I'm a college basketball realist -- games in mid-February, even seemingly huge ones like last night's Indiana win at Michigan State, are ultimately inconsequential in the larger scheme of the sport's ultimate playoff in late March.
But that's not to say that there aren't thrilling moments worth savoring -- exactly like last night, when a Hoosiers team I had been thinking is slightly on the wrong side of title-ready put on display the make-up of the kind of team that wins six straight in late March.
Mostly, that was a function of IU's marvelous junior guard, Victor Oladipo, all angles -- and all-American-ness -- showcasing the most fascinating skill set I have seen in a college hoops player since... well, I'm having trouble finding a comp.
A few weeks ago, I said that there were probably a half-dozen teams with a legit shot at winning six straight in late March -- Indiana is on the short list.
*Florida is on the short list, too, even though the Gators lost at Mizzou last night. There's no shame in losing at Columbia -- Mizzou hasn't lost there this season, and Florida still held the high-flying Tigers to 63 points. In late March, when you suddenly lose the ability to make shots, you have got to be able to get stops, and no team has proven better at that through this entire season than Florida.
*So, about that VCU bandwagon...
*Miami being charged with a lack of institutional control - accurate or not -- seems absurd coming from the NCAA right now...
*Gio Gonzalez not tied to PEDs: Unfortunately for him, there is still a taint, but it's rare to get the "No, no, really: He's been cleared" message. As a Nats fan, I was already Team Gio anyway.
*A day late, but RIP to Lakers owner Jerry Buss. Was he the best owner in sports? I'm inclined to agree with that argument. Hard to argue with the combination of sizzle and steak.
Been under the weather for a little while, but hoping to get back into the routine here...