Campus Quick Slants
Minus the public sex tapes and bimbo husbands, the NCAA is the sports equivalent of Pam Anderson. Despite a few minor revisions over the last 10 years, neither has been truly successful in convincing the general public that it's still current. Or credible. Or genuine.
This became even more obvious when the NCAA nabbed USC freshman
You have to love it when the NCAA rules with an iron fist, specifically in cases like this that have virtually no bearing on the sanctity of the game. It's even more exciting when the bylaws look obsolete enough to have been written by
I could probably go on forever?that'd be all too easy. But we're all about solutions -- not problems -- here at Campus Quick Slants. That's why I've put together a quick list of some new rules that, with all due respect to
Hey, if you're going to insist that an inanimate object determines critical possessions, why not add an element of chance to the equation? And who wouldn't want to see
Both seem like upstanding gentlemen, but their combined effort during last year's tournament, according to scientists, slowed the rotation of planet Earth. Seriously. Your days are now 24 hours and 40 minutes long.
Fellas, looking good for the camera will not impress scouts. Actually ...
With all due respect, Mr. Vitale, you do this every year during your call of Duke vs. North Carolina. It's not helping. (It's good to have you back though!)
Dr. Naismith would not have awarded two points for a tomahawk jam that splintered his peach basket.
It could be like Pizza Hut's "Book-It" program: Win a game, get a star, earn a tournament berth. Meanwhile,
It's time to be realistic.
The average sports fan couldn't name 10 college basketball players or care less about the regular season until three weeks before March Madness. Relying on this "extensive" knowledge, he or she will enter multiple bracket pools and pick upsets based on pure instinct and chance. Inevitably, an improbable outstanding showing by an office secretary or someone's 11-year old daughter who picked winners based on team colors will end the dream of winning a few extra bucks and a world of pride.
See, it's fun to pick upsets and be the token genius in the office, but it's a lot harder to do if you don't know who's any good. At last check -- unless my Google skills have vanished like
How quickly we forget the Musketeers took Ohio State to the wire last season, nearly causing
Officially this year's
It's easy to forget that three weeks ago, the Vanderbilt Commodores found themselves in the desirable position of being 16-0 and off to the best start in school history. Now ... umm ... pffffft.
With the season more than halfway over and the tournament getting closer, you have to wonder which Commodore team will be gracing your brackets come March. Umm, will the real Vanderbilt please stand up? One school of thought would suggest that a team talented enough to win its first 16 games should be good enough to make at least a little bit of noise in the tournament. The other would indicate that getting rocked by 20+ points, on the road, against two quality opponents (Tennessee and Florida) is a pretty bad omen. It's your call.
Here's a tip, though: You absolutely, positively cannot trust a college program noted more for its brains than its brawn. This would've been Commandment 10-A if Moses had his way -- picking the academic All-Americans over the actual All-Americans is almost always a recipe for disaster. As a bracket-picking society, we need to accept this concept as a global constant ... like the speed of light or pi.
As it stands, Memphis is one of two remaining undefeated teams in Division I college basketball at 19-0. They're winning by about 21 points per game -- usually, that's a pretty good indicator for tournament success -- and they've got a dangerous mix of a NBA-caliber roster and a veteran coach with Italian heritage. (My grandmother swears this is crucial.) So with only one of 12 games remaining against a ranked opponent (Tennessee), you'd have to like their chances of staying perfect. Even if they don't, shouldn't they still be one of the odds-on favorites headed into the tournament?
Well, not necessarily. Not when you're playing in Conference USA. I know this only because I'm hearing more and more pundits say "Well, they are in Conference USA," and surely that must be the be-all, end-all explanation for all things 2008 Memphis basketball, right?
Actually, I'm not even sure what that means. We tend to come up with little barbs like this to diminish anything potentially noteworthy. It's our natural defense mechanism, like insisting the hottest girl at the bar must've been drunk before hooking up with your below average-looking buddy. Some things can only be rationalized through cynicism. In this case, that cynicism is the "strength of schedule" statistic with which everyone seems obsessed nowadays. Indeed, Conference USA is weaker, as a whole, than many other conferences. But logically, if Memphis beats every opponent on its schedule, what's to say it's not the crème de la crème? What else can it do? Is there any real correlation between the quality of someone's schedule and the quality of their team?
The Super Bowl is as much a pop culture event as it is a football game, what with all the media hype, parties, and
(Oh, and the Giants +12 points).