It can be difficult, at times, to convince the NBA skeptics on The Classical's masthead of the manifest awesomeness of the non-stop, maximumpickandroll Days of Overload leading up to the NCAA Tournament. It can be especially difficult to do this, because of the basketball played during this glorious week. My column at Vice is about not caring about that, or looking past it because of reasons greater than the basketball itself, but it's also about my issues with bad pizza and is honestly probably not going to convert anyone.
And neither, honestly, is the basketball being played on television right now, as the Big East, Big 12 and ACC all work their way through the early days of their conference tournaments. These are big conferences, but their big games are a ways off. But you watch the games you have, not the games you might want to have. I don't know that the conversation below, with the estimable Brendan Flynn, is going to convince anyone. But it should at least give you a sense of the experience you're missing while at your job, and away from Cincinnati/Georgetown.
Brendan: So, we need to talk about ESPN's really weird promos for these tournaments. The UConn-Syracuse game had some nonsensical tie in with John Carter. And the ACC got some "ACC 101" classroom lecture with porn production values. "Every class is pass/fail." Quite the tagline.
David: ACC Tournament: "You are not auditing this class, so you will be expected to write papers. Now let's discuss the policy with regard to absences."
Brendan: The John Carter thing was really weird. Clips from the movie, narration by ESPN announcer and poorly edited clips of Dion Waiters dunking on a breakaway cut in with Riggins doing things.
David: I don't sense ESPN really says no to anything. And given that I can't figure out who exactly is supposed to want to go see John Carter beyond Michael Chabon completists and the hardest of hard-core "Friday Night Lights" heads, I guess pitching it at people watching daytime Big East games makes sense.
David: I do think it'd be good if the lesser conferences had similar-but-lesser tie-ins. The Horizon Conference Tournament Presented By A&E's "Billy The Exterminator." With footage of Billy getting bitten by ants intercut with someone from Illinois-Chicago making a layup.
Brendan: Big South brought to you by "Moonshiners" the maybe-100%-fake reality show.
David: Georgetown/Cincinnati a 2-1 pitcher's duel four minutes into the game. BIG EAST
Brendan: Tonight, the Big East features a South Florida-Notre Dame game that honestly could end 36-34.
Brendan: I can't really watch this, but the Big 12 game isn't an option for me either. Day-glo Baylor unis, Bob Knight and Frank Martin all in one place!
David: I saw those jerseys, and I wasn't even watching that channel. They just kind of added some lens flare to the Big East game I was watching. They were presumably inspired by the old Lemon Lime Gatorade Notre Dame jerseys during the Troy Murphy Administration. That or it's Scott Drew disciplining his guys somehow.
Brendan: I tuned in to hear Knight say, "They (KSU) scored four points right after frank got upset with them in a timeout." Abusive coach admiration society.
David: I love Knight talking about Kansas State. He adores Frank Martin's high-volume player-belittling, and is totally obsessed with their (white, naturally) point guard. Everything that happens has to do with him. If someone else on K-State dunks Knight's like, "Spradling did a good job not preventing that dunk." Then he's quiet for three minutes, and then he starts talking about Jeff Withey, regardless of whether or not Kansas is even playing.
Brendan: You know Knight hates everything about Baylor, and for good reason. But what softens me on Baylor and Calipari/Kentucky is knowing how angry they make dudes like Bob Knight.
David: Yeah, that's the most likable thing about Baylor by a long shot.
Brendan: NC State-Boston College. Boston College has six points, ten minutes into the first half. Fran Fraschilla just described one of BC's top foreign freshmen as "a mistake maker."
David: I flipped over to that and made one of those involuntary disgust sounds you make when you discover fuzzy cream cheese in your fridge.
David: These games are the ultimate test for guys like Raftery who are all love for the game. Like, "Here's some DePaul at 130pm, good luck keeping that smile on your face."
Brendan: Some producer in his ear saying, "Raf, you and Bilas should start talking about cocktails now."
David: Not an instruction you need to give twice. I am so happy to be watching this, by the way.
Brendan: Oh, me too.