I know I am flipping between football and basketball like a madman, but I finally found the time to blog again, so I figure I better not waste it.
Here is my view on the Tournament and college basketball: Only the last 20 years count. Period. The game of then is not the game of today. 1987 represents the current format of today. The three-point shot, the shot clock, and six wins gets you the crown. I don’t care about basketball before the three-point shot because there is NO WAY you can tell me the game hasn’t changed. To talk about the 2-point only game is to speak of football during the leather helmet, pre-forward pass days. It’s ancient history.
Got it? Good. Let’s continue.
I am a Kentucky fan and our fan base always seems to worry if we’re amongst the elite. Apparently it’s a tradition to hate UCLA because they have won more titles. For me, UCLA isn’t the big bad beast of the West as some older fans remember. I was born in 1976. The Bruins have won one title since I was born and became a fan, and during my 1987 criteria – 1995. Most of the times, the Bruins have been a middle seed capable of the Final Four but usually ending their run in the second round or Sweet Sixteen.
So there I am, surfing my usual message boards and I utter the words that rained down hellfire on me: “I hope UCLA wins this thing.” I had about 50 posters ready to dim mak my groin for making that statement. Suddenly I was given a history lesson about UCLA especially 1975.
1975. UCLA beats Kentucky, 92-85 to win their 10th and last championship under John Wooden, who announced his retirement before the game. My uncle still hates this game. Wooden is the devil incarnate for announcing the retirement and surely swaying the refs to hand him the ’75 title. (I also love Notre Dame football and I swear my UK basketball people sometimes resemble Michigan fans to a tee – when they lose, blame the refs.)
So I glance at this year’s Final Four with George Mason, UCLA, Florida, and LSU: A Cinderella story, the traditional champion, and two football schools who could screw around and win a basketball title.
Another UK fan peculiarity: Let’s cheer for the SEC schools to make ourselves feel better about this 22-13 season. I have but one thought along this line:
Especially when most SEC fans view their basketball teams like this.