A couple of solid if not overwhelming games to finish the path to the Final Four today. Michigan State squeaked out a close one, though for much of the game they looked like the better team – though not by much. The edge here, if you want to oversimplify things, came down to coaching. By that measure, a narrow Michigan State win was appropriate. Coach K and Tom Izzo have a unique ability to get the absolute most out of their team – and more – in March regardless of what has happened before then. Amazing. Speaking of Coach K, he benefited from playing a team that wasn’t as deep or nearly as experienced as his. Baylor played well enough, and for moments they looked brilliant, but they just couldn’t pull it off in the end. It never ceases to amaze me how the tournament works – teams can look brilliant and all but unbeatable for a game or two or three, but sooner or later they meet a team who is too much for them and they look mortal again. The tournament does an amazingly good job of sorting out the best teams from the rest – even if it doesn’t look like it.
On the non-basketball front, I continue to be captivated by the story out of Pittsburgh, and thankful that I am not a Steelers fan. Ben Roethlisberger will not be reporting to the team’s offseason conditioning program tomorrow as he was previously expected to do. The decision was made by him and the team that he would be too much of a distraction if he were there. There hasn’t been a clearer sign yet that there is really something to the latest sign of Roethlisberger idiocy. This one could end very badly for the Steelers. I’m almost at the point of betting that it will.