Where to start? Where to start? Overall happy night for this college basketball fan. I'm no betting man but if you dare complain about the "bogus" tech Manhattan College coach Steve Masiello recieved how about the most ridiculous ending of a game I've seen in years. If you had Manhattan, thank the refs for an early christmas gift for "the cover that should have never happened". I mean what a joke. Moving right along, let's start with the Colonial Athletic Conference championship game. James Madison University defeats Northeastern. Since Mason Nation wasn't involved and this game was broadcast on NBC sports network, I simply flipped it to my favorite logo and mascot for the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky. They defended their Sun Belt title by defeating Richard Pitino and Florida International. Where's Raja Bell when you need him? The fighting red towels had this the whole way and no love lost for Richard Pitino. Looped for him and his pops a few summers ago. No Steve Lappas, Paul Hewitt, or Lawrence Frank I can tell you that much. Go Toppers and I know they beat Seton Hall in 93? Whatever the year that's when I was introduced to the funny logo and mascot. Quite a run this year. More to follow. The Southern Conference championship game saw the College of Charleston play the Wildcats of Davidson. Snoozefest. In that, I mean Bob McKillop really is a cool customer. Love his style. Fresh suits, haircut, the whole nine. Another NCAA bid for the cats. The West Coast Conference championship saw the Bulldogs of Gonzaga handle the Gaels of St. Mary's which will surely get an auto bid. Dish of the night featured by David Stockton to an Olynik jam. The MAAC title game saw the Jaspers of Manhattan play the Iona Gaels. I focused on this game. When comparing starting backcourts, who would you rather have? The Gonzaga combo of Stockton and Pangos, so sound, so smart, and controlled or the highest scoring backcourt in D1 with Ionas Jones and Armand, which is a high risk/high reward combo that seems like organized chaos? Really cool to watch the different styles. Obviously Iona is not Gonzaga and versa vica so the backcourts are used to their strengths but fun to watch the contrasting styles. Too bad this game was played in Springfield Mass. Closest campus conference wise was Fairfield. I get that it's all about cash but gimmie a break. Thank God for conferences like the Big Sky that reward the regular season conference winner with playing host to the conference tournament. Manhattan, I thought froze out Iona in the first half with the zone but the Gaels came out in the second more aggressive. And as they should really. Anyone see the Iona coaching staff? Loved the look! Straight outta Sopranos man. You can say that some coaching staffs are reflected in their players and Iona just out muscled Manhattan in the second. I don't know too much about Coach Masiello but he really irked me. Dude could be the nicest guy on the planet for all I know but couldn't stand the whining, cheerleading, and fake surprise when he got the tech for not staying in the coachs box. I think his insecurity was reflected in the Jaspers play in the second. Meanwhile you had the Iona team locked in. Was it the jumpsuits? Maybe all the close losses this year? The 20 point blown lead to BYU last year? Great win for Iona and I hope they get hot and win at least one game in the tournament.
In closing, I tuned into CBS College Sports Network for maybe a recap of the night. It IS March Madness(insert TradeMark)? Instead they have NBA D League basketball. My remote was almost thrown into the wall. So I had to flip on ESPN to get a little recap. Thank GOD for the mute button. I muted when the clown host introduced Joe Linardi as "Joey Brackets" and LaPhonso Ellis as "Fonzi". What garbage ESPN is. Catering to the fan as "hip" and "cool". More like "forced". What, these guys going out with us later? How about some wings? Words can't describe how absolutely horrible that into was. It made me cringe and I almost vomited.
Looking forward to Valpo and the Jackrabbits tomorrow night. Good night now!