Posted on: February 18, 2010 4:38 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2010 4:41 pm
 

The Open Road Beckons

By C.M. Tomlin

2:00 PM



In Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, a young man named Pip suddenly learns that he is the recipient of a large sum of money from a mysterious benefactor; the inheritence is dependent upon the instructions, however, that Pip move to London and become a gentleman. Later, Pip learns that his benefactor was some escaped convict or something, and Dick Van Dyke sings a song about chimney sweeping and this old guy gets visited by three Christmas ghosts.

The reason I’m reminded of this is that we too, your hosts for this blog, have benefactors as well – benefactors who have required us to travel to ten college basketball games in eleven days. Actually, it’s not really a lot like Great Expectations. Forget about that, though I’m sure you were impressed about how much I knew about Charles Dickens. That's right  I am very, very smart.

These said benefactors have laid out a gauntlet for us – a gauntlet of fandom, a quest to get to the core of some of the nation’s most rabid college basketball fans. We had our charge. And now we have our itinerary. Among the many stops on our road to ultimate college basketball enlightenment would be:

-Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Marquette University). Some call Milwaukee “Brew City.” Others call it “The City of Festivals.” Those without access to Wikipedia probably don’t even bother to give it a nickname. We’ll find out what it means to be a Golden Eagle. Not literally, though, because those don’t really exist.

-Cedar Falls, Iowa (Northern Iowa University). We’ll visit the Panthers in their home gym and make our way around Cedar Falls, home of ex-SNL alum Gary Kroeger (1982-85), Entertainment Tonight co-host Mark Steines and screenwriter Nancy Price, who penned the 1991 Julia Roberts film Sleeping With the Enemy. In case you’re wondering, there’s almost no chance we’ll leave uninspired.

-Indianapolis, Indiana (Butler University) We’ll visit Hinkle Fieldhouse, which has been around since 1928 and was home to the Milan Miracle, the 1954 Indiana high school basketball championship on which Hoosiers was loosely based.  If time permits, we may also visit some of our favorite locations from John Mellencamp’s 1992 masterpiece Falling From Grace, also shot in Indiana.

-East Lansing, Michigan (Michigan State) Before visiting the Izzone, we’ll stop for a moment to breathe in and process the fact that we’ve finally arrived in Michigan, and marvel at its over 1300 public boating access sites.

-Lawrence, Kansas (University of Kansas) We’ll be on hand for a classic showdown between Oklahoma and #1 Kansas. We’ll also see if it’s true that Lawrence is the 43rd  hottest city in America “for business relocation and expansion (Expansion Management Magazine, 2001). And we will be taking  that very seriously.

-Chapel Hill, North Carolina (UNC) On the court, we’ll watch a battle between the Florida State ‘Noles and the Tarheels. Off the court, we’ll revel in the Research Triangle’s refreshing brand of earthy jam bands while performing some science experiments.

-Morehead, Kentucky (Morehead State University) An inter-Kentucky matchup sees Big Dance familiars the Murray State Racers rolling in to face the Morehead State Eagles. Then we’re totally going to the Mr. Gatti’s Pizza on campus to play what may be the last remaining Pole Position game in America.

-Ithaca, New York (Cornell University) We’re going straight Ivy League with Princeton at Cornell – and then we’ll stick around to judge a sweater vest competition and talk about Yeats while we open a 2002 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais and consider going down to the Olga Rozanova lecture at MOMA.

-Syracuse, New York (Syracuse University) Villanova takes on the Orangemen and we’ll see how Syracuse stacks up to its sister city of Tampere, Finland. (Spoiler alert: Tampere has more Finnish people than Syracuse. Your move, Syracuse.)

-Charlottesville, Virginia (UVa) Tired and bleary eyed, we’ll do our best to keep our eyes open as Coach K brings his Blue Devils to Charlottesville to take on the Cavs. We’re crashing at your house, Mayor Dave Norris. So get your guest room ready.

The challenge has been laid down. And we accept it, CBS Sports. Prepare to bask in the glory of our victory. Because it will be glorious.

Or perhaps we just have great expectations. But we shall see. Oh, we shall see.

Posted on: February 18, 2010 4:34 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2010 4:43 pm
 

And we're off...

By: Drew Franklin
11:30 AM

The excitement is high and the credibility is low in this northbound chariot of college basketball ridiculousness.  I must say, when CBS Sports first offered us a vehicle and an expense account, I thought they were recruiting us to play point guard at USC.  Turns out they were just looking for a group of guys willing to live out of a rental car for 11 days while checking out some of college basketball’s most prestigious venues and bracket-busting games.  Now that we can do…

Our man-tastic voyage set sail this morning from Lexington, KY.   Our vessel, a Kia Rondo, is jam packed with everything a college basketball blogger would ever need:  computer equipment, media credentials, schedules, scouting reports, a ‘Blogger on Board’ window decal, and more 5-Hour Energy shots than Osi Umenyiora and Braylon Edwards can endorse.   

As of right now, we’re somewhere in Indiana en route to Marquette in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  We don’t have a whole lot to report thus far, other than a windmill farm in Indiana and Tomlin’s Ashton Kutcher-like celebrity status on Twitter, but we’ll pick things up once we arrive at our first stop.

I’m signing out for now.  Tomlin will be on here shortly to tell you a little more about what’s ahead, if we can get him to quit singing this ridiculous song from the backseat:

 

Posted on: February 18, 2010 4:23 pm
 

Welcome to the 2010 College Basketball Road Trip

MATT JONES:  8:00 AM



Welcome to the beginning of one of the poorer decisions we and CBS Sports have ever made.  This is the CBS Sports.com College Basketball Road Trip for 2010.  You don’t know who we are, but hopefully you will learn over the next ten days.  I am Matt Jones and taking the trip with me are C.M. Tomlin, TJ Beisner and Drew Franklin and over the next 11 days, we will be going to 10 college basketball games from locations as diverse as Lawrence Kansas to Ithaca, New York.   In the meantime we will chronicle our trip and hopefully paint a picture of the diverse world of college basketball in ways that you haven’t before seen.

You may be wondering, “who are these guys and why would CBS want them to do a roadtrip?”  That is a very good question and one we have wondered since we got the assignment.  We run Kentuckysportsradio.com and for the last four years, we have been covering Kentucky basketball in the “most ridiculous manner possible.”  Now it is time to take that reporting ethic national and move from simply making jokes about Billy Gillispie’s drinking and Rick Pitino’s carousing to making fun of more national topics like Luke Harangody’s hair and Roy Williams’ sensitivity to world issues.  Whether we succeed is up in the air, but if Seth Davis can still have a job in television, there is hope for us all (we kid because we love).

The trip begins tonight with a game in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and moves from there to locations near and far.  A look at our schedule:

Thursday:  Pittsburgh vs Marquette

Friday:  Old Dominion vs Northern Iowa

Saturday:  Siena vs Butler

Sunday:  Ohio St vs Michigan St

Monday:  Oklahoma vs Kansas

Tuesday:  Visit University of Kentucky

Wednesday:  Florida St vs North Carolina

Thursday:  Murray State vs Morehead State

Friday:  Princeton vs Cornell

Saturday:  Villanova vs Syracuse

Sunday:  Duke vs Virginia

Over the course of the next 11 days, we will bring you the trip in all its ridiculousness, dodging snow storms, speed traps and Bobby Knight’s breath.  It begins now and we hope you enjoy.  And if you see a faded rented Kia Rondo rolling down the road, give us a wave.  And if you are a student or a fan of one of the schools we are visiting or simply want to make suggestions or comments on the trip, email us at collegebasketballroadtrip@gmail.com.   We are off.

Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com