I know that Dayton has something to say about that, but I don't think the Flyers have the "B"-sting that it takes to get KU out of the tournament. The Jawhawks last three losses in the NCAA have come to "B"ucknell, "B"radley and the "B"ruins of UCLA. Before I look ahead to Indianapolis, presumptuous as that is--my thoughts on Minneapolis.
What a beautiful, vibrant city. The people here are so warm and hospitable. The Metrodome has seen its better day, but it's still a very suitable host for a regional event. I don't think it could handle a Final Four--there's enough space, but not in the proper configuration for the media which covers it.
Speaking of the media--the numbers covering this event are noticeably down. Of the three Wichita television stations only two are working here, and my friend Bob Lutz is the only representative of the Wichita Eagle. It's an unfortunate sign of the times and it's not only in the media--crowds have been down slightly as well.
Usually at these tournaments the media covering them are pervasive at the hotel housing them. But, for the first time ever, we were rendered irrelevant--by a Mary Kay convention. I've never seen so many women hawking anti-aging cream in my life--I'm wracking my brain to remember what I've done to deserve it.
All joking aside, the hotel has been great. Unless you count early Friday morning when the alarm in the room went off. It's no fun being jolted from your sleep at 1:40am with the piped in announcement : 'leave the hotel--don't use the elevators'.
Of course you wake up thinking FIRE. Then you remember that you're twenty-three floors up and you have visions of wrapping a blanket around you and re-enacting Paul Newman's rush down the stairwell in 'The Towering Inferno'. Not to worry, it was only a malfunction in the sprinkler system--so much for a good night's sleep.
It's been good to catch up with Tournament Director Garry Bowman. 'G-Bow' is the former Sports Information Director at Kansas State, he now holds the same position at the University of Minnesota. He's run a nice tournament.
Kansas, USC, Michigan St. and Dayton all practiced behind closed doors today. Although there aren't any doors at the Metrodome, so we could pretty much hear everything going on. If volume counts for anything, USC will win tomorrow. Tim Floyd easily out-lunged Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Brian Gregory of Dayton and Bill Self.
Gregory is a disciple of Izzo at Michigan St. He talked today of calling Izzo and former MSU head coach Jud Heathcoate at 2:00am this morning to get some insight on Kansas(KU lost at MSU earlier this season). I thought it was interesting that Heathcoate is still in the mix with the Spartans. He was the coach when Magic Johnson lead MSU to the national championship over Larry Bird and Indiana St. in 1979. According to Izzo, he's still able to make keen observations on opponents.
In fact, Heathcoate told his successor that USC would beat Boston College, so Izzo had two coaches on the scout of of the Trojans with only one on BC. Expect a lot of points tomorrow when Kansas meets Dayton, which isn't called the Flyers for nothing. Both teams love to run the floor, so much that when both coaches were were asked about the key today--they responded; "transition defense".
I'm slightly amused that Dayton is playing the "underdog card". This is a team which won 27 times and has beaten Marquette, Auburn, Miami and West Virginia. Kansas and Dayton do share one very odd distinction this year: both lost to UMass. Go figure.