College ball spirals to NBA depths
Well, nobody asked me, but É
nÊCollege basketball is deteriorating as fast as the pros when it comes to bump-and-grind, roughhouse, pushing-and-shoving defense. If you get a chance to watch a game on video from the early 1990s or the late 1980s, you'll immediately know what I'm talking about.
It's a combination of coaches pushing their players to the legal limit when it comes to defense and referees simply not enforcing rules. I realize nobody wants to watch a parade to the foul line, but if rules against body bumps, holding, grabbing and pushing were consistently enforced, players and coaches would quickly adjust.
As it is now (and it's getting worse every season), we're going to see the scores drop even lower and play get even uglier. Basketball used to be a game of quickness and grace. It's bordering on brute force now. I hate to sound like an old coot, but I dare you to watch a game on Classic Sports from 10 to 15 years ago and tell me the game wasn't more pleasing to the eye.
Before long, your children aren't going to believe you when you tell them that college teams used to score 100 points in a game.
• Some dolt down at Turner Broadcasting System is making a big mistake. That cable network has decided to downplay the Atlanta Braves. It's carrying about 90 games, about 35 fewer than usual, and calling it 'Major League Baseball' rather than Braves Baseball Ñ even though all the games involve the Braves. But that's not the worst part.
Apparently believing that two of the best baseball broadcasters in the business are too closely identified with the Braves, TBS won't have Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren working any of those TBS games. Instead the games will be handled by lightweights Don Sutton and Joe Simpson. Caray and Van Wieren will do games on regional network Sports South and on the Braves' radio network.
Don't we all miss Ted Turner?
nÊCaught Kevin Harlan on the radio doing an NCAA game over the weekend and I have to tell you, one of sports' busiest broadcasters is also one of the best Ñ no matter what sport he's calling. Main thing I noticed right away is that he constantly gives you the score and time, something a lot of radio guys can't find the time to do. And this is a guy who does more television than radio.
nÊThe Trail Blazers are going to get real fortunate with playoff matchups. The Minnesota Timberwolves seem to be going into the tank at the most inopportune of times. Not that you'd expect that organization to actually win a playoff series anyway Ñ even with the homecourt advantage.
I don't care how great Kevin Garnett is this season, that team isn't good enough to win a playoff series over Portland.
And if you want to look up the road a little, too, the Blazers' second-round matchup could be Dallas, which can't rebound or defend with Portland.