I'm Ashamed of Myself
That's right, I'm a tad ashamed of myself. This week is championship week, and I must admit that I struggle to stay interested in the lesser conference championships. It's not because I don't respect the talent at that level--heck, I've been to a ton of UWM games this year, and they've really filled a void for me, given my lack of access to Wisconsin tickets, and the fact that Marquette isn't having the most exciting year in the world. I think what's missing from the mid-major championships is a lack of a rooting interest for me. All that said, after I got home from Sam's Club, where I bought about 8 gallons of Tilex for around $4.99, I did sit through the overtime period for Virginia Commonwealth and Old Dominion. Although, that was primarily because it was interesting to see that Virginia Commonwealth coach and former Duke guard Jeff Capel was not only coaching against the the school that his father used to coach at, but he had also put on some weight and grown a bad goatee since his playing days. It also didn't hurt that a player got viciously clotheslined about 2 minutes after I sat down to watch the game.
So, I'm not much of a pure basketball fan. If you can forgive me for that, here are some other random thoughts, in no particular order:
1) Though I may suck during the mid-major championships, you should check out the Mid-Majority for someone who's enthused about the early part of this week. I've referenced Mid-Majority before, but the guy who runs it is really one of the better writers around, and this week is like Christmas to him, so it's definitely worth a stop by.
2) Good feature on Jerry Smith last night on Milwaukee's Channel 12 news. I've got it DVR'd if anyone wants to come over and watch it. Tosa East coach George Haas made one comment indicating that Smith was the best star player that he's worked with, high praise considereing that Haas has worked wtih two future NBA players (Devin Harris and Tony Smith). They even show some archival footage of Tony Smith from the mid-1980s, which was particularly interesting for me, because one player in the background was wearing what would eventually be my hand-me-down JV uniform. Yep, that's the closest I ever got to NBA greatness.
3) A trip to Milwaukee Public Schools headquarters for WIAA Sectional 8 tickets this morning left me frustrated, as the plan to have tickets available to the public there today had changed. I'm hoping to see Pius vs. Wauwatosa East, two teams that met for their first game of the season and played a thriller that ended in a one-point win at the buzzer for Pius. My normal ticket source tells me that only 550 tickets were distributed to each school to sell for the games at Wisconsin Lutheran College. It seems sort of counter-intuitive to me that an earlier round game got moved to a larger gym because two schools involved could each sell more than their 750 allocated tickets, but now a game that is, at least in theory, bigger because it's in a later round only allows for 550 tickets per school. Given that 5 of the 8 division one sectionals in the state play their sectional semi-finals at separate locations, I can think of at least one simple solution to fix the severe ticket shortage. As of yet, I haven't heard any news on the issue, though, so for now, I'm just assuming that I'll be watching West Allis Hale or Waukesha North play on Friday night. They're not my first choices, but at least Sectional 8 isn't the only game in town.
4) We have a new winner for most unfair preliminary state tournament game this year. Oshkosh West and Wisconsin Rapids square off in a sectional semi-final on Friday night. Both teams are undefeated. I already feel bad for Wisconsin Rapids, as they ran the table, and were rewarded with a #2 seed in their regional. Now one of these two teams will lose for the first time this weekend, and this single lapse in perfection will end their season. Now that's harsh.
It's off to the Horizon League finals tonight. Hopefully I'll have a roundup tomorrow, but no guarantees, as I've got a bit of a cold, and the game's late tonight.