(We're Having Trouble Thinking Up Headlines For This Q&A Stuff -- OK?)
By Tom Danehy
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS everywhere, nor any answers, I think....
The defending national champion Arizona Wildcats started practice last week in preparation for their drive for a second consecutive title. Even with all five starters back, questions abound.
Unfortunately, we here at The Weekly are utilizing a brand-new technology which is supposed to make everything better and faster. So naturally I have to get my column in even earlier than before, meaning that I had to have this done before Media Day, which came before Midnight Madness, which came before the time my column used to be due.
If we get any more technological advances, I'll be having to do my baseball preview somewhere around Thanksgiving. Still, on the upside, this means I get to do a totally separate "Answers, Answers" column somewhere down the road.
Anyway, to the questions:
Q. With virtually the entire team back from last year and the competitive fires burning as brightly as ever in McKale, why are so many preseason polls not picking the Cats to repeat as national champs?
A. I saw a bumper sticker once which read, "I'm a maverick." I thought to myself, No, you're not, you stupid anal polyp. If you were a maverick, you wouldn't have to tell everybody; we'd know. Like, maybe you'd be driving down the street backwards or something.
Anyway, the people at some of these magazines feel the need to be controversial, to go out on a limb, to set themselves apart. It's easy to do, since hardly anybody's going to go back in April and check on how their picks panned out. Back in 1988 I picked the Dodgers to win the World Series (in print) and sure enough they did. I crowed a little bit, but not much because, hey, I pick them to win it every year.
As for the Cats, they have to be the favorites to win it again. Their run through the NCAAs last year, when they knocked off three No. 1 seeds, was no fluke. That they have everybody back, another year bigger, stronger and smarter, makes them the obvious choice.
Of course, the wildly unpredictable nature of the tournament, which makes it the greatest sports event of the year, keeps the Cats from being huge favorites. Plus, teams almost never repeat. So, choosing Kansas or North Carolina or Duke to win it all is as good a guess as any, which in effect, makes all of the preseason polls useless. But boy, they sure are fun to read.
Q. Where do you think Miles Simon will get more money: From his signing bonus as a lottery pick in the NBA draft, or from his lawsuit against the UA for releasing his academic record?
A. I don't know, but if one didn't have to divest himself of all vestiges of human dignity in order to become a lawyer, I wouldn't mind representing him in either one.
Q. What's the strangest fallout you've seen from that fiasco?
A. Have you got all day? There are at least three equally-bizarre answers:
1. Tucson Citizen columnist emeritus Corky Simpson wrote that The Kansas City Star wrote that story about Simon's academic travails either to get back at the NCAA (headed by former UA Athletic Director Cedric Dempsey) for leaving KC for Indianapolis and/or to get back at the UA for having knocked No. 1 Kansas out of last year's Sweet 16.Q. So who's going to win the NCAA championship?
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