NCAA Tournament: Mixing it up about March Madness

Communities columnists Jason Black and Paul M. Banks exchange thoughts on the tournament. Photo: United Press International

Picks have been made, brackets are set and Cinderella is getting fitted for her slipper.  The only thing to do now is to see how this thing plays out.  Communities writers Jason Black and Paul M. Banks will be covering the tournament live from Oklahoma City and Milwaukee.  What better way to get ready for the tournament than swapping emails and talking shop.

(PMB) Looks like you got to experience an awesome game this morning in BYU-Florida, and UNI-UNLV should be a gem too. I warn you though that Rebs Head Coach Lon Kruger is boring. He was coaching at Illinois when I was at school there, and he usually brings nothing to the postgame press conference table, so look elsewhere for interesting and fun soundbites. However, you did get to see the tournament’s #1 overall seed Kansas tonight how cool is that? What are some other storylines emerging out of the Ford Center today?

(JB) If you think Lon Kruger is boring you must have loved going from him to Bill Self.  Self is hilarious.  The BYU-Florida was a lot of fun but it seemed like it would never end.  BYU was up with about ten minutes to go and I thought it was over.  Florida came on really strong to tie the game up.  Can you believe that this is the first NCAA Tournament appearance for the Gators since they won the championship?  Kansas actually didn’t really impress me very much.  Lehigh just wouldn’t go away.  The Mountain Hawks are a pesky team.  The Jayhawks might have a little trouble with Northern Iowa.  The Panthers are a physical, defensive team.  KU has it in them to win the whole thing, but they need to step up quick.  What are your thoughts on the Big 10 playing up your neck of the woods?

(PMB) I just posted my Tubby Smith story. I’m looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow morning in Milwaukee after spending all that time with the Golden Gophers in Indy during Championship week. The other Big Ten Tournament finalist, Ohio State is also playing in Milwaukee, and they’re in the Regional that I’m covering so I may really get to know the Buckeyes, if I didn’t already. I’ve certainly written a lot about Evan Turner, the Sporting News Player of the year. And he’s just so good that he inevitably polarizes people. If he’s on your side- you love him. Of course, if you’re playing against Turner, you probably don’t enjoy his body of work so much. I even heard two different nicknames for ET circulating around the BTT. People who love him call him “His Royal Smoothness,” (an account of his gracefulness on the floor) his detractors refer to him as “The Velociraptor.” (due to his general resemblance to a dinosaur)

I’m also looking forward to seeing James Anderson play. I know he’s a potential lottery pick. Do you OU alums hate OSU or Texas more? By the way “Boomer……….”

(JB) Oh no!  We hate Texas way more than OSU.  The Pokes can be kind of annoying sometimes but we still like to see them do well to represent the state.  I don’t have a leg to stand on with the Sooners.  They completely fell apart and now TMZ is reporting that one of our players is getting wired money from a financial advisor.  Who knew that a freshman basketball player at OU would ever make TMZ!

(PMB) It’s like a reflex, like if someone were to say to me “I-L-L…….

(JB) I hear you.  It can get a little obnoxious but its fun to yell “Boomer!” in crowded spots to see how many “Sooner!” responses you get.  Especially at the wire transfer place.  Oh wait.

(PMB) which individual players are you looking forward to covering this weekend? There’s so much NBA level talent on Kansas alone….

(JB) KU is loaded.  You have Evan Turner and James Anderson up in Milwaukee.  I’ve got Xavier Henry and Cole Aldrich.  Henry is from Oklahoma City so it will be fun to watch him play in his home town.  Aldrich really impressed me last night.  Five blocks!  I think he could be solid in the NBA.

Be sure to follow the live tournament coverage throughout the weekend right here on the Washington Times Communities.

Paul M. Banks also writes for www.thesportsbank.net and can be found on the Washington Times Communities NFL Sunday Mass column.


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Jason Black

Jason Black is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he recieved a B.A. in Journalism.  While at OU he served as Sports Director for the University television station.  He has recieved multiple awards for public speaking and comedy.

He appears weekly on 18 radio stations across the country and also writes for the magazine distinctly Oklahoma.

Growing and living in Oklahoma for almost his entire life, Jason has a passion for all sports mixed with a little pop culture.

Contact Jason Black

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