Thursday, March 20, 2008

Junior Madness

Back online again. It's been a while, I know.

While the Big Dance gets started, I just want to mention there's a smaller version going on simultaneously: The National Junior College Basketball Championship. This has been in Hutchinson, Kansas, for as long as I can remember, and in Kansas, it's a very big thing, at least if the Hutchinson News has anything to say about it. Sixteen teams, one week, and twenty-six games – you play four games or until you lose twice, whichever comes first. When I was a kid our coaches used to take us to the early round daytime games: back then it probably cost $2.00 each to see four games. Only a few big-college teams went to the NCAA tournament, so there were a lot of out-of-competition Division I coaches there, looking for some help for the next season. There was also a certain lack of defense, so the games were all fun to watch – remember, this was back before the shot clock and the three-point line, so a team that wanted could really slow things down. Not in Hutch, because you can't impress a D-I coach with your ability to dribble the ball at half-court.

Unfortunately it's on neither ESPN, nor Fox Sports, nor national radio, though you can buy radio rights for $150/game. It's a shame, since a lot of these kids will be playing for the Big Boys next year. I know, it conflicts with the upset round of the Dance, but still, you think there would be a market...