If Memphis Plays and Nobody Knows, Did It
College basketball season
is officially underway. Wait, what did you say? You didnít know that it started
Monday? How is that possible? Didnít you see all the hooplah leading up to the
MemphisñTennessee-Martin game in the first round of the 2K Sports College Hoops
Classic? Remember all the coverage devoted to the highly anticipated
RichmondñMaine matchup that preceded it? You mustíve tuned your television to
ESPNU to see the third-seeded Tigers battle the underrated Skyhawks (thatís
Tennessee-Martinís nickname, but you knew that). How could you miss
''[Note: You have reached the end of the sarcasm. You may continue
with the rest of the blog post now.]''
So college basketball started, but
ESPN feels that stories on where Alex Rodriguez might sign or on how Kobe Bryant
went to Best Buy to purchase Halo 3 are more pertinent. There has been no hype
about it at all. Compare that to the start of college football season, when the
four-letter featured 25 straight hours of coverage on its main network, leading up
to the LSUñ Mississippi State game, which is about as competitive a match-up as
MemphisñTennessee-Martin. But college basketball gets none of that, as its first
games are relegated to a channel that seven people get. Shouldnít college
basketball get its own big kickoff too? Although, the fact that many major
preseason tournaments now feel the need to be like the Preseason NIT--the Coaches
vs. Cancer Classic changed its format from four teams to sixteen a few years ago,
as well as its name to the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic--isnít helping either.
Why have Kentucky play Connecticut to open the season when the Wildcats can take
on Central Arkansas while the Huskies face Morgan State? ''[Note: Okay, now
the sarcasm ends.]'' Either way, it all makes for an unfortunately weak start
to a popular and exciting sport.
On the other hand, this does mean one
fewer week of Dick Vitale. Thatís always a plus.
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