A Gonzo Sports Column Celebrating College Basketball, Anxiously Awaiting March Madness, and Rueing the Madness of the Seattle Mariners
It took five overtime periods for Notre Dame to beat Louisville 104-101 on Saturday. Fighting Irish guard Jerian Grant scored 12 points in the last 50 seconds of regulation to force the first overtime. Some of the Notre Dame crowd exited before that final minute. A minute. Isn’t there a saying about living a lifetime in a minute? The Irish and Cardinals played for what seemed a lifetime. The Irish scored nearly as many points in overtime (44) as they did in all but the last minute of regulation (48). This is why college basketball rocks: It’s the upsets, as well as the student section crashing the court after an instant classic.
In another close game, Duke overcame a stingy Boston College squad to put together a 6-0 run down the stretch to clinch a 62-61 win on Sunday. They were the only top five team that didn’t lose this week, and Seth Curry scored 18 points to become half of the highest-scoring brother duo in college basketball history. The Currys passed Tyler Hansbrough, formerly of North Carolina, and Ben Hansbrough, formerly of Mississippi State and Notre Dame. Seth and Stephen Curry have scored 4,493 points. “It’s always good to pass a Carolina guy in anything,” said Seth, “so it’s fun.”
In professional sporting news, the best pitcher in baseball may not be paid. Felix Hernandez’s contract status is in question because of a potential elbow issue. The Mariners were offering a seven year, $175 million contract until concern over his pitching elbow thwarted the talks. My message to the Mariners is this: Pay the man! He’s an absolute workhorse (only 3 players in history have pitched more innings before turning 27) and has single-handedly carried the Mariners despite a lack of run support (Seattle ranked 27th in runs scored last season).
With the Supersonics returning, Mariner season ticket holders will happily jump ship this season, and if King Felix, the one good thing the Mariners have going for them, is playing with no contract extension, he’ll be the center of trade talks (again) all season long, and no season ticket holder wants to spend the season waiting for their best player to be traded. It would drive a man to drink — or watch the NBA.