"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles CEO, sportsnetwork.com
Hatboro, PA (Sports Network) --
If Al Skinner had a clue what the game of basketball was all about, he probably would have made more money with the Nets and basketball fans would remember his name as one of note prior to his taking the helm at Boston College. He is undeniable proof that having played the game is not an adequate credential for being able to coach or understand it. The mentor for the BC Eagles blew it, big time. Villanova was ripe for the taking and Skinner did all that he could to send the Wildcats to the much sought after Elite Eight. Actually, he succeeded in doing so.
Forget the fact that the referees were still trying out during a game this important, allowing Villanova to push, shove, feel and fondle on defense like a teenager on a first date, trip and, beyond belief, pull a Boston College player to the hardwoods and then have a zebra blow the whistle against BC for walking!!! How do you stay with a game in slow motion, never attempting to move the ball down court with any degree of necessity or speed, no fast break attempts and no urgency to your play? How about an absence of coaching skill that would otherwise have your players slapping at the hands of the boys with the ?V? every time they pawed one of your guys to get the attention of the referees that were busy watching something other than the game in progress? Inept, inexperienced and incompetent.
That being said, I actually had Villanova in one of my two bracket entries. Journalistically speaking, one thing had nothing to do with the other. Further, as you may recall, I also had Duke and Florida in the championship game of another with Villanova getting knocked out earlier than anticipated. Also, UCLA losing to Duke as its exit from the tourney together, on that one, with Connecticut not making it to the Final Four. Did you follow that? No matter.
Al Skinner is undeniable proof that having played the game is not an adequate credential for being able to coach or understand it.
So, with honesty and a tally of where we are, would have done, could have done, should have done and actually did, here is what we underwent the past few days during which I was in Adult City, Las Vegas where, happily, what took place in Vegas did not stay there. It came home with me. But, that did not add up to winnings from the basketball games, it was from a poker tournament that my traveling buddy, Frank, and I entered ? he played, we won. Nice.
Without considering the all important credo of those of us who understand the importance of it ? i.e., it is not whether you win or lose but whether you covered that counts ? I took Connecticut to the final eight but never imagined that they would be playing George Mason. Wake-up call for the Huskies and I like them to send the upstarts that have surprised everyone home. Although I had Villanova on one pool and BC in the other, I honestly, as noted above, thought the boys from Philadelphia would be winging their way back to the dorms, preparing for Spring Break. Florida should accomplish that despite its being one of the remaining teams thanks to yet another last second basket. Florida and UConn to the Final Four.
Duke was my choice in one, losing to Connecticut in the final game. So much for that. I also had them beating Florida in the other. However, the way things stand right now, Texas was also a selection, but they now have to play LSU instead of the Blue Devils. Tough game, very tough. The edge goes to Texas but a better game to watch than to consider for an investment of any sort. I have the same feeling about Memphis and UCLA. Actually, in another burst of honesty, I had Memphis beating Gonzaga in one and UCLA besting Pitt in the other. Put them together (OK, give me a slight break here) and it is now the Tigers and Bruins, with the former having won each of their last three by 16 points and the latter having struggled in their last two after an easy first round, then beating Alabama by 3 and coming back in an incredible outing against Gonzaga. Memphis looks like the play here but only with your money.
Final tally ? Texas, Connecticut, Florida and Memphis. The way things have been going with this tournament so far, every game figures to go down to the wire.
Alright, let?s check in on the point spreads ? Texas is 3 over LSU; Memphis 3 ? over UCLA; Connecticut 9 vs. George Mason and Villanova 2 vs. Florida. So, given that information, what now? Longhorns, Tigers and Huskies in a teaser with the Gators. For the uninformed and uninitiated, that means what is affectionately known as a ?6-point teaser? where you get to add or subtract another 6 points to the given point-spread. You must take two sides and win both. That means UConn -3 and/or Florida +8. On the other hand, for the more adventurous among you, two additional choices are George Mason +15 and/or Villanova +4. You can mix ?n match any way that you see fit. Fun, isn?t it? That is why they call them teasers.
Are any of those as good as my choice of Duke as the eventual winner of it all in one of my brackets? Better. Remember, I also had Connecticut moving on with all the others, one way or the other. Not bad. Can you really watch these games with just a passing interest, that of a fan totally immersed in the insanity and excitement that is March Madness and which has given us one incredibly galvanizing and electrifying finish after the other? You gotta be kidding!!!