Three Up, Three Down: Have a good cry, MWC, then get on with your life

I remember reading in a psychology book that being consistent is imperative to raising children.

Or maybe I heard that on “Dr. Phil.”

Anyway, it’s probably true, and the reason I thought my parents did a nice job. They were consistent with all four of their children. Although, as I recall, they did let my kid sister and her boyfriend “study” in the downstairs bedroom with the door closed. Had that been the case when I was her age, I would have surely flunked algebra. World history, too.

Consistency is why the NCAA would make lousy parents.

According to its rules, players are bound to schools by the letters of intent they sign. Coaches do not sign letters of intent. They sign contracts, which are not binding because they can be bought out, which isn’t the same thing.

The NCAA also allows its members to walk out on their marriages. Yes, there are prenuptial agreements, but these “exit fees” are minimal compared to the revenues schools can rake in by divorcing one conference partner for another.

When Brigham Young and Utah and Texas Christian leave the Mountain West Conference, it’s not like the remaining members are going to be like Elin Nordegren and never have to work again.

On the contrary, when the Cougars and Utes and Horned Frogs are gone, the MWC is going to have to work harder than ever, unless Boise State’s football team can keep running the table and Fresno State’s basketball team starts cheating.

Thanks to San Diego State and Brigham Young, this was the best basketball season in the history of the Mountain West. But it might be as good as it gets.

With BYU departing for football independence and the West Coast Conference in basketball and other sports — you got “Jimmered,” Craig Thompson — the pressure is on Steve Alford at New Mexico to pick it up a notch and for Lon Kruger to recruit a big man and for Steve Fisher to hold it together without D.J. Gay at point guard.

In 2006, the Missouri Valley Conference received four NCAA Tournament bids. That was before coach Mark Turgeon left Wichita State for Texas A&M, the guy at Northern Iowa left for Iowa State and Ali Farokhmanesh left for Switzerland. This year, the MVC got one NCAA bid.

When it comes to March Madness and being good parents, it’s mostly about consistency.

You can ask my kid sister and her boyfriend.

THREE UP

■ Every time they throw it back to the studio at halftime of March Madness, one gets the impression that former UNLV star Greg Anthony has done his homework. And that Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley would do better if they copied off him.

■ The good thing about being Rick Pitino or Tom Izzo is that when your team loses to a No. 13 seed or gets knocked off by UCLA in your NCAA Tournament opener, you can always get a gig as a studio analyst. It’s doubtful the young guy with the buzzcut who coaches Virginia Commonwealth would have that same opportunity, you know, were he not so busy still coaching basketball.

■ Two things learned from this year’s NCAA Tournament: One, lint balls are extremely flammable. Two, I do much better deciding what games to watch than CBS did with its live look-ins and such. Thanks, TBS. Thanks, TNT. Thanks, truTV, even if I’ve already forgotten what channel you’re on.

 

THREE DOWN

■ Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan bristled last week when a reporter referred to his team’s plodding style that produced 33 points in a loss to Penn State as “Wisconsin basketball.” After watching the Badgers plod up and down the court and miss 15 of their first 23 shots against Butler, Bo Ryan should stop bristling. 

■ I like ESPN’s Andy Katz. I think he’s the biggest overachiever from the old 16-team Western Athletic Conference since the Rice basketball team beat somebody good in basketball, provided that ever happened. But here’s what Katz wrote about Jimmer Fredette after the overtime loss to Florida: “Had he been given one more shot, he may have pulled off an iconic BYU moment with a winning shot that would have propelled the Cougars to the Elite Eight. But he didn’t have the chance.” Didn’t have the chance? Jimmer chucked 29 shots. He made 11. He had more chances than Lindsay Lohan.

■ Speaking of chances, who had more “To Tell the Truth?” Bud Collyer, who hosted the TV game show from 1956 to 1968; Gary Moore, who hosted from 1969 to 1977; or Jim Tressel, the football coach at Ohio State, who is married to … um … the lovely Morgan Fairchild. Yeah. That’s the ticket.

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski can be reached at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow him on Twitter: @ronkantowski.

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