First off, we have to tell you the Artie Lange show lived up to all of the hype last night. Thanks to the MTAC name, we ended up in the second row. Artie's standup was better than expected, but still average. Our guy Richard Christy may be the worst standup comedian in the business, but he was so bad, that he was good. Nothing was better than the Scott the Engineer segment. He was a train wreck and the crowd was relentless on him. It was unreal. Props to Jim Florentine and Rev. Bob Levy, those guys are real comics. But I digress.
Many people (this means you Ags), are lamenting the fact that they have no Football to watch today. Turn your attention to the best college sport going folks, Basketball. It's a big Saturday of hoops with lots of intriguing interconference matchups. There was also interesting news coming out of Tucson where Arizona coach Lute Olsen extended his leave of absence for the remainder of the year. Word has leaked out that Olsen is getting a divorce from his second wife, Christine. I can't decide if I want to go deeper into this, but I may in a column next week.
What to Watch: College Basketball
Noon: #24 Arizona (5-2) vs. Illinois (5-2) in Chicago, ESPN - The reality has set in that Lute isn't coming back and Kevin O'Neill is the coach for the rest of the year. Lets see if there is anyone on Illinois who can hang with PG Jerryd Bayless and the sweet shooting Chase Budinger. I'm guessing no. Arizona 77 Illinois 72
2:00 PM: Dayton (6-1) at #11 Louisville (5-1), ESPN2 - The Cardinals were an MTAC fave in the preseason, but so far haven't shown us much. Today is as good of a day as any to step it up. Dayton can play, led by Senior G Brian Roberts. Louisville 63 Dayton 57
2:00 PM: Michigan (3-5) at #7 Duke (8-0), CBS - Blowout city. Why is this game nationally televised every year? Would the Duke/Michigan football game? that is what this game has become. Duke 90 Michigan 67
2:00 PM: Depaul (2-2) at #3 Kansas (8-0), ESPN - Expect to see an angry KU bunch looking to get a measure of revenge after last year's 14 point collapse in Chicago (to quote Chris Berman, "I remember, because I was there.") Lets see what Bill Self does with Brandon Rush after his traffic violations arrest in Thursday. Kansas 71 Depaul 54
3:00 PM: #9 Pittsburgh (8-0) at Washington (4-3), FSN - Pitt is finally playing some real competition. Our guess is that the Huskies' Jon Brockman eats them up in the post and they get just enough guard play to pull it out. Washington 66 Pittsburgh 63
4:00 PM: Kentucky (4-2) at #15 Indiana (7-1) - The annual rivalry takes another turn with the arrival of IU's Eric Gordon and UK's Patrick Patterson. Gordon is expected to play after injuring his back and hip during a game earlier this week. Patterson spent his week trying to defend being caught on TV picking his nose and eating it. Indiana 80 Kentucky 77
4:00 PM: #10 Michigan State (7-1) vs. BYU (7-1) at Salt Lake City - As much as we think he is a phony, give Tom Izzo credit, no other coach in the country is scheduling this game. That said, BYU's Trent Plaisted is going to be a major problem for MSU's front court. BYU 71 Michigan State 69
4:30 PM: Davidson (3-4) vs#8 UCLA (7-1) at Anaheim - So far, Davidson has played Duke, North Carolina, and Charlotte. Now they are taking on the Bruins who have fallen out of the #1 spot after their stunning home loss to Texas. Not good for Stephen Curry and company. UCLA 71 Davidson 61
6:00 PM: #15 Marquette (5-1) at #23 Wisconsin (6-1), ESPN2 - The annual battle for Wisconsin brings us two ranked teams for the second year in a row. Bo Ryan's club is always well coached, but Marquette has superior talent. They don't have the horses to stay with Dominic James, Jerel McNeal, and Wesley Matthews. Marquette 69 Wisconsin 64