Thursday, March 10, 2005

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

How about those Ohio State Buckeyes? What did they do, you ask? Well, if you have to ask then you just might not have been keeping up. And just for that we are going to make you wait for the answer!

If you haven’t guessed it already, this column is about basketball, basketball, more basketball and perhaps a legacy which nobody would want. Before we get to the good stuff, how about a little last things first, huh?

Can anyone out there figure out just what the Temple coach was thinking? He, John Chaney, sent in a one man “goon squad,” his own words, to carry a rough game to the St. Joseph’s players. Chaney was burned because he thought the game officials were just ignoring illegal screens being set by St. Joe.

The player, Neanderthal, no, that’s not right, Nehemiah Ingram, broke the arm of an opposing player after being told by Chaney to “send the message.” Ingram, who weighs over 250 pounds and as a reserve, has more bench creases on the seat of this uniform than minutes of playing time, did just that. Can you imagine a player fouling out in four minutes of playing time?

Chaney was initially suspended from one game, but after it surfaced that the St. Joe’s player’s arm was broken the suspension was upped to three. Then, Chaney, after what he intimated were bouts of conscience, took himself out of the coaching picture for the Atlantic Ten Conference.

The coach, just like the famous football coach who attacked an opposing player years ago, lamented many times that had he foreseen the repercussions, he would have kissed him instead. I’ll bet that John wished he had sent roses onto the court with Nehemiah.

Is that NCAA basketball or what? The Illini go the entire season with an unblemished record, take Purdue down in the next to the last game and then, along comes the Buckeyes in the very last regular game of the season. They gave Illinois its single loss.

Without that loss, the Illini would have been the first undefeated in the conference in 29 years. Illinois had been 7.5 points favorites over the Bucks. And Illinois was not the only upset of the pre-post season. Tubby Smith and the Kentucky Wildcats were upended by Florida by one point. Doesn’t this really make an interesting picture for the Big Dance?

I would be remiss if I did not give Pat Summit her due. The Lady Vols coach won her 11th SEC tournament title by knocking off the number one team in the nation, LSU. Now Coach Summit is two wins away from tying for the winningest coach. Let’s hear it for the distaff side.


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