I'll be at the Forum, but one eye will certainly be on events in NYC. I couldn't be more impressed by the way the Memphis basketball team has begun its season. So many young players, but are those young players ever filled with energy and talent...it can be frightening to watch when they are in full flight. Obviously, there are stretches of time when they are taking bad shots and going altogether too fast, but those have been far fewer in number than any reasonable person could expect.
Merely by making it this far in this tournament, the Tigers have done their NCAA Tournament seeding a world of good. Wins over Wisconsin-Milwaukee (not a bad team at all), and two ranked opponents away from home (at Alabama, and UCLA on a neutral court) instantly bump up the team's RPI and national exposure. Merely playing Duke will cause the RPI to shoot up, as well. Games against Texas and Gonzaga await this team later this year, so strength of schedule should not be an issue come March (despite the embarrasing futility of C-USA as a basketball conference).
There is no doubt that this is as talented a team as Memphis has ever had. The question remains: will this be the best team Memphis has ever had? Tonight, we'll see how they handle the biggest test they can face right now: the evil, odious Duke, led by rat-faced tyrant Mike Krzyzewski.
As an aside, I don't know if I say it enough, but I really do hate Duke and Krzyzyzyzyzyzweswski. It is compounded by the fact that nut-hugging shill Dickie V is on the call tonight. Goodness. You will need a fire hose tonight to keep Vitale from actually kissing Krzyzewski on the mouth. The screaming about Duke's tradition and coaching and atmosphere and diaper dandies and Cameron crazies and pounding the floor and Christian Laettner and whatever else Vitale will spew tonight is going to make at least one person destroy their television.
The worst part about Duke is the facade Krzyzewski keeps up -- supposedly all class, but he's every bit the bully Bobby Knight (his mentor) is. Krzyzewski just does it behind closed doors. Duke is a fine school with a beautiful campus and a successful basketball team...we don't need to give them any more hype/publicity, etc. than they already get. So, essentially, shut up, Vitale and ESPN.
And lest you think the feeling isn't mutual, look at the picture on Coach K's "friend" portion of his website:
Speaking of his website, Coach K's quotes page sucks, as well. It's full of garbage quotes. Let's take a look at some:
(Wow. Startling insight, Mike.)
(Yes, those are two separate quotes. Apparently, repetition is also important. You'll see this theme again later.)
“Visualize a wagon wheel as a complete team. A leader might be the hub of the wheel at the center. Now suppose the spokes are the connecting relationships the leader is building with people on the outer rim of the wheel. If the hub is removed, then the entire wheel collapses. In a situation like that, if a team loses the leader, the entire team collapses.”
(What the hell? Not exactly a wordsmith there.)
“In leadership, there are no words more important than trust. In any organization, trust must be developed among every member of the team if success is going to be achieved.”
(Trust is only one word, Mike.)
(Instant trust? I thought you just said it had to be developed, Mike.)
(This works great for the Spalding family, less so for everyone else.)
(Those two are literally back to back on the page. Again. That's just lazy, Mike. At least give us some original crap quotes.)
(All right, so I made this one up. But I bet he's thought that before.)
So, as we can see, he's an overrated coach, a terrible quote, and he's got a loudmouth honk singing his praises constantly. Why would anyone cheer for Duke? That's like cheering for pure hate.
Tigers win tonight, 90-85.