Congratulations to Notre Dame for putting the exclamation point on what had to be considered an utterly embarrassing tournament start for the Big East. Only two teams survived to the Sweet 16, and the only reason that happened was because the bracket paired up Big East teams, ensuring that somebody had to make it from the most overrated conference in America.
You splinter off a few of those teams (not easy to do with 11 qualifiers) and you are looking at no Big East representation. Outstanding.
Charles Barkley has helped make this the greatest tournament so far in history. The NCAA, CBS, Viacom finally made the right call by discontinuing the DirecTV tournament pass (seriously, why are sports league keep this failed experiment in satellite afloat?) and putting all of the games on broadcast television.
Hey, did you hear that NFL? While you dicks were busy pissing and moaning about your billions of play money, one sports entity and broadcast partner was getting it right. Could you imagine CBS putting morning games on four different networks, and FOX doing the same? That would be horrible to allow the public to watch the games that they want to see.
But I digress, this is about Barkley at the moment.
The best moment of the tournament so far came during a studio moment when Barkley was running down the Big East with Rick Pitino on the set. Pitino looked as if one of his one-night stands had walked on the set to tell him that she was pregnant and needed money for an abortion.
Pitino went on to say that Notre Dame would not lose to Florida State (uh, o.k.), and the Big East would have two teams in the Final Four.
By the same token, does anybody remember when the media was crying because VCU was given a chance to be in the tournament? I hate to say it, but the NCAA got it right here. Funny, strange things like that can happen you actually decide to settle things on the field.
Another great part of the tournament was that most of the anxiety teams were eliminated. We were a few clutch shots from Michigan away from getting rid of all of the axis of evil teams. As only Duke remains.
And if I may take a moment to say this, I am so glad that we found a way to give both Duke and North Carolina home games during the first rounds of the tournament. Remember those harrowing times when one of those teams were sent out of Greensboro? Awful. Now the referees have a chance to be intimidated by two fan bases, and not just one.
And trust me, a current college referee once confided to me that they do get swayed by the home crowd.
Ohio State also got a home game, too, to be fair. But come on, they lost LeBron James publicly, so I will give them a pass.
The referees also warrant some discussion here. And this needs to be said, how soon are we going to have the players call their own fouls? Being a basketball referee is the most impossible job imaginable. You would have a better chance making the Napa "know how" song a top hit.
(A quick aside, can we just cut to the chase and have Alicia Keys sing the Napa song and get it over with?)
Here is what I would say, just swallow your whistle in the case of Butler vs. Pittsburgh. If the referees didn't call a foul in the final two seconds, the game has the same result, yet your integrity remains intact.
Nobody wants to see a five-second violation. Especially after you only counted to four.
And for (expletive) sake, Washington was not fouled in the first half? It wasn't like the Huskies weren't driving to the basket. Ten fouls to two? Again, this is why teams should not get home games in the tournament.
OUR MAN from the Insomniac's Lounge with the seedings of the teams that have eliminated the Big East: 13, 11, 11, 11, 10, 8, 8, 4, 3.
WHAT ARE the odds that Jim Nantz even watched ESPN's documentary on the Fab 5? All he heard was that somebody took a shot at Duke (listen to him, he had no idea what he was talking about), and he wanted to speak out.
Nantz is fighting Mike Patrick to be the Joesph Goebbels of Duke. Nantz and Patrick likely argue over what Coach Kryzgfhfvcbnmdfghjrtyski's taint tastes like.
AND FINALLY ...
Whitney Cummings is hot, right?