We begin our tournament today with the women’s first round early in the day. It should be a wild time but it will begin with immediate disappointment. The new-season freshness is in the air, as new hopes and opportunities are in front of every team.
Over on the men’s side, North Texas’ Zach Simmons had the kind of quotes that would look like bulletin board material, but instead evoke the kind of desperate hope that teams with 7-game losing streaks sometimes possess.
The weather is cold and dreary but the mood is more calm. The second year at the Ford Center at Star — with more to come — has the league’s administrators calm instead of defending and trying to reassure doubters as it was last season. The two-court set up is quirky but fun.
We will have a new set up — using the permanent seating as one side instead of the end-court seating as it was last year. That should alleviate some of the issues with viewing angles. We had an upset last season, but all four of the top seeds can be beat — and have been beat — by one or more of the lower tier.
A tournament this wide open probably will produce something like a no-brainer winner. It will be easy to look back on it and proclaim prophet-like abilities but the truth is that ODU is the best team, WKU the most talented, UTSA the most fun and USM the most likely to sneak out of this thing with a trophy.
The women begin at 11am. Let’s basketball.