Talk about identity theft! How would you like to be voted the Number 1 men’s college basketball team? As Rodney Dangerfield joked, “Who’d wanna be me?” Get voted #1 and get beat. That’s been the pattern. Tuesday West Virginia destroyed newly anointed Baylor 89-68. The same horror show has happened to Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and Villanova, among others, this year. Next up? The Kansas Jayhawks. Fortunately that old nemesis, Oklahoma State has to visit Lawrence Saturday so KU should be able to hold onto that ranking for a little while.
Ness City must have still been suffering from the hangover following their slugfest with top-rated St. John last Friday as Tuesday evening they struggled to a 51-47 loss to Spearville. Lots of really good small-class basketball teams in Western Kansas.
Former Larned sharpshooter, Dennan Morrow, now an assistant coach for the Barton Cougars men basketballers, is part of a big year out on The Hill as the Cougars continue to push Hutchinson for Jayhawk supremacy.
Kansas State finally got a little respect and got ranked in the Top 25 just in time for a loss to Texas Tech. Don’t dismay Wildcat fans, this season will show that the Techsters are a really good team. Right West Virginia?
Speaking of really good basketball teams, nationally, folks are going to have to start giving those Seminoles of Florida State a little more “cred.” Long overshadowed by their football program, they are making serious noise this year and on Tuesday evening manhandled Duke 88-72. A Top Five ranking might be on the way.
Clearly, the supremacy of WAC Boys basketball resides in Hays and Liberal, both with just one loss. However, that one loss for Liberal came in overtime Tuesday to Garden City. Only the Buffs third win of the season. Great Bend continues to struggle offensively as they travel to Buhler Friday.
All’s right with the world in South Carolina! The last-second win by Clemson over Alabama in the National Championship game was enough to make folks in the Palmetto State forget Nascar! Well, maybe that is a stretch but it is pretty big! Not a lot to choose from between Clemson and Alabama as the score indicates but, and it is a big but, Clemson did have Deshaun Watson and ‘Bama didn’t. That was the difference in this nail biter. Former South Carolina Gamecock coach Steve Spurrier showed up for the game and was, of course, booed by the Clemson fans. It’s good to know that the “old ball coach” has still got it! Has anyone ever had a name that was more fitting for a football coach than Dabo? Dabo Sweeney, how can you lose ?
Strangely, Kansas State is not getting any love in any of the final Top Twenty Five polls. After dismantling Texas A&M in Houston-practically a home game for the Aggies-the Wildcats are nowhere to be found in the rankings. Silly boys!
To win a conference championship in college basketball, a team has to win at home and steal some close ones on the road. The Kansas Jayhawks have mastered that plan over the past twelve years and are off on that right foot this year. Tuesday’s win at Oklahoma is evidence of that. The Sooners put together one of their better performances of the season for coach Lon Krueger but the Jayhawks still found a way to grind out a win.
The Chiefs have me nervous. Oh no, they belong in the playoffs, no doubt. They’ve got the best regular season record in the NFL over the past few years but they don’t play that well against those dudes from Steel Town. If the Chiefs are to advance in the playoffs they will have to stop a potent Steeler running game while producing one of their own. Can the Arrowhead crowd make the difference? A nasty crowd and nasty weather just might do the trick. Chiefs turn the tables on the black and gold. KC 27, Pittsburgh 24.
Joe Jacobi of the Washington Redskins once said, “I’d run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl.” Matt Millen, then with the Raiders said, “To win, I’d run over Joe’s Mom, too!
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org