What’s up, Special Ed?
Today is February 28th and spring is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!! We can feel it, you guys, the sun is getting warmer and the air’s not so dry. It’s still like 40 something degrees, so Stringer still doesn’t give a fuck, but there’s a heat index in the mid 50s, and it’s got us feelin amped! We’re fading the groundhog and calling it right now – Spring is about to be Sprung!
In the DYM Household, the Major Conference tournaments are the true start of March Madness. So, this year, thanks to Global Warming, March Madness actually starts in February!! The B1G basketball league is definitely feeling that Spring Fever like we are cause they’re kicking off their championship Tourney TODAY at MSG! Illinois faces Iowa at 5:30 then The Minnesota Golden Gophers square off against Rutgers - the Official Alma Mater of Defend Your Moves. LETS GO!!!!! The early start means there will be a week or two of REST vs RUST talk for some of these B1G teams heading into the NCAA Tourney. The teams aren’t all that happy about it (they’ve already decided to move the B1G tourney back a week for next year), but for us, as Tourney Watchers, this is not a bad thing.
We like that it’s the B1G specifically cause they were the hottest conference at the end of football season, so we're still more invested in them than most other Conferences right now. From now on they should always make whichever Power-5 Conference wins the most Bowl Games have to start their Hoops Tourney a week early. It totally makes sense.
To be honest, this year we haven’t watched hardly any college hoops so far. We watched a couple Trae Young games where he missed a ton of shots; then we watched Oregon-Arizona on Saturday where DeAndre Ayton looked like he’s worth every penny of that $100,000. Which brings us to the only story that matters in NCAA hoops right now – BAG DROPPING.
Now there’s a lot of parts of this NCAA Bags investigation that we don’t fully understand. Like we don’t really get why the FBI is involved, we thought this shit was just against the NCAA’s rules not against, like, The Law. Anyway, big picture we feel like this was the best possible thing that could have happened to NCAA hoops. There are really no losers here, everyone involved wins in the end.
Obviously it’s big for any team NOT on the list. It’s vindication for the teams that claim to “do it the right way.” Plus, if the NCAA drops the hammer on all the named schools it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for North Dakota or Rutgers or some Ivy League team to make a run in the tourney next year. But on the other hand there is no such thing as bad publicity – and Bag Dropping is so ubiquitous that making the list could be seen as more of a status symbol than a scandal. Every true blue-blood big-time basketball program is on this list. One could argue that any program NOT on the list is, by definition, NOT big-time.
NCAA Bag Dropping is a time-honored institution. Although it’s supposed to be a secret, it may be the most well-known secret institution in America. Everybody knows that everybody does it and nobody even thinks its “wrong” - ethically speaking. So nobody is going to look bad in this thing. It just confirms a lot of what we already knew and maybe gives some shine to a few up and coming programs.
So this is also great for the rivalries, and regional bragging rights, which have always fueled college sports: Utah is now more big-time than BYU; USC is big-time and UCLA is not; Texas somehow made this list twice (shouts to Sports Illustrated), crushing Big 12 rival Oklahoma. We had thought Oklahoma was pretty big-time now with a Heisman winner and a Hoops Player of the Year candidate, but guess not.
The biggest Bag on the list was surprisingly dropped by NC State ($74K for Dennis Smith Jr). NCSU has been living in Duke and UNC’s shadows for as long as we can remember. But now Wolfpack Nation have a little something to hang their hats on. On the one hand they are vindicated by their rivals being exposed; and on the other-hand they beat them at their own game, having reportedly dropped the biggest bag in the state.
Of course, we really already knew that Duke, UNC, Michigan St. and Kentucky were Dropping Bags so, barring some draconian NCAA sanctions, this doesn’t change anything for them. But this is some HUGE publicity for these smaller schools. When Isaiah Whitehead led Seton Hall on a miracle March run a few years ago, he put the school back on the map. Surely that helped recent recruiting, but the best thing he ever could have done was get caught with that big $27K duffle bag. This wise little investment raises the entire school’s profile by about 3000%. Sure, The Hall is a program on the rise right now on its own merits, but 3rd place in the Big East doesn’t have the cache it once did. So, this is the only situation where SHU gets mentioned in the same sentence as Duke; The Hall is now in Elite company, I’m sure they’ll take it. If Seton Hall gets sanctioned and have to take a few years off, worst case, once they come back the kids will all remember why they were gone, cause they Drop Those Bags. The recruits will be rolling in. Plus Xavier and Creighton are Big Time now too - THE BIG EAST IS BACK BABY!!!
But the Hottest, Biggest Big-Time program right now is the Arizona Wildcats. They didn’t make the list because their bag was so fucking big, and they dropped it with such recklessness and audacity, that apparently it necessitated a whole separate investigation. Arizona’s Head Coach Sean Miller was ALLEGEDLY caught on a wiretapped phone offering to pay DeAndre Ayton $100,000 (a steal, by the way). Now, let’s say, worst case scenario, this thing stays in the news and ESPN gets all snooty about it and he gets fired from Arizona and maybe even suspended. By the time he comes back DeAndre Ayton will be an NBA All-Pro and everyone will remember that Miller successfully scouted and recruited him. That’s one thing you can’t take away from Miller, his scouts were right and his recruiting was strong in 2016. He might be the next Kentucky head coach, and that’s pretty much worst case.
ENJOY THE TOURNEY EVERYBODY!!!