ATB: When Do TCU and Auburn Play?Posted by rtmsf on January 11th, 2011
The Lede. Yes, we’re guilty of making the same, tired, cliched reference to not a real championship every year, but we’re also tired of the hypocrisy and lies that we’re spoon-fed as justification for it. Tonight NCAA football once again crowned a champion using a system that fails to allow for every team to have a legitimate chance to win it all. This would actually be fine with us if the powers-that-be were honest with the public about their blind pursuit of enormous dollars and said so; but instead they hide behind patently absurd arguments about the sanctity of student-athletes, tradition and preserving the importance of the regular season. The same regular season where a team can go undefeated but not be invited onto the grand stage; the same plantation-style economic tradition that, as Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post nails, ensures it; and the same mantras about student-athletes and academics that allows schools to play games on nearly any night of the week and has bastardized the postseason to the point where nobody cares much beyond the singular final game. It’s utterly shameful, and college football fans who defend it are a little like those poor souls who are fooled by big business into actually believing that the only pathway to a fulfilling life is through taking on mountains of debt. If they’d take a step back and remove heart and emotion from the equation, they’d actually see that they’re the ones getting played. And why is this diatribe on a college basketball site? Because the BCS machine drives college athletics to an absurd point where nobody programs such as Texas Tech have more sway in the collegiate landscape than historic basketball programs like Kansas, who are nearly thrown by the wayside in pursuit of the football dollar. Out of courtesy to the BCS national championship game, it was a light night… but on to hoops…
Your Watercooler Moment. 71% From Three. A team isn’t going to lose many games when it shoots over 70% from behind the arc, and tonight’s performance by Marquette against Notre Dame was no exception. The Golden Eagles went 12-17 from deep compared to the 3-16 that the Irish threw up, and the game was really never close in the second half as a result. Like seemingly every year since Buzz Williams took over at Marquette, new players have stepped up to replace others, and this year’s duo to pick up for the loss of Lazar Hayward has been Dwight Buycks and Jae Crowder. Buycks (21/4 tonight) has increased his scoring output by nearly four points per night over last season and Crowder has come in from the JuCo ranks to contribute 13/7 per game. With four players (including Darius Johnson-Odom and Jimmy Butler) capable of going for 20+ on a given night (Vander Blue is a fifth if you want to get crazy), Marquette has as much offensive firepower as nearly any team in the country (and certainly in the Big East). Their only problem is defensively where they struggle to make stops, but on nights like tonight when things are dropping through the net with regularity, the Golden Eagles are very tough to beat. Considering that all of MU’s losses this year were to good teams in close games — Duke, Pitt, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Gonzaga — if Williams’ team can find a way to make a few more defensive stands down the stretch, they could be dynamite by March.
Tweet of the Night. Wow, this is brilliant.