Back in the day, the Saturday used to be a great time to watch college basketball. Every Saturday morning, NBC had a matchup between two top-ranked teams; highlited by Billy Packer and Al McGuire arguing with each other….
While the two of them bickered, play-by-play man Dick Enberg didn’t miss a beat….
USC and UCLA would play Pac-10 games later in the day, which made it a college basketball feast….
Then, on Monday, we’d gather in the hall before school and talk about the games….
Oh, how times have changed….
This weekend, there were games all over the dial and I didn’t watch any of them….
In just a few years, I’ve gone from a college basketball fanatic to someone who couldn’t name a player on any of the top teams; including the Bruins and Trojans….
With all the high school players going straight to the NBA, I began to lose interest. But when NBA Commissioner David Stern installed that ridiculous rule forcing players to go to college for a year, that did it for me….
I know I’m being unrealistic, but I really miss the days when players stayed in school for four years. The teams had continuity, the coaches could plan for the future and fans knew who would be on the team from year-to-year….
Now, the teams change drastically every year and nobody but the most hard core fan has any idea who is on the roster….
Add to this the interminable commercial breaks and scandalously poor officiating and you have an unwatchable sport….
A few weeks ago, I watched a few minutes of a UCLA game and was shocked at their ineptitude. They have no talent anywhere on the floor and wouldn’t beat a good high school team….
They’re white, slow, unathletic, can’t shoot, can’t defend and very lucky they play in the Pac-10….
I know they’re something like 13-18, but if they played in a good conference might be something like 5-26….
You have to feel for Ben Howland, who took the Bruins to three consecutive Final Fours and has a proven track record. But with all his good players leaving early for the NBA, the cupboard is bare….
Sure, you could make a case that he didn’t prepare and should have recruited better, but when every good player you recruit leaves after a year, eventually it’s going to catch up with you….
Look at North Carolina. I read the other day that Roy Williams is under .500 and the Tar Heels are terrible, which shows it can happen to anybody….
And it looks like UConn won’t make the tournament, either….
The good news for Carolina, UConn and UCLA is that one good recruiting class can get you back to the Final Four….
Kentucky had a losing record last season, but look at them now. John Calipari brought in a monster recruiting class and the Wildcats could win the National Championship….
Of course, Calipari will lose at least three of his star players to the draft and start over next season; which is why people like me don’t watch college basketball anymore….
Unlike most people, I don’t think Manny Pacquiao is going to have an easy time this Saturday against Joshua Clottey….
The African fighter is very strong, has a good chin, hits hard and is the biggest, strongest fighter Pacman has ever faced….
The 50,000 people watching inside Cowboys Stadium are going to get an entertaining fight….
In fact, this is a much better fight than Pacquiao-Mayweather would have been….
The problem for Clottey is he fights mechanically, coming straight forward and looks to beat his opponent into submission….
Manny, on the other hand, gives you angles, punches in combinations and shows a variety of looks….
Pacquiao has the advantage in hand speed and reflexes, which is why he’s going to win….
But it won’t be easy and Clottey is going to inflict some damage….
Unlike Miguel Cotto and Oscar De La Hoya, who are shot fighters, Clottey is in his prime and very, very strong….
I like Pacman by unanimous decision or late stoppage….