Every once in a while, I review all of my stories at the end of the week and find that while a bunch of interesting stuff happened in sports that week, nothing stood out to me as a lead story for Bad Sports, Good Sports. This is one of those weeks. Either nothing happened in sports this past week that moved me to attack with my customary cynicism or to wax poetic about someone’s great accomplishment, or I am just tired after a long day and a long week and my synapses are not firing well enough to make something leap into my imagination in order to lead my fingers to type out some clever commentary, or at least something that approximates my usual drivel.
Anyway, here are some stories that I found noteworthy this week. Perhaps you will find yourself suitably moved and you can share your insight with us in the comments.
1) The Kentucky Wildcats basketball team recruits a bunch of players each year that have the intention of spending one year in college and quickly moving on to the pros. It’s hard to build any cohesiveness that way, but coach John Calipari has had pretty good success regardless. After leading the team deep into the NCAA Tournament in his first two years as head coach, he helped the Wildcats win it all last season. This year, though, the team missed the Big Dance, as it was left out of the NCAA Tournament entirely. The players promptly demonstrated why that was a good decision, losing in the first round of the NIT to Robert Morris a far less decorated squad.
2) The Big East was once college basketball’s premier conference. Now, as it prepares to split in two, with the departure of the so-called Catholic 7, the league’s teams have decided to show poorly in the NCAA Tournament as well. Five of its teams lost in the first round on Thursday and Friday, including second-seeded Georgetown. Ugly.
3) Former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Steve Davis, who led the team to two national titles in the early 70s, was killed in an airplane crash in Indiana last weekend.
4) The U.S. National Soccer team played and defeated Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier in Colorado on Friday. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the game was played in a snowstorm, which clearly affected the game in dramatic fashion, and Costa Rica has filed a protest with FIFA.
5) Laurent Sciarra, the coach of the Rouen team in a low-division French league, tried to steal the basketball from the sideline during a game against Boulogne-sur-Mer last week. The game was tied and the clock was about to expire when it happened. He was called for a technical and Boulogne-sur-Mer made both foul shots, giving them the victory.
6) Major college sports are rough for the little guys. When a small program wins big, you often see the coach make a quick exit, lured to a bigger program by money and opportunity. These days, it goes beyond that. Now, the schools themselves get lured to bigger conferences too, leaving the other schools in their league shorthanded and missing a team that was bringing attention and dollars to the conference. The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) made itself known in basketball in recent years, as George Mason went to the Final Four in 2006, and VCU made it to the same spot in 2011. VCU then bolted for the Atlantic 10 and Old Dominion, who pulled off a big first-round upset of Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament in 2010, headed to Conference USA. Now, George Mason is leaving for the Atlantic 10. The conference, which looked headed for big things, has been left to flounder. As a fan and graduate of Drexel, another team in the league, I am disappointed.
1) The Miami Heat are in the midst of an amazing run. They have won 26 consecutive games, including an amazing comeback against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, rallying from 27 points down in the third quarter to win by three.
2) Before this week, had you ever heard of Florida Gulf Coast University? I know I hadn’t. The Fort Myers-area school’s basketball team sure made itself known in the tournament this week. On Friday, it became only the seventh fifteen seed to win a game in the NCAA Tournament, beating second-seeded Georgetown, 78-68. On Sunday, San Diego State suffered the same fate at the hands of the new stars, also losing by ten. FGCU is the first fifteen seed to ever make the Sweet Sixteen.
3) Women’s basketball produces some crazy scores. The University of Connecticut women’s team tromped all over Idaho in the first round of the tournament on Saturday by a score of 105-37. That’s just silly.
4) I know very little about wrestling, and that is mostly because I just don’t care much about it. Despite that, some major stuff happened in college wrestling on Saturday. Penn State won its third consecutive national championship while Cornell wrestler Kyle Dake became the first person to ever win four individual national titles in four different weight classes.
Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday
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