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First Time: NO “1” Seeds In The 2023 NCAA Tournie “Quarters”

This 2023 NCAA Basketball Tournament, whose “quarters” commence today, are the first ever, without any tournament “one seeds” still playing

Each earlier Friday night regional “semi” manifested in top seeds being eliminated.

In “staggered” starts, (say a half hour apart), first San Diego State (plus 7 and a fraction) and then Miami Florida, say plus 6, took out Alabama (were they “allowed” to win with a horrible incident on campus lingering, no matter what really happened) and Houston respectively. (In sick fashion, “paid” say 120 to keep it from Nantz getting Houston in Houston, in this the last of his 32 tournaments (’91-2023, no tournament in 2020 due to a pandemic and wondering if he did work on others before his ascent to lead announcer).

Thus we have Kansas State, whose guard, Markquis Nowell set an NCAA Tournament record with 19 assists in the Manhattan Kansas team, Wildcats’ overtime win vs Michigan State, in the far better known, Manhattan in New York, as a slight one plus point(s) “fave” vs Florida Atlantic in today’s first “quarter”/regional final game.

Next, probably the two highest rated remaining teams meeting in the quarters, with Connecticut a 4 time champion say (-2 plus) vs Gonzaga.

Tomorrow, in the still day time (2;20 Daylight Savings Time in the East), (unlike the round of 32 they are not complete “whores” regarding the times, as it is a “school night”)Creighton is (-1 plus) vs San Diego State while Texas is (-4) vs Miami.

The Miami/Texas matchup evokes memories of forty years ago college football.

Then Miami claimed the first of what would be 4 titles in 9 seasons (one a 1991 “share” with Washington University), matching the aligned numerically (S.F.) 49ers, who turned the rather incredible feat in the NFL (’81-’89), vaulting from 5th to first, after a (31-30) win vs top ranked Nebraska and getting help from Georgia (a current 2 time champion in college pig), upsetting second ranked Texas earlier on that Monday January 2nd bowl day.

There were other games involving third ranked Auburn which won and 4th rated Illinois, which lost, but it is likely, Miami, upon news Texas had lost, knew its claim would be “stamped” if they won in their home Orange Bowl vs a pretty much great, Nebraska team.


Markquis Nowell.jpg

Markquis Nowell, pictured above.

N.C.A.A. Tournament Notes

The round of 16 continues tonight with the two remaining top seeds, Houston (-7 vs Miami) and Alabama (-7 plus vs San Diego State) in action in the pair of earlier games.

The second tilts are Texas (-4) vs Xavier following Houston in the Midwest and Creighton (-10) vs Princeton following ‘Bama/S.D. State in the South.

Only 12 teams remain alive for the 2023 crown and only Connecticut which has 4 crowns (’99,’04, ’14) among the “paucity of titles dozen,” has any previous titles.

Thus it was likely and is the case that no 5/10 years ago or same calendar previous title teams will get the 2023 title.

More such notes and a review/preview as the “quarters” commence tomorrow.


Fifty years ago ’twas U.C.L.A. led by Bill Walton’s incredible game in the final vs Memphis State that took the crown.

Last night they were ousted by Gonzaga.

N.C.A.A. Tournament Update

Last night’s regional semi-final sites are worth noting.

One the venerable, traditional, Madison Square Garden for the East Regional and the “desert stop for G.I’s”, once condemned by sports now promoted (neither being good, in fact each is/was bad) Las Vegas.

In the tilts, I continue not to watch, in the East, Kansas State won in overtime, eliminating Michigan State and its over rated coach, Tom Izzo. (I did see the K-St late OT bucket to put them up 3, on my little phone)

Next, Florida Atlantic, surely in its first regional semi, advanced to Saturday’s regional final game vs Kansas State, winning (plus 5 and a fraction), vs Tennessee.

Out West, in the opening game Connecticut ripped Arkansas before Gonzaga, a bit of an “anti,” as its fan Susan rejected and “screens,” took U.C.L.A.– keeping them from a title for the 47th time in 48 seasons, this after they won an incredible 10 crowns in 12 seasons under the great coach, John Wooden.


Julian Strawther (cropped).jpg

Julian Strawther, pictured above hit a “straight away” long “3” giving Gonzaga a 2 point lead with under 12 seconds to play vs U.C.L.A.

More details and notes, I suppose, later.

Remembering Willis Reed

A truly great basketball player, especially from the center position, and an integral member of the only two New York Knicks’ title teams, Willis Reed, who died today at age 80, was an even better person.

I met him once and interviewed him before a game when he was coaching. He was gracious, insightful and truly appreciated my remembering his 36 point/ 36  rebounds game 5/’70 “quarters,” vs the Bullets, as deep down or not so deep, he knew 36 is many more points than 4!!

A basketball expert and friend, Andy Roth, recently told me Willis was not doing well and would not attend the ceremony honoring the Knicks’ 1972-1973 team.

A stickler for good basketball fundamentals, Andy talked of all he learned and still regards as holy, when he attended Willis Reed’s basketball camp, now so many years ago.

On some level, I am still haunted by “my” Lakers’ title round losses to the Knicks in both ’70 and ’73 (they did win vs the Knicks in ’72 with a (69-13) team that won 33 straight games) but knew the Knicks were an incredible, clutch shooting, team basketball emphasized, albeit slightly over rated team.

Willis was not over rated. He was an excellent forward and when a trade brought Dave DeBusschere to that great team, enabling Willis to play center, they took off, winning two crowns, making 3 final rounds and the semis 6 straight seasons (’69-’74).

He was the Knicks’ leading scorer in 8 of their 9 semis and final round games in the ’70 title season, before being injured in the 5th game of the final.

Somehow, the Knicks won that game, coming from behind, lost #6 in L.A. when Wilt had 45, before another great, Walt Frazier with 36 points, led the team’s game 7 triumph.

Willis had been introduced as a starter to a thunderous ovation and scored the first two baskets for the Knicks in that May 8th game.

Perhaps, legendary public address announcer John F.X. Condon is introducing him now. Surely if so, it would be to a great ovation from the many good people above.


Willis Reed 1972 publicity photo.jpg

Willis Reed, pictured above.



East Region Update

Only Michigan State, which won the ’79 and 2000 titles, among the 4 teams remaining in the East Regional to be contested at New York’s Madison Square Garden, has a previous crown.

In fact, on the side of the bracket (East and South) that will produce one of the two finalists in “Pooh” Nantz’ (he of the “meaningless basket” comment, when it affected millions), Houston Texas, those are the only previous titles,  among the 8 teams.

Michigan State is (-2) vs Kansas State while Tennessee, which knocked out Duke in the second round, is “menos” 5 vs Florida Atlantic.

Those games will be played on Thursday night.

The South region remaining teams, none with titles, are Alabama, San Diego State, Creighton and 15 seed Princeton, a third straight “such” and just 4th in history, to advance into the round of 16.

Playing off that, consider the low quality of the poor shooting, “unders”abounding games and to me, it is NOT SWEET!!


The great Princeton star and 2 time NBA champion and U.S. Senator, Bill Bradley, pictured above.

Benavidez vs Plant at Hoops Cabaret Sports Bar

NEW YORK — Hoops Cabaret in New York City (48 West 33rd Street), featuring dozens of sexy Hoops exotic dancers, and hailed as “the world’s sexiest sports bar,” will show the Premier Boxing Champions “High Stakes Showdown” pay-per-view event live on Saturday, March 25. 

Undefeated former two-time WBC Super Middleweight Champion David “El Bandera Roja’’ Benavídez and former IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb Plant will meet in a 12-round, high-stakes showdown to settle their long-simmering feud.

At Hoops Cabaret, fans can view the exciting bouts on the club’s giant Mega-Tron Video Wall and numerous HD TVs and flat screens, giving every seat a clear view of all the action.

Hoops Cabaret combines the  fun of a sports bar with the excitement of a gentlemen’s club. Be sure to check out the beautiful Hoops Girls on stage and visit the club’s VIP Man Cave. There are also food and drink specials. 

HOOPS CABARET and Sports Bar

Next door to the world famous Rick’s Cabaret NYC

“16” Fairleigh Dickinson and “15” Princeton Keep Their “Jerseys” On

Last year a New Jersey team/school, Saint Peter’s became the first 15th seed (or lower rated) to advance as far as the final 16, when they made the final 8/”quarters,” before being routed by eventual tournie second place team, North Carolina. (This season,  I believe “N.C.” was ranked first early and did not even make the NCAA Tournament, before arrogantly refusing an N.I.T. bid–what would one time N.C. player and 1971 N.I.T. MVP, for N.C,  Bill Chamberlain say?).

Now in this 2023 event I do not watch,  two more very low seeded New Jersey teams/schools have pulled shocking first round upsets, though when you consider the history regarding the favorites/losing teams in those tilts, one is apt to “kick oneself,” for not seeing the larger chance of these upsets manifesting.

For the record, as was the case on a Friday night 5 years ago (Maryland Baltimore County beating Virginia) and for just the second time in 112 such matchups, a 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson, took out a one seed, so often underachieving, Purdue. 

One Friday night in 1989, a 16 seed Princeton team, nearly “shocked out” a one seed Georgetown team, but fell just short. 

This season, in a later afternoon Thursday first round tilt, a 15th seed, Princeton team  took out two seed Arizona, another school, with big time tournament failures.

Unlike Purdue, which has never won a title, at least ‘Zona (had I played Mark Lindsay’s “Arizona” on my ’70’s CD before or after, the Princeton win vs Arizona?) won it all in ’97, denying the “still at it” “snake oil salesman,” oh I mean coach and he is a good one despite U.Conn ripping his Iona team yesterday,  Rick Pitino, then with Kentucky, a repeat crown. 

Ditto Virginia, victimized as referenced above by Maryland Baltimore County in ’18, also on a Friday night, in the only other 16 seed win vs a “1.”


In one of the earliest games of the 2023 event, Furman “came from nowhere,” to knock out a 4th seed Virginia team, which under “slow down” coach Tony Bennett, has been mostly “rags,” in tournament play, however, did get “tournie” “riches” with a very fortunate ’19 crown, which  as with the Rams ’21 and Chiefs ’22,  one severely aided by questionable calls.


Notes, Watching MeTV

Today in an episode of “Perry Mason,” airing on MeTV (The Case of the Ice-Cold Hands), I noticed two fine actors, each of whom were in the first series episode of “The Adventures of Superman” starring George Reeves.

Both Phyllis Coates, (she was in the very first ” Superman and the Mole Men”) the first “Lois Lane” on “The Adventures of Superman,” and the great, venerable character actor Dabbs Greer (he was in over 600 television episodes) were in the episode that aired. for the first time in 1964.

In that first episode of “The Adventures of Superman” Greer, not credited is the man saved by “The Man of Steel,” after falling from a dirigible.


The great Dabbs Greer, pictured in his role on “Little House on the Prairie,” above. 

Cryptic Includes “Pepi,” Moreheads and Bobby Caldwell

The tournament (64 down) begins today with me not up for it.

It is the 33rd and last for Nantz and as is the case with all of them, his successor also does not thrill me.

Nantz gets to be in “his” Houston for the national semis, with the local Houston Cougars at roughly 6 to 1 the top choice in what seems a wide open event.

Let’s see how little I will watch and I hope not to be too involved.

Elsewhere Joe (Pepitone) you did do proud, a fine player first on pennant winners and then as the once great team faded. Also, unselfishly “doing that,” and I did same, even if unlike then, I am not “zoomed” in.

Morehead State barked at 9 plus to 1 vs Clemson in the N.I.T. (the NCAA event ruined the N.I.T. another reason not to “ga ga” it) but 1– and one no hitter for Dave Morehead, who is 81.

The 3 1978 Guidry losses (give him credit as he won 25!) were to pitchers named Mike, the one on a Friday night to Caldwell was at a time, I thought the Yankees were out of it.

They were not and I still am not. His darkness, ability that is for this society varies greatly with my darkness and unrecognized talent.


Oh ’78 and Bobby Caldwell’s great “What You Won’t Do For Love.”

Bobby died, too young at 71, go easy and I guess I will keep trying.


Remembering The Great Otis Taylor

Add March 9th to “The Ides of March,” in the “beware of” category,  as another great and one I truly admired, Otis Taylor died on that date, days back at the age of 80.

He died having suffered from dementia and without achieving entry to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

So many deciding such do not have a clue, never saw Otis play and are far too lazy to do the work that would clearly show he deserved the honor.

In reality, a) why care and b) they really have no clue when it comes to receivers as it took “nearly forever” to get greats Lynn Swann and John Stallworth into that diminished, albeit still place of honor.

Otis was “Big Play,” the wrap up the title, “hitch pass TD” from Len Dawson, who preceded Otis in death by 7 months with their team, the Chiefs, winning a third crown in between, now a month and a day age, making it (23-7) vs the Vikings in the 4th and last AFL/NFL championship game.

There were so many others amidst his great play and Otis and Len might chuckle that one of them, a huge so important one in the last AFL Title Game, a (17-7) win at Oakland vs the Raiders, was a long pass from the shadow of the K.C. goalpost, that pretty clearly was gathered in brilliantly but out of bounds, by Otis.

Then replay, not on the one that nullified Hurts to DaVonta Smith, a key play, again helping the Chiefs (3-0) on the NFL or NFC network, win a Supe.

There were so many other “big plays,” and great moments provided by Otis Taylor.


Maybe it “was” written and now it IS written, the Chiefs won it all in a period of say 7 months in which both Len Dawson and Otis Taylor, two undeniable greats, died.

Click below for more on both in remembering Len “The Cool.”