* I’ll bet Wichita State basketball fans are holding their collective breath as Saturday’s BracketBusters game at Davidson approaches. I get it; the Shockers are due for some mediocrity after playing at a high level for a long time now. Everything looks better when a team is shooting the basketball the way Wichita State is. And we all know how fickle shooting can be. But the Shockers are playing well in every phase of the game, which is why I think they’ll handle Davidson, then win on the road against Illinois State on Wednesday night, clinching the Missouri Valley Conference championship. All of the attention Wichita State has started to receive nationally this week is deserved. With a win over Davidson on Saturday, I think the Shockers will appear in the Top 20 in next week’s polls.
* Kansas State could slip into the NCAA Tournament with a 9-9 record in the Big 12 Conference. So I guess that means the Wildcats’ upcoming road games against Baylor and Missouri aren’t “must-win” games. Then again, if K-State drops to 6-9 in conference play by losing both games are the Cats assured of winning the next three against Iowa State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State? I think K-State’s NCAA Tournament chances are about 40-60.
* I don’t have Lin-Mania. But I sure would like to see New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin play a game. I’ll finally get my chanceJeremy Lin of the New York Knickerbockers. That's Knicks, for short.Sunday, when the Knicks play on ABC against the Dallas Mavericks. I have only seen highlights of Lin, and this is a fantastic story that has been shoved down our throats by, mostly, ESPN. I know we’re a nation of sports junkies, but are we starting to see the first backlash against ESPN? Is there simply too much ESPN? I’m curious what you think about this, so please drop in a comment. There are times, of course, when I’m so thankful for the ESPN networks. And times, when it comes to stories like Jeremy Lin and Peyton Manning, when I think I’m going to scream.
* Here’s what’s going to happen with Manning. He’s going to play for another team next season. Get back to me when he decides which team that’s going to be.
* I like to keep me on on the concert scene, because I’m a concert kind of guy. I’m elated that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are coming to the Intrust Bank Arena on April 26. And it’s nice that Nickelback is stopping by the IBA on June 8. So far, though, Van Halen is not coming to Wichita, which is a shame. Nor is Drake, Radiohead, Janelle Monae, Roger Waters, Red Hot Chili Peppers or The Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys, who are touring together this spring. It’s early and I still hold out hope that some of these acts will be in our downtown arena, which has upcoming shows from George Straight and Martina McBride (Saturday), Winter Jam (Feb. 24), Jeff Dunham (Feb. 25), Jason Aldean (March 16), and Rodney Carrington (March 31).
* I’m loving “Smash” on NBC. I wouldn’t think I would be loving that show, which is about the production of a Broadway play based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. But through two episodes, I’m hooked. Maybe it’s because “American Idol” alum Katherine McPhee is in one of the starring roles. I thought McPhee was a terrific singer during her time on AI, but she didn’t win and then disappeared. This show, though, could make her a mega-star. She has the talent and the looks to be one. What a demanding role this is for her, too.
* I follow politics closely but I don’t really ever say much about what I think, at least publicly. I wonder why? It seems like politics just starts fights. Why can’t we all just get along? Or at least be tolerant of one another’s views? I’m one of those who wants everyone to have a piece of the pie, as long as they’re willing to put forth their best effort to get a piece of the pie. I’m going to stop now.
* Whitney Houston’s death makes me sad. When you look back on her early videos, you see all of that innocence. The fame and accompanying bad decisions took her from us too early. What a waste, but what a reminder, too, that we’re all human.
* I’m excited about baseball season. But that’s hardly news. I’m always excited about the beginning of baseball season. And that beginning is here, with pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in Florida and Arizona. And Wichita State’s baseball team is playing a game today in Texas.
* The Grammys are, by far, my favorite awards show. I watched every second of the telecast last week. There are always some highs (Bruno Mars, Paul McCartney, Glen Campbell, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen) and always some lows (Nicki Minaj?, Tony Bennett, The Beach Boys, Electronic Dance Music). It pains me to cast Bennett and The Beach Boys into the “lows” category. But time doesn’t appear to be on the side of either, at this point.
* Taylor Swift made me aware that I love a woman who can play the banjo.
* Wichita State 74, Davidson 66.
* Baylor 66, Kansas State 56
* Kansas names its score against Texas Tech. Poor Billy Gillispie.
* LeBron James just can’t help himself, can he? Why in the world would he tell the Cleveland media he’s open to the idea of returning to the Cavaliers at some point? Why, why, why? Stop making your existence so difficult, LeBron.
* Headed out tonight to watch North’s Conner Frankamp play against Kapaun Mount Carmel. I’m hooked. I try to see him play as much as I can. And I’m also a big Perry Ellis guy. I saw him play a half last week at Northwest, during which the Heights Falcons built a 40-20 lead. Ellis has developed his game greatly this season.
* Have a great weekend everyone. I’ll be blogging tomorrow after the WSU-Davidson and Kansas State-Baylor games. I hope you check back then. I’m also car hunting with my wife Saturday. That should be fun.