Debating William & Mary, sports and culture since 2011. Updated every Wednesday.

Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

Faulkner profiles Deron Williams

In Basketball, Culture, Long form on March 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

A few months ago, our writer in Baltimore wrote an excellent piece based on an Oscar Wilde-style imagining of Denver’s quarterback situation. I’m one-upping him.

There was a time and a place for that, and he knew it was neither here nor now. The cobalt skies over Utah ripped open and bled as they had in The Colony, and after that, Champaign — places where clearly defined horizons rested along deserts or prairies or meandering rivers. Places that mattered only to those who occupied them, to those cradled by their avenues and withered by their gazes, ashing and fading with time as their streets emptied into the cool matrices of Dallas and Chicago. And he was here again, steps away from the train that could take him. The island, where the inextinguishable lights would shine upon grainy vistas of dockyards and steeples, condominiums and tenements filled with those who wanted him to stay. Read the rest of this entry »


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Spartan

In Basketball on March 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Friday night was supposed to be a precursor, a tune-up game. The Missouri Tigers were going to romp on the Norfolk State Spartans for 40 minutes in the second round of the NCAA tournament, and everyone knew it.

Sure, Norfolk State had gone 25-9 in the regular season, but the Spartans played in the MEAC — the MEAC. (Can you even name half of the teams that played in the MEAC?) Mizzou had gone 30-4 in its final season in the Big 12 — one of the better basketball conferences in the nation. The team had defeated the Kansas Jayhawks in Columbia and had nearly repeated the feat in Lawrence. Senior guard Kim English was one of the best college players in the country. Missouri fans were excited, pundits were impressed, and the Tigers were playing with an eye toward the Final Four. A team like Norfolk State was not about to stop them. Forty minutes later, the Tigers walked silently to the locker room. Missouri had fallen in one of the worst upsets in tournament history. Read the rest of this entry »

2012 CDH March Madness Breakdown: Part 4

In Basketball on March 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm

This final installment of Crim Del Harris’s March Madness bracket picks/literary reference boast-off brings us back to T.S. Eliot: “I will show you fear in a handful of dust” might be the most prescient description of the Syracuse – UNC-Ashville game. And with that, the Orange limped into the waste land that is the round of 32.

Unfortunately, the South Region began tournament play before we could post a prediction. I could pretend that I was in a bubble under a rock chilling with the other guy from the allegory of the cave all day yesterday and post a bracket forecast. But the Virginia Commonwealth-Wichita State game deserves coverage — primarily because I actually picked VCU to win (I believe in Shaka Smart).

So instead of false predictions, I’ll post the South region from my actual bracket. Read the rest of this entry »

2012 CDH March Madness Breakdown: Part 3

In Basketball on March 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Due to the indubitably brilliant publishing strategy of sending forth our picks for Friday’s quarters of the bracket before Thursday’s, I’m writing this during a free moment at work about an hour after the East regional has begun. In full disclosure mode, Kansas State is leading Southern Mississippi 30-27 at the half in a game that has earth-shattering repercussions for my bracket.

No, really. I currently belong to the roughly 37 percent of Americans who panicked on Tuesday and removed Syracuse from their Final Four when Fab Melo — displaying the scholarly acumen of a young Karl Marx by deeming the whole class thing an arbitrary concept imposed by social elites to inspire rigid social hierarchies on a pliable economic system — was ruled academically ineligible for the remainder of the 2012 season. Read the rest of this entry »

2012 CDH March Madness Breakdown: Part 2

In Basketball on March 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Since my esteemed colleague in St. Louis decided to go all Dead Poet’s Society on me with a T.S. Eliot reference in his lede, I will push all my chips in on a Dylan Thomas reference.

Eighteen teams represent the Western Bracket, which is the coincidentally the same number of whiskeys Thomas claimed to have downed at the White Horse Tavern in the West Village, kicking off the bender that eventually killed him. How is that relevant to college basketball? I don’t know — or care. All that matters is that I’ve proven I can be just as literary as Brickey; and what is sports writing if not public overcompensation for perceived inadequacies?

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2012 CDH March Madness Breakdown: Part 1

In Basketball on March 14, 2012 at 10:05 am

When he wrote The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot could have deemed any month “the cruelest.” He did not go with March, and with good reason. If April is the cruelest month, March is the most gratifying. The cold grip of winter begins to disappear, girls dust off their best spring outfits, and March Madness grips the attention of every man, woman and child (well, mostly men) in the country (provided your team made it and Mad Men isn’t on).

But really, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is the best of college athletics — surprise bids, upsets aplenty and a CAA Cinderella making a Final Four run (not you, William and Mary) — concentrated into three weeks of spring. Just the thought is enough to warm the heart of even the frostiest Snow Miser. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Degrees: Dispatches From the CAA Tournament

In Basketball, William & Mary on March 7, 2012 at 11:07 am

Go to Richmond, Va. and ask a resident, “Where is VCU?” You’ll be directed uptown and downtown. You’ll be directed across town and across the street. You’ll be directed north, south, east and west. Because, really, VCU is Richmond, and Richmond is VCU.

Prior to 2011, that was a physical fact. The campus of Virginia Commonwealth University sprawls across the city, and buildings emblazoned with gold sans serif letters “V-C-U” dominate the skyline. But after the VCU Rams’s Cinderella run to the Final Four of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, VCU’s omnipresence in Richmond became spiritual as well. It doesn’t hurt to be the de facto home team favorite when less than two miles separate your home arena from the site of your conference’s championship tournament.

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