With the season fast approaching, I thought it might be time for a few brief basketball-related notes. I’m still a good month away from that time of year when my diet begins to consist primarily of high school booster club popcorn, and I don’t have enough time to sleep, but all the signs are in the air that those days will come soon:
1) Last Wednesday afternoon, I ordered my 2006-7 copies of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearkbook and the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook. While I love all college basketball guides, these are the only two that I get openly giddy about receiving. My love for both publications is well documented here, but to review, Blue Ribbon’s coverage is roughly 7.3 times more thorough than any other preseason college basketball guide out there, and the Wisconsin Basketball Journal will tell you things that you won’t learn anywhere else. I believe we’re still a few weeks from either publication’s shipping date, but the days can’t move fast enough for me.
2) Speaking of Blue Ribbon, I was happy to see their announcement of the return of their NCAA Tournament guide that was last produced in 2001. Even better, it’s going to be an online publication (as opposed to the book form that it formerly came in), so the information should be out to the masses much more quickly. That’s a sigh of relief, after a shipping glitch in 2000 kept me from getting my book in time to do the proper research to fill out my tourney brackets in an informed manner. But however the info’s arriving, more Blue Ribbon is always a good thing.
3) In order to tide me over during the time between now and my receipt of my aforementioned two favorite basketball publications, I went out on Monday night to stock up on 2006-07 college basketball preview guides (okay, I generally buy all of them, anyway). Right now on my night stand, I have copies of publications put out by Lindy’s, Athlon, The Sporting News, Street & Smith, and CBS Sportsline, as well as the ACC Handbook. Let’s just say that when you take that many basketball guides to the counter at Barnes & Noble, you get a look from the clerk behind the counter that very clearly says “Six sports magazines? Does this meathead even know how to read?” Next year I’m adding a collection of Hemingway short stories or something to my purchase in order to build up my bookstore credibility in that situation.
4) Not-at-midnight madness events are going down this upcoming weekend (A big thumbs-down to Wisconsin, the only state team to not partake in this celebration this year). I’m pretty sure I’ll be making my way down to Marquette’s event on Friday night (as I said last year, Tom Crean knows how to throw a party), and I have some hopes for a stop in at the UWM's "Panther Madness" on Saturday, if my busy schedule allows. Sunday is when UW-Green Bay’s holding open practice, so it would be theoretically possible for an obsessed fan to make all three. I’d like to be that guy, but I’ve already got Sunday afternoon blocked off for taking care of some things at work, and then coming home to paint racing stripes on the hallway leading to my basement. (Side note–buying a house as a single guy might be the greatest decision that I have ever made.)
Back in a few days once I’ve either been to an opening weekend event or had the opportunity to peruse my basketball guides...