Every day there are three things, none worth devoting an individual post to, but each worth at least mentioning.
1) College hoops. I went all-in on SB51 yesterday, leaving this space devoid of any words about what the local squads did this weekend. (I did write a 4,400-word entry this weekend that reflects my appreciation for the 1992 Bearcats, and answers the question about how and why I became a UC fan.)
A day later, my thoughts are the same.
*Impressive effort by the Bearcats. UConn is not UConn, which is part of the reason why the American Athletic Conference is a hot mess. Still, when you beat a team as soundly as Cincinnati beat the Huskies without your top scorer getting a bucket, you've got something going on.
A) I love the way Mick is coaching this team....he was bona fide pissed-off (which is different from the pretend pissed-off you hear from most coaches who have good teams) about his squad's lack of defensive effort. I think he knows that he his team this season has a chance to be special, and he'll keep his foot on the gas until they reach their potential.
B) March will come. College basketball fans are anxious lot, constantly wishing our lives away, wanting to hit the fast forward button to get to the Madness. I say, UC fans should hit pause. No offense to any of the previous six teams, but this season feels different, and this March will bring with it a different set of pressures and anxieties. I say let's savor the moment.
*Let's give it up to Chris Mack. For all that was made of the three-game losing streak, and the loss in the Shootout, the Muskie are alive and well after winning four of five, including a strong come-from-behind win over Creighton in Omaha. They've lost arguably their best player ad have responded with two spunky efforts that have resulted in two crucial Big East wins. Those who wrote Xavier off last week - and may did - may need to re-think things.
*Cal's re-boot. I listened to John Calipari's show last night, where he talked extensively about re-booting his team, similar to the way he discussed a tweak three years ago that helped his team turn the season around and reach the NCAA Tournament title tilt. His team looks beaten down, and there's very little chemistry among his players. I'm interesting in what a re-booted Wildcats team looks like.
The big controversy though is that Malik Monk - who's saved the Wildcats from what seemed like imminent defeat on a couple of occasions this season - was seen laughing on the bench during the waning moments of UK's blowout loss to Florida. Fans were singing "Happy Birthday" to him. He could've flipped them off, he could've outwardly let it bother him, but instead he laughed, in the process forgetting that - even as an unpaid employee - Kentucky basketball is no laughing matter.
*Dayton might be good. Might not be. Ask me if they win at Rhody this weekend. How's that for analysis of the alma mater?
2) Rob Manfred wants new rules. He wants to eliminate the four-pitch intentional walk, while raising the strike zone to just above the knee cap. He wants shorter games and more offense, which are two divergent goals.
I want him to stop dicking with the sport in an effort to chase an audience that's not there.
3) The NBA's game of the year. Cavs/Wizards was fantastic, with Cleveland winning by five in OT. The Cavs have no real challenger in the East, but Washington's backcourt is good enough to make a series with them interesting. This is the shot of the season, so far.
Radio Show: We have an open canvas this afternoon. Find out what he put on it today, starting at 3:05 on ESPN1530