>Basketball Thoughts

>Once again, Vanderbilt’s little brother mentality rears its ugly head with the release of the basketball rankings.

Fans of Vandy were quick to moan and whine yesterday that the Commodores basketball team didn’t move up much in the polls while the mighty Vols moved up after beating Kentucky on Saturday.

Vandy fans are quick to point out they beat the Vols twice this year, but quick to forget that beyond those wins, they have little on their resume that makes them worthy of moving up the polls. Their so-called Memorial Magic wasn’t enough to overcome Kentucky at home last Saturday in a game that was on national TV and heavily hyped by the evil empire that is ESPN. They also had to go to overtime to be Georgia last Thursday evening, after losing to Georgia on the road earlier this season by a pretty large margin.

Now, I will admit that UT lost to Georgia on the road, but when the Bulldogs paid a visit to Thompson Boling Arena, they were pretty soundly handled by the Vols and the win was convincing. Also, the Vols have two huge wins on their resume in the confines of Thompson Boling Arena–one against Kansas who was the number one team at the time and then Saturday over Kentucky. It probably helped a bit that both were nationally televised games and that both were such definitive upsets that they got a lot of play all during the highlights packages nationally. Vandy hasn’t really stepped up and seized their opportunity to grab the spotlight when it’s been shone on them this year.

So, quit your whining Vanderbilt fans. You’ll get in the NCAA tournament and while you may not get as high a seed as the Vols, you will get a chance to play and earn some respect.

Also, while we’re on the subject, if nothing else Saturday should been further evidence that Bruce Pearl is the coach of the year in the SEC. No one else is even close since Pearl has done more with less and kept his team together in light of the off-the-court circumstances. I have a feeling the award will probably go to John C. (the used car salesman of college basketball) this year for taking Kentucky to the top of the polls. But really, with that collection of talent, just about anyone could. Pearl has done more and, in my mind, should get the award.

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