1. Villanova disrupted Kansas. Villanova deflected Kansas passes. Villanova forced Kansas turnovers, hounded Kansas' bigger inside players, crashed the boards on missed shots, and scrapped, hustled, dove, and clawed. They call it playing "the Villanova way". Villanova didn't shoot the ball great, but scored just enough to eke out a 56-55 victory over the nation's top-ranked Kansas Jayhawks. Watching this game was an exhilarating way to start my day.
2. Gonzaga did not eke out its win over EWU. No, the Zags' win was a cakewalk, a runaway, a waltz, a thumping. The Zags' lads creamed the boys from Cheney, 112-77. Broadcasters Greg Heister and Richard Fox lost interest in the game during the second half and invited former Gonzaga player Robert Sacre onto the telecast to talk about where he buys his suits. I fell asleep. I had fun being at Christy and Everett's and enjoyed the snacks Christy laid out for us. Everett likes it when the Zags score 100 points in a game. It was fun, but not very suspenseful, watching the fellas approach and then break the century mark. It made Everett very happy!
Later in the evening, I tuned in to the second half of Oregon's men's team's struggle against the Texas Southern Tigers a team Gonzaga shredded, 101-64 on Dec. 4th, . One of the puzzles in men's college basketball is why, when Texas Southern plays Oregon, they suddenly look like the Duke Blue Devils. Last year, as 25 point underdogs, the Tigers defeated the Ducks, in a very rare home loss for Oregon, 89-84. The year before, the Ducks won in a tight game, 74-68. When I tuned in tonight, the Ducks were behind the Tigers and the lead see-sawed back and forth. But, as he does so well, late in the game, the Duck's Payton Pritchard siezed control of the Ducks' offense and pretty much took over the game, scoring 16 of Oregon's last 18 points, including a 40+ foot heave as the shot clock was about to expire with under a minute to go.
It was shot and a moment worthy of Sabrina Ionescu (remember when she converted a similar shot against the USA National Team last month?).
3. I put college basketball behind me, poured myself a cup of brandy and hot water, and finished watching the very first episode of the first season of Inspector Morse and enjoyed it, promising myself to come back for more of this program.
I also watched the 8th episode of the first season of The Crown. In it, Queen Elizabeth II must navigate the difficult tensions growing within her immediate family. Her husband, Philip, turns out to be a maligning travel companion on their several months trip throughout the Commonwealth; the bitterness between the Queen and her sister, Margaret, continues to grow, even fester; and, finally, Queen Elizabeth II's grieving mother finds the duress in London unbearable and goes on a holiday to the extreme north of Scotland where she openly criticizes her daughter as being unequipped for her office. With these characters openly expressing anger, bitterness, envy, grief, and exasperation, this was the rawest and most emotional episode I've watched so far.