They Look Good But How Will They Fare ….. ? They
in The second biggest sporting spectacle behind the Superbowl in terms of its audience as a viewed event. The men’s NCAA Basketball tournament has its fans as well as its detractors. For the wives and girlfriends whose respective partners will become glued to their television sets or some other means in order to embrace the event. I take this opportunity to wish you well over the coming weeks. For myself I’ve no such qualms. My girlfriend is adrift in her own sea of fulfillment .
And as alluded to earlier in this piece the event itself is prehaps outside of the Superbowl the most popular sporting event in country. That being said one the reasons behind that may well be the amount of money that’s wagered on the NCAA tournament itself. Conservative estimates would put it in the region of in between $850m and $1.3bn over the course of the event. And that’s what they believe to be the legal gambling alone. It’s obvious that were illegal betting taken into account . Then that figure would be immeasurably larger by at least three of four fold the estimates given. Less we forget what would the tournament be without all of the bracketologists out there ? This is where the event itself becomes the water cooler topic of discussion amongst a great many people across the country and in particular in the work place. Friendships are either cemented or they become frayed or fractured over the ensuing weeks. The point is while much of this is actually going on the only ones who are making money in the midst of this all will be the guys in Vegas. And the few of us lucky enought to have actually picked the winner . I think it goes without saying that they if anyone will win more than they’ll lose once the event is over. The oddsmakers in Vegas will be reaping the benefits of this all !
Much has been made as to which teams will do well and which will falter at some point during the tournament. The fact of the matter is no one can really say with a certainty who will ultimately do well and who won’t . The analysts on television say what they’ll deem to be the right thing. But taking their word for it at present is tantamount to taking a stock pick from the likes of CNBCs’ Jim Cramer. And last I looked his imploring his audience to invest their money in AIG , was about as worthwhile as lighting a match and holding it against a stick of dynamite thinking that nothing would happen. Let’s just say that at this juncture Jim Cramer has about as much credibility former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Another who implored the Congress that spending $700 billion of public money would stave off the uncertainty within the markets.
I say if we’re going to malign these guys as well as the sport’s analysts on television. Then we ought to do it with a great deal of voracity. I’m sure that the sound bytes coming from the CBS commentary team will be varied , at times insightful , self opinionated , extreme and or at times downright ridiculous. But for the die-hard fans out there above all it will be about the excitement and cheering on their team or teams as the case may be.
It cannot have unnoticed amongst many that there are those who feel that the hottest team coming into the tournament may well be Memphis. And under their coach John Calipari they have been impressive to say the very least. The Memphis Tigers as they’re more commonly known have posted a 31-3 overall record . And went unbeaten within their own conference 16-0 , Conference USA. That being said one shouldn’t detract from the accomplishment no matter how weak the conference is perceived as being. The fact is they played who that had to play and defeated who they had to defeat. Now one can complain as to their schedule outside of the conference but in reality what we see within the college basketball sphere is no different from what we witness within college football. The Little Sisters of Mercy and those of The Immaculate Conception are there to be lambs to the slaughter. Pad those stats and then that record does indeed look all the more impressive.
What Calipari has achieved with his team this season should make him a candidate as Coach of the Year. Whether or not that will be come to fruition , we can only but wait to see what the adjudicators will think. But for now the Tigers do have some far more pressing issues ahead. Their roster is primarily made up of freshmen and juniors. And their tandem of Tyreke Evans and Robert Dozier have led the way. But to say that these two players alone are the sole reason for the team’s success would be to deny others who’ve made a large contribution to the team’s overall success this season. Their victory over Tulsa in their conference tournament was about as emphatic a win as one could ever wish to witness. And the score itself 64-39 does reflect how lopsided it all was. To say the game was won with ease would be an understatement in the very least.
Now comes the tricky part for Memphis. If they’re to justify their seeding as a #2 seed in the West of the first round of the tournament. They can ill afford a slip up at this juncture. Not here and most certainly not now ! Their first round opponent in the tournament will be Cal State Northridge of whose pedigree shall we say won’t come into question should they fall at the hands of Memphis ? However should the unthinkable happen then there may well be a great deal of joy on the campus of the Matdors, as well as across the state. As to the Tigers , failure here and let’s just say what’d been viewed as a promising season all of a sudden just went up in flames. After last season’s heroics , a chance to acquit one’s self the following year doesn’t often come around this quickly.
Say what you will about Memphis it will be now or never at this juncture for the team. All the hype and hooplah concerning their successful season thus far. In the end it will be all for nothing if they’re unable to acquit themselves in the tournament. As good as they’ve been they’re going to have to perform a great deal better if they’re to win it all. So let the games begin and let the chips fall where they may. Memphis it’s now up to you take on and defeat whoever stands in your way.