Friday, February 15, 2008

Alma Mater Saturday

Although college basketball games can be played any day of the week, they tend to fall on Wednesdays and Saturdays. (Unless your conference is subjected to television-related contrivances such as Big Monday Sponsored By Major Beer Manufacturer.)

A couple Saturdays ago, TM and I noticed that all three alma maters and my one true "home" team were all playing on the same day, and all with television and/or Internet coverage. We dubbed this "Alma Mater Saturday."

And now, a brief review of our recent Alma Mater Saturdays:
  • IOWA:
    • Jan. 12 vs. Michigan St. This game was on TV, and amazingly, the Hawks won, 43-36.
    • Jan. 19 @Michigan. A bad Iowa team beat a bad Michigan team, 68-60, and prompted this post.
    • Jan. 26 vs. Penn State. On Big Ten Network, and another Iowa win, 64-49.
    • Feb. 2 vs. Ohio St. On Big Ten Network. Iowa gets revenge for a tremendous ass-whupping received earlier in the season, and beats the Bucks 53-48.
    • Feb. 9 @Minnesota. Lost, 63-50. Oh well. Every game this team wins is a blessing from above, like little kisses from angels. (Yes, they are pretty bad, but I will give them credit: they have shown improvement over the course of the year, something that NEVER happened under Steve-O.)
  • ND:
    • Jan. 12 @Marquette. A total beatdown; I could barely watch. After the 92-66 loss, Mike Brey asked, essentially, are you sure this only counts as one in the loss column? 'Cause it felt like two.
    • Jan. 19 @Georgetown. The tour of pain continues with an 84-65 loss.
    • Jan. 26 @Villanova. This was an early, 11am TV game. Luckily, the Irish decide to win one on the road, 90-80.
    • Feb. 2 vs. DePaul. A noonish start, televised in the Chicago area of course, and another home win. The score is awfully similar to last week: 89-80.
    • Feb. 9 vs. Marquette. ND eked out an exciting win, 86-83, despite refusing to play defense in the final minute or so. ("Hey, let's allow them to make an uncontested layup. That'll take time off the clock!")
  • DRAKE: (we listen to as many of these games as we can on the radio. The announcers are decidely minor league, but Dolph Pulliam is at least entertaining. I've called him the Ron Santo of Drake: "1960s legend who has stuck around the program, fan favorite, but has no business in a radio booth." Feinstein called that analogy "perfect." I'm impressed he knew it was an analogy, not a simile or metaphor or allegory or whatnot.)
    • Jan. 12 vs. Missouri State. Winner, 65-54
    • Jan. 19 vs. Illinois State. Winner, 79-73
    • Jan. 26 vs. Northern Iowa. Winner, 58-54
    • Feb. 2 @Indiana State. Winner, 83-77
    • Feb. 9 vs. Evansville. Winner, 73-65
  • OHIO:
    • Jan. 12 vs. Miami Ohio. Winner, 72-63
    • Jan. 19 vs. Kent State. Winner, 71-59
    • Jan. 26 vs. Ball State. Winner, 61-59
    • Feb. 2 @Northern Illinois. Winner, 73-55
    • Feb. 9 vs. Western Michigan. Winner, 57-54
Alas, all good things come to an end. Wednesday night ("Alma Mater Wednesday" doesn't sound as good, and neither were the results) the three degree-granting institutions laid an egg. Ohio lost to Toledo, No. 20 ranked Notre Dame lost at No. 17 ranked Connecticut, and the Drake Bulldogs lost their 21-game winning streak when they fell at Southern Illinois. Drake will now slink back to the far corners of the sports consciousness, left only with the warm memories of once being the 15th-best team in the whole United States. Iowa happened to play last night instead of Wednesday, and true to form, lost as well. Bah. When does baseball start?

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