BOZICH | Tuesday Muse: Excited about this Final Four? Didn't thi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

  • Will you watch the 2017 NCAA Final Four without any strong local connections?

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    80 votes

BOZICH | Tuesday Muse: Excited about this Final Four? Didn't think so

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Are you excited by the four teams in the 2017 NCAA Final Four? Rick Bozich wonders. Are you excited by the four teams in the 2017 NCAA Final Four? Rick Bozich wonders.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The college basketball season ended Sunday night in Memphis. The Monday Muse was delayed by one day (again) by the drive that Tom Lane and I made from Memphis to Bloomington Monday morning.

I’ll say goodbye to college basketball and get ready for baseball, NBA basketball, the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Kentucky Derby with a Tuesday edition of the Monday Muse.

1. Are You Excited?

This will be a test of how intensely people in the Kentuckiana area love college basketball.

I’ll give credit to Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune for creating the best tag for the 2017 Final Four:

The New Bloods vs. the Blue Blood.

Will it play in this market? I wonder.

Final Four newbies Gonzaga and South Carolina are teaming with 1939 NCAA title winner Oregon to try to stop North Carolina from winning its sixth national title.

Are you excited?

Didn’t think so. The Final Four ratings have always been strong in the Louisville market even without an area team. But this group?

Oregon let Nike chairman Phil Knight climb the victory ladder after the Ducks won the Midwest Regional. Yuck.

We all know the Gonzaga story. We’re mostly weary of the Gonzaga story. This team lacks John Stockton, Adam Morrison, Kelly Olynyk, Kyle Wiltjer, Angel Garcia or anybody else to elevate your blood pressure. Shrug.

South Carolina? Did you watch the Gamecocks play Kentucky? And you want to watch them play again?

I know better than to ask if you’re excited about Michael Jordan University.

Are you going to watch?

I wonder.

2. Who had the worst tournament?

For Gonzaga, South Carolina, Oregon and North Carolina to make the Final Four several Old Bloods had to depart one or two exits before Phoenix.

Which fan base has the most reason to grumble?

Kansas? All Bill Self and the Jayhawks did was blow a home game in Kansas City. Where would Bill Self be without Mario Chalmers in 2008? I think we know the answer to that question.

Duke? Your 65 McDonald’s all-Americans gave up 65 points to South Carolina in the second half. An explanation, please?

Villanova? Instead of doing the back-to-back thing, your team lost to a lower seed for the third time in four seasons. Give Kris Jenkins another hug, Jay Wright.

Kentucky? You had North Carolina on the ropes with five minutes to play and then your engine stalled.

3. SEC Question

I’m not a Clay Travis fan. But when you’re in western Tennessee and on the road to Bloomington, Ind., the talk radio options are not infinite. Travis made a point worth consideration Monday morning:

Is the SEC’s roster of basketball coaches stronger than the league’s roster of football coaches?

Could be. Travis argued there is not a terrible coach in the 14-man basketball stable.

I’m not that dazzled. Will Wade is highly recommended, but unproven at LSU. Rick Barnes is on the downside of his career at Tennessee. Mike Anderson has been far from great in six seasons at Arkansas. The only thing Cuonzo Martin has proven along the road to Missouri is that he is always interested in The Next Job.

I agree with the flip side of his argument: Nick Saban has been such a dominant football force at Alabama that he has driven other top coaches to find jobs outside the league.

The gap between Saban and the other 13 SEC guys is 99 yards and two feet. There’s nobody like Steve Spurrier (in his prime), Urban Meyer, Phil Fulmer or Vince Dooley to challenge him – yet.


4. Louisville Number One?

The flood of pre-season rankings for the 2018 college basketball season will not begin until next Tuesday, the day after the national championship game.

Some can’t wait.

The folks at College Spun are some of those people. They have posted their prediction for the 2018 Final Four. If they’re correct the field will please folks in the 502, 859 and 270 area codes considerably more than the group headed to Phoenix this weekend.

They put Louisville first, followed by Michigan State, Kentucky and Arizona. (The link.)

The party is booked for the Alamodome in San Antonio on March 31 and April 2, in case you’re already looking for flights and hotels.

5. Who is Ryan Miller?

It’s true. Archie Miller is not really Archie Miller.

The actual first name of the new Indiana basketball coach is Ryan. His nickname is Archie, as in Archie Bunker, the legendary crank for the hit TV show “All in the Family,” that aired from 1971-79.

The late Carroll O’Connor played that character. Ryan Miller does not look like Carroll O’Connor.

As a younger, undersized sibling, Miller had to fight for recognition all the way from Beaver Falls, Pa. (also the birthplace of Joe Willie Namath) to North Carolina State. He has said that at times he could be grouchy and difficult – like Bunker.

But Miller’s wife is named Morgan, not Edith, and she was once a track athlete at N.C. State.

6. Roster Management

News should begin to pop soon about the NBA and possible transfers at Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana. Three Louisville players (Donovan Mitchell, Deng Adel and Jaylen Johnson) will examine their NBA options.

At Kentucky, I expect De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe to depart. I would not be surprised if Bam Adebayo joined them, but I’ve been told that is not a lock.

At Louisville, the wise course would be for all three to return. Mitchell could play his way into the lottery and a more substantial rookie contract in 2018, when the draft will not be as strong as it will be in June.

At IU, I look for OG Anunoby to pursue the NBA. Neither Thomas Bryant nor James Blackmon Jr. projects as a first-round pick but I’d be surprised if both players returns.

7. Give a Kansas State Fan a Hug

If you know a Kansas State fan please give him or her a hug.

Blair Kerkoff of the Kansas City Star shared this intriguing stat on Twitter:

Five of the last seven Kansas State coaches have taken teams to the Final Four. Sadly, for K-State, none of those teams have been the Wildcats.

Here is your list:

Lon Kruger – Florida in 1994, Oklahoma 2016.

Bob Huggins – Cincinnati 1992 and West Virginia 2010.

Bruce Weber – Illinois 2005.

Frank Martin – South Carolina 2017.

Dana Altman  -- Oregon 2017.

Maybe K-State needs to invite Phil Knight to town.

8. Ringing The Bell

This didn’t take long. Guess who was not thrilled with the talkative antics of LaVar Ball, the father of UCLA all-American point guard Lonzo Ball?

Parents of other UCLA players. Actually, it was one parent.

That is all the folks at TMZ needed for a story – one anonymous parent, who claimed the Mr. Ball’s antics were a distraction for the UCLA team that lost to Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen last Friday in Memphis.

(I would argue that Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox was a bigger distraction, but I don’t want to ruin the TMZ account.)

Of course, TMZ also talked to another parent who said Mr. Ball was not a distraction. Just business as usual when you are dealing with the parents of highly acclaimed players.

You can make your decision after reading this link.

9. The Legend of Kyle Schwarber

Major-league baseball will be on an Extra Innings Package near you soon, and the buzz for the 2017 season has not changed from the 2016 season: Cubs, Cubs, Cubs, Cubs.

Joe Maddon’s team is parked on all the magazine covers. They’re on top of all the predictions. They’ll be featured on more national broadcasts than even the Yankees or Red Sox.

Some people argue the 2017 Cubs will be better than the 2016 Cubs.


The Wrigleys will have an entire season of Kyle Schwarber, the former Indiana University catcher, who made a remarkable recovery from knee surgery to help power the Cubs past the Indians in the World Series.

Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago delivered a solid story on Schwarber’s journey and future. You can read it by clicking here.

10. Poll Results I

Will Archie Miller be the coach that gets Indiana back to the Final Four for the first time since 2002?

Yes -- 88.1 percent.

No -- 11.9 percent.

Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.

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