Bounce for Bounce

5. Jerry probably should have done the thing himself. When little Mississippi Valley State got its first bid to the Big Dance, that school's most famous alumnus, the wizardly San Francisco 49er wideout Jerry Rice, learned that the Delta Devils were the only team among 64 in the tournament that had no contract with an athletic-shoe company. Rice made a call to his manufacturer (which pays him, let's see here, a couple of billion a year), and just like that, the Devils were outfitted with new sneakers and warmups. Wondering what Jerry said? So are we, but one thing he didn't say was, "I'll write the check." So much for the gap between altruism and the commercial clout of star athletes. In any event, for Mississippi Valley State, it wasn't the shoes. Head coach Lafayette Stribling (for our money, the tournament's coolest name) saw his Delta Devils go down to Allen Iverson and the big-time Georgetown Hoyas 93-56. Let's hope his kids get to keep their new sneaks.

6. Let us now praise famous women. In an irony all Coloradans can savor, the CSU men and its women faced their Nebraska counterparts in the postseason. In a first-round game in the second-string National Invitational Tournament, the boy-Rams lost, but the 25-4, eighth-seeded women from Fort Collins rose up and beat the Huskers in the West bracket. Meanwhile, Ceal Barry's Colorado Buffaloes were made the No. 3 seed and lost to Auburn in the first round. What were the prospects for a CU-CSU shootout in the West? Not very good from the start. CSU would have had to knock off No. 1 Stanford on its home court, but failed, 94-63. In the absence of that showdown, maybe the two Colorado teams can at least get each other on the schedule: Sixth-year CSU head coach Greg Williams not only called his club's No. 8 tournament seeding "a real slap in the face" after his women won 21 of their last 23 games, but he hinted that the CU women have been ducking his outfit over the years. We don't know about that, but Williams might think about setting his sights a little lower and first schedule the CU men's team.

7. Yes, and the African-American fellows rarely seem to descend. CBS commentator Bill Raftery is one of the most engaging personalities on that network's oversized basketball broadcast team, but he forces his shot now and then. As Temple's Owls were laying the wood to Oklahoma, 61-43, on Friday, Raftery allowed that Temple star Huey Futch "was not futching around this afternoon," then later added that Sooners forward Ryan Minor "has the ability to elevate." Translation: White men can jump. Just about then, the network ran a familiar crawl across the bottom of the screen, its annual (and hopelessly ineffective, we suspect) explanation to soap opera fans outraged that basketball has supplanted their daily obsession. "The Guiding Light will return Monday," the message read. "No episodes will be missed."

Among the adherents of March Madness, no one misses them now.

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