I Paid My Way To Get Here Bi$ch What Did You Do ?
By tophatal ……….
There’s something to be said about the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and over the ensuing weeks leading up to the start of the event teams will be jockeying themselves into position in order to receive that venerable invitation to be part of that tournament . That being said , how is it that the NCAA can simply have a tournament that for all sense and purpose seems to be fair and equitable for all of the fans who love the game but yet when it comes to College Football and its postseason charade they and the BCS hierarchy simply act as if they’ have their heads buried in the ground ! I know that money drives the whole system and in large part has led to the absolute corruption of the sporting landscape with the gross malfeasance that now exists and will continue to exist , as long as NCAA President Mark Emmert and that “alleged” esteemed body continues to do absolutely nothing to clean up collegiate athletics . That particular landscape is now littered with more controversy and misdeeds than could have been found while Al Capone , the mobster , ran the city of Chicago . Never mind the ” dead bodies ” and the sheer idiocy of the university presidents and athletics directors who now appear to be in complete denial . Further evidence ……… simply look at the actions of the University of Miami (Hurricanes ) , Penn State , USC (Trojans ) and U Conn to see exactly what is wrong with sports at the collegiate level ?
Slide show for your perusal .
Strangely enough while teams such as Kentucky (Wildcats) , Syracuse (Orangemen) , Ohio State (Buckeyes) , Missouri (Tigers) , North Carolina (Tar Heels) and Duke ( Blue Devils ) vie for the top spot in the Men’s rankings . It has to be said that in light of last year’s tournament , when the Butler (Bull Dogs ) swept their way through the Final Four and into the championship game against Jim Calhoun’s …. U Conn Huskies . The fans hopefully , will be blessed with something just as enthralling this season during the tournament which commences on the 13th March and ends with the National Championship game being hosted at the Mercedez Benz Superdome , in New Orleans , Louisiana on the 2nd April , 2012.
As for Butler under their young coach Brad Stevens and his young team have had to bear the misfortunes as they have become a target of the teams on their schedule now looking to say that they have slayed the once mighty upstarts. With an overall record of 13-12 and 7-6 within conference (Horizon League ) . The division is led by Cleveland State (20-4) who if they can manage to maintain their momentum could very well be a possible candidate for a berth amongst the 65 teams at the start of the NCAA Tournament . At a bare minimum , teams will have to at least have a win tally in excess of 20-25 wins to even be considered for a berth in the tournament that is unless they happen to win either division championship or conference tournament . And as of now things look rather bleak for Brad Stevens’ team and any possible ambitions that they might have of making it to the NCAA Tournament .
Last season the names of the players on everyone’s lips given the heroics of the team during the championship game were Shelvin Mack , Andrew Smith and Matt Howard . Mack now plies his trade with the Washington Wizards in the NBA having been taken 34th overall in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft . For the Bull Dogs this season the team is built around the talents of Chase Stigall , Smith , Ronald Nored , Kameron Woods to name but a few .
If the Big East , Pac 12 , ACC , Big Ten and the SEC are said to be the main powerhouse divisions within Men’s basketball . Then clearly the preponderance of teams that will take up the vast majority of the berths will come from within these divisions . I would certainly like to think that the Florida Gators led by coach Billy Donovan can lead his team deep into the tournament but much of that will be predicated upon the players getting into a rhythm of consistency that could lead to them winning the SEC Tournament itself. From thereon in, it’s simply about how you play , the ambition of that team and at this juncture Donovan I believe would like to add a third national title to his resume` !
At 19-5 , 7-2 within conference (SEC) . Granted, with the Kentucky Wildcats (24-1 [10-0]) led by coach John Calipari , whose team simply has been running rough-shod over opponents and leaving them as roadkill on the side of the road . An enviable match-up now, of the Gators and Wildcats would give both Calipari and Donovan a chance to gauge their respective teams and how they seem to be progressing as it relates to the season . Kentucky already has the upper hand , having defeated Billy Donovan’s players once this season with a resoundingly lopsided win 78-58. However , these two teams have a return date in Gainesville , Florida on March 3rd , 2012 when the outcome , Donovan hopes will be considerably different .
As an avid Duke Blue Devils’ fan , I have to admit the storied history of the program was one of the things that attracted me to Duke , and along with the the fact that Mike Krzyzewski was simply someone I felt at ease with , in terms of his demeanor as a coach ! Over the course of his career that has seen this respected giant amongst his peers lead the program to four national championships and multiple appearances in the Final Fours . That in of-itself doesn’t tell the whole story as it relates to Krzyzewski as he has also ensured that the graduation rates amongst his players is amongst the highest in the nation amongst college athletes but specifically amongst basketball. .
Though this season the Blue Devils have had their issues over the course of their schedule . The play of players such as Austin Rivers , Mason Plumlee , Seth Curry and Miles Plumlee gives the fans of the program hope that they can be a factor in this season’s NCAA Tournament . And while there have been detractors concerning the play of the team and a number of losses this season. Only an idiot would consider at this juncture to write off Duke basketball even before their season has come to a climax .
Now while Jim Boeheim has come under a great deal of criticism this season concerning his actions in leaping to the defense of his former assistant Bernie Fine and the accusations leveled against that assistant of sexual misconduct . With Fine having at first been placed on administrative leave , the now disgraced former coach has been summarily dismissed from the program . Boeheim for his part this year has surpassed Dean Smith in all-time wins , is now third amongst coaches and second amongst active coaches behind his Blue Devils’ counterpart , Mike Krzyzewski (920) . That however , is not what will define Jim Boeheim but what he brings to the table in terms his Orangmen this season .
If there’s one thing that Buckeyes’ coach Thad Matta has going for him it is that in Jared Sullinger he might just have the most well-rounded player the Big Ten Conference playing today . However , if Sullinger and his teammates are to survive the long haul of this season then they are going to have to raise the level of their play over the remainder the regular season . Seen as one of the early favorites for the NCAA Tournament given the amazing run at the start of their schedule Matta’s team has fallen back to earth in gaining a dose of reality. Now it remains to be seen how they acquit themselves as the season runs its course and the expectations placed upon Sullinger and the coach.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
The NCAA Tournament may well be the most admired and respected of the major sporting events that takes place over the calendar year . As a sports’ fan do you believe that the Men’s national basketball tournament has become an event that is to be admired ? At the same time with the money wagered on the NCAA tourney which by all counts ranges between $500 million to $750 million legally at establishments in the states where legal wagering on games are allowed . Strangely enough, the books at the various gaming establishments in Las Vegas stated that their take on the Superbowl won by the New York Giants was a mere $93.7 million ….. a figure I believe to somewhat on the conservative side given the magnitude of the game , the fan-base and viewership that there tends to be for the game ! Simply chime in with a comment as you feel befitting of this piece and as always thanks for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) LEXINGTON, KY – FEBRUARY 07: Kyle Wiltjer (33) of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball while defended by Erik Murphy (33) of the Florida Gators during the game at Rupp Arena on February 7, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images ….
(2) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball during the game against the Florida Gators at Rupp Arena on February 7, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images …..
(3) Florida head coach Billy Donovan reacts to a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. Kentucky won 78-58 . AP Photo/James Crisp …..
(4) Bradley Beal (23) of the Florida Gators shoots the ball during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Rupp Arena on February 7, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images …
(5) Brad Stevens seen here on the sidelines during a Butler Bull Dogs’ game this season . The team is having a difficult time of things as their schedule has progressed . In all likelihood the team could very well miss getting an invite for the NCAA Tournament . AP Photo …..
(6) In this Wednesday , Feb. 8, 2012 photo, North Carolina coach Roy Williams reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Duke in Chapel Hill, N.C. North Carolina went from nearly blowing out rival Duke to watching the Blue Devils snatch away a win with a last-second 3-pointer. AP Photo/Gerry Broome …….
(7) In this Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 photo, teammates hug Duke’s Austin Rivers (0) following Rivers’ winning shot to defeat North Carolina in an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C. North Carolina went from nearly blowing out rival Duke to watching the Blue Devils snatch away a win with Rivers’ last-second 3-pointer. AP Photo/Gerry Broome …….
(8) Duke’s guard Austin Rivers, right, shoots the game-winning basket over North Carolina forward Tyler Zeller (44) during the final seconds of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Duke won 85-84 . AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds …….
(9) Duke players celebrate after upsetting North Carolina 85-84 during an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds …. …..
(10) Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim reacts during the second half against Georgetown in an NCAA college basketball game in Syracuse, N.Y., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Syracuse won 64-61 in overtime . AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli ……
(11) Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine , right, knocks the ball loose from Georgetown’s Jason Clark , forcing a turnover to end the game in overtime, in an NCAA college basketball game in Syracuse, N.Y., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Syracuse won 64-61 . AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli …..
(12) Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (0) holds his hip as he walks off the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Purdue, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 87-84 . AP Photo/Terry Gilliam …..
(13) Ohio State coach Thad Matta yells at his players during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Purdue, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 87-84 . AP Photo/Terry Gilliam …
(14) Ohio State’s William Buford (44) shoots over Purdue’s Ryne Smith (24) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 87-84. AP Photo/Terry Gilliam …..
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