FBI full court press, a Bagley Obsess and a Big Mac confess
By Mike Ashley
COURT SYSTEM: Taking an early look at my NCAA brackets. Think my Final Four is the FBI, Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys and Louisville.
CONFERENCE TSA: Is it just me or are all the major conference tournament brackets so big they look like an airport arrivals and departures board?
GRAB BAGLEY: Marvin Bagley III has some issues in his game, but his 21 points and 15 rebounds vs. North Carolina were enough to convince me he’s the next big thing. Coach K figured out – imagine that -- how to hide his defensive deficiencies in a 2-3 zone and there’s no hiding his amazing athleticism and pogo-stick jumping.
I WANT FRIES WITH THAT: I have been franchise tagged by McDonald’s.
TIMEOUT FOR TRIVIA: What player holds the record for most points in one NCAA Tournament and what year? Hint: He probably got to the Finals.
POWER COWS: Is there Skim Muscle Milk? Asking for a friend.
FAST TIMES: Roger Bannister, who authored one of the great athletic achievements of the 20th century, passed away this weekend. In tribute, I wrote this note as fast I could, and I’m pretty sure it was under four minutes.
WALL TO WALL MONEYBALL: Kirk Cousins is officially out here in ol’ DC, and that means I have no idea what local media are going to write and talk about now.
I WAS TOLD THERE WOULD BE NO MATH: The odds of filling out the perfect NCAA bracket are one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (a quintillion). Ironically, those are the same odds of me not eating pressroom pizza at some point during the proceedings.
BRACKET BUSTERS: Here are some early dark horses to keep in mind – Missouri Valley Conference champ Loyola-Chicago (they can defend); Ohio Valley Conference champ Murray State (they can score). If they get in, I also love Notre Dame (Bonzie Colson’s back and you’re gonna be sorry, hey-la-day-la).
WELL-ARMED: Muscular NFL official and head refsplainer Ed Hochuli retired, hanging up his guns after 26 years.
IMPORTANT TOURNAMENT TIP: if you get those seats right behind the TV broadcast team, please remember what you think at home about the idiots waving and yelling behind the broadcasters when they go to that inevitable TV shot.
HERE’S HOW IT’S DONE: Radford University coach Mike Jones was in the final season of his contract. So he goes and earns conference coach of the year honors for taking a team picked seventh to second place, then he wins the tournament on a buzzer beater to take RU back to the Big Dance for the first time since 2009.
NICE NOTE: Radford’s best player is Ed Polite, Jr., and he regularly deposits some of the nastiest dunks you’ll see.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Michigan’s Glen Rice had 184 points in the Wolverines’ 1989 run.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Ashley has covered college athletics for over 30 years. He has worked in the athletic departments at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Marshall University, in addition to freelance work from his Northern Virginia home. Ashley has also worked as a stand-up comic, and has been a regular on many radio stations throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. His work appears in Terrapin Times (covering the University of Maryland), NCAA programs, Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, Athlon, Lindy’s, and on bathroom stalls in major sporting venues. He has also co-authored a book on the golden age of Virginia Military Institute football, “Best Regrets: VMI’s John McKenna and The Lost Age of College Football.” Previously, the Salem, Va., native has helped author books on the New York Yankees, Emmitt Smith, Maryland’s 2002 NCAA basketball championship, and published a book on the history of Radford University.