The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Breaking News

Opinion

March 15, 2013

LEVINE: March madness heats up

CLINTON — Historical columnist Gary Herrity’s look back today at the ’92 Crew will create a bit of nostalgia for many area residents.

Although I wasn’t a Clintonian at the time, I’ve heard many stories of the team, and how they captivated the entire town during their one-loss state championship campaign.

It’s recent history, but every now and then, it’s good to reminisce about some moments that may have been forgotten, while also reliving the buzzer-beaters, like the infamous desperation shot against Cedar Rapids Jefferson in the state tournament’s first round.

I can imagine that the town’s love affair with the ’92 team was reminiscent of the River Kings’ undefeated football regular season in 2009.

Fans had to show up extra early to find a seat during the 2009 season to watch Clinton’s march through the MAC. The run eventually ended in a loss during the quarterfinals of the playoffs, but it didn’t deter the amount of support garnered.

The buzz around town was undeniable, and lifted the spirits of citizens during a rough time economically. And that’s what sports are all about, and although the high schools are finished with winter sports, March madness is heating up with conference tournaments in college.

And for the first time since 2005, both of Iowa’s major basketball teams are in the running for an NCAA tournament berth.

Whether both will get in is still a mystery, but having Iowa and Iowa State at least in the conversation is what’s best to keep basketball in Iowa relevant.

Iowa State hit a rough patch in the 2000s after Larry Eustachy’s exit. Eustachy is now resurrecting his career at Colorado State, just as Fred Hoiberg is ready to take Iowa State to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances for the first time since Eustachy’s squads nabbed No. 2 seeds in 2000 and 2001.

This year’s Clones can beat any team in the country...and they can get beat by any team, too. Going on the road and winning 39 minutes, and 59 seconds, of the game against Kansas shows that Iowa State is capable of competing with the best teams, especially since it doesn’t appear any squad is head-and-shoulders above everyone else. In order to go toe-to-toe with the best teams, they have to make the tournament, and then get by the first round, which could be a challenge.

Iowa State will be a popular underdog pick by the experts, and is a scary team in any bracket.

Iowa, on the other hand, doesn’t appear headed to the tournament without a strong Big 10 conference showing. The Hawks competed at a high level in the Big 10, which is this year’s strongest conference, but their non-conference schedule was awful.

A win against Iowa State hardly overshadows not registering a non-conference victory against any big-time opponents. While Iowa State didn’t have many notable non-conference wins, they did take care of business against highly ranked teams in the conference.

Wins against Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota are good, but not enough to gain entry into the tournament. To the Hawks credit, they appear ahead of schedule on rebuilding, and going .500 in the Big 10 is noteworthy, thus keeping them in the discussion for an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.

Since I’m an Iowa State fan, I care much more about the Cyclones’ potential in the tournament than the Hawks.

But during the 2000s when neither team was relevant for much of the decade, I relish the opportunity to see both teams doing well on a national stage.

It creates a renewal in the rivalry and makes this time of year even more exciting.

Scott Levine is the associate editor of the Clinton Herald.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • 7-21-14 David Helscher mug Prepare for possible effects of Fed's decisions It has been more than 5 years since the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented steps to support the economy through purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed debt securities. This has generally been called quantitative easing and has not been withou

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • What it was like as a teen

    Ten years ago today, I’d like to think I was checking out educational books to prepare myself for my upcoming journey through college.

    In reality, I was probably playing video games and thinking of ways to have fun, while trying not to get into too much trouble.

    July 20, 2014

  • Randy Meier Spoofing practices resurface Spoofing is the practice deliberately falsifying a telephone number and/or name relayed to the caller ID feature of a phone. This type of call right now is the number one phone scam I receive. Many people report receiving calls appearing on caller ID

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Impeaching the president Sarah Palin is right about impeaching President Obama.No, not that the president should be impeached. But Palin is correct in arguing that, for those who assert that Obama has grievously abused his executive authority, impeachment is the proper cours

    July 18, 2014

  • Celebrate the renovated bandshell? Yes, but... I attended the ribbon cutting for the renovated bandshell on July 1. I was a proud member of the Vision 8 team that enabled the project. However, the previous Friday night, June 27, I was also a member of the cast of “Annie Get Your Gun.”When the Nat

    July 18, 2014

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook