Cleat Geeks

What if the College Basketball Season Went Like This…

When people look back at the 2015-16 college basketball season. They will look pass the 25 rule changes. They’ll look beyond the off-court scandals which once again prove former shoe executive Sonny Vaccaro’s claim that “college basketball is a cesspool.”

We’ll remember this season for the exciting play on the court. For the pre-conference showdowns, the rugged conference play. Of course, we’ll remember it for March and the thrilling slam dunks, 3-pointers, buzzer beaters and upsets.

Even if we never see it.

KentuckyBasketballNeverStopsNOVEMBER: The season is barely a week old and Kentucky sends notice it is still the alpha-dog when it comes to college hoops. Calipari doesn’t call off his team and they defeat Duke in Champions Classic by 25 points. At the annual Maui Invitational, Indiana and Kansas play a game which has a national championship-like atmosphere. Wayne Selden of the Jayhawks and James Blackmon, Jr. of the Hoosiers match each other 3 pointer for 3 pointer throughout the game. In the end though it’s Yogi’s Ferrell’s drive and dish out to Troy Williams at the buzzer of the second overtime that propels IU to the win.

DECEMBER: Bob Knight is schedule to call the Indiana-Duke game at Cameron Indoor Stadium with Brent KnightCartoonMusburger. Although Knight’s contract was not renewed by the worldwide leader in sports after last season, it’s supposed to be a one-game deal at the request of Coach K. For some unknown reason, Knight doesn’t show up to do the game. People begin to worry. Did he forget? Is he out hunting in Montana? Coach K is so disappointed he can’t focus and for some reason can’t coach his team, which loses to Indiana. The Blue Devils second loss to a Top 10 team in less than a month. Dick Vitale even begins a campaign on Twitter to find Knight using the hashtag #findthegeneral.

Gonzaga v ButlerJANUARY: After two wild months to begin the season with national programs playing against each other and some suffering March-Madness-like upsets, the teams finally get into the conference part of their schedules. Kentucky, North Carolina, Arizona, Indiana and Maryland, Kansas, and Butler, with a little help from its Bulldog, jump out to early leads in the standings among the Big Six Conferences. On a Sunday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse Villanova Coach Jay Wright is diagramming a play during a timeout when Trip – the Butler Bulldog – gets loose from his owner and interrupts the Villanova huddle. Trip slobbers all over Wright’s coaching board messing up the play. Wright doesn’t have any more timeouts left and tries to improvise the play as his players are forced to take the court. The Bulldogs upset Villanova for their biggest win since joining the Big East Conference.

FEBRUARY: Midway through the first half at the Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Crean becomes irate at official creanFrank Steratore because of the veteran official’s no call when Purdue’s A.J. Hammons hammers Yogi Ferrell going up for a layup. Crean becomes so incensed with the situation he turns to grab a chair. While holding the chair Crean pauses and then sits down. Despite not seizing the chair and slinging it across the court as Knight did almost 31 years ago to the day against the Boilermakers, Steratore still gives Crean a technical foul. The Assembly Hall crowd cheers its approval at Crean. The Hoosiers hold on to win and remain unbeaten. Kentucky also remains unbeaten and has won every game by 20 or more points while scoring over 100 on five occasions. No one has yet to hear from Knight. When asked about the General’s whereabouts his wife, Karen, replies “I don’t know. After I told him to go to a zone instead of man-to-man on defense I’ve done what he said and made cakes.”CalipariLaughing

MARCH/APRIL: After crushing Bruce Pearl and Auburn by 64 points in the SEC Championship game Calipari tells the NCAA Basketball Selection Committee “Give us the hardest route to Houston possible.” Selection Chair Joe Castiglione obliges and makes the Wildcats a No. 16 seed in the East region to face No. 1-seed Villanova. Jay Wright says the committee has lost its collective minds and ask President Barak Obama to interject. Obama replies, “Sorry, can’t do it, Jay. I have Kentucky winning my bracket. Though I’ll send you an autographed copy of Alexander Wolff’s book about basketball and me – ‘Audacity of Hoop.’” Kentucky crushes Villanova by 36 points and becomes the first No. 16 to beat a No. 1 in tournament history.Dunham-Temple3

The Final Four commences in Houston with two unbeaten teams – Kentucky and Indiana. The Wildcats and Hoosiers are joined by Kansas and Butler. In the first national semifinal game, Indiana again defeats the Jayhawks as it did in the Maui Championship game. In the second national semifinal Kentucky and Butler play as Jim Nantz would say “one for the ages” as the Bulldogs and Wildcats play a four-overtime thriller. Much like the 2010 National Championship game, Butler’s Kellen Dunham launches a half-court heave at the buzzer that this time is six inches to the left. Because of all the media timeouts and obligations after the game, Kentucky does not return to its hotel until 3 a.m.

YogiIndianaThe National Championship Game – its college basketball’s highest rated game on cable television ever. The Hoosiers defense stifles the Wildcats for the better part of the first half. James Blackmon’s 3 pointer from the left corner gives IU a 32-30 halftime – the first time Kentucky has trailed at halftime all season. The effects from Saturday/Sunday game for the Wildcats began to show. Despite the fatigue demonstrated by his team during a media timeout as Rachel Nichols interviews Calipari, the coach expresses his disbelief at losing to Hoosiers by saying “I can’t believe I am losing to this guy!” Yogi Ferrell does his best Isiah Thomas impersonation leading the Hoosiers to their sixth national championship. During the trophy presentation as Castiglione begins to hand the hardware to Crean with the TV camera close up on him the IU coach pulls off his mask to reveal that it’s been none other than “The General” Bob Knight coaching the Hoosiers this season all along.

At that moment, I am suddenly awakened from this dream.

Oh, what a season it’s going to be.

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