The start of the college basketball season (inject satisfying sigh) -- Everybody is undefeated (well, unless one counts the Tennessee Vol exhibition loss to Indianapolis). Everybody is optimistic (well, unless one counts Louisville Cardinal fans), and everybody is ready to rumble, believing beyond reason that their favorite team is going to cut down the nets in Houston-town come March, well, make that April.
And for obvious reasons (Lexington being the center of the college basketball universe, and all) the beginning of college basketball season is always extra special here in the Bluegrass State. The 'Cats have yet to endure any horrendous calls from the officials (which may or may not have cost the 'Cats a contest), even though TV Teddy Valentine (Hat Tip: David Scott for educating me on the phrase "TV Teddy Valentine") has already stunk up Rupp Arena; there have been no game-losing missed shots; no lamentations about turnovers at the most inopportune of times (unless one theorizes that the butter fingers displayed by the Kentucky gridiron 'Cats will somehow bleed over into basketball season); no what ifs, and no UK fans banging the keyboards in frustration (me included) after a loss that should have been a win (unless one theorizes that the Kentucky gridiron 'Cats inability to beat teams they should best bleeds over into basketball season).
Of course, the cusp of this season is spoiled a bit for UK fans because there has been no word out of Indianapolis on Enes Kanter's eligibility, but, I was thinking maybe we could jet Ashley Judd to Naptown to use her cat-like charms to persuade the NCAA boys to put away the XBox and give us a freakin' ruling already. Good or bad, it doesn't matter; the suspense is killing me. Whadya say Ash, can we get a little help?
But, regardless of the Kanter decision, and in honor of the impending 2010-2011 college basketball season, let's take a look at 20 things I guarantee will happen at some point during the upcoming season. Remember when reading, it's all in good fun ... or is it?
1) West Virginia coach Bob Huggins will wear a pullover on the sidelines during a Mountaineer game (I had to start out with an easy one folks).
2) The Louisville Courier-Journal will sport the following headline -- "Cards Lose to Bottom-Feeder: Pitino not to Blame."
3) If Enes Kanter is ruled ineligible, UK fans will utter multiple times, "If we only had Kanter ..." If Kanter is ruled eligible, UK fans will utter multiple times, "If we only had Cousins, Patterson, and Wall ..."
4) John Calipari will use the phrase, "UK fans are nuts," and mean it as a complement.
5) Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl will have his picture taken with scantily clad co-eds, host an illegal recruiting luncheon at his house, lie to the NCAA about it, ask recruits and their parents to lie to the NCAA about it, ... oh wait, he's already done all that stuff. Uh, instead, Pearl will watch his team implode, and ask for the phone number of Southern Indiana's athletic director --SIU is where Pearl got his start (he was 231-46 in his nine seasons at the D II power), and there's nothing like going back where it all started, to begin again.
6) New St. John's coach Steve Lavin will recruit the talent to win, but lose games that make Red Storm fans' eyes pop out of their heads.
7) Dick Vitale will say the words, "Duke, baby! They're prime-time performers!" But hey, I'm cool with it, Vitale has been steadfast in his defense of John Calipari over the summer.
8) The ubiquitous Matt Jones will be stopped at the airport in Hawai'i (on his way to the Maui Invitational) by a man in his 60's and asked for his autograph. Jones, being the gracious soul that he is, signs the man's boarding pass. The old fella looks at the autograph with a puzzled look on his face, and says quizzically, "Matt Jones? I thought you were Howdy Doody." Hey, at least Jones is going to paradise, while I'm, well, not.
9) South Carolina head coach Darrin Horn will ask himself at least once during the season, "Why, oh why, did I leave WKU?" He'll then get his monthly paycheck, and say, "Aah, that's why."
10) Rick Pitino will stumble out of Porcini's with his pants on backward ... or, maybe he learned his lesson.
11) While sitting in their living room, my mother (Linda) will implore my father (Coleman), "The referees can't hear you!!"
12) Our own Glenn Logan will pace the halls of his expansive Jefferson county estate, mumbling to himself, "Will these guys ever learn the intricacies of the stratified, transitional hyperbolic paraboloid defense?"
13) Indiana head coach Tom Crean will ask himself at least once during the season, "Why, oh why, did I leave Marquette?" He'll then get his monthly paycheck, and say, "Aah, that's why."
14) Florida coach Billy Donovan, as he cuts down the last of the net, will say to no one in particular, "Winning the NIT isn't nearly as cool as winning the NCAA's."
15) The dynamic UK radio duo of Tom Leach and Mike Pratt will announce with vigor to the Big Blue world that the 'Cats will be making their 14th trip to the Final Four.
16) After a UK game my three little girls will look at my wife and ask, "Why is daddy so happy?"
17) After a UK game my three little girls will look at my wife and ask, "Why is daddy so sad?"
18) If the recently departed John Wooden has any pull at all with the big man in the sky, UCLA will win more than they lose ... which would be a significant improvement. In the same vain, if my recently departed father-in-law has any pull with the big man in the sky, Kentucky will eviscerate the Cards in the Bucket on New Year's Eve.
19) Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury will blame John Calipari for the disappearance of the Delta wetlands.
20) As I did several times last season, I'll say, "I sure wish Bill Keightley were around to see this. He'd dig it the most."
Thanks for reading and Go 'Cats!