Oh, about that Final Four

I did not partake in any of the Final Four festivities this afternoon, as I was off in search of other stories. Lucas Oil is swarming with journalists (that scene ain’t pretty, by the way) and there’s been a ton of good coverage out there. I will link to some of it, and perhaps comment about it.

First, you’ve gotta follow the young writers working for what’s been dubbed the Student New Bureau. They’re college students from IUPUI and Indiana under the guidance of Tim Franklin, who runs the sports journalism program, and Ron Johnson, who directs the IDS. Simply terrific work being done by the kids who are the future of our business.

Second, you might be wondering about the proposal to push the tournament to 96 teams. There’s been much consternation about this, and John Feinstein — he wrote a book about Indiana that you might want to check out — had a little public kerfuffle with an NCAA honcho (recounted well here by Deadspin) on Thursday. Anyway, Feinstein’s column came out Friday and is worth a read. He explains the proposal well, even will attempting to tear it to shreds. The New York Times, always so enlightening, took a interesting look at the situation.

*My thoughts? I’m not as against the expansion as most people seem to be. It certainly reinforces the fact that big-time college basketball is, first and foremost, a business.  But you had to be really squinting to see anything otherwise. None of the teams added to the tournament will ever win a tournament, which is fine. It’s already an impure format; you’re not getting the 64 best teams. But having the interlopers — the teams from smaller conferences — creates the buzz that surrounds the tournament early. Adding to that is sort of like putting more cheese on a burger. It’s not changing the meal all that drastically, but it’s not terrible, either.

Finally, the Indianapolis Star put an illustration of a scribbled-upon Coach K on some of its sports covers Friday. An crap-storm ensued because Mighty K took offense. The Star has since apologized.

*This one seems overblown to me. We compete with the Star, and I go to bed every night hoping we whooped them on IU news and wake up worried we got beat. But I can’t criticize this. They tried something creative, and it was clearly a joke. Newspapers should be able to have a little fun. This attempt may not have been all that well-executed, but for people to question the paper’s ethics or morals or [insert loaded term here] is ridiculous.

More to come.

18 comments

  1. Good bye Mr. Izzo, I guess you didn’t stay long enough with Mr. Crean for his brilliance to rub off well enough. Next it’s Ebanks vs. Coach K. I want Duke – Butler in the final. Go Duke!

  2. Dan Wetzel: Brad Stevens is winning at Butler the Wooden way – calm and composed on the sideline.

    INDIANAPOLIS – All the way out in Los Angeles, the 99-year-old coaching icon has been watching this 33-year-old wunderkind with appreciation.

    John Wooden’s interest in Butler coach Brad Stevens isn’t just the result of the Bulldogs reaching Saturday’s Final Four against Michigan State. It’s not just about the impressive level of teamwork they display on the court.

    It’s mostly the comportment of the coach on the sideline that caught Wooden’s eye. Brad Stevens is a calm, collected presence on the bench, a guy who strives for positive interaction with his players and projecting an image of confidence amid the storm.

    Here in this era of wild men on the college sidelines – screamers and stompers and showboats – Stevens is a throw back to the days of Wooden, who like many from his day, rarely left his seat on the UCLA bench during games.

    If you’ve done your job as a coach, you shouldn’t have to jump up and down and work for all that attention,” Wooden said Friday. “If you’re the teacher, the game is the test and you never see teachers running around the classroom during the test. They shouldn’t have to.

  3. Now hotel boy knows more than John Wooden. He is one of those know it all types. And also I hear Oregon is after him pretty hard.

  4. I don’t know if I know as much as Wooden, but I know everybody has a different style. After all your style is to apologize for the “Diviner of Albuquerque”. That proves we are all not cut from the same cookie cutter.

  5. Hell anybody that reads much at all knows Oregon is in need. But I doubt they have messed with Stevens yet as Butler is still dancing. Damn you are easy to bait. Maybe we should call you Alford’s Varmint.

  6. Ahh, so now it’s all about how you stand on the sideline.

    I’m sure during the Knight years, you would be spewing the opposite garbage.

  7. “Now, Crean is coaching at Indiana and mired in a two-season stretch during which he’s gone 16-46 and is already feeling heat from petulant, impatient, unrealistic IU zealots. Izzo apparently feels that Crean is in a no-win situation and would love to help his friend out by turning over Michigan State’s well-oiled machine to Crean. Considering the hand Crean had in getting the program to where it is today , Izzo feels — according to my source — that he owes him and that it provides further impetus and justification to leave for the Nets.”

    I have a new acronym for 4tards and his beloved domestic partner L’accent: a PIUZ. You can pronounce it like “Peeee-yous” as if you were smelling a skunk.

    It stands for Petulant Impatient Unrealistic Zealot, and there isn’t a better expression in the universe to describe the pair.

  8. Husky quotes from an April’s Fool article while chastising other’s lack of touch with reality. Proposes a peevish nickname for those that have a different opinion than his while calling them “petulant”. Continues to sing Crean’s praises after two absolutely horrendous years (where even JPat starts feeling there might be something wrong) all the while calling others “zealots”.

    Priceless.

  9. PIUZ. The article called you petulant, not me.

    By the way, being petulant isn’t an opinion, its a physical state. Here is a mirror so you and 4tards can see what petulant is.

    By the way, great skunk picture. Almost as good as Clarion being carried in the cage by the dinosaur.

  10. Skunky, 😀

    The article is an April Fool’s prank. It’s fictitious. How can you quote such a thing? You’re like Dan Quayle taking on Murphy Brown, don’t you realize?

    But I give up. I recently saw a picture with Tom Crean’s bike. I guess you and Clarion are right after all: everyone doing anything has its own style. I stand corrected.

    P.S. I’m going to carry the PIUZ label throughout the next season. I look forward to see how well it wears. Take it easy.

  11. L’accengle- The part of the article that was explicitly fictitious was about Izzo. However, it doesn’t take a genius to discern a hint of sincerity in the author’s voice about the state of the PIUZ IU fanbase.

    You are like Sarah Palin taking on Katie Couric.

    Happy Easter.

  12. the only part of the article that is sincere and can be taken seriously: the punctuation. the rest is for feeble minds like husky tom’s.

    wetzel on the other hand talks about the prototype of successful, classy coach; crean doesn’t come too close to the image wetzel projects.

  13. L’accent-

    Looks like you’ve succeeded your most holy and only quest.. You have replaced Downing. Congrats.

    Happy Easter. Who’s up for an egg hunt?

  14. How handy it would be if only the parts of the article that you wanted to be sincere are sincere…

    Clearly, even in its joking tone, the article picked up on the nature of our fanbase…congrats to the April Foolish author; he hit the nail on the head.

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