What a weekend it was, and, oh, what a weekend it could have been if only the Bookmakers of America were a little more broadminded.
Weber State wilted. I know, I know. The pussycats couldn't cover the point spread against Arkansas. But that was the only selection to go down the tubes. San Francisco not only covered but defeated North Carolina, Furman edged Indiana, although losing, in terms of the spread, and Louisville beat St. John's by more than the necessary number.
Three out of four. A man can take a vacation in Florida after striking that percentage, particularly after Duke's delightful victory in the ACC tournament the previous week.
Then, Saturday afternoon, came the $100,000 Campbell at Bowie and the "stab" I suggested. Ripon came through and paid $28.40 for every $2 straight.
Glorious, glorious. But I was unable to get action on another game I liked last week. The word out of New Jersey was that Carol Blazejowski could outscore the Maryland women all by her alphabetical self.
"Quote me a line on Montclair-Maryland," I said to my friendly, neighborhood bookie.
"What is a Montclair?" book responded. "Do you eat it, sit on it or hang it on the wall?"
"It's women's college basketball," I told him.
"Then you book it," my man said. "Equal rights is all right, but not in business."
Montclair, favored by seven or eight, won by nearly 20. Blazejowksi blazed for 48. I could have been richest weekend. Instead, it's back to the tube for the second and third rounds of the men's NCAA.
Nothing happened in last week's round of 32 to alter the observations formed during the regular season. The smaller schools can, indeed, compete with the giants, as Cal-State Fullerton, Miami of Ohio, Creighton and Furman showed, if Weber State didn't.
Kentucky's first five probably isn't quite as good as that of many of its opponents, but Joe Hall has more depth than any other squad in the nation, and with those baby mastodons stomping around the center UK probably will win it all.
Everyone, of course, is playing zone - at least occasionally. This was the year we even saw the box-and-one, the triangle-and-two and Lefty Driesell's square root of five, known in some circles as Hawaii Five-O, or the LDI-111.
Zones are being resorted to increasingly by college coaches partly because so many of the high school hotshots they recruit couldn't stop Golda Meir going one on one.
College coaches are seen popping up everywhere in the late stages of the televised games. They live for this, those last two minutes when they can have their players stop the clock after every field goal in order to set up an elaborated defense for the subsequent throw-in.
This is ridiculous. A team should be restricted to one timeout during the last two or three minutes. This would put a premium onthe ability of the players to think, the one quality sadly missing from most teams.
The Las Vegas line for this week's games shows Duke 6 1/2 over Penn, Indiana 2 1/2 over Villanova, Notre Dame 5 over Utah, Michigan State 10 over Western Kentucky, Louisville 2 over Depaul, Kentucky 10 over Miami of Ohio, UCLA 6 over Arkansas and San Francisco 7 over Fullerton.
Duke can't possibly play worse than it did against Rhode Island. I will risk giving the 6 1/2 with the Blue Devils against the Quakers. Notre Dame also is enticing, giving 5, and DePaul can beat Louisville so I will take the 2. Fullerton gettin 7 is the final pick. San Francisco displayed backcourt deficiencies in beating Carolina.
That's it, unless my bookie will change his attitude toward women and the point spread in college basketball. A guy could make a little bread by backing the Tennessee gals somewhere along the line. Unfortunately, there is no such opportunity locally and that, obviously, is unfair.