14.3.04

TURN OFF THE BUBBLE MACHINE. This dance music is for everybody, but especially for you and you. The Badger men's basketball team set a standard that the hockey team was unable to match, winning the Big Ten tournament and earning a sixth seed in a game to be played in Milwaukee.

The men's and women's brackets are available for your downloading and printing pleasure, should you wish to get started on your office pool.

The Duke administration have taken some (deserved) stick on these pages for some foolish statements about the lack of viewpoint diversity on the faculty, but take a moment to note that both the men's and women's programs have earned No. 1 seedings in the tournament. Might as well run a good money losing passenger train, if that's the window through which much of the public views the university.

Also on the dance card, Wisconsin-Green Bay returns to the tournament for the third straight year, while former Phoenix coach Carol Hammerle has just finished her fifth losing season in six years at Northern Illinois. Northern Illinois alums Deb Patterson and Kamie Ethridge have guided Kansas State to a No. 2 seed. Northern Illinois's athletic director has recently gone dancing at Nevada-Reno. Perhaps her successor will see some value in treating the women's basketball program as something other than a diversity showcase, possibly setting as an objective building a team that leads the country in scoring as it once did.

The formerly top-notch National Invitational Tournament (yes, I am that old) has announced its field, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette both commence play in Milwaukee. (Why did Milwaukee become such a happening place thirty years after I left?)

SECOND SECTION: The Dance is the first topic of conversation on the Charlie Sykes radio show out of Milwaukee. Thesis: Marquette is afraid of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Although both Marquette and Wisconsin-Milwaukee play their opening games in Milwaukee, they will not play each other in Milwaukee, should both teams advance. Also under discussion: a revision of the old Milwaukee Classic, albeit with the Badgers, the Panthers, the Phoenix, and the Team Formerly Known as the Warriors as permanent participants.

EXAMINER'S REPORT: This post has been strengthened with additional cross-references.

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