I don’t like any of them much

Well, it’s gonna be Michigan State against Duke next weekend in the Final Four. They’ll join Wisconsin and Kentucky, who play each other as well. The winners (survivors?) will meet Monday night for the championship.

I wonder if there are going to be any demonstrations outside the arena as a result of Governor Pence and his bigoted legislators’ passage of a “religious freedom” (actually freedom to discriminate against LGBTQ citizens) bill. The NCAA is already under fire.

The National Interfraternity Council is also headquartered in Indianapolis. With all the negative publicity earned by actions at Sigma Alpha Epsilon and other fraternities recently, a cynic might suggest to the NIC that it announce it’s considering a move to a less-prejudiced location.

Badgered!

For the second year in a row Arizona lost its chance to get to the Final Four at the hands of Wisconsin. I don’t know what the hell you can do when your opponent hits 10 of 12 3-point shots in the second half.

Congratulations to both teams, and we’ll be back next year, dammit.

Down to the Elite Eight

No. 7 seed Michigan State surprised no. 3 seed Oklahoma tonight 62 – 58. As the story says, “this team is coached by Tom Izzo, and you don’t bet against Tom Izzo in March.”

Tomorrow’s games:

6:09 p.m. ET on TBS
West Regional: No. 1 Wisconsin (34-3, 16-2 in Big Ten) vs. No. 2 Arizona (34-3, 16-2 in Pac-12)
I’m picking Arizona by two points, mostly because I’m an alum.

8:49 p.m. ET on TBS
Midwest Region: No. 1 Kentucky (37-0, 18-0 in SEC) vs. No. 3 Notre Dame (32-5, 14-4 in ACC)
Nobody in his right mind picks anyone other than Kentucky this year.

Empty-walleted homeowner

Microwave oven stopped heating. No appliance repair shop on Oahu fixes microwaves. Purchased new microwave. $157.06 with tax at Sears.

Pool pump making screeching noise. Analysis: bearings gone bad. Solution: replace pump. Pump replaced. $420.94 from Precision Pools.

Extended warranty charges for dishwasher, refrigerator/freezer and oven all due for renewal this month. $775 or thereabouts. Has not yet appeared on Sears bill.

Pest/rodent exclusion job scheduled (seal holes, entry points above and below house). Team arrives Wednesday morning.

Harried homeowner

Microwave oven stopped heating. No appliance repair shop on Oahu fixes microwaves.

Pool pump making screeching noise. Analysis: bearings gone bad. Solution: replace pump.

Extended warranty charges for dishwasher, refrigerator/freezer and oven all due for renewal this month.

Pest/rodent exclusion job scheduled (seal holes, entry points above and below house).

Woe! Woe!

Dear NCAA

I know you won’t listen to me, but will you listen to nationally-known sportswriter John Feinstein and fix your damned game?

Lookit. The shot clock should be the same at all levels of the game above high school. That would make it simpler for the fans, the players, the coaches and the broadcasters. Right now it’s 24 seconds for both the NBA and the WNBA, 35 seconds for the NCAA men and 30 seconds for the NCAA women. Shorten it to 24. That would improve offense, which is down considerably from what it used to be.

There are too many timeouts. In addition to the four TV timeouts per half, each coach has five per game, one for a full minute and 4 for a half-minute apiece. That’s 18 per game! Cut down the number coaches get.

I don’t know how to solve the endless parade to the foul line at the end of games when the losing team has to foul to try to get the ball back, but better basketball minds than mine should try to find an answer to that, because what ought to be the most exciting part of the game is now the dullest.

Don’t sit back and count the dollars as they roll in and conclude your game is in great shape, because it’s not. TV ratings have dropped from 9.4 in 1993 to 6.7 two years ago. That’s not good.

The game is getting more and more dull. Listen to Mr. Feinstein. Fix it.

Pull the other one, Bibi

So now Prime Minister Netanyahu insists “I didn’t mean it” when he said he was abandoning the two-state solution to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Thursday tried to backtrack from his pre-election declaration that no Palestinian state would be established on his watch…

[snip]

Mr. Netanyahu also said he had not been trying to suppress the votes of Arab citizens with an Election Day video warning that they were being bused to polling stations in “droves,” remarks that had also caused outrage at the White House and around the world.

Apparently no one in the White House believes that. I’d argue that no one in his right mind other than slavish supporters of the man should believe it. He took a policy that’s been in place for years, one that has been the stated policy of both Israel and its biggest (and almost only) ally, a policy that was unanimously agreed to by the US House of Representatives as recently as last year, and casually dumped it just to get re-elected. That dumping had the desired result, so now Bibi is trying to crawl back from his own words. Someone should remind him about videotape and cellphone cameras.

He’s a really nasty piece of work. He’d fit right in with Mitch McConnell in the Republican caucus of the US Senate.