. . . remains college basketball. Even though the Final Four is days away, lots of happenings on the coaching carousel, none bigger of course than Kentucky. John Calipari of Memphis taking the reigns from Billy Gillispie has the sports pundit world all a-twitter. Calipari is a good coach and will certainly make the Wildcats national title contenders once again. Consider this, though: Two years ago Kentucky was paying $2 million dollars for a well-respected coach with a national championship and a pristine reputation (Tubby Smith). Now, the commonwealth finds itself paying $10 million dollars (if you add the recently fired Billy Gillispie’s buyout to Calipari’s salary) for a coach who has never won it all and whose first Final Four appearance had to be vacated due to NCAA violations. Not exactly what I’d call a bargain.
But who cares about Kentucky! The teams still in it are (1) Connecticut, playing for a banner the NCAA might not even let them hang up if the accusations of using an agent to help recruit a player proves true; (2) Michigan State, playing the role of host in Detroit and working desperately to give its recession-beaten state something to cheer about; (3) Villanova, trying to call up the ghosts of their Cinderella championship in 1985; and, of course, (4) North Carolina, trying to send out my favorite crop of players in the history of my fandom on the perfect note. My bracket has the Heels beating Michigan State in the championship game. Would that it be so!
And in that spirit, here’s another gem from YouTube: