The State of College Basketball

by Justin Cherot

According to ESPN, there are only two people in the entire bracket-filing process who didn’t stare at the television screen blankly wondering if it was too late to trade in their bracket for a newer, more accurate model.

Butler/VCU and Connecticut/Kentucky are our Final Four match-ups for the right to play on Monday night for the ‘chip?  If someone would have told me two weeks ago that those were the games, I would have demanded an on-the-spot drug test (although I think nowadays I think we’re calling that the Charlie Sheen).

But it is what it is.  I was starting to seriously lose hope in college basketball, but like that ol’ Charlie Sheen that keeps saying asinine stuff on TV, I just can’t help but watch (last Sheen reference, I promise).  The state of college ball is actually pretty good.  Prior to the tourney, I thought we might be looking at a paper-thin draft, but the more I think about it it’s shaping up like the 2009 draft minus a surefire superstar like Blake Griffin.  There are quality starter/rotation type players all the way into the early second round.  Go to NBADraft.net and honestly tell me that, minus the foreigners, there are serious question marks.  Even the draft’s biggest question mark, Jimmer Fredette, is at the very least a good rotation player for years because of his ability to sink 88-foot jumpers off the dribble. 

But, you know what’s cooler?  Guys like Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes are actually thinking about returning to–gasp–better prepare themselves for life at the next level.  Sure, the impending lockout may have a little something to do with that, but I’d rather pretend that these guys actually give a damn about their university and that tangy taste of failure will force them back to school. 

Long story short, college basketball has won me back… at least to tide me over for what should be the most contentious NBA postseason ever.     

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