The misery of Madness
Song girls swaying, the Spirit of Troy playing, and the Trojans drive for another score. Combine the elements and you form a mental picture of USC football. But here in the spring, I blend those images and think of what could have been.
Self imposed sanctions have relegated USC to nothing more than a wallflower at this season’s ball. With each orchestral note played, we watch other feet in motion, wondering how fast and far (if granted an opportunity) ours would have traveled across the floor.
The first week of tournament play certainly wasn’t lacking in upsets, but what is most upsetting is watching teams advance, knowing you’ve conquered them before. So far, three of the qualifiers for the ‘sweet 16’ are linked by losses to USC. It was a 77-55 victory over Tennessee, a 60-49 triumph over St. Mary’s, and a season sweep of Washington. No one knows, remembers, or cares. With one player, and one check, we’ve rendered ourselves insignificant today, and tomorrow can’t come soon enough.
Notes: The Pac 10 isn’t as weak as advertised. College basketball is a parade of parity, and this continues to be proven each spring.
The Big East was overrated— again, to no surprise. It’s the cash cow of college hoops, so even with 5 of the 8 participants eliminated in the first three days, it’s good television.
I strongly believe that St. Mary’s can beat Duke. If the Blue Devils have beaten the Gaels by the time you read this, ignore the statement. If St. Mary’s pulls another upset, give me that pat on the back. If not for Northern Iowa, the Gaels would be the team flying most under the radar in this tournament.
Who’s my current favorite to win it all? It’s Kentucky, because no team displayed more dominance in the opening rounds. Ohio State would be my sleeper (if you can really call them that). Here’s the irony, if the Wildcats are the last men standing, John Calipari will be cutting down the nets, despite a trail of sanctions imposed on the two schools he left behind. Yet, here we are, USC, just sitting and watching.