Bernucca: You Can Have the NCAA Tournament

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sportsWICHITAstate_t640I don’t like the NCAA Tournament.

I don’t like that college basketball’s regular season provides little postseason incentive. I don’t like that the coach is a bigger personality than the players. I don’t like that the games are played on neutral courts. I don’t like that one bad game or bad call or bad break can end a team’s season. I don’t like that “close” becomes a synonym for “well-played.” And I don’t like that poor play determines the outcome much more often than great play.

Most of all, I don’t like how I’m supposed to just accept that it’s fantastic and wonderful and beautiful, when it’s actually substandard basketball in a flawed format that tells me less and less every year about the game I love, which is the NBA.

I’m not trolling here. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’ve truly felt this way for a while. Part of it is admittedly a lingering distaste developed over more than a decade of working on a sports news desk and spending countless hours having to plan, preview, write, edit, update and package all of the words and numbers associated with the NCAA Tournament.

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Mitnick: Bogdanovic The Answer To The Nets’ Future?

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Bojan_Bogdanović'13

Not to be confused with the Serbian guard Bogdan Bogdanovic

The Nets may have traded away most of their future cap space and draft picks to obtain KG and “The Truth”, but they sneakily held on to one of their aces, Bojan Bogdanovic, a Croatian star who may just be the answer to how the Nets will transition into the post-KG era.

After a horrid 11-20 start, the Nets have managed to turn things around since New Year’s, and have started to find some sort of identity as a team. After trading for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce this past summer, the Nets left themselves with very little in the way of draft picks and cap space over the next few years. With KG, Pierce and Joe Johnson not getting any younger, the Nets will need to be crafty to have a shot at contending without breaking up their core.

Enter Bojan Bogdanovic, one of the most explosive scorers in Europe, whose rights the Nets have retained since he was the 31st pick of the 2011 draft.

Gibson: Euroleague Final Four Preview

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Euroleague bannerThe Euroleague Final Four is this weekend in London, with the semifinals Friday and the championship on Sunday. We have a ‘classico’ in Game 1 with Real Madrid playing Barcelona, and we have a classic in the second game with perennial powerhouse CSKA Moscow facing defending champion Olympiacos.

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Mitnick Column: Malcolm Thomas Journey From Tel-Aviv to the Bay Area

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From nba.com/warriors

From nba.com/warriors

After spending half of a season in Israel with Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Malcolm Thomas managed to turn a one game stint in the D-League into a 10-day contract with the Golden State Warriors.

After scoring 13 points and 17 rebounds in his only appearance for the Los Angeles D-Fenders, Thomas was able to convince the Warriors brass he was worth a closer look.

I have been watching his career take a dip this season in Israel, and I can tell you Thomas is a very athletic big man with a high motor.

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Euroleague Power Rankings: Week 9

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For every Blazer fan who asked Who? when his team traded Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas to the Knicks for Kostas Papanikolaou and Georgios Printezis, it’s officially time to be OK with that.

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