* I love the NCAA Tournament. Covering it is like living in a commune, with reporters stacked side by side in a media workroom while snacking on varied items, from trail mix to pears. I look around at times and wonder how all of these people got started in this media business, how long they’ve been doing it, whether it still makes them happy . . . these are the things I think about.
* We were served cod for lunch. The NCAA needs to do better than that. However, my friends raved about the cod. So much so that I tried it. Eh. Just OK. I don’t care much for fish or any kind of seafood. My explanation is easy, if confounding. I don’t like to eat things that have been in the water. And fish smell bad because they’ve been in the water. It’s not their fault, really. But I don’t have to eat them.
* I do like shrimp some. Not a lot, just some.
* Yesterday, we were served chicken parmigiana. I enjoy chicken, mostly because chickens don’t reside in the sea. They reside in much worse conditions, probably. But at least they don’t reside in the sea.
* I’ve covered a bunch of NCAA tournaments over the years, writing about Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State. Here’s a list of the cities, with the number of games I’ve covered in those cities. This probably has no meaning to anyone but me. And perhaps my wife. But probably just me.
* New Orleans 7, Oklahoma City 7, San Antonio 6, St. Louis 6, Salt Lake City 4, Omaha 4, Winston-Salem 2, Dayton 2, Madison 2, Kansas City 2, Chicago 2, San Jose 2, Detroit 2, Minneapolis 2, Anaheim 2, Atlanta 2, Wichita 2, Greensboro 2, Los Angeles 2, Tucson 2, Portland 1, Washington D.C. 1. So, 64 games in 22 cities. And I’ll be adding at least three more games this weekend here in St. Louis.
* My favorite NCAA venue is New Orleans and the Superdome. And the city. I’ve had a lot of fun in New Orleans, but who hasn’t? Washington was a blast in 2006, even though Wichita State played only one game there. And I love being in St. Louis, my home away from home. This is a great city, although the traffic has gotten noticeably worse over the years.
* I’m grateful to be covering another NCAA Tournament with my friend, Rick Plumlee. We started at The Eagle at about the same time; I think I have about 10 months on him. Rick was our KU beat writer for 30 years and we’ve been to a bunch of these things together. He’s one of the best journalists I’ve worked with and one of the most interesting people I’ve known.
* Wichita State will have a very interesting game to play Sunday in the tournament, whether it’s against Kentucky or Kansas State. Those two teams play the late game tonight here at the Scottrade Center and either would pose a threat to the Shockers’ unbeaten streak. (Yes, I’m assuming Wichita State gets by Cal Poly today. I think that’s a safe assumption). Kentucky’s size, though, would present the biggest danger to the Shockers. I’ve seen Kansas State play a lot this season and I think Wichita State is just the better team. That doesn’t mean the Wildcats couldn’t give WSU a tough game and perhaps even become the team to stop the Shockers in their tracks. But Wichita State matches up better against K-State than the Shockers do against Kentucky.
* That said, Kentucky has been one of the most inconsistent teams in the country this season. The Wildcats’ performance doesn’t always match their talent level. They have endured distinct and profound growing pains. Wichita State would give away size and talent level in a game against Kentucky. But the Shockers have a big edge in consistency, teamwork and all of the intangibles that help determine the strength of a college basketball team.
* Kentucky, though, is scary. The NCAA Tournament just might be what this young team of future NBA players needed to motivate them. The Wildcats look like the kind of team that, especially in a season with so much parity, could simply light the fuse and exploded through six games. The key is consistency and so far Kentucky has not been able to corral that commodity.
* I’ve been disappointed with The Walking Dead this season. It’s become far too contemplative. I made the statement on Twitter the other day that the show either has or is about to jump the shark. What are your thoughts?
* I’m headed out now to watch some of the New Mexico-Stanford game. I’ll add some more musings later because of popular demand. Which begs the question: Has demand ever been unpopular. Think about that one and I’ll touch base later.