Sunday, March 16, 2008

Reminiscing and College Basketball

A good friend from college came to visit this weekend for the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament. We went to the Friday night games and the Saturday seminfinals. We had a lot of catching up to do, as when we last saw each other, he was in law school and my wife was still just my girlfriend. Much has changed, and he was a great Obi Wan figure for my wife and I to talk to for Midwestern cultural knowledge. He's living a pimp life at one of the top law firms in Cincy as a single man, and despite being a lawyer, he looks less stressed than he ever did at Cornell or Harvard. Go figure.

On to random observations from the Big Ten tournament....

- No way would I bet on a Big Ten team in the NCAA final four. No way in hell. These teams played sloppy.

- Nothing matches buzzer beaters to tie ballgames and send them into OT like another buzzer beater just before midnight that wins a game.

- Big Ten fans like the game of basketball and want to see competitive games. Good fans.

- Big Ten refs suck. They botched calls, reffed inconsistently, forced key players out of the game, and tried to be part of the show rather than an official there to regulate. An 8 year old heckeled the refs on Friday night. It was that bad.

- Conseco Fieldhouse has great sightlines and comfortable seats. My friend and I are both over 6 feet tall and we sat for 5 hours without pain. It is a nice venue; I will catch more games there next NBA-college B-ball season.

- Big Ten cheerleaders are really athletic. Not a lot of porny looking cheerleaders. They were more the gymnast type. Minnesota's crew had the coolest pyramids, lifts, and uhhh, hair.

- There were small kids at the late session Friday night. That session started at 6:30pm. What are kids under 10 doing at that session?

- It is easy to forget you shouldn't swear in public. My friend and I were having R rated conversations and were laughing at the 8 year old heckler behind us. It dawned on us 20 minutes later that the kid could hear us. Hopefully, he doesn't ask his dad what half the things we were discussing mean.

- Erin Andrews is easy on the eyes. How on Earth is she originally from Massachusetts?
- I do not believe college athletes should be paid. The University of Wisconsin is one of the best univerisities in the country, and athletes get to go there for free because they play a sport. The food stipend is also luxurious. The average American student would kill to get the benefits these young men and women already get just because they can do a children's game or activity at a high level.

- Many of the players at these Division 1 schools shot worse and had worse passing and game skills than the guys I knew in college. The difference was that the shortest guys on the court were 6 foot 3, had 30 inch vertical jumps and could run sub 5.0 40s easy. It really does come down to size, strength and speed because these guys shoot worse than my 53 year old dad. It is even worse at the pro level, and I think this turns a lot of fans off. Average Joes know they can shoot better than the college kids and pros, but they just don't have the physical skill set. Another hidden gem of basketball at this level is just how hard it is to do the basic things because of the athletic ability of your adversaries. If average joes realized how hard it is to get position or shoot when the defense can all jump 30+ inches to block your shot, I think more people would appreciate basketball.

1 comment:

"AG" said...

I have not nice thoughts about Mass., myself.