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Expect messy brackets in NCAA Tournament


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In case you missed it, the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four is being played inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, an architectural monstrosity even by today’s standards.

It’s there a crowd of 108,713 supposedly showed up to witness in person the 2010 NBA All-Star Game.

Talk about serious nosebleed-seating potential.

“Hey, Matt, did you just see that dunk by Dirk Nowitzki?”

P.A. announcer: “Three-pointer by Carmellllllo Annnnnthony.”

“Oops.”

Such echo-inducing expansiveness — think the old Pontiac Silverdome on steroids — should be the ideal setting to cap a March capable of raising the bar when it comes to its annual Madness.

Remember George Mason, VCU and other so-called Cinderellas? Merely teasers.

Arizona, unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the country until Saturday’s loss to Cal. The second spot belongs to Syracuse, with Florida, Wichita State and San Diego State completing the top five. The Orange likely will move up to No. 1.

How confident are you that even one of these programs will still be playing the first week of April?

Parity doesn’t run rampant across the men’s basketball landscape as much as it stampedes. The one-and-gone era has pulled the plug on potential dynasties at Kentucky, Duke and, to a lesser degree, North Carolina.

Kyrie Irving could be in Durham savoring the spoils of an All-American senior season while Coach K’s Blue Devils prepare to play Saturday night in the Carrier Dome against Syracuse. Instead, he’s a third-year pro trying to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a win tonight in Dallas.

Kentucky’s scroll of blue-chips in town barely long enough to tell of a quality Lexington eating establishment grows longer by the year.

John Calipari’s NBA minor league system is often ridiculed by basketball traditionalists.

At the same time, Indiana and Louisville fans must ask themselves if they honestly want Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Nerlens Noel to still be wearing Wildcat blue.

Didn’t think so.

If pressed to predict, I will say Syracuse (nasty 2-3 zone) and Wichita State (experienced and tough) make it back to the Final Four along with Michigan State (don’t ever look past Tom Izzo in March).

The fourth qualifier ... not a clue.

Now, a scenario I would love to see is Steve Fisher’s San Diego State squad facing Michigan on the big stage in Dallas.

Unlikely, but a pretty cool scenario. Especially if the Fab Five shows up.

The Bucks just stopped

When I was a kid, the Milwaukee Bucks were the yardstick used to measure other NBA franchises.

The afro’d version of Kareem sinking the sky hook. Indiana legend Oscar Robertson teaming with Lucius Allen to form one of the league’s premier backcourt tandems.

Franklin native Jon McGlocklin. A young Bobby Dandridge.

Where oh where oh where?

Milwaukee at the moment is a faceless franchise. It’s highest-paid players, 33-year-old forward Caron Butler and shooting guard O.J. Mayo, are playing for their sixth and third NBA teams, respectively.

Out of curiosity, I recently scanned the Bucks’ 15-man roster. I had heard of five of the players.

McGlocklin’s No. 14 is one of seven jerseys that have been retired by the franchise. Might be time to dust it off and see if the old jump shot is still working.

Really, it couldn’t hurt.

Mike Beas is a sports writer for the Daily Journal. Send comments to mbeas@dailyjournal.net.

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