a year ago. Their overall record was a meek 11-17. Can you say rebuilding?
Fast-forward to this season. Just a year later made a huge difference for head coach Doug Wojcik's team. The Golden Hurricane finished with an above average and higher than expected 9-7 record in Conference USA. The record earned the Hurricane the number five seed in the postseason tourney.
They finished the regular season in sixth place a year ago.
This year they tied for fourth. Even a modicum of improvement is nice to see. This is a once proud basketball machine looking to get cranked back up.
Tulsa could get on the mother of all runs and shock the world in Memphis, home of the C-USA postseason tournament. However, a more likely scenario is a win or two. They are stuck on 19 wins. Twenty victories and the NIT should come calling.
If the Hurricane makes the NIT, one thing is for sure. There will be no game at the Reynolds Center this postseason. The lack of fan turnout repels tournament officials from looking into an opening round game in Tulsa.
The Golden Hurricane may be joined by Oklahoma or Oklahoma State in the 'little dance'. Oklahoma State was the preseason number three team in the Big 12.
The orange clad team under first year coach Sean Sutton fell short. To say the season was a disappointment would be an understatement. An understatement on par with saying Eddie Sutton has alcohol issues.
A bottom-half finish in the Big 12 will not get you air time on the network of Dickie V. OSU showed flashes of brilliance to start the year. A hardcore pre-conference schedule seemed to set them up for a solid run.
Alas, it wasn't meant to be. The team suffered from injuries, brain-farts and questionable coaching. Me, I blame the point guard. The offense seemed out of rhythm at all times.
Remember how unstoppable JamesOn Curry looked with John Lucas III running the show? Curry didn't forget how to play. He did however suffer from having too much of the offense run through him.
That's enough reason to head butt someone. Not that I recommend a little noggin contact, but at least make it look like part of the play.
Who hasn't walked by someone and tapped the opposite shoulder in an effort to get away with it? There is etiquette to playing dirty. Just ask Bob Knight.
How bout dem Sooner. Giddy-up. Only two things standout from the Oklahoma season. First was Bobby Knight trying to have center Longar Longar placed on Death Row for an inadvertent elbow.
The other highlight of the season occurred senior night. Kellen Sampson's special night brought home ex-coach Kelvin Sampson. Would the crowd throw cell phones on the court? Would he ignore jeers while text messaging a high school junior?
None of the above. The crowd received their former coach with a respectful greeting. In other words, the crowd was so lifeless by the end of the year they didn't have enough in the tank to razz the old man.
OU finished conference play 6-10 and 15-14 overall. This marks the first time in state history more fans will follow the Lady Sooners and Courtney Paris than the men. And don't forget coach Sherri Coale.
A week from now the nation will be filling brackets at a frenzied pace. Blank brackets will liter desks. Employers will lose millions in productivity. All the while we pursue the ongoing saga of guestimating the winners.
Perhaps we win. Of course it will be luck but don't tell your cohorts. Lead them to believe you are the expert. That is exactly what the talking heads on TV get paid to do.
Happy Bracket Busting!
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