A few Thursday thoughts on the Tournament


Random thoughts and things before Houston’s first-round game against Northern Kentucky.

– If I were guessing, and I’m only guessing, Houston spent much of the drive home from Fort Worth and a good part of Monday watching film, trying to figure out if they could convincingly beat NKU without Marcus Sasser.

I have no idea what decision they made, but knowing Kelvin, it’s been discussed, and his final decision would be made Thursday morning. On Wednesday, Sasser said it was better since waking up Sunday morning, but that doesn’t really tell you anything. Two more days to heal his injury would go a long way.

– While the world wonders about Sasser, the guy that’s locked in and focused on leading the team this week is Jamal Shead. Jamal has been playing good basketball lately, and his best is needed for a six-game run. I don’t believe it dominates his thoughts, but Shead thinks about legacy and thinks about accomplishing something no one has ever done at Houston.

You have to give the committee a salute for the hilarious way they put this Midwest Bracket together. Let’s put:

– Auburn in Birmingham, 110 miles from home, as the nine-seed. Bottom-half teams deserve home games, especially if they win and face a #1 seed!

– Texas and A&M potentially meeting in the second round. The old SWC, now SEC rivalry, commences in the place it was meant to be – Des Moines.

– Steady Houston (1-seed), surging Texas (2-seed), and surging Texas A&M (7-seed) are all in the same region, limiting the number of Texas teams that can make the Final Four in Houston. I typically roll my eyes at conspiracies, but this one is obvious.

– Indiana plays Kent State in round one, and that’s just funny. Kent State coach Rob Senderoff was an assistant and the fall guy at Indiana during the Kelvin texting fiasco. Senderoff landed on his feet, and that makes Indiana fan BIG MAD.

– Indiana would play Houston in the Sweet 16, pitting the horrible, no-good man that ruined Indiana basketball against the virtuous, Godly Hoosiers. You see, Kelvin was fired in 2008, and now, in 2023, Indiana is just now coming out from under the dark clouds. Everything wrong at Indiana is because of Kelvin; never mind that the guys that played for him are on the other side of 35 and pushing 40.

– The Sweet 16 matchup would give writers a full week to delve into the IU/Kelvin situation, which would be funny if not sadly predictable. Former Kelvin assistant Dan Dakich was also BIG MAD when he learned of Indiana’s Senderoff-Sampson draw, going so far as to say that “nobody’s cheating more than Kelvin Sampson.” Obviously, you have to cheat to get the 36th-rated PG in the 2020 class. Dakich also said, “he’s a rat, he’s a fink, he’s ridiculous, he’s awful.”

Dakich was given a lifeline after he flamed out at Bowling Green, having never made the Tournament in a decade. In more recent years, he got BIG MAD after one of his buddies was fired from a high school coaching job and called the town where it happened “a town full of ‘meth and AIDS and needles.'”

Dakich is a dweeb and the perfect encapsulation of bitter Indiana fans.

– Player of the game against NKU? Give me Jarace Walker. Just a hunch.

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