It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to
The NCAA tournament has always been an annual showcase for grown men and their emotions. Roy Williams has made his sniffly press-conferences voguish (“I just care about these darned kids so much…”). Relax Roy, most of your players are going to be millionaires like you, I think they’ll heal. Who could forget the ubiquity of Duke’s Thomas Hill, crying in disbelief after Laettner’s ’92 heave? Every year we bare witness to the raw emotions of players realizing their seasons, or careers, have come to a bitter end; their dance now over. Yet, with every “hold the towel over your face as to mask the tears” episode, I’m reminded why the tournament is the single greatest sporting event on earth (right behind the World Baseball Classic and the Stanley Cup of course). I don’t feel embarrasment for the downtrodden, instead, I’m evoked with empathy for those who have put it all on the line for pride alone. There is one exception, however; Duke. It seems every time the “Dukies” (as Big Baby likes to call ’em) make an early exit, there’s always a few who rest themselves on the shoulder of Coach K, as he softly strokes their hair. This only evokes pleasure, as the Duke players are now just out of place students at a really hard school. All I could think about when JJ checked out for the final time last night, desperately fighting back tears like he’s watching The Notebook in a room full of guys, was a scene from A Christmas Story. You know, when the bully, Scott Farkas, hits Ralphy with a snowball: “Are you gonna cry? Crryyy, cryyyy…” Maybe it makes me insensitive, but I think it just makes me a UK fan. Welcome to SEC defense JJ, better luck next…oops, nevermind.
We were then treated to the antics of Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison. I was waiting for the towel boys to come over to where he was laying and start wiping up. I’m sure when you literally hand a game of such importance to an opponent it hurts, but that doesn’t grant you the right to weep like it’s your first night in Shawshank. As Karl Marx might have said, “there’s no crying in socialism.”
If I were on the marketing team for Kleenex, I would start an ad campaign similar to Disney’s. While the winners are busy telling the camera about their future visit to Orlando, put a camera on the losers and have them say, “You got a Kleenex?” Just twisted enough to work.
I had Texas beating WV in my bracket, but nobody deserves such an extreme array of emotions in such a short period of time like Mountaineers faithful had to endure last night. Plus, perhaps my favorite non-UK baller of all time, Mike Gansey, doesn’t deserve to go out like that.
While it looks like the Ole Miss job was Andy Kennedy’s all along, I’m glad John Pelphrey withdrew his name from consideration. The Ole Miss job is as dead-end as owning a Hawaiin Ice stand. “Big Red” will have plenty of better opportunites after he takes S. Alabama to the tourney again next year. As for Kennedy, I feel for him. He deserved to stay on at Cincy, and will find that basketball in Oxford isn’t a happy marriage. Nevertheless, Cincy made a great hire in Mick Cronin, and maybe he will have a big enough pair to start a series with Kentucky.
Bob Huggins finds himself in the bright lights of Manhattan…Kansas. Should be good for Huggy, as he is now in the mecca of JUCO’s, and non-roadblocked highways. Now, just convince Mayo and Walker that K-State is not in NYC and you’ll be good to go…for one year. Look forward to seeing them bow out of the tournament in the first round from now on.
While we’re on the Cincinnati theme, Tyrus Thomas reminds me of Kenyon Martin. Too bad he’s going pro like the rest of the LSU roster.