by Eddie Mayrose

Duke Basketball Back on Top

In one of the more compelling NCAA Championship games ever, the Duke Blue Devils retured to the pinnacle of College Basketball with a two point win over Butler; a Cinderella story right out of the movie, Hoosiers. There was no shortage of gripping story lines on either side; Duke’s return to the title game, Coach K’s place among the game’s coaching greats, the David vs. Goliath aspect of Butler’s run, the baby faced coach pitted against the old master and the realization that great basketball is played on every level of the NCAA. Neither team led by more than six points at any point in the contest that wasn’t decided until Butler’s Gordon Heyward barely missed a half-court heave at the buzzer, (what was Krzyzewski thinking on that last foul shot?), putting a cap on one of the best tournaments ever and emphasizing the vast difference between NCAA Basketball and Football. Those that oversee College Hoops get it; while their brethren on the gridiron perpetuate an yearly folly that does more to enrage than satisfy.

In any sport, championships are won by the team playing better than anyone else at the end; when it matters most. Good luck trying to find a hoops fan that thought Butler had this kind of run in them. Were this BCS Football, where computer are used to determine the two teams that will play for the title,  Butler would never even be offered a seat at the table.  Too small, weak schedule and low power rating would all be listed as reasons for their exclusion from football’s championship process. Even Duke, for that matter, would have been kept from the football title game as the third highest seed in the tourney. Yet, unlike the virtually perennial stinkers we see in the BCS Football Championship Game , we get a classic like Duke-Butler.  And Northern Iowa-Kansas, Robert Morris-Villanova or Cornell over Wisconsin.  How much fun would it have been last season to see the underdogs at Boise State take their shot at Alabama in the National Championship tilt? It’s almost as if the BCS is afraid of these upstarts; afraid that their success will expose the system’s obvious flaws. Too bad, as all the system really does consistently is deprive College Football fans of the same great games enjoyed annually by basketball fans everywhere.

Tiger Woods Returns In Time For The Masters

He’s finally done it.  Through all of the media frenzy surrounding his accident, the revelations of his dalliances and his rehabilitation for sexual addiction, I really only cared about one thing regarding Tiger Woods.  When was he going to play golf again?  Any of the other nonsense was between his wife and him and of no concern to me.  If the guy’s a bag of dirt, then, so be it.  I’m not inviting him over for dinner; I just want to watch him play.  But, finally, he went too far.  He ventured too far into my own world for me to remain indifferent.  He decided to cast a pall on the greatest sports week of the year.

The first week of April is heaven to a sports fan.  Over a seven day period, there is a feast of events starting with the Final Four, followed by Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season and then, The Masters.  Yet, this year, as I tuned in on Monday for my first ballgame since October, what did I get?  Wall-to-wall Tiger press conference.  On Tuesday, when I wanted to hear recaps of Duke’s incredible win over Butler?  Endless analyses by broadcasters turned therapists, evaluating Tiger’s performance during that press conference.  Then, today, as the year’s first major gets underway?  Anticipation of Tiger’s first shot; as if there were no other golfers vying for the Green Jacket.  That’s it, Tiger.  You’ve made my list.

I still don’t care about any of his extramarital activities and remained convinced that he’s only concerned with rehabilitating his image rather than his life.  That’s fine, because it’s none of my business, anyway .  But, start screwing with my sporting events, and we’ve got a problem.  Here’s hoping Woods fails to make the cut and leaves the rest of us to deal strictly with golf for the weekend’s final rounds.

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