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9 Wishes for This Season

October 9, 2002 Columns No Comments

My 9-Item Wish List for Basketball This Season

by Jon Gonzalez

Now that the NFL season is drawing to a close (my beloved Jets are now 1-4 with an invisible defense that couldn’t stop, well, anything), it is time to shift gears to the world of college basketball. Last year was a great year for college hoops with Maryland cutting down the nets and Indiana turning back the clock with a run all the way to the national championship game. But while last year was great, there is no reason to believe that 2002-03 can’t be the even better, if not the best ever (a guy can dream, can’t he? You’re looking at a guy who thinks the Jets will win the Super Bowl every year, so hoping for the perfect NCAA season shouldn’t sound unreasonable).

But what would make this season so incredible you ask? It’s simple. Just think of what was so great about previous NCAA seasons and about what could happen but never has and you would have one heck of an imaginary season. But don’t think too hard as my Top Nine Wish List shows you what could be in store:

9. A 16 seed over a 1 seed.
It has never happened and some basketball pundits say it will always stay that way. But it happened in women’s basketball so a 16 ousting a one isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility.

8. UNC returning to the dance.
The Chicago Cubs not playing in Wrigley field, Randy Moss being a model citizen, some things are just too hard to imagine. Add UNC making it two years in a row without a NCAA bid.

7. The emergence of a new fashion trend.
First there were Evansville’s tee shirt ballin’ tops, next there was NC State’s leotard look. Lately, baggy shorts and black socks have entered the fray, but still, something is missing. Maybe a team can incorporate a “hooded sweatshirt under the jersey” look.

6. Turning off the power switch – Part I.
Death to that alternate possession arrow! Yes, yes, we have heard Dick Vitale beat his drum about 75 times a game about how jump balls should be incorporated into college basketball. Well, I am with Dicky V on this one. Let ’em jump and turn off that damn arrow.

5. Speaking of Dick Vitale,
is there a way to let him announce more than one game a day? As far as I am concerned, a college basketball telecast just isn’t right without Mr. Vitale’s soothing tones layered over it. Couldn’t Disney fly him to multiple sites during the course of a college basketball day?

4. Turning off the power switch – Part II.
While your pulling the plug on that god-awful possession arrow, why don’t you grab the shot clock cord, too? It’s not like I don’t like the shot clock, but I like that memory of Villanova winning the NCAA title by demoralizing their opponents with an ungodly patient half court offensive attack. Also, an unlimited time to shoot the ball would allow a 16th-seeded Princeton squad to finally upend a top seed by the score of 4-2.

3. The return of an unstoppable all freshman starting unit.
Remember your all-time favorite basketball team, you know, Michigan’s fab five? Well, its due time that happens again. College basketball was so exciting during those two years in which the fab five were together. So, if there is a coach in America with five talented freshman he’s thinking of starting, don’t hesitate and get them in the game…together.

2. An epic of battle of two top-notch big men.
Olajuwon vs. Ewing. ‘Nuff said. In the early ’80’s, this was a battle of colossal proportions. What would be better than two big men butting heads for NCAA supremacy? So for all of you 7 foot plus guys out there, it is time to step up your games.

1. Great players playing great and sticking around afterwards.
This one is more so for the years to come than this one, but wouldn’t stud players coming back for more be great. Let’s face it, the way things are going now, future college stars will probably start skipping middle school ball to play in the pros. It’s time for more Tim Duncans and less Dontonio Wingfields (remember him?).

There you have it, my dream list of things to look for in the new year. Ok, so maybe my dreams will be shattered, but who cares? In the words of Aerosmith, dream on, dream on. Ohh, and by the way, I was lying about the Jets. I actually still have hope, can you believe that?


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