* I guess Pitino is doing a good job this year. If you call not suffering through his typical underachiving slump in December with worse talent an improvement on his coaching, then you should start stumping for his Coach of the Year nomination. The only other thing that's changed at Louisville (besides the crappy hodge-podge of mid-major stars Pitino has assembled this year) are all the injuries. Next year, when Pitino gets in his big recruting class, he should take concussions more seriously and start dishing out a few; the Emergency Room Cardinals will make him look like a coaching genius yet again!
* Utah State is over-hyped every year because of that fat guy. Wild Bill has got just about every sports columnist and broadcast producer blinded by his pale poundage. You can put a college basketball team in a tiara and give them lessons, but that doesn't make them the Princess of the Sweet 16. Maybe if Utah State would lose the fat and start working out -- and, ya know, win a few games that matter -- people other than chubby chasers would take them seriously.
* Speaking of masquerading: When you're more excited about promoting Gus Johnson than you are your actual basketball games, Big Tenleventy, maybe you shouldn't let your refs worship Bo Ryan.
* And just so we're clear: College basketball sucks. The fans all suck because they don't really like basketball, they just like the laundry. The talented athletes all suck because they are over-handled and under-disciplined and by family and coaches. The not-talented athletes suck because they're not talented. The coaches suck because the coaches just want their star to shine the brightest. The NCAA is just one whirling vortex of suck that hopes a team like Butler gets to the Final Four every year; rooting for sucky underdogs is a much-better neutral audience attraction than listening to Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg sucking off the latest big-name school who bought the best talent that year.
Shit. I gotta go workout. Catch you losers later.
It must have felt so good. Gus Johnson worked up into a lather that aroused the faithful. The fans were loud and strong, all night long. And when the clock hit zero, Assembly Hall exploded in ecstasy as the Hoosier faithful Crimson and Creamed the court.
But the Hoosiers weren't allowed to lay around and enjoy the post-victory endorphins. Haters be hatin'. Paraphrased, the haters say, "A storied program like Indiana should not be storming the court like some mid-major."
The Hoosier faithful have been scrambling to defend their students coming onto the floor. Greg Rosenstein from the Indiana Daily Student newspaper's sports blog:
For everything the Hoosiers have gone through in the past few years – recruiting violations, ineligibility issues, injury problems – I can see why those in attendance would want to rush the floor.
You know, Kentucky fans have went through all those things. The scandals and NCAA penalties of the late 1980s were much worse than Kelvin Sampson's 3-way recruiting scandal. In Rick Pitino's first year, his undersized and limited-talent Wildcats beat AP Poll #25 Alabama in Rupp Arena, and there was no court storming. A few weeks later, Pitino secured a significant upset by defeating #12 LSU in Rupp. Again the Kentucky fans didn't rush the court.
Perhaps that's not a fair comparison for the Hoosiers. (Besides the fact that Kentucky fans only get aroused when they can complain about being persecuted. Free Enes!) The IDS's Greg Rosenstein continues:
It was also Tom Crean’s first win at IU against a ranked opponent.
Well, he has been there for three seasons. That's is a long time to be pent up for a top-25 win. I mean, look at Crean running around the stadium after the game
basking in the cheers without bringing his team along cheering for the fans:
Clearly the coach needed to let it all out.
But shouldn't the storied institution of Indiana basketball -- you know, the one with banners on the wall -- act like a team that was once feared for their incredible winning tradition and semi-psychotic coach? Not according to Terry Hutchens on his IndyStar HoosierInsider blog:
Sure, if you have a team that is used to winning big games and a program that is considered one of the elite, you probably don’t rush the court in that situation. But Indiana basketball is none of those things.
I absolutely agree. #iulol