John P. Wise's Blog
I love Bob Huggins. I really do.
I covered his Bearcats as a sports writer for my college newspaper, the University of Cincinnati's The News Record. Thanks to him, I earned a free trip to exotic Minneapolis around this time of year in 1992, detailing UC's first Final Four appearance in 30 years.
The first day of the first round of the NCAA Tournament brought great excitement into living rooms, sports bars and office cubicles everywhere.
We probably say it more than we remember, but I can't recall the opening day of America's greatest sporting event being as excellent as Thursday was. Here's what we'll take away from it:
But did you win any money last year or the year before? I thought not.
If you abandon your familiar logic and consider a new approach, you just might look like you know what you're doing come Final Four weekend. Here are the issues you should think about:
Or you might actually be that annoying colleague.
Unless you're watching a Tom Cruise movie and he's trying to get the girl, there are no sure things in life.
Before taking the floor in its Big East Tournament opener Thursday, Syracuse was a lock for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, which begins next week.
Kansas and Kentucky appear to be headed toward top seeds, and Duke leads Ohio State, Purdue and maybe West Virginia for that fourth No. 1 slot.
But Syracuse lost to longtime rival Georgetown on Thursday, which means the debate is on about whether the Orange still deserve a top seed.
Those pesky Cincinnati Bearcats won their second game in two nights late Wednesday and their reward is a quarterfinal game against old friend Bob Huggins and the Big East Tournament's third-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers (9 p.m., ESPN).
While all the talk is about teams and brackets and seeds, let's not forget about some of the top individual players who hope to lead those squads deep into the NCAA Tournament.
So let's get started with my five leading candidates to win the coveted Naismith Award, which honors the best player in men's college basketball:
Saturday is full of huge hardwood matchups, and just when you're done shaking off the hoops hangover the next day, a potential Big Ten title game stares you right in the face on Sunday afternoon.
Kentucky and Tennessee get things started at noon (CBS) Saturday. The Vols are looking to avenge a loss in Lexington two weeks ago, and they just might pull it off this time.