Tournament time is finally here

Pitching with Pritch

Another week of interesting basketball! This is the real fun time of the season because the games take on a whole new importance. Actually, all the games are important but the late games are leading up to post-season play. 

All three of my favorite teams were still in the running for post-season tournaments and since this is written most of the time on Sundays, the only team I will know about by the time this edition is delivered is the Plainsmen boys. 

I still have the Nebraska men and the KU men as possibilities for post-season tournament play.

 The Plainsmen will have made the trip to Sidney and played Bridgeport for the right to go to Lincoln for the state tournament when this paper comes out. 

Bridgeport and PC also played the last game of the regular season here in Grant with the Plainsmen coming out on top 60-54. The Bulldogs defeated Kimball and Bayard to get to the district finals and PC got there by defeating Maxwell and Sutherland. 

Looking back at the first game would make me think the game will be a close game. The importance of the game puts a little more pressure on the teams but by this time of the season, good teams should be able to handle it. 

It is difficult to look at the schedules and make any kind of judgment or compare scores, because Bridgeport doesn’t come out of the panhandle much and play teams that are on the Plainsmen schedule other than SPVA teams. 

Bridgeport played Bayard four times, Kimball four times, and Hemingford, Gordon-Rushville and Sutherland twice. All of that doesn’t mean a whole heck of anything because the only game that will get either one of the teams to Lincoln is the one played Monday night in Sidney.

 I know there are some pretty good teams in C2 this year, but I also have noticed some scores I can’t remember ever seeing when I was coaching. I have a friend who is coaching at Freeman and they won their sub-district games 60-18 and 56-17, and those two teams were a combined 11-35 season record teams. 

Now the Basketball Gods have a way of making up for that because Freeman now has to play Yutan, which is 23-1, and their loss was to Elmwood-Murdock in the first game of the season. They made up for that loss by beating Elmwood-Murdock in the sub-district. I think I can say the district final will be a tougher game than the subs.

 One of my other favorite teams, of course, is KU and on Saturday, they defeated Texas Tech 72-70 to clinch at least no worse than a tie for first place in the Big 12, and broke UCLA’s record of 13 conference championships in a row a few years ago. 

KU played Texas Monday at Allen Field House and if they won that one, they won the Big 12 outright. I think this is the least talented KU team of the 14 but they got the job done.

 And then there was Nebraska and I have said before, I think they have the best talent this year than they have had in a long time. Last Sunday they defeated Penn State and did it pretty convincingly. 

They played well on offense and outstandingly well on defense. They are fourth in conference, they set a school record of 13 conference wins in a season and they kept their hopes of getting an invitation to the NCAA tournament alive. 

If they could win a couple of games in the Big 10 tournament that would certainly help their cause. If they don’t make the tournament, I would think the NIT will come calling with an invitation. 

The old joke is the NIT stands for Not In the Tournament, but the NCAA committee could very well want at least four teams from the Big 10, so I think the Huskers helped their cause by winning. Who knows, maybe if the NCAA finds some of the big names really did buy some of their players, Nebraska might even have a better chance of making it. 

Anyway, tournament time is here and I hope my favorites are involved. Go Big Red X2 and Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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