The NCAA Games were Pretty Good Yesterday

I got a chance to hang out with a few friends watching the NCAA March Madness games yesterday.  Ed Hamilton, aka Rab, invited a few of us over to watch games and enjoy.  My 76ers have been horrible and my interest in basketball has waned because of it.  The games presented a chance to enjoy an afternoon of fun, food and drinks.  First the food.  We had chili, spaghetti, hot sausages with raw onions and fried chicken.  Gerri showed up with some Grey Goose to add to an assortment of beer and snacks.  We could have watched Sesame Street and I would have still had fun.

Our first game featured Stanford versus Kansas.  Kansas has traditionally been a basketball powerhouse.  One of my favorite players to come from this university is Danny Manning.  Danny won a national championship as a player with the Jayhawks back in 1988.  He is currently a coach for the University of Tulsa.  He team suffered an early exit at the hands of UCLA.  I wanted to see what the hype was about the Canadian import Andrew Wiggins.  Many experts predict that he will be the number one pick if he enters the NBA draft.  What I saw yesterday was a very skinny player who only took six shots and disappeared when the pressure was on.  Carmelo Anthony he is not.

I was impressed by the coaching skills of Johnny Dawkins.  I remember Johnny Dawkins when he was a player for Duke.  Johnny Dawkins reached the NCAA Championship game where his team lost to Louisville.  He was the Naismith Player of the Year in his senior year.  He showed a great deal of acumen on the sideline in leading his Stanford team to victory over Bill Self and Kansas.  Kevin Ollie and Tommy Amaker are also former NBA players who are now honing their skills on March's biggest stage for basketball.  Billy Donovan has won a couple of national championships with the Florida Gators.   It is a tough profession but the rewards are great when you win.

The second game that we watched was the Wichita State versus Kentucky match up.  Wichita State was undefeated up until this meeting.  I was a Kentucky fan back when Jack Givens won the National Title with them back in 1978.  I am really dating myself but I have been a fan of college basketball for years.  Lately, the Wildcats have been a one and done factory for All Americans who cannot enter the draft right out of high school anymore.  I see them as Goliath and I like pulling for the under dog.  It was a tight, extremely exciting game.  One freshman that lived up to the hype was Julius Randle.  He played a man's game and also had help from the other soon to be pro players on this team.  Kentucky will move on to the Sweet 16 and Wichita State will ponder its almost perfect season.

I did not get a chance to watch Arizona advance.  The Southeastern Conference is doing very well in this tournament.  My local teams, Villanova and St. Joe's, put up valiant efforts but won't proceed.  The Duke Blue Devils are watching from the sidelines also.  What happened to the Georgetown Hoyas this year?  I do not think anyone will win the $1 billion challenge for a perfect bracket this year.  Not many people had Harvard beating Cincinnati.  Who thought Mercer would slay giants like Ohio State?  March Madness is in effect.  I look forward to some of next weekend's games.  Have a great day.

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