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Conference Championship Weekend

I’m winding down a weekend that has me icing my remote control finger, thanks to fifteen or twenty college basketball games on Saturday.

There was plenty of double-take inducing upsets on Saturday, with eight of the top 25, and three of the top five teams sending their fans into a tailspin. It was a lousy week for Xavier, Ohio State and UC  (although UC did beat cupcake ECU Sunday night at home).

Both Xavier and Ohio State are in wicked tailspins (how come Xavier always shoots lights out with guys hanging all over the shooter against UC but then for the next two months can’t make anything?). Fans of the good teams that lost can relax. This is the time of year that college kids hit the wall, flail around for a bit, they’re tired of the travel, classes, practices, everything. Everybody will get a second wind soon enough, shots will start falling again (even foul shots are hard when you’re tired), and teams will start winning when they’re supposed to.

There are two differences this year. There is significant parity in college basketball right now, the national powers aren’t as dominating during this part of the season. There are lots of reasons for that, including the one and done issues with the big power teams, issues with the NCAA with transfers, and there are so many good players now that have been playing at a high level for most of their lives. The other factor this season is that home teams are winning most games. Road teams in the Big Ten conference are 5-37 so far. Good teams will continue to be upset on the road.

In the tournament, more neutral sites might stop that trend, although the tourney has its own history of insane upsets. Which is what we want anyway right? The conference foes will continue to bash each other for another month. Will the tournament committee set a field that reflects the team’s performance this year, and get some new names on top,  or just stick the big names up there as per usual?

The best teams in the NFL don’t have such problems. They’re good enough to kick the crap out of pretty much every team in the league. Today’s action showed great talent from both the Chiefs and the 49ers. Overall team speed, tough defenses, great coaching. The Chiefs with an elite quarterback and wicked quick receivers, and the 49ers with a stunning running game and defense. Good line play on both sides of the ball, although SF gets the nod especially on the defensive side.

Watching the Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes against the 49ers defense will be the most exciting match-up of the Super Bowl, followed up by Chiefs defense against that SF run game. The Chiefs did well against Derrick Henry today,  a much different style of running than what the Niners will feature. The Chiefs might have struggled more against a clicking Ravens offense  (wherever that went)than the Titans offense. I’ll have to take the Niners and give some points in the Super Bowl. They’re the best team in the NFL this year.  As Troy Aikman said, “GM John Lynch spent the last three drafts on both offensive and defensive lineman, building a strong foundation on both sides of the ball. “In the NFL, no matter what the rules are,  that is the key to success. It’s really not that hard to pull off.Unless you’re a total dumbass of a GM. I won’t mention any names.

Now I have two weeks to focus on college basketball,  the upcoming Super Bowl, and I believe it’s past time to address MLB’s cheating issues. Stay tuned.

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