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So what if this isn't online, we're still calling it a 'blog'

Before we get started,let's address one issue.

Technically, this isn't a blog. A blog (short for "web log") is an internet thing. This isn't, unless you count where you can read it (on our website, www.postbulletin.com) if you're a subscriber.

So while it'll be what I do instead of a blog, we won't call it that.

Personally, I don't care what you call it, as long as you don't call me Ishmael.

My remote control has been getting a workout, switching between high school hockey and college basketball. The state hockey tournament has for decades been one of the truly special events in Minnesota sports each year and it's nice to see attendance staying so high, in contrast to the declines that basketball has suffered.

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I found myself sticking with the hockey and filling in with the college basketball. It's "championship week" with the various conference tournaments but the play has been haphazard, at times sloppy, and the caliber noticeably weak compared with past years. We seem to be saying every season that college basketball is down. You don't have to be Digger Phelps to figure that one out: there are too many Rick Rickerts leaving college early for a longshot chance at the NBA.

And what is it with fundamentals (or lack thereof)? The dearth of superstars shouldn't mean poor basics. The other night I stopped counting how many turnovers could have been avoided if the player had used a bounce pass.

Myron Glass shouldn't amaze me but he still does. His program's accomplishments at Lourdes serve as testimony to how powerful it is when strong leadership exerts a simple but identifiable philosophy and gets the players to buy into it by adhering to that vision during games and by working in the offseason.

There are other programs around -- in girls basketball and other sports -- that do that, but none to this extent. And when you win this much, you get the mystique factor.

It's been a long time since I covered area high school boys basketball, which I enjoyed immensely until my administrative duties made that impossible. That means there aren't many coaches still around that I worked with. But two of them have their teams in subsection championship games tonight. I'm not picking out any favorites, but I will say that if St. Charles and/or Dover-Eyota win tonight, it'll be a nice thing for good-guy coaches Terry Knothe and Paul Spafford.

Another coach who goes back to the first Bush administration, Byron's Kerry Linbo, is another good guy who caught a bad break the other night. His team, ranked seventh in the state, was upset by Kingsland.

Craig Swalboski

swalbo@postbulletin.com

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