Now that the Baylor Bears have dispatched the overhyped Gonzaga Bulldogs, the Great American Circus caravan can move on
Baylor won a women's basketball championship a few years ago, and now the Baptist school from Waco rules the men's game once dominated by teams like Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana, Duke and Kentucky. Those old bluebloods need a transfusion. At least traditionalists could cheer for UCLA.
All season, everyone talked about the Zags' greatness, especially after the Bears were knocked flat for a spell by the coronavirus.
But after barely surviving the UCLA Bruins, who won 11 titles under John Wooden back in the days when shorts were short, the Zags were overwhelmed by Baylor Monday night.
Once a small religious school struggling to survive in the old Southwest Conference against behemoths like Texas, Texas A&M and SMU, Baylor has succumbed to scandal over the years in seeking sports glory.
Less than 20 years ago, its basketball team was rocked by the murder of a player by a teammate, and coach Dave Bliss' brazen coverup. Recently, rape allegations rocked Baylor’s football team.
But under Coach Scott Drew, Baylor basketball rebounded from harsh NCAA punishment to take the title over a Gonzaga team that's often heralded in the regular season before collapsing in the tournament. At least this year, the Zags made it to the championship game.
With the men's finale over, a weary nation blinked, realizing Bill Rafferty will be silent until next season.
The men's finale followed Stanford winning the women's championship over upstart Arizona. Shown on ESPN while the men's spectacle was unfolding on CBS, TBS, Turner Sports and Tru TV, the women's tournament was often more entertaining than the men's.
As with the NBA, the college game is marred by too many three-point attempts clanging off the basket. Air balls are no longer that rare.
Goodbye, March madness. Hello, Masters. After the upper 1 percent's gathering in Augusta, Ga., the sports hype machine slows to a long summer of major league baseball, and the yawning NBA playoffs.
The Academy Awards are coming; does anyone care? Godzilla vs. King Kong excited movie fans more than any of the dreadful Oscar nominees.
Playing its role as the King Kong and Godzilla of sports, the NFL will take the spotlight with its preening draft.
And then there's Aaron Rodgers hosting "Jeopardy." Yes, the NFL superstar in his college days played for another team known as the Bears: California. The Cal basketball team won the NCAA title in 1959 under legendary coach Pete Newell. How's that for a Jeopardy question?
On his opening night quarterbacking the show long ruled by the late Alex Trebek, the now bearded Packers star was amusing, but he might grow old over two weeks.
Shaileine Woodley says she won't grow bored. Hope the rest of us don't feel like Olivia Munn.
While Texas gained the sports world's acclaim with Baylor's championship, fans a few miles up I-35 in Arlington packed the Texas Rangers' game, many of them maskless.
Hey, it's Texas. Why worry about those doomsayers predicting another covid surge? It's spring break time, when the breeze blows free on the Texas plain.
The question looms: Come college football season this fall, can fans return to full stadiums and drunken tailgating?
Roll up those sleeves, America.