Before we put this 2016 College basketball season to bed, a few observations: There are as many hair styles on display in college basketball as there are jump shots!
The Afro is out but has been replaced by some other creative styles. One of the most popular, and my favorite, is what I call the “extended flattop” Favored mostly by guards, the hair is grown 3-4 inches long and then leveled off flat across the top. Looks a little like the Utah Salt Flats! Dreadlocks were noticeably absent, especially the deeper into the tournament teams went. Wouldn’t it be a chore to take care of those “Dreads” after every practice, every game? At least I assume they shower their heads!
Most noticeable among teams in the Elite Eight and beyond, were the “clean-cut” looks. Short, well-trimmed hair styles were the norm. Maybe it makes them faster, or they can jump higher. Less wind resistance or something like that!
Kansas’ Perry Ellis gives us the “old-man look” Though 22, he looks middle-aged with that short hair and receding hairline. Perry’s game is anything but “old man”. Villa Nova’s Kris Jenkins, who hit the last-second winning 3-pointer against North Carolina, was another close-cut, neatly cropped stylist. Would he have made that shot if his hair style would have been long and floppy, causing him to have to brush it out of his eyes before shooting? Sorry Kris, the buzzer sounded while you were getting ready!
Another popular style is the “just let it go Baby!” Kansas’ Devonte Graham sports that particular hairdo. The best description would be that it looks like he just got out of bed and headed for the court! Wild and wooly, it fits Graham’s game. Other than Ellis, Graham became the Jayhawks best player over the last ten games of the season.
We missed seeing any Mohawk styles and even the popular shaved head was not to be found. Mustaches, goatees and long sideburns were a rarity as well. I think these young guys are becoming aware that they need to be concerned with how the look in front of the television cameras after the game. A stylish bunch indeed!
Villanova’s 77-74 last-second victory surely will go down in history as one of the best championship games ever, ranking right up there with the Kansas-North Carolina triple overtime game in 1957, and the North Carolina State-Houston game in 1983. A tough one for Ol’ Roy and his Tar Heels to lose but, in truth, they were really fortunate to even be tied with 4.7 seconds left as Marcus Paige tossed in his lucky 3-pointer to set up the final play.
Memo to the NCAA: These huge football stadiums make a lousy venue for basketball. Houston’s NRG Stadium was a travesty for anyone paying for a ticket and it even makes for a poor surrounding for the television audience.
Another memo to the NCAA: The game is enough. It can stand on its’ own and DOES NOT need the Hollywood hype that is so common with the Super Bowl and other “staged” sporting events of today.
Michigan State probably ruined more brackets than any other team. Most disappointing team? Had to be Baylor and their first-round 79-75 loss to Yale. YES, Yale!
Most memorable game? No, not the Championship game but the Texas A&M miracle comeback against Northern Iowa. The Panthers blew a 12-point lead in the final 44 seconds and went on to lose in two overtimes. Do you suppose coach Ben Jacobsen will have his returning players practice in-bounds plays against a press this off-season?
Biggest disappointment? Other than having to listen to Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith try to talk about the college game, it would be the performance of the Pac-12. They had seven teams in the field and five of them didn’t make it out of the first round. Of course Barkley said, before the tournament started, “You better watch out for the Pac-12 teams. People don’t realize how good they are.” You got that right Charles. We had them rated TOO HIGH!
Best defensive job? Villanova against KU’s Perry Ellis and OU’s Buddy Hield. It won them the championship. Hey Sooner fans, remember: “NOBUDDY’S PERFECT”!
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.