Wednesday, March 09, 2011

03/09 Quickie: Tressel, Heat, CBB

On Jim Tressel, let's start with this: His explanation last night strained all boundaries of credibility, to the point where I -- and many others -- simply don't believe his story.

It is a Fundamental Truth in the Quickie canon that it is always the cover-up and never the crime. And that's where we are here: Tressel's failure to come forward -- to his school in April, to the NCAA in December, to anyone ever (save for being forced to in January).

His self-styled senatorial bearing simply reminded me of yet another shady pol: Smooth talking, but saying absolutely nothing.

Perhaps it is the way that Tressel portrays himself that makes his hypocrisy more nagging than other coaches who are who we (and they) think they are.

Anyway: Two games' suspension feels like a joke. Not when his players got 5.

Here is my suggestion (although it will never really be considered): Tressel should be banned for the entire 2011 season. If the school wants to keep him for 2012 and beyond, fine.

But given that Tressel's entire 2010 season will possibly/probably be wiped off the books completely, it feels appropriate that he give up the season before he has the chance to defile it.

One thing is for sure: For someone who obviously cares desperately about his reputation and his legacy, Tressel has seen both stained with "first-paragraph-of-obituary" conduct.

*****

The Heat lose again (again): When just two of the Big Three play well, the team is ordinary. Chris Bosh is griping. What all of them have yet to figure out -- and Erik Spoelstra is obviously not the coach to help them with that -- is that if they are going to fundamentally alter the concept of a team, they need to be willing to fundamentally alter their concept of how they play.

I always thought that would take at least a full season -- maybe two. That's why I had zero expectation they would have any shot at a title this season or next. But this far into Year 1, none of them have yet to show any willingness to change in this fundamental way, aside from D-Wade begrudgingly giving up the late-game shots to LeBron, which feels more forced than by design.

Here's the upshot: The question isn't whether or not the Heat will win a title this season; it's the level of humiliation they receive when they are bounced from the playoffs. They brought it on themselves, and while they might yet work it out -- years from now, mind you -- perhaps it re-establishes the value of a championship team being more than its stars or top-level talent.

*****

College Hoops: Congrats to Arkansas-Little Rock (its first-ever NCAA bid!), Oakland and a little school called Butler.

Auto-Bids Today: Robert Morris at Long Island, which is about a 15-minute walk from my apartment. Wonder if they'll give me a credential to cover it for Quickish?

The Big East Tournament is loaded: UConn-G'town, Rutgers-St. John's, upstart South Florida-Cincinnati and Marquette (which could use one more win)-West Virginia. (And that's with the top 4 teams in the league still sitting out until tomorrow with a bye.)

*****

MLB: Zack Greinke hurt himself playing pickup hoops. How can players think that it's a good idea, once spring training starts?

*****

NFL Draft: Cam Newton's "pro day" workout yesterday was much better than his combine workout, as expected. He's already considered a Top 10 (if not Top 5) lock, and I would still bet that 6 weeks from now, he ends up as the No. 1 overall pick to the Panthers.

Be sure to join the Quickish NCAA Tournament Challenge group!

Thanks for popping by Quickish today -- and telling friends!

-- D.S.

3 comments:

Alan said...

Two auto-bids today, Dan -- don't forget about Montana vs. Northern Colorado, 9 pm EST on ESPN2

Dan said...

Arkansas-Little Rock has been to the NCAAs at least once before now. I remember them taking on Notre Dame in ... '86?

Dan said...

From Wiki --

"Appearing in their first ever NCAA tournament game in 1986, the 14th seeded UALR beat the heavily favored and 3rd seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish, coached by Digger Phelps, now a college basketball analyst for ESPN, 90 to 83. The Trojans lost in the second round to North Carolina State, 80 to 66 in two overtimes.[1]

"The Trojans returned to the NCAA tournament in 1989 and 1990, losing to Louisville 76-71 in 1989 and to eventual tournament champion UNLV 102-72 the next season."