No. 1 vs. No. 2: Don’t Screw This Up

By now you’ve heard about the college basketball game that will take over ESPN’s airwaves by about 6 PM Friday and will surely change the fate of the world as we know it: No. 1 Memphis hosts No. 2 Tennessee on Saturday.Both ESPN and USA Today note that the last time this happened, it matched No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 it was a generally boring, defensive Big 10 Special, saved only by drama at the end.

Well, they omit the actual description of the game, but that’s where people with time to spare come in: They also omit that Wisconsin had the audacity to cheapen the thrill of No. 1 vs. No. 2 by dropping a game to Michigan State en route to their clash of the titans.

Bo Ryan, Wisconsin’s coach, said that loss had nothing to do with pressure. (Yeah, sure, the “top-ranked team goes on the road to an always-hostile environment and commits only eight turnovers” script isn’t exactly choking, but I’m making a tangential point here.) Maybe he should have kept the team more loose with his contemporary dance skills.

One can only hope John Calipari and Bruce Pearl start learning this before their teams’ dates against Tulane and Auburn, respectively, on Wednesday.

Else, Memphis may not burn on Saturday night as a fan base fueled by hard liquor, frustration at incessant incest jokes, and general dissatisfaction with the state of Tennessee reacts to a loss. And that would be a shame.

1 Comment

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One response to “No. 1 vs. No. 2: Don’t Screw This Up

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