- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2002

Brian Dennehy is Bobby Knight, according to ESPN.
This, too, reflects the madness of March, a lower-case madness though it is, with censored and uncensored versions.
If Brian Dennehy is Bobby Knight, Gene Hackman is Gene Hackman in "Hoosiers," and Whoopi Goldberg is Jeff Van Ankle Weight in "Eddie."
Brian Dennehy is not Nolan Richardson at this time, although it eventually could come to that.
Brian Dennehy followed the real Bobby Knight last night, a synergetic appeal as opposed to a surreal one. There was no low-speed freeway chase, after all, only the usual hip, hip, hooray, tinged with the disappointment of those destined to hear from the NIT.
The bubble was allowed to pass into the night air, soon to be replaced by the recycled air of Cinderella.
The NCAA tournament is what it is, the top excuse of the year to skip class and measure the brand names against the generic ones. Murray State, so named after the steaks and not the hockey brothers, is one of the lesser ones. It is where Popeye Jones could develop.
One or two obscure programs often fashion an improbable run after being let out of their cells of anonymity.
Hawaii's basketball program has the home-island advantage during the regular season, plus great weather and two apparent surfers in the lineup with the requisite blond mops. Welcome back to the party, dudes. Way to go in the WAC. Brian Dennehy also could be Jerry Tarkanian. Maybe. Possibly. You never know.
Washington felt the first jolt of March last Friday, courtesy of Worcester, Mass., home to Holy Cross and Clark University. Holy Cross beat American, and Clark beat Catholic, both in packed gyms ready to embrace the cause.
That leaves Gary Williams and the Terps and Bill Finney and the Saints to carry Washington's good name. Finney already is there with the Marymount women, in the Division III Final Four.
Finney played at Syracuse from 1969 to '72, when Jim Boeheim was a graduate assistant there. The connection should not be held against Finney, no more than Dickie V. should be held against Digger. Incidentally, Brian Dennehy is ample enough to be both talking heads.
The hype feeds the hysteria. Send money, mom. Send the riot police, too, if it is College Park.
Williams coaches in a puddle of sweat and with eyes affixed to the horror before him. That is just in November against a cupcake.
Williams is moving to Tony Cheng's neighborhood this week, hopefully to improve the mood there while sampling the Peking duck. The principal tenants on Fun Street have fallen and may not get up, depending on Michael Jordan's right knee and Jaromir Jagr's next injury.
The Terps will play the winner of the Alcorn State-Siena play-in game, a small detail one step up from irrelevant.
Gonzaga, John Stockton U., is back, with gusto, with Dan Dickau, an impeccable shooter whose NBA stock is up. Even so, today's flavor of the moment in college is often tomorrow's supporting part in the NBA. Didn't you used to be Shane Battier?
The NBA tried to pick the future of the college ranks clean last June, if you remember Kwame Brown, Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry and DeSagana Diop before they disappeared into the 82-game morass.
The Los Angeles Clippers probably have some NCAA eligibility left, and never mind the NBA's method of payment. That is quibbling, a slight bookkeeping distinction around the quasi-professionals of the NCAA.
Duke won the ACC tournament again. Duke always wins the ACC tournament. Jason Williams, who can't help the other point guard with the same name, is possibly the leading player in college basketball. He even has some Shaquille O'Neal in his game, if you consider his free throw shooting.
Duke first meets Winthrop, the same as Biff or Buff.
Duke, Maryland, Kansas and Cincinnati each earned a No. 1 seed. Duke beat Maryland, Maryland beat Duke, Ball State beat Kansas and Brian Dennehy is not Bob Huggins.
Brian Dennehy is Brian Dennehy, ESPN's apparent hors d'oeuvre to the earnest fun.


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