(Just wondering about some things going on in the wide, wonderful world of sports)
The college basketball season is operating at full speed and has already produced three games for the “”ages”: UCLA vs Kentucky, Kentucky vs. North Carolina and Louisville vs Kentucky.
See a common thread there when you talk about high profile games: That, of course, would be the Kentucky Wildcats, coached by John Calipari.
The Wildcats came out 1-2 in that trifecta, losing to UCLA and Louisville and beating North Carolina. The early signs of this basketball season have a blue blood feel with schools such as UCLA, Ville, NC, Kansas, Villanova, Kentucky and Duke looking like Final Four contenders.
The sad part about those games is that by mid-February they will be distant and meaningless in the profile of the 2016-17 season. North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA all will receive NCAA tournament bids, almost certainly with high seeds. Whether they win their respective conference regular season or post season titles is irrelevant.
And it’s that way throughout the sport, even at the mid major and lower tier conference levels in a more dramatic and disturbing manner.
What the schools do from conferences such as the Colonial Athletic and the America East matters even less. Schools from those conferences generally receive only one bid–and that goes to the conference tournament champion, not the regular season champion.
Which begs another question. What is the value of the collegiate basketball season and the match ups between the blue bloods of the sport in November and December?
The answer: Hardly anything. All of those games can be labeled as exhibition games for a season which doesn’t really begin until the end of February and early March, but promotes itself as a sport with a long and difficult journey to the Final Four.
Long? Not so much in terms of significant games.
Here’s a joke that is coming out of Rutgers? The NCAA is so mad about what North Carolina is doing that it is ready to put Rutgers on probation in another example of rank having privileges.
The NCAA leveled seven charges against Rutgers in an investigation that was started and concluded in 17 months.
The NCAA is beginning its SIXTH YEAR in its investigation to a case of wide spread academic fraud involving hundreds of Tar Heel players. And the world of college athletics is still waiting, teased again by new charges against the Tar Heels which the NCAA announced earlier this month.
So it goes. NC has 90 days to respond, which will take us into the end of March and then the NCAA will have to respond and there goes another college basketball season and perhaps another NCAA Final Four and national championship for Coach Roy Williams team.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski did the right thing when he suspended Grayson “The Tripper” Allen for sticking his foot where it didn’t belong for the third time in two seasons. Allen clearly has some problems which prompts this bizarre and intolerable series of incidents.
Whether Allen’s issues are resolved in the next few weeks seems problematic. Part of the therapy should be a message from Coach K: When Allen returns from his suspension, it should be understood that if it happens again Allen should become an EX-Duke player.
Who said bowl season isn’t exciting? That closet full of college football fans watching the second half of Thursday’s Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise on Thursday night between Idaho and Colorado State saw the game turn from a yawner with Idaho holding a 48-14 lead three minutes into the fourth quarter into a can you believe it 61-50 Idaho victory. All of this in balmy 12 degree weather in Boise.
As bad as the stench has been coming from the Baylor sexual assault charges which ripped apart the athletic department, it gets worse every time there is more information revealed.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that former Baylor President Ken Starr went over the heads of Baylor administrators who had suspended a Baylor football player for academic misconduct. Starr reinstated the player–who later was arrested and convicted and is now serving 20 years in prison.
Give Boston College Grid Iron Club President Paul Criscione credit for the good fight. Faced with a shrinking and almost non-existent fan base for the Eagles’ bowl game in Detroit against Maryland on Dec. 26th, Criscione came up with a day of the game promotion, urging BC fans to treat the game as a 1-day business trip in which they would fly to Detroit on Monday morning, attend a pre-game buffet a block from the stadium, watch the game and then fly back to Boston on Monday night.
More than 200 fans have responded, which in Big Boy SEC, Big Ten football terms is hardly staggering, but for BC is a major victory.