A few NCAA thoughts from the road

Left Bremerton on Sunday, and it already seems like we’ve been gone three weeks. From B-town to Reno to Las Vegas, the road trip has taken us to Flagstaff, Ariz. Next stop: The Grand Canyon. Then it’s off to Arizona for some  sun and baseball.

Followed the NCAA Tournament on the radio for most of the day, wondering if Gonzaga was going to hold off Southern. Southern? Can you imagine the heat the Zags would have taken if they’d lost to a No. 16?

When B.F. Goodrich invented rubber galoshes in 1923 in Akron, Ohio, they featured a new invention called the zipper. Hence, that’s how Akron came to be known as the Zips. And those are the things you google while on the road with a couple of buddies. Maybe the Zips were wearing galoshes on Thursday during an 88-42 loss to Virginia Commonwealth? Or maybe VCU is that good? If a No. 11 seed is ever going to win the tournament, this might be the one. “Organized chaos,” is how one of TV’s talking heads described VCU.

Cal, Oregon and Arizona all win on Thursday? Who saw that coming? The Pac-12 hasn’t gotten much respect in recent years, but maybe this is the year they will earn some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

This just in: No. 14 Harvard KO’s No, 3 seed New Mexico in the West, 68-62. The Ivy Leaguers weren’t suppose to be here this year after losing two co-captains after a grade scandal.  Next up for the Crimson is Arizona. Upsets like this are what make this tournament so great. Look at your bracket. I bet it just got busted.

This just in: Syracuse leads Montana 72-28. Do you think the Grizzlies are happy they made the tournament?

My column this week was about the Odds of March. The next one will be about spring training.

Quick hits

Former Central Kitsap football coach Paul Stoffel, who was an assistant at West High when I played, is living in Prescott, Ariz., and we will get together on Saturday. Stoffel’s granddaughter, Kristin Stoffel, is a freshman basketball player at Seattle University.

Miami comes from 27-points back in the third quarter to beat Cleveland and extend its NBA winning streak to 24 games. This, two days after overcoming a 17-point deficit in a victory over Boston. Oh, yeah, both games were on the road. The Heat won three straight in four days to cap a 5-0 road trip. Enough about this nonsense about LeBron James not being in Michael Jordan’s league. When Jordan left the Bulls to play pro baseball, Chicago still managed to get back to the NBA Finals the next year. When James left Cleveland, which had become one of the league’s elite teams, the Cavs suddenly became the worst team in basketball.

Nate Roberts, a senior from Central Kitsap, is finishing up his four-year baseball career at Seattle University and coach Donny Herrel calls the middle infielder the “perfect program guy.”

Nice to see Olympic College’s baseball team is off to a good start. The Rangers are 9-4. It’s still a shame that Kitsap County officials won’t let the Rangers volunteer their time to work on the field at the fairgrounds. OC’s willing to work on the field before and after practices. Unless something’s changed in the last week, the county is only allowing the college to practice 10 times on the field. OC’s played several of its home games at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.

South Kitsap grad Aaron Cunningham is hitting .276 for the Texas Rangers this spring and is still in the running for a backup outfield position. North Kitsap grad Jared Prince has appeared in three spring games for the Rangers and is hitless in two at bats. It’s possible both Kitsap products could start the season at Triple-A Round Rock, which plays in the Pacific Coast League.

 

 

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