Larry Brown was like your grandfather. Or at least, that’s how everyone around college basketball described him. He was an unchallenged legend, revered as one of the game’s great teachers, a man who could parachute in to an irrelevant program in a borderline-irrelevant conference and turn it into a budding basketball hotbed. He was old (75), small, gentle and soft-spoken. He wore little circle glasses, paced around nervously and looked and acted like an English Lit professor. He talked constantly about teaching kids, teaching
Like most fans, I found this season’s Final Four to be really good. I guess college basketball isn’t being ruined by “one-and-done” after all. While we saw a one-and-done factory (Duke) win it all, we also had a sighting of a dodo bird. That creature thought to be extinct, known as a senior star. Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan prides himself on building from within and having well-coached teams. He develops players and teams over time by having rosters dominated by kids from
I did pick Duke in last night’s NCAA Championship game, in large part because I felt Wisconsin won a sort of national championship of their own on Saturday night when they beat the 38-0 Kentucky Wildcats. Duke cruised into the final after a 20-point win over Michigan State, and I thought it really showed last night in final stretch of the game as Duke had a little more in the tank to close it out. In this interview with Robin Lundberg on
Yes, I picked Kentucky to go all the way … but I always included the caveat that a lot would have to go wrong for them to lose in this tourney, and a lot would have to go right for someone else to beat them. That’s exactly what happened last night. Kentucky only made three 3-pointers, only shot 10 free throws, got outrebounded by 12 … but more than anything else, they did not do the things they were known for, the
“Even without a team. I’m still a coach.” That’s how Bobby Gonzalez opened this interview with Tamara Holder on Sports Court on FOX, and that is the truth. Yes, Gonzo is spending a season as a columnist, video analyst and radio guest for this site, but the endgame here is for Gonzo to land a job in the NBA, helping lead the team that is smart enough to hire him to an NBA championship. I like to tell people that Gonzo has
Editor’s Note: Whether coaching or forecasting, Bobby Gonzalez knows college basketball. He went 8-0 picking games in the Sweet Sixteen a year ago, 7-1 in that round this year and 3-1 in last weekend’s regional finals. This is not some Bozo. It’s Gonzo. He knows what he’s talking about. It was 1991 and I was standing in the crowd at the Final Four as a New York City high school coach, watching All-American Larry Johnson of the dominant, unbeaten UNLV team
I have a great Elite Eight story to tell you, but I know you want me to get right to my picks. I went 7-1 in my Sweet Sixteen picks, losing with Louisville — a team I am picking against again Sunday. I went 8-for-8 last year in the Sweet Sixteen, and my Twitter followers and Chris Sheridan want me to take that 15-1 record and try to make it 19-1. So I’ll get right to the picks … and then the story.
Bob Huggins is 8-2 lifetime against coach John Calipari, with most of the games taking place when those two coaches were leading Cincinnati and Memphis. That was years ago. Now they are with West Virginia and Kentucky, and folks are wondering whether Huggins’ personal .800 winning percentage will have an impact on the game. I provided my answer to that question, along with telling my best Bob Huggins story (from back when I was an assistant under Pete Gillen at Xavier), in