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Giving the groundhog his due and more tournament talk
At the Mike
At the Mike.jpg

I shall give the groundhog his due. Actually, we should probably capitalize that – The Groundhog his due. After all, he pretty much nailed the weather thing.

The calendar tells me it has now been about six weeks since Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. I think there might be a Kansas version of Phil. Maybe there used to be. I guess I don’t know for sure. But if there was he saw his shadow as well.

Anyway, while there has been some pretty nice days in amongst the past six weeks it has brought us our worst cold spell in several years and a St. Patrick’s Day where I think I saw rain, sleet and snow all at once.

As I think back, I am not sure we hardly even had a winter until that groundhog, excuse me, The Groundhog, saw his shadow.

Made for kind of a, well, let’s say dreary spring break for those kids in high schools in the area.

Barton didn’t take a spring break this year. Instead I was told those spring break days off were taken to start January.

At which point I said ‘no, spring time isn’t in January’. But you know what, I bet the weather was better during those January days than this past week.

Prep Thoughts

Another basketball season is in the books. Like football, volleyball, and the sports before them, things went pretty smoothly for KSHSAA and the teams competing not just during the season but for titles as well.

I made my way to Barton for some 1A DII games and it was pretty cool to have a gym about half full with a lot of noise at times and great student sections.

Atmosphere. Boy have I missed that.

While I still didn’t like the fact all eight teams couldn’t have worked into the main venue, the teams that got here I believe did have a feeling they were at a state tournament.

To me that’s important. That’s a memory moment for those kids. It should be special and, at least here at Barton, I think that was accomplished.

Congrats to the Central Plains girls for the DII title. And Hanover, let’s just say if you are a 1A DII school that has seven boys that can dunk the ball, well, things aren’t fair to the other team. And they weren’t. Congrats to them as well.

And Finally

It’s NCAA tournament time. I keep telling myself this.

But for some reason I am less excited about the tournament this year than, well, I can’t even tell you when.

I guess I’m not sure why. Maybe there isn’t really one good reason. Maybe it’s a myriad of tiny reasons.

Maybe it’s because KU isn’t a No. 1 or 2 seed. The Jayhawk have been a 1 or 2 all but twice since 2007. But it was just a couple tourney’s back they were a 4 seed. I was still pretty pumped up back then.

Maybe it’s because there just seems to be little atmosphere in the games. Yeah, it has gotten better as more and more people have been allowed into games, but is still wasn’t the same Allen Fieldhouse. It still wasn’t the same hostile crowds on the road.

The NCAA says they will allow 25 percent capacity at tourney games. But that also takes into account all the bodies at the game – players, workers, and coaches as well as fans et al. Doesn’t sound like a lot of atmosphere there does it?

And tell me again why the players from the same team have to have their chairs spaced apart and in staggered rows on the sidelines?

The same players who practice against each other every day, eat meals together, ride on the bust next to each other, huddle standing next to each other. They can’t sit by each other on the sidelines why?

Sorry, a bit of a pet peeve there for me.

Maybe it’s because the entire tournament is being played in Indiana. Kind of takes the fun out of guessing which venue I will see Ryan Wolf at on Facebook. He doesn’t even have to leave his state this year. How fun can that really be?

I guess as the tournament proceeds I will gain more interest, especially if KU keeps winning.

Honestly, let’s face it. If KU loses the first weekend, I’m most likely done. Actually, you can pretty much bet that at whatever point KU losses I’m out.

That is unless some Hickory Huskers tale comes along. I guess it is in Indiana, so who knows, right?

Anyway, Rock Chalk!