Thursday, March 27, 2014

Time to get serious about NCAA bball watching

During the regular season of college basketball, no games were watched here.  The newspaper can be read, provides updates, and they keep one informed.  Not only is the suspense not really there in the regular season for one who does not have a serious favorite team or teams, not watching is an easy way to avoid college basketball announcers and their incessant and annoying patter.

Now is the time when every game counts.  16 teams remaining and it will all be over for 12 after this weekend.  At this point the sound can be turned down or off if the announcers are too disruptive to enjoyment of the game.  While only in the rarest circumstance will a game be watched here from beginning to end, it can happen and I am open to it if a game is that good.  Otherwise on this Thursday and Friday there may be some channel surfing to see progress of simultaneous games, and of course if interest wanes a book will be nearby.

Among tonight's four games, Dayton vs. Stanford and UCLA vs. Florida are what interests me.  Without any great special knowledge and subject to change, Dayton is my biggest interest in the first game.  There is a transfer from Georgetown on the team who has been playing well, and early in my banking career the town of Dayton was part of my corporate calling territory.  Armco and NCR were names that I remember, and the Pine Room was seemingly the lone good, really good in fact, steakhouse in that sort of woebegone town at the time.  Dayton has a solid basketball history, but it is mainly history, well in the past.  Stanford regularly has good teams but this was not one its best years.  Johnny Dawkins, the former Duke star, is the coach and some say that he needed the two tournament wins thus far.

The other game of interest here tonight is Florida vs. UCLA.  Florida is apparently the team to beat this year and UCLA carries a big tradition around.

In tomorrow's four games the interest here is Virginia vs. Michigan State and Kentucky vs. Louisville.  Unfortunately they are both the late game, so the remote will be in use.  Home state Virginia has to be a favorite here and their calling card is good defense.  There has not been a Virginia team at this level since Ralph Sampson days.  Michigan State, while not earning a top seed, is viewed by many as one of the toughest teams in the tournament.

Kentucky vs. Louisville is a vivid memory from the past here, although there is much that is different.  I lived in Louisville in the 1970's and was an over the top fan of the Cardinals.  Kentucky was their huge home state rival with a storied history.  The drama now starts with the fact that Kentucky won the NCAA tournament in 2012 and Louisville won in 2013.  How they meet in the round of 16 is interesting but the committee that sets the brackets seems to always like nuances like this, the opportunity of rivals to meet in the middle of the tournament.  Calipari's freshman team in their NBA prep year versus Pitino's experienced Cardinals could be entertaining, maybe exciting.  If anyone runs away with it, prediction here is that it will be Kentucky.  Louisville needs a close back and forth game to wear down the opponent.

Well, that's it.  We'll see how long I last tonight before a book, a film, or a bag of potato chips takes over. 


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