$0.02: Bye-bye football, hello college hoops | SummitDaily.com

$0.02: Bye-bye football, hello college hoops

DEVON O'NEILsummit daily newsSummit County, CO Colorado

Perhaps the only positive that arises in the wake of football season ending is the opportunity to follow college basketball in greater detail.It’s important that we be honest with ourselves. March Madness is not an event you happen upon after spending your winter in a cave on Buffalo Mountain. What good is a 15 seed beating a 2 seed, after all, if you can’t comprehend the upset’s magnitude? You have to know that Prairie View A&M is a pretty sucky squad in order to fully appreciate the chaos that ensues when its backup point guard banks in a 30-footer to stun North Carolina. This is what the next month is all about. It’s homework time. Absorb as much college hoops info as possible so you can confidently – albeit doubtless inaccurately, at least in my case – fill out a bracket come NCAA Tournament time.

Pathetic? Yup. Fun? That too. Here are a few things to keep in mind for the upcoming month. – You almost always need a bona fide star player in order to advance deep in the Big Dance. Look for teams with such a player, put them in a group and keep an eye on how they’re playing when the tourney commences. They’ll be your reliables for the moment. Guys like Joakim Noah of Florida. Acie Law of Texas A&M. Alando Tucker of Wisconsin. – Don’t get sucked into living by the Air Force Theory, which is, “Air Force has a unique style of play and a coach who used to be an NBA head coach, in Jeff Bzdelik, so they’re a Final Four sleeper.” Yes, the Falcons (21-4) are enjoying quite a season, and yes, they are currently ranked 14th (in the coaches’ poll), but the truth is people need sleepers because sleepers are fun to talk about, not because they actually believe the Air Forces of the college hoops world are on their way to the Final Four. Thus, don’t be afraid to save your sleepers for day-of guesses once you’ve seen the bracket.- Finally, do consider trends and history and “what we already know,” then dismiss any and all that you please. It’s been said you can’t win a national title without experience. Makes sense. Except, are you ready to bet on Kevin Durant and Greg Oden being shut down? …

The Julia Mancuso-Lindsey Kildow 1-2 punch is beginning to look like Bode Miller-Daron Rahlves, only better. These girls are young, fast, consistent, hungry, versatile, tough – and they perform when it counts the most, on the Olympic and World Championship stages. …If Anja Paerson isn’t the talk of Sweden right now, after having won the first three women’s gold medals on her home snow in Are, at the Worlds, you’d have to wonder what is. …Other than all the people who get to spend a week in Hawaii on someone else’s dime, does anyone care about the Pro Bowl? …The fact that the Avs are in last place in the Northwest Division might be cause for concern among Colorado fans, but when you consider that all five teams in that division entered Tuesday’s games above .500, it’s not all bad. …

There will be no more Discovery Channel team in pro cycling come 2008 after the network announced it won’t renew its sponsorship after the upcoming season. I wonder if that’d change should new Discovery rider Ivan Basso win the Tour de France this summer. …In parting, is it me, or does it seem like every successful show dog looks like a rat with long hair?Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.

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