Written by Andrew Ottoson Wednesday, 23 April 2008 10:29Being fan of professional basketball in central Kansas is a lonely, lonely experience. I’ve been here long enough that it doesn’t surprise me when open wheel racing gets as much airtime as the NBA playoffs on the nightly news. Still, apart from watching the games as they’re aired on ABC and reading recaps on the internet, it’s hard to find material for a halfway decent basketball column in April.
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I like the NBA game. I like it more than the college game because the players are bigger and faster and more skilled and have larger-than-life personalities.
I even like Shaq’s personality, even though he talks like he smashes cinder blocks with his head for fun during his spare time.
I thought that Spurs-Suns 2OT thriller on...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Wednesday, 09 April 2008 15:30That KU-North Carolina game sure was quite the nailbiter, wasn’t it? Practically everyone I talked to leading up to Saturday night had KU over Carolina.
Just about every sports conversation I initiated, joined or just happened to overhear for three straight days began with the same question: “Do you think the Jayhawks can win it? How do you like their chances?”
That’s not exactly shocking, considering I did not set foot outside of the Sunflower State during the last seven days. But the degree to which everybody was equivocating took me a little bit by surprise.
Almost without exception, every college basketball conversation that I came within 50 yards of ended with a comment like “it’s a tough field, and I think you can make...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Thursday, 27 March 2008 06:53Basketball is a strange, strange sport in the second-to-last week of March. But even with the chaos going on in the Midwest Regional of the NCAA tournament, the strangest basketball happenings are happening in the NBA.
As of the moment I sat down to write this, there are 11 teams with more than 37 wins in the West, and six teams with 46 or more.
Meanwhile, two or three completely boring and unwatchable teams are going to make the Eastern playoffs for no good reason.
Unless you count geography.
But as the NCAA tournament shows, sometimes the best games happen between teams with no apparent geographic connection.
Granted, looking at maps isn’t exactly a hobby of mine. Last time I looked at a map, I was trying to figure out which...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Thursday, 13 March 2008 02:47We've officially hit March Madness. It's never official until CBS puts the darkhorse flavor of the month on TV screens nationwide and completely overhypes a decent team’s chances in the NCAA tournament.
I’ve been counting on the Missouri Valley Conference champion to let me pencil in a few easy wins on my bracket in recent years. But not this year.
I’d normally say it’s pretty reasonable to expect a relatively unknown conference champion to knock the stuffing out of the third- or-fourth place team out of the ACC every year. But not this year.
In a normal year, the MVC tournament champ gets no love from the national media and ends up seeded near the bottom of the bracket. Because the tournament champ is usually a team other...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Wednesday, 27 February 2008 10:13There are two Internet videos I’ve been watching almost daily since the first time I saw them.
One is an animation of the various internet browser logos acting like morons until Firefox finally gets fed up with the rest of them and tells them all to shut up.
The other is a montage of Dwight Howard’s dunks at the NBA all-star game. The Superman “dunk” probably would have been the coolest to watch live, without instant replay, but the lefty-tap-to-the-glass-to-the-right-hand-jam is without question the single greatest dunk I’ve ever seen. I just wish it had a better name.
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You ever wonder why there’s so much rap music played at basketball games? I did some research. The connection between the sport and the sound...
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