It's that time of year

By - February 14, 2007

It must be getting around to March because Mike and the Mad Dog are talking college hoops. For those of you who might not have grown up in the New York metropolitan area and therefore have been deprived of Mike and the Dog I am of course referring to the pair of sports talk show hosts who appear on WFAN and the YES Network every weekday. I often wonder what the show would have sounded like in 1985 when Chris Mullin was leading St. Johns to the Final Four and college basketball really mattered in this city. As it is they ignore the sport almost entirely until a week or two before Selection Sunday at which point they bestow upon us their thoughts on how the selection committee did.

To be sure New York was never a college basketball town but there was a time when it was as important as almost any other sport that filled the time between the final game of the World Series and opening day. Long Island, CCNY, St. Johns and even NYU competed on the national stage almost every year but as time has passed they've fallen away one by one. NYU, LIU and CCNY were all caught up in the gambling scandals of the 50's and have never been the same. CCNY and NYU play in the lower divisions and LIU in the one-bid Northeast Conference. St. Johns managed to avoid the taint of the scandal and enjoyed the glory that came with the rise of the Big East in the 80's but in the new, expanded Big East the bottom four teams don't even make it to the conference tournament so-more often then not of late-the tournament has gone off without the Johnnies, sad really.

This year they're in 11th place which-should they maintain that position-would be good for a spot at the Garden but there are no guarantees.

Right now the last team in would be Connecticut who faces a critical match up with Seton Hall on Valentines Day that could make or break their season. Actually, their season is already broken but a loss to the Pirates would be catastrophic considering their less then solid hold on 12th place in the league.

Rising Above

The Mountain West is looking like it could be a four bid league this year especially if San Diego State can make a run in the conference tournament. The Aztecs currently sit in fourth and probably wouldn't make the dance if the selections were made today but they certainly have the talent to beat anybody in the league (they whooped up on Air Force a week ago and are coming off a win over UNLV). With BYU, UNLV and Air Force looking like solid choices for the post season it would be interesting to see what a SDSU run in the tournament would do to the at large teams both in conference and around the country.

Posted by at 05:48 PM on February 14, 2007
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