In the light and heat generated by our current political controversies, we often forget about what really matters this time of year: college basketball.
Normally a March Madness tournament has several subplots. This year there is only one: can anyone beat Kentucky?
The Wildcats have two superstars down low (Cauley-Stein and Townes) and several more on the perimeter (the Harrison twins). All of these guys will play in the NBA and will play for many, many years. Coach Calipari keeps them playing at a consistently high level, which is not easy when you’re coaching 18 and 19 year olds.
(ed. note: I’m not a fan of the “one and done” rule, which essentially requires one semester in school before a player goes pro. Don’t see the point. But that’s another post).
But college sports is about hope. That’s what makes it so great. Last night, Notre Dame came pretty close, up five with a couple minutes to go before the ‘Cats took care of business. The three point line means that a hot shooting team is never out of it — and can pull an upset against a taller, more talented team. On Wisconsin?
The early exit of the UVA Cavaliers was disappointing but not unexpected. Tom Izzo and Michigan State are peaking at the right time, and Tony Bennett’s boys didn’t have a good offensive game over the last month of the season. To win you must score.
Related side issue: do we have to see Duke in yet another Final Four?