so here’s our sweet 16 … by Bob Ryan

As the NCAA tournament dominates conversations, betting, viewing in & out of work time, interest…one has to go with a sweet 16 theme….I have more basketball in this article than I’ve ever had in my years of writing these articles but…as always…there has to be some Cardinal stuff … so here’s our sweet 16…

1] I really enjoyed the Georgia State win & their genuine excitement over the win….it was really cool to see a father-son teaming up for success…btw…I’ve read that the son is a likely draft choice in upcoming NBA draft….he sure doesn’t have to work on “getting his shot” J

2] I’m wondering what future generations will say about America of this time….our extreme interest in entertainment (sports, dining, celebrities , etc)…for many, it seems to me, this “free time” interest has surpassed their responsibilities at work and home….I forget the number of people missing work on the first days of the NCAA or taking long lunches that chew up most of the afternoon…actually, I think I know what is going to be said about us….just as we wonder about the Romans fascination with “games” at the Coliseum…..of course those “games” included vicious action, gambling, prostitution down in the hallways, leisure activities that became the “talk of the town”, a “REFEREE” who determined life or death … etc. … oh well…these games are fun…I’ll let the historians sort it out later…

3] some observers say the 2ND string of Kentucky would be an elite 8 team in NCAA tournament

4] Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin led his top 10 team in Points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals this season….what an assortment of stats. I used during my coaching career books/articles written by Bo Ryan (long-time dII coach)—the current coach of Wisconsin…wonder why more DII coaches don’t move up to D1?

5] Jaime Garcia will be in the starting rotation at the start of the season….the Cardinal ownership….shrewd, clever, wise….won’t let $9mil go down the toilet without a final try. Pedro Jr will start in bullpen again! Like last year…I’m proposing a 6 man starting rotation…we have a lot of pitchers with physical “issues”, we have more than 5 starters, why not save their arms early in the season….Marco the Magician &/or Martinez could be a bridge man or a tandem that has one of them start regularly and the other piggy-back each time as the automatic reliever in the 5th/6th inning to reach the closer … basically—make the two of them ONE starter? Thoughts?

6] Magic had 2 triple-doubles & 2 double-doubles in the 1979 NCAA tournament…no one has dominated like that since that time… Michigan State beat Larry Bird’s Indiana State 75-64. …Indiana State…now that’s a mid-major riding a superstar

7] Btw…I think the officiating in the NCAA tournament is far superior to regular season….maybe because the games are on neutral courts and the crowd isn’t so emotional…maybe because of all of the timeouts, bench players are used less…maybe because the coaches are “advised” not to attempt to be the star of the show. Maybe because only the best officials are used…or maybe due to all of the above

8] I remember Chuck Bednarik, who just passed away, as a 2-way starter in 1960 for the Eagles….he was the center AND MLB! Norm Van Brocklan was the QB, Tommy McDonald the WR…I thin Irv Cross was a d-back….sorry. Don’t remember anyone else. Anyway… He just passed at 89….his family claimed that he had “football” dementia…come on….he was 89 years of age…btw…Al Hrabowsky NEVER says “joe blow is 24 years old…it’s always Joe Blow is 24 years of age…watch for that next time … anyway…the vast majority of 89 year old folks don’t remember everything (or anything in the last 24 hours)…sound like they’re looking for a payout from the NFL to me

9] The last 2 minutes of a college basketball game is longer than last 2 minutes of ANY sport….timeouts, instant fouls, repetitive “looks” at the monitor, coaches calling out play “54B”….substitutions flying in like hockey line changes every few ticks of the clock

10] Stephen Piscotty is the odd-man out in St Louis….Randall Grichuk & Pisocotty are both trying to be the same guy—power hitting OF and Grichuck is stronger. When Holliday is moved or moves along…the Cards will go out to get another “big name”…Hayward is pegged in to be the RF….I see Piscotty as trade bait.

11] Hannah Perryman (UMSL softball pitcher) recently threw back-back perfect games! In the Tritons 8-0, 5 inning win of Lake Superior State, she struck out all 15 batters (only 2 batters hit a foul ball). In her next outing, she faced 21 batters in the 1-0 win over McKendree!   She retired 36 straight batters in the 2 games! The UMSL Softball team is 19-3 ….oh …the baseball team is 11-1….but who knows anything about the University of Missouri-ST LOUIS in ST Louis? Without question…more St Louis Sports fans know about the English soccer teams…or even the Tour De France riders than these obscure athletes right under our nose.

12] In all the articles about the 5-decade player, Minnie Minoso, who just died….I have failed to see his contribution to St. Louis…when he flew into the left field wall late in his career in an early season game…he was injured and missed the rest of the season so the Cards installed a padded wall for the 1st time at Busch I.

13] I had forgotten … do I have an NFL dementia injury—I did play Frosh/Soph football? I used to run out of fear EVERY day … heck I was 110 pounds…but…my running was primarily on the practice field…didn’t get too many carries against other teams … anyway….that Billy Donovan had played for Rick Pitino at Providence…made me wonder just how long Pitino has been around….so here’s a brief run-down on Mr. Pitino.. Pitino’s, 1st coaching job was an asst @Hawaii in 75-76 (where he was directly part of 8 of the 64 NCAA sanctions against Hawaii)…moved to be Jim Boeheim’s first asst hired at Syracuse in 1977…in 78 he became Boston College head coach (taking them to the NCAA trny for the first time in 24 years…he left Boston College to become Hubie Browns asst in NBA..returned to college coaching in 1985 at Providence (Billy Donovan was one his players)… back to NBA for 2 years as head coach of NY Knicks…then in 1989 it was Kentucky winning NCAA title in 96…in 99—yet another trip to NBA…in 2001 he landed in Louisville … wow. I had no idea that he bounced back & forth between NBA & college so often…so …there you have it…the rest of the story on Rick Pitino

14] What? Harvard basketball in its 4th straight NCAA Basketball tournament? Thank Goodness for those “automatic” bids J

15] nfl player-player trades seemed more frequent this year—causes more excitement….heck…look at the buzz in StL after our Bradford trade…teams have learned to deal with salary cap issues, fading careers, personality issues off the field (bye-bye Suh)

16] My personal best memory was of the NCAA tournament is the 1973 NCAA finals in St Louis….I went out a bought a new bow tie, sport coach (UCLA colors) and enjoyed with Jean UCLA, Indiana (a year before they won their back-back title under coach Knight)…Memphis State and Providence … Bill Walton was absolutely fabulous in the championship game.16b…thanks for making it through the sweet 16…enjoy more b-ball this weekend!


16a]—ya feel compelled to pick which 4 teams will be standing for the final weekend…keep in mind—I’ve never filled out brackets so here goes from this novice—I never watched a great deal of collegiate basketball with coaching so I didn’t feel that I really knew much except the names of the coaches, star players, history of school so why pretend that I did know something….anyway…Wisconsin, Kentucky, Louisville, Duke….not very imaginative and I still don’t know anything


  1. Joel Delpha says:

    I am afraid that I must disagree with you about the NCAA officiating. So many close games with either “ticky-tack” fouls called or very obvious fouls not called. It’s ruining the tourney for me. One aspect of basketball that I hate is that (more than any other sport it seems) the referees control the game And even that wouldn’t be so bad if there was some objectivity about what gets called and what doesn’t, what is a charge, what is a block, etc.
    Sad for me that the MCC bowed out of the final four. I didn’t watch the game, but I heard that Jayson Tatum kinda wrecked it for Chaminade when he lost his cool. Hopefully, he will learn from that.
    I get a charge out of the angst that Cardinal fans have every year. They will win their 80-85 games,
    make the playoffs and go from there. Baseball is becoming more and more like the NBA and the NHL
    where the regular season means almost nothing.

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