Thursday, February 14, 2013
Behind The Scoreboard
Parity in college basketball?
We are one week behind Super Bowl XLVII and about 51 weeks away from Super Bowl XLVIII. As enjoyable and exciting as the season was, it was also suspenseful. As the late season was demised (for want of a better word) on February 3, it is reasonable to record the shuffling of team positions at the end. Don’t worry 49ers’ fans, I am not going to repeat any scores or anything.
Well, it looks like déjà vu all over again in the collegiate ranks. We are a precious few weeks away from March Madness and the power teams are finding that it is not only lonely at the top, it is short-lived. The classic joke around the NCAA for the last few weeks has been, “Don’t rank us number one. You last longer at number two.”
The Indiana Hoosiers are precariously listed at the top spot but probably won’t be there past Sunday; they got bumped off by unranked Illinois last week. The week before, they had dethroned Michigan. Now powerhouse Michigan has just two losses; the Hoosiers and non-rated Wisconsin. The Wolverines are now number three. Kansas, which had also held the top rung, is now at five. If one takes a good look at the first five, one sees some impressive records. No one has more than two losses.
The question is being asked, “Where is the SEC in this year’s process?” Remember in the football season the SEC dominated the rankings. And where is our defending champion Kentucky? At 16-6 they are not ranked. In the last poll the SEC had a trio of teams in the top 25. Number two Florida was expected to move up to one, however, they got shaved by a bunch of unrated Razorbacks (80-69). The Gators are still trying to figure that one out. The other two met on Saturday. This time Ole Miss (#23) had to travel to Mizzou (#20). The Rebels had beaten the Tigers back on January 12.
The record books say that for the last six weeks there has been a different number one. It has been almost eight decades since a streak this long.
Is this a sign that parity has been reached in the collegiate ranks?
Since this particular column is about basketball, Usain Bolt, the Lightin’ bolt of the ’08 and ’12 Olympics (triple gold medalist) will play in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on February 15. I don’t have a clue how he’ll do, but I plan to tune in.
Incidentally, he lost his first race of the 2013 season last week. He ran third behind teammates Warren Weir and Yohan Blake in a 400-meter heat.
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