When the final gun sounded at the Super Bowl yesterday, the city of Philadelphia was again spared the property-damaging bonfire a quarter-century in the making. While the majority of American sports fans will be spending the day mourning and mothballing their screen-printed replica jerseys, a few of us will be breaking out the party hats. There might even be cake, and this guy
Because this is the first day of the rest of college basketball season, my friends. In a few days, hoops action will swarm over SportsCenter's daily hour like a full-court trap defense. Now that the plodding and needlessly complicated game that is American football is safely back in the closet for another extended spell, we can concentrate on the really
important questions: who the Sports Illustrated
swimsuit cover model is going to be, and who's going to win the Patriot League.Shootaround!Patriot:
Streaking Holy Cross
(17-5, 8-1 PL), a team whose story is always best told with cartoons
, pulled two escape acts to go two games up on the field. On Friday, they slipped the surly bonds of Navy
and yesterday needed overtime to drop American
for their ninth straight win - some are even daring to whisper about a two-bid PL
, a can't miss in the long ago/faraway days before the football playoffs started, went down at the buzzer at Lehigh
57-54. Behind the Crusaders, there's now a three-way tie for second at 6-3 between all aforementioned teams not named Navy. In other Patriot League news, approximately 15 Americans opted for a national over-the-air broadcast of the Midshipmen's 84-69 Star Game win against Army
, instead of two more hours of Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw exploring their feelings for each other.Ivy:
Philadelphia beats New England! No, it's not a Dewey-Truman thing: Pennsylvania
leads the Ancient Eight after a perfect Harvard
weekend. They're four and oh in conference and have won seven straight. But the shocker here is that Princeton
sits in last place at 1-3 - because the regular season champion indeed goes to the Tournament, the preseason-favorite Tigers need to run the table if they want to survive the Ivy. The mission begins tomorrow night... at a packed-to-the-rafters Palestra. (Uh-oh.)Game! Of! The! Night!
It's a light (yet Big) Monday, so we're off to an inter-division seeding jostle in the Mid-American. Ohio
(12-7, 7-4 MAC) has won four straight, and will be playing their second game in nine days against former West division leaders Bowling Green
(12-6, 6-4 MAC). The Bobcats won that one, 72-69, and tonight they're the road team against a squad whose fading record doesn't indicate that their four league losses have each been final-minute decisions. This is the MAC TV game of the week, so check your pizza-dish schedule at the 8:00 hour; all others will have to pay-for-play over the Web
. But if you're an 11-year-old in the Bowling Green area, nag your folks to take you to Anderson Arena - it's Take A Kid To The Game
night, and you'll get in for free.A fantastic feature
about the 1954-55 San Francisco
Dons by the Post-Dispatch's
Stu Durando. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the national championship squad of Bill Russell and K.C. Jones, a team that won with three African-American starters a full decade before the soon-to-be-a-major-motion-picture Texas Western
win over Kentucky
. It lacks the heroes-and-villains clarity necessary for a cinematic retelling, but the 1966 championship story likely wouldn't have happened if not for a groundbreaking team from an overwhelmingly white Bay Area Catholic school.
"We were, in effect, being spokesmen for black people in this country," [Dons player Hal] Perry said. "And we knew that. Whatever we were doing we knew the government was watching. They were observing us because we were winning."
And no, observant long-time readers with my e-mail address on speed-dial, I haven't forgotten. The second of four legs of the 100 Games Project
is complete, and it's time to name my second All-Mid-Majority Team. The rules: no repeats, and no MMBOW's. This squad is made up of players I saw with my own two eyes during games 26-50, and here's the first set.
We're going with a three-guard lineup this time.PG
- Tabby Cunningham
- Kevin Hamilton
, Holy CrossSG
- Tim Begley
- Taylor Coppenrath
- Ryan Gomes
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