The Big Ten regular season is over and just like the football season, the Ohio State Buckeyes are the basketball champs of the conference. Ohio State just might have the best team in the country. What is so sweet is, starting next week the big NCAA Tournament tips off.
Yes, the beginning of March Madness officially starts next week as far as the tournament goes. What we have this week is championship week for all the small schools and smaller conferences. It is good basketball and must-watch television for me. See, I love watching the smaller schools try to qualify for the Big Dance and here is why. The college players on these teams work just as hard as the super conference’s players do and put in the same amount of practice time. It is a huge reward for them to dance in the tourney and one shining moment for their college resume. Let’s not forget the occasional monumental upset that happens, too. A number-fifteen seed knocking off a number-two seed. The Cinderella story is so special in sports. Can you say George Mason? The beauty of the 2011 tourney is it is wide open and I believe a lower seeded team could win it. There is no super talented college team which sticks out over another one. I will enjoy this week and hope you other college hoop fans do too!
The Big Ten Tournament begins on Thursday. The Spartans of MSU will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in a rematch of last week. That was a huge Spartan victory, by the way. The Spartans, who lost to Michigan last Saturday, are not used to playing on the opening day of the Big Ten tournament. MSU actually lost both games to Michigan for the first time since the 1997 season. What is going on here? I thought MSU was the hoop school? I really think the Spartans are in the tourney, but a win over Iowa will put them in for sure! Come on MSU, you should roll the Hawkeyes. If I am MSU, get the win and take no chances on missing out on the NCAA Tournament fun.
Michigan, on the other hand, is the number-four seed and will play the Illinois basketball team. Michigan, by defeating the Spartans, is a lock for the NCAA tournament even if it loses to Illinois on Friday, in my opinion. However, I issue the same warning to the Wolverines—win the game and take no chances of missing out on the tourney.
Basketball junkies like myself are ready for the games to begin. The selection show on Sunday is mustwatch television and then it’s bracket mania. Come Monday morning, start filling out your brackets and maybe win a little cheese, or just some good ol bragging rights, with your friends. I will be looking to make a little cabbage myself.
Potholes in the road
The Detroit Red Wings return home from a bad West coast trip. The Wing Dings were losers of their last three games of the trip. It was a bad loss to Phoenix, in which they took a threegoal lead into the third period and then blew it, losing 5-4. Those are the mental lapses which just can’t happen defensively. Come on, tighten up defensively, will ya! Jimmy Howard cannot burden all the blame, though, some must go to the defensemen on the blueline. Can we get to the playoffs, please, I want to throw some octo pie!
The NFL players and owners extended contract talks until this Friday before a lockout occurs. I still wouldn’t get my hopes up too high just yet. The talks are progressing, but they are still far apart from getting a deal done. The sides are trying to avoid a lockout, though, and that is a positive sign. I want the deal signed sealed and delivered by Friday, personally. I need my NFL football.
I don’t know how much more sadsack NBA Detroit Pistons basketball I can tolerate. This basketball team is a huge joke. Listen to me, when the Minnesota Timberwolves come into your house and “house you”, that is an embarrassment. I felt bad for the 55 people who had to witness that at the Palace. Why am I even watching? is the more sensible question. I am sick, that is why, and I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy.
In next week’s column, I will break down the NCAA Tournament and release my winners.