IT’S CHAMPIONSHIP TIME!
Every year, thousands of collegiate basketball teams begin their seasons. Youngsters play basketball because they enjoy doing so. In addition, getting into the annual 64 team tournament, is for most of them an impossible dream. In spite of those odds they play on, as best they can.
Basketball is an unusual sport, in that each of the ﬁve players have both individual and team responsibilities. In addition the players have to make decisions instantaneously. Furthermore, even though they may be full of testosterone, they must remain calm and under control, or they will not be able to get the ball to go into the basket. Plus, they have to have incredible stamina. Running up and down a basketball court for 48 minutes is one of the most difﬁcult things that any individual can ever do.
64 teams entered the championship tournament, and only four remain. Every year, millions of people try to decide the winners of each bracket, and then the team that will win the championship. I am not sure about this, but I don’t think any person has ever picked all of the brackets correctly. While he was in the oval ofﬁce, President Obama used to have a televised press conference, showing him ﬁlling in the brackets. This is one of the few things that I would have discouraged him from doing, since it is impossible to pick all of the winners.
The teams in the Final Four are Gonzaga versus South Carolina, and Oregon versus North Carolina. To me the biggest surprise in this group is Oregon. Where did they come from? Another shocker is South Carolina. Never heard anything about them before the season started.
Local fans had high hopes for the UCLA Bruins. They had a very good team, and they had added the sensational Lonzo Ball. So, we expected them to have a great season, and they did. I have not heard of anyone who even considered that Oregon would be in the Final Four. So, without further ado, I am picking North Carolina to win it all next Monday night at the University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona.
This year’s Final Four is somewhat unusual, since it does not have the usual suspects like Duke, Kentucky, or Kansas. There were also a couple of teams from the HBCU’s among the original 64 teams. They lost in the early phases of the tournament, which resulted in their elimination. However, the important thing is that they are in it. One day, one of these tiny schools will shock the world, by winning it all.
The Paciﬁc-12 Conference has had a vast improvement. They can do even better with their recruiting, if they make it more convenient for local fans to see their games on television. Many of the great local players would go to UCLA and USC if their families and friends could see them play on television. I understand that there are some reasons they are in the television contracts, in my opinion, less than satisfactory. Whatever those reasons are or may be, they should be changed immediately.
In my opinion, the Raiders did the right thing by leaving Oakland and moving to Las Vegas. Regrettably for the fans in Oakland, the team was mismanaged for so many years that they had very low income. There were twenty-one teams in the NFL that had higher earnings than the Raiders. By moving to Las Vegas, they are creating an opportunity for them to become an elite franchise, although they are breaking many hearts by doing so.