Well, now we have Vatican II in Lexington, with St. John's, Villanova and Georgetown in the Final Four, and all three Catholic schools belong to the same conference -- the Big East. A tip of the hat to Commissioner Dave Gavitt.
But I also don't want to neglect Memphis State, which a lot of people have done. I'm pleased that the underpublicized Tigers and senior all-America Keith Lee have finally broken through after getting to the Sweet 16 for three straight years.
It's also nice that Dana Kirk, Louie Carnesecca and Rollie Massimino are there after so many years of trying. It's harder to reach the Final Four than it is to win the championship.
My pal Loose Lips Packer has asked me to talk about how you stop any of the four teams' superstars. Also, to name a secondary guy from each team who, if he plays at his best, could make the difference in the national championship.
Okay, here we go:
Patrick Ewing of Georgetown: You should drive at him offensively, not away from him. Let the ref decide. Play behind him, which is rare, so you can box out on him after he tries to take his little jump hook. But double down low with a guard like Mike Moses of St. John's so you can beat him up around the hip joints. After all that, pray.
Chris Mullin of St. John's: Don't foul him because he's automatic. Put at least a 6-foot-5 defensive man on him so he can't play over you. It's very important to box out and pick him up early in the full-court defense. If he goes to get a drink, the defensive man should turn on the fountain for him. Otherwise, get a gun.
Keith Lee of Memphis State: Play tough on him before he gets the ball because he's one of the better ball-handlers for a 6-10 man. Drift off 7-footer William Bedford down low to create an overload of traffic in the paint. Lee's the type of player that you should bump and grind, always keeping an arm or a hip on him. Of course, handcuffs would help.
Ed Pinckney of Villanova: Play a postage-stamp zone around him because he's very physical. Also, put excessive pressure on the guards throwing in to him because he's tough when he sets up on the blocks. You might need brass knuckles to handle him.
As for players who could make the difference, give me Willie Glass of St. John's, Baskerville Holmes of Memphis State, Billy Martin of Georgetown and Harold Pressley of Villanova. They're all alike -- athletes who are quick on their feet and play off what the superstars do. Because they're not being covered honestly, they have to hit the little base-line jumpers and pick up four or five put-backs.
Now for the winners.
Georgetown is too quick and too good for St. John's. Ewing is a tower of strength. At least there will be no intimidation because these seniors have played against each other 11 or 12 times in four years. Look for Coach John Thompson to know how to shut down Mullin and for Georgetown's interior quickness to slap the ball away from Walter Berry.
In the other game, Memphis State has the most underrated talent in the country. Look for Bedford to complement Lee and let him roam. The Tigers can break down Villanova's zone if they pass to one another. Also, look for them to get to Villanova's narrow bench. If Villanova is to have a pop at NCAA watches, then Dwayne McClain and Gary McLain will have to play the games of their lives. If Villanova can get down to the last five minutes in a push situation, it's anybody's game -- but I doubt if it can.
What we have now are three thoroughbreds (Georgetown, St. John's and Memphis State) and a quarterhorse (Villanova). But even Loose Lips knows that Vatican II will become Georgetown II. Not since the UCLA run has there been such an odds-on favorite.