The College Basketball Closer is written by the gang at Storming The Floor.
In typical fashion, political primary season has become more of a referendum on candidate popularity and charisma, with nary a position on the issues in sight. Super Tuesday may have clarified the electability conundrum for some of the rat-racers, but there's one issue we just can't ignore as we march inexorably toward the biggest day on any political pundit's calendar: Tournament Selection Sunday.
Which candidate will do right by college basketball?
• Husband Bill is a huge Arkansas Razorback fan. Was at the 1993 National Championship.
• Would most likely claim to be a fan of all 300 plus college basketball teams.
• Could do wonders for the women's college basketball game.
• Brother-in-law Craig Robinson is head coach at Brown.
• Noted in "The Audacity of Hope" that watching college hoops was one of the benefits of living away from family in D.C.
• Has been known to play some ball on the campaign trail.
• May be able to revitalize Illini hoops.
• Well-known Arizona sports enthusiast.
• Was in Indianapolis when Arizona topped Kentucky for the National Championship.
• Wants to ban gambling on college sports.
• Posted his tournament picks online, picked all #1 seeds to make the Final Four.
• Ran the 2002 SLC Winter Olympics, which is at least sports-related.
• Went to Stanford and BYU, both of which will likely be dancing.
• Mormons tend to be good at college basketball (holla atcha boy, Shawn Bradley!).
At Storming the Floor, we've thrown our considerable voting bloc behind Obama. McCain seems passionate, but who picks all #1 seeds? With fitness buff George W. Bush leaving the White House, we'd like to know that our next president can still take down any other world leader in a pick-up game, if it ever comes to that.
Glad That's Over, Let's Do It Again Next Month. Duke 89 - UNC 78. Coach K notched his 795th career victory against his toughest rival, as the Blue Devils poured in thirteen buckets from behind the arc, a stark contrast to the 20 percent from three-point range by the Tarheels. Tyler Hansbrough went out man-style, with 28 points and 17 boards, but beanpole Kyle Singler's 14 and 11 were nothing to sneeze at, either. Duke now has the inside track to easy street.
Dear Diary... Baylor 80 - Texas Tech 74. Bryce Drew has had a few more years to practice this whole "following your dad into coaching" thing, and it showed. According to game reports, Pat Knight had a notebook and was actually writing things down during the game. This does not bode well.
SEC is Resurrection Central. Kentucky 66 - Auburn 63. A quick look at the top of the SEC standings shows Arkansas, Florida, and Kentucky within striking distance of the league's top spot. That's three programs that were left for dead just one short month ago. Injury problems made this an incredibly tight game - The Wildcats used only two bench players, and the Tigers only one. Patrick Patterson provided the winning margin on the road, hitting clutch free throws in the final minute of play en route to a 19 point, 8 rebound night.
Tonight's Big Game, Plus One That's Just Fun to Talk About
Love to Love You, Baby. UCLA (20-2) at Washington State (17-4). Make no mistake, the Cougars are slipping, and the Bruins are streaking. In a recent loss to Stanford, WSU committed only four turnovers while stripping the Cardinal eleven times, so that isn't the problem. A 25 percent rate from behind the arc in the last two Pac-10 losses might need fixing, however. UCLA will soldier on without Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who has an ankle sprain. I hear the other guys on the team are pretty good, though.
I Don't Do Contracts, But My Word's Stronger than Oak. Indiana (18-3) at Illinois (10-13). Fans in Champaign have made a solid verbal commitment to go easy on Eric Gordon. At least they're probably, kinda, maybe, sorta getting the well-traveled Alex Legion next season.