Life is so strange. I don’t know why, but somebody, somebody has to cry. There’s gonna be no dancing. There’s gonna be no dancing. There’s gonna be no dancing when they get home. -Elvis Costello
Public Service Announcement: Ok, here we go! By definition, bracketology is the process of predicting the field of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It incorporates some method of predicting what the NCAA Selection Committee will use as its Ratings Percentage Index in order to determine the 65 teams that will be lucky enough to win an NCAA Championship. In this version of bracketology, I am detrmining some teams who won’t make the field of 65 teams. The teams, as the kids like to say, who won’t be dancing.
There was a time King David “danced before the Lord with all his might… leaping and dancing before the Lord.” That was then. This is now. Now, it seems, there are more than a few former kings who will not be doing any dancing. It seems there are at least five former kings who have found themselves stuck in the town of Beaumont. Footloose style. But not fancy free.
Under Lute Olson, the Wildcat basketball team had reached the Big Dance for 25 consecutive years. Got the Big Chance for 25 consecutive years. The Big Chance to advance for 25 consecutive years. Under Lute Olson, Arizona was formerly known as Point Guard U. Formerly trotting out point guards and others such as Sean Elliott, Steve Kerr, Khalid Reeves, Damon Stoudamire, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Richard Jefferson, Gilbert Arenas, and Jerryd Bayless. 11 NBA Championships have been won by former Wildcats players. Since the NBA draft was shortened to two rounds in 1989, Arizona leads the nation with 33 selections. This year, under Sean Miller, the only player they trot out worth watching is Nic Wise. This year, under Sean Miller, they will need a miracle. They will need to win the Pac-10 tournament in order to earn a 26th straight NCAA appearance. Not bloody likely.
Since 1990, UConn has been to the Final Four three times. Since 1990, UConn has been to the Elite Eight eight times. Eight! You hear that Ted Sarandis? Eight! Since 1990, they have gotten into the tournament sixteen times. Won two championships. This year, like dear old bubbe used to say, they ain’t winning bupkus. They blew that chance down in South Florida. In a battle of bubble teams, the Bulls dashed all the Huskies’ hopes. Yeah, but you know what? This one, this one right here. This was my dream, my wish. And it didn’t come true. So I’m taking it back. I’m taking them all back. Goonies style. UConn ain’t taking nothing back. Not after finishing the regular season 7-11 in conference play. Not after winning only three games against top 50 teams. The Huskies are 4-8 in their last 12. The Huskies have lost three in a row. The Huskies will not be dancing this year.
John Wooden must be rolling around in his grave. UCLA is steeped with basketball tradition. UCLA is to college basketball what the Celtics and Lakers are to the NBA. 11 national championships. 34 first-team All-America selections. An 88-game win streak. And on and on. And so it goes and so it goes, and so it goes, but where it’s goin’ no one knows. Nick Lowe may not know where it’s going, but I know where it’s not going. It’s not going dancing. This version of UCLA basketball just ain’t what it used to be. The Bruins finished the season at 13-17 overall and 8-10 in conference play. They will finish the year with only their third losing since 1947-48.
Welcome to Indiana basketball. This is not your daddy’s Indiana Basketball. Heck, it’s not even your grand-daddy’s Indiana basketball. This was once a proud basketball program. Say what you will about Bobby Knight, but this nonsense would never ever have taken place under his watch. Under his watch, Indiana won three NCAA Championships. Under his watch, Indiana won 11 Big Ten Championships. How did we get here? This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. Yes Virginia, Tom Crean just got a big one against Northwestern Big is relative term. The Hoosiers had lost 11 straight before defeating Northwestern 88-80 in overtime. I know they battled injuries all year. I also know they finished the regular season with a 10-20 record overall and a 4-14 mark in the Big Ten. Under Bobby Knight, that would be inconceivable. I know I keep using that word. I think it means what I think it means. I think it means Indiana will not be dancing.
I’m a Tar Heel born, I’m a Tar Heel bred. When I die, I’m a Tar Heel dead. That’s just what this North Carolina basketball program is this year, Tar Heel dead. A few weeks back, you would have wondered if things could get any worse for this storybook franchise. Wondered if things could get any worse for this once basked in glorybook franchise. This once championship galoreybook franchise. Saturday night, things got worse. Much worse. Saturday night, Duke blew UNC right out of the gym. Right out the Cameron Indoor Stadium. It was the worst loss of the season for North Carolina in a season full of bad losses. 16-15 worth of bad losses.
Peace out homies. Six two and Even!