I think I’m going on a one-night hiatus from men’s college basketball.
Tonight, in fact.
I just can’t stomach “those two teams” in the NCAA Final, despite the fact both Kentucky and UConn created this finale with outstanding, if not surprising, play over the last three weeks.
Whether or not these two teams themselves are playing within the rules is something we won’t find out for a couple of years, since it’s always after-the-fact when news starts to trickle out about infractions in recruiting and/or academic standards being met.
Make no mistake about it, though, these two teams you’ll be seeing tonight were hand-crafted in part because of the legacy established by the coaches and the history of their programs.
John Calipari has been able to recruit players to Kentucky in part because of his success at both UK and Memphis, where guys like Derrick Rose were showing up for a semester or two under suspicious circumstances and creating the assumption that just about anytime a high-level recruit landed in Coach Cal’s lap, it wasn’t because he liked the academic offerings at the school.
The same goes for UConn, although its former magician, Jim Calhoun, is no longer coaching there.
That team you see playing for the title tonight is there because of the “work” Calhoun did over the years while recruiting in the dirty, slimy AAU circuit.
Maybe I’m just irritated that Maryland couldn’t even muster a bid from the NIT, but I have no interest at all in watching tonight’s game.
I know, I know: I do a sports talk radio show for a living. I should be interested in watching Monday’s championship game. I’m not, though. I could fib to you here and feign excitement for the match-up of two of college basketball’s most storied programs over the last decade, but I don’t do that. No “feigning” here — I just don’t care about this game tonight.
It’s Masters Week, officially, which means someone at Augusta National better start finding a member with a jacket that Rory McIlroy can fit into this Sunday night around 7pm.
I’ll be down there on Wednesday this week.
If any of you are heading down to Augusta on Wednesday, let’s get organized and meet up for a turkey sandwich at some point during the day.
I’m excited to be attending tonight’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes banquet at Martin’s West, where Frank Kelly will be inducted into their prestigious Hall of Champions. Kelly, a former lacrosse player at Cornell, has been the Chairman of Maryland’s FCA Board of Directors for 20 of the last 21 years.
Former Ravens QB Trent Dilfer will be the featured speaker.
The Columbus Blue Jackets’ 4-0 win last night just about seals the playoff fate of the Washington Capitals.
It’s not over until it’s over, of course, but the Caps have 83 points and the Blue Jackets have 87 points — and they’ve each played 78 of 82 regular season games.
Washington plays in St. Louis on Tuesday night (loss) and then in Carolina on Thursday (coin flip). They finish the season with home games against Chicago on Friday and Tampa Bay this Sunday. Columbus, meanwhile, has a home game against Phoenix and the road contests in Dallas, Tampa Bay and Florida to finish the season.
By the way, both Toronto and the Devils have one more point (84) than the Caps (83).
In other words — the NHL hockey post-season won’t be visiting our area this spring.