Saturday, March 22, 2003

Round One, Day Two; or, A Love Story

Today we have another installment of Silentio's beat reporter, who, when he's not working and wooing, he's watching basketball -- at least that's what he told me to justify asking him to do this! Anyway, I realize not everybody is into the tournament, or sports in general for that matter; but, what can I say, I feel completely out of the loop with this basketball tournament. No better place to get your basketball updates, I decided, then a photo-lab manager with a B&W television -- oh yeah, watch out ESPN.

Incidentally, I should be back to my regular blogging self by Monday! Prepare yourself, friends.

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Well here in the rural lands of Indiana the debate will continue to rage over Bob Knight, Mike Davis and all the other joys of life at IU. Myles Brand will always be a villian or a saint, and day two of the NCAA tournament allows discussion of these and many other factors. Starting in Boston, where I had decided that 'Bama, with the ball and trailing by three, would drain the 3 and win in OT. This was my thinking despite the fact that I couldn't shake the feeling that a team that went 10-1 in the pre-conference, beat one #1 and took the other to OT in the Big 12 title game would have made for a better story and match up that would make more sense; oh well, but then again I wouldn't have given IU a 7-seed or scheduled BYU in a bad bracket. So the Hoosier advance to take on Derek Whittenberg and Wagner College. Oh wait, sorry, just like his shot against Houston, Whittenberg came up short -- and Lorenzo Charles wasn't there to back him up this time. Sure, years of Cream and Crimson flow through my veins [ed. [ewwww], and I'm still not sold on the Big East, but I like Pitt on Sunday.

Something of note: Indiana as a state actually played against the SEC four times on Friday. Although, one of the schools is a private school, my tax dollars pay for the other teams. Gene Keady and his lovely wife traveled to Birmingham and took on LSU -- the same mighty team that beat Arizona and about whom Tim Brando was already describing a possible match up with Texas. Funny thing, though... Gene and the combover rolled over LSU. Ah, but my state wasn't done yet. Butler went on to knock off Mississippi State in the final game of the night, with New Castle, Indiana's own Brandon Miller hitting the game-winner. Hmm, National Championship game in New Orleans, kid from New Castle on the team (actually two with Darnell Archey -- Hi to his mom, and keep bringing me your film if your reading this); could it be '87 all over again? Louisville may just have too much talent, though. Oh, but don't worry about Miller though, rumor around town is he's heading to Iowa City to begin a coaching career; although, come to think about that, that rumor is spreading out of control, as word is now that he could end up in Blommington once Mike Davis leaves for UCLA. As for Miller and Archey's former coach, expect him and Sato to finally convince Cincinnati that the real team of power is on the east side of town.

Anyway, so at this point the state of Indiana is 3-0 against the SEC as Ron Hunter, his 3K dollar suit, and IUPUI get to face Orlando Smith and the team to beat in most brackets. [ed. One half later....] And the streak ends. You know, UK is a team I have a love/hate relationship with. Part of it is because it was nearly impossible to follow IU in the Queen City and I had to watch a lot of UK games while in college. Now that's not so bad, I don't guess, but when you're talking basketball with UK fans, it's hard not to find them to be some of the most obnoxious people on the planet. So what's the swing vote in how to decide what I think about UK during tournament time? The Ashley Judd factor, of course. No other team can give me that. BTW, in A Time to Kill ("Yeah, I killed him and I'd kill him again") how can Matthew McConaughey even consider cheating on her with Sandra Bullock?

Speaking of temptations and distractions, I've had a hard time staying focused during this year's tournament. Ah, that's right, I've found love in rural Indiana. The problem is she doesn't seem to get this whole tournament thing. Maryland, though, might have changed all that. The dramatic three to win the game at the buzzer seemed to make her understand the focus I have for these three weeks every year. The rest of the day was look-ins [ed. Um, you are talking about the games right there, right?], and, of course, another riveting afterrnon of Dan Rather. Don't get me wrong, I understand the idea that news coverage of war is supposed to be important, but has anybody else notied that all the channels seem to have the same picture, which, by the way, looks kind of similiar to what we saw 12 years ago. And who is the cruel bastard that won't let Rather, Jennings and Brokaw sleep? [ed. Al Qaeda, of course.]

Round two, coverage tomorrow.