If you were expecting another topic this week, I really don't know what to tell you. It's March. It's maddening. It's college basketball's real season and ultimate test.
We're in for a wild ride if the conference tournaments are a precursor of things to come. Oklahoma battling Oklahoma State in the Big 12 tourney was sweet. Syracuse toppling UConn in a Big East instant classic was ridiculous.
A classic postseason tournament deserves a classic movie with classic quotes. I'm breaking out Austin Powers (the funny one) for an assist in this column. Without further ado...
"Jimi Hendrix deceased, drugs. Janis Joplin deceased, alcohol. Mama Cass deceased, ham sandwich." NCAA college basketball regular season deceased, postseason tournament.
There is not much to add really. If you disagree, name a regular season "must-see" matchup for us outside of OU versus OSU and possibly TU versus Memphis. Didn't think so.
"That really hurt! I'm gonna have a lump there, you idiot! Who throws a shoe? Honestly! You fight like a woman!" You ever grow tired of lesser players taking semi-cheap shots at Blake Griffin? This is one of 38 reasons college players who are able to jump to the NBA, do jump to the NBA.
I witnessed Shaq take a beating for three years at LSU.
Every night he would get pounded by smaller, less-talented guys. Am I comparing Griffin to Shaq? Not exactly. But, if you're going to get knocked around by mental midgets, then you may as well get paid.
"Wait, aren't you even going to watch them? They could get away!"
"No no no, I'm going to leave them alone and not actually witness them dying, I'm just gonna assume it all went to plan. What?"
I'm not as tenured as most sports writers (although I'm better looking). My vocal talents pale in comparison to several radio hosts (although a cat's shrill sounds better than others). There is no way I could dream of out-coaching OU's Jeff Capel (but I might have one foolproof idea).
It's crunch time. The season is on the brink. Every possession counts. Without the luxury of implementing a full-season's worth of game planning, you know what I call during my four-minutes-left-in-regulation time out? "Guys, we're going pick-n-roll with Willie and Blake until the final buzzer." Oversimplification at its finest.
"Allow myself to introduce... myself." Ladies and gentlemen, let's welcome the Oklahoma State Cowboys back to the Big Dance.
A month ago the Cowboys were an afterthought. Next week they may be ousted as frauds. In the meantime, let's enjoy their presence on the big stage once again.
"Well, no offense, but if that is a woman it looks like she was beaten with an ugly stick!" Beware of the Big East. Those guys play defense like a fat chick swarms a Mazzio's lunch buffet. Not pretty but effective. Consider yourself warned.
"Why must I be surrounded by frickin' idiots?" This must be how Reese Davis felt during ESPN's post-selection show on Sunday.
"An evil vet?"
"An evil petting zoo?" The University of Tulsa earned a No. 4 seed in the NIT. Bring on Northwestern and possibly Auburn in the second round. An evil second round.
"The CBI was good for us, but the long-term, long-standing Tulsa history with the NIT... The guys know the NIT. It is a step up for us, and a step in the right direction. We are excited to play." Ok, this wasn't from the movie. This was TU's head coach Doug Wojcik speaking after the NIT bracket was released. See the Golden Hurricane take on Northwestern at the Reynolds Center Wednesday night!
"The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery."
In other words, a few final random thoughts about matchups of interest to this area:
Memphis is a strong No. 2 seed. Tulsa fans should root for another deep run by the C-USA juggernaut. It only makes the Blue and Gold look that much better.
I'm becoming a huge John Calipari fan. He went out of his way to heap praise on TU during his ESPN segment.
A possible showdown with Missouri looms in the West. The other Mizzo Tigers grabbed the No. 3 seed. Memphis will embarrass the overrated Big 12 tourney champ if this matchup materializes.
Poor Oklahoma State. A winnable game against the hot/cold Tennessee Vols followed by a date with Pittsburgh. The Cowboys have a zero percent chance of shutting down DeJuan Blair if they slip by Tennessee. Not many teams do.
Kansas gets a No. 3 seed and a gimme first rounder against ORU's replacement from the Summit League, the North Dakota State Bison. One local radio station is likely celebrating the Jayhawks.
The state's true chance at a deep run falls on the shoulders of Oklahoma and Blake Griffin. A No. 2 seed is solid. They look like a team in disarray. After beating down Morgan State in the opener, business will pick up.
A second round clash with either Clemson or Michigan looms large. Both have the guns to topple the Sooners.
Looking ahead, the Sooners have a poor draw. They match up terribly against tough, defensive-minded teams that apply tremendous amounts of pressure. Syracuse and North Carolina are non-winnable games for this squad unless Mookie Blaylock returns.
Good luck with your bracket(s). Better luck figuring out how to catch the action on Thursday and Friday.
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