Upon further review---
Without identifying the play and the complicit officials, the Big 12 announced today that ‘measures would be taken’ to punish two officials for calls, or no calls, at the end of the KU-Iowa State game on Monday. That punishment is expected to include a reduction of games-- in the Big 12 at least. Remember, officials tied to a certain league are a bygone notion. The nation’s power conference’s all pretty much swim in the same pool for officiating talent.
Looking to clinch---
Evansville comes in to Koch Arena trying to spoil Wichita State’s party tonight. A win gives the Shockers no worse than a share of their second straight Valley title, something they haven’t done in forty eight years. Typically, the Aces are a team that gives WSU trouble in Evansville. Gregg Marshall is just 2-4 in six trips to Southern Indiana and his two wins are by a total of just five points. Conversely, he’s 5-0 against against UE at home, winning by an average margin of nearly 14 points. Even as well as the Shockers are playing and they’ve won five straight, winning a clinching game is never easy. Over ten thousand fans are going to pour in Koch Arena tonight, all with the expectation of seeing a title delivered. Teams, in a bid to please, can feel that pressure. It’s often a grind to get through games like this, even when you have the better team.
Evansville has one of the best scorers in the league in Colt Ryan and they play a tough, gritty defense. The Aces don’t mind getting physical and they won’t back down. Their defensive pressure, which comes complete with a few grabs here and there, helped force 22 turnovers in the game at Evansville. That and an 11 point advantage at the line was enough to give them 71-67 win. In the MVC only Southern Illinois and Missouri State have worse road records than the Ace’s, but with four key seniors this group is likely to be loose.
KU’s Elijah Johnson shouldn’t have taken the ball the length of the court and dunked it at the buzzer against Iowa State on Monday night. He admitted it in remarks afterwards and apologized for his actions. Apparently, that wasn’t enough for a couple of scarily intolerant Cyclone fans on twitter who used the “N” word to describe Johnson and threatened to come to the KU bus with a gun(Yardbarker.com/Foxsports.com). The two offending tweeters have lost their accounts; they should have lost a lot more than that. Unfortunately, Iowa State fans—who I’ve always admired for their loyalty and passion---come away with a black eye.
Giving local TV a bad name---
I’m proud of the twenty eight years I spent at KWCH. I worked with hundreds of great journalist who worked hard on their craft with attention to detail. But not all local ‘talking heads’ take their responsibilities as seriously. Take the case of an anchor in New Orleans, who when interviewing the winner of the New Orleans half marathon, didn’t know that Mo Farah was a two-time gold medalist last summer’s games in London. The anchor asked the world class talent whether he’d ever run before and congratulated him on getting off to a great start (presumably in his running career). Yikes! This is the stuff that gives local television a bad name and gives credence to the Don Henley induced stereotype of ‘the bubble-headed beach blond, who comes on at five’. It’s hard to defend such lack of preparation, but it does a disservice to the countless people in newsrooms all over this country who have a lot of pride in getting things right.