Two storied programs are squaring off in New Orleans this evening to determine college basketball’s NCAA Men’s Division I National Champion for 2012. March Madness has been lackluster and totally devoid of drama. So what do I want from Kentucky and Kansas tonight? Four simple things….
1.) Kansas to win. This will get towards my 2nd wish, but one of the reasons I want Kansas to win is because it would at least get one bracket on this site 100% accurate in picking the winner. Also, the Jayhawks have been the only team in this tourney who have had close finishes in the closing minutes (including their 13 pt win over North Carolina) virtually throughout the tournament. I rip on Bill Self a lot, but he did a good job of avoiding his usual terrible upset and rallying to beat an arguably superior Ohio State team. Oh, and I’d rather have Self win than….
2.) John Calipari losing again. I cannot stand John Calipari as a head coach. He’s fantastic at his job but he’s had TWO Final Four teams wiped off the records due to NCAA violations. While Calipari did not directly commit them thus was never individually punished, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have played dumb on the Derrick Rose-SAT scandal at Memphis or Marcus Camby’s $40,000 “gift” from an agent at UMass. He is the only coach in the history of college basketball to have multiple teams vacate Final Four appearances. I’m certain that when all is said and done and Kentucky’s entire roster bolts for the NBA the NCAA will “discover” violations in the Wildcats’ program that will lead to a 3rd vacating. I don’t hate Kentucky and think they’re an excellent team, the guy who coaches them? Great basketball coach, but very much dirty.
3.) NO LANE VIOLATIONS! Syracuse vs. UNC-Asheville, Notre Dame vs. Xavier, and Kansas vs. Ohio State have all been affected by late-game lane violation calls. Just terrible. No more stupid basketball, okay? And Aaron Craft’s underhanded playground attempt at an intentional miss symbolized the brain fades from this entire tournament.
4.) Jim Nantz to come up with a spontaneous championship call. Seriously, Nantz, why? For whatever reason when March Madness comes around he unleashes the puns before delivering a completely scripted call of the winner of the title game. Just some examples over the years:
“The Huskies are the top dog in 2011!”
“And Duke, is the King of the dance, 2010!”
“Rock, Chalk, Championship! Kansas takes the title!” (2008, which I predicted)
If the game is close and down to the final shot (I doubt it), please do not burst out some newspaper headline. He is probably the only announcer I can think of who actually does this consistently. Oh, and it will be mighty difficult to make that call anyway because Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr do not ever shut the hell up when the game is on. I really don’t see a need for a three-man booth in any sport.
Oh yeah, Kansas 68 Kentucky 63 with Thomas Robinson as tournament MOP. Book it, please!