On the Eve of the 12 Days of Conference Tourneys – it’s “Remember When” with the Buffet

So… it’s March.  And you all haven’t received so much as a morsel or scrap of food from the Buffet, let alone an entire trip through the line.  We are ashamed.  But, we also relocated headquarters, made our 7a-7p very busy on a daily basis, and so, while nothing short of a prolific Buffet is acceptable, hopefully it is understandable.  Another something we hope? That you remember the Buffet, even if you had to etch a tattoo on yourself, Memento-style, in case we ever resurfaced and you wanted to recall who we were and what we did.  Well, resurfaced we did.  So, in the spirit of memories, we at the Buffet will not only be rolling out our first published Buffetology of the 2012-13 season (we’ve been filling them out all along, so credibility would not be impacted, just simply haven’t had the bandwidth to accompany it with an article, as our readership demands, so we haven’t submitted), but also present you with a new once a year series, we like to call, “Remember When?”

Remember when UNC & Kentucky were good, and not just field of 68 good, but like National Title good?

Remember when Roy Williams was accurately considered one of college basketball’s best, instead of inaccurately considered as such, as he is now.

Remember when Frank Haith & Rick Barnes shared a coaching bench?

Remember when Miami and then Missouri hired someone from the “Rick Barnes coaching tree”?

Remember when Texas has a basketball program that made the sport relevant on campus again?

Remember when Missouri could win on the road?

Remember when announcers actually continued to watch the sport after the New Year? We ask this one, because we have reach our limit of watching Missouri basketball game, and the announcers gush over Paul Pressey, a good player and kid, who hasn’t been a good player since December. You know when, the 19 points/19 assists game that is the only talking point apparently available about him. Never mind that Missouri lost that game, partially, as has become his custom, because of Paul Pressey late game anti-heroics.  Since then? The numbers look ok: 12 pts, 7 assists, and couple of particularly big games.  But, then you look deeper: 4 turnovers per game, shooting only 36% from the field, then you parse out his road numbers: 11 pts, 6 assists, 5 turnovers, 30% from the field, 19% from 3, and you remember, even if Fran Fraschilla doesn’t, that even in his big games: UCLA, Kentucky (and A&M), it was Pressey who faltered down the stretch to make Missouri falter, yet again, on the road.  Pressey can’t play on the road, neither can Missouri, chances are they WILL be remembering Norfolk State, as a similar fate may await.

Remember when Arizona was running away with the Pac12, Oregon was underachieving, and UCLA was a chaotic mess that Ben Howland, Bill Walton leading the charge with pitchforks, was not likely to survive?

Remember when no one remembered Cal had a basketball program?

Remember when Murray State was a mid-major darling, and rode a great 2011-12 to a 6 seed, and gave 3-seeded Marquette fits before finally succumbing? Well Isaiah Canaan is still special (points and assists are up, with not major FG% and TO sacrifice), but then Zay Jackson ran over a couple of people at a Wal-Mart, and this team will not be snacking at the Buffet without winning the OVC tournament, and that conference is now inhabited by Ian Clark & Kerron Johnson & the Belmont Bruins.  Who might be this year’s Murray State (and hopefully not this year’s Iona).

Remember when BYU joined the WCC and that was supposed to be a good thing for increasing competition for Gonzaga’s annual WCC conference title?

Remember when John Stockton’s son played for Gonzaga? Wait, what’s that, he still does? Oh… (awkward)

Remember when Syracuse & Pittsburgh hastened the demise of the Big East as we know it by engineering a rejection of big TV contract offer from ESPN, then bolted for the ACC in panic, then tried to take us on a nostalgia tour of their last run through the same Big East they helped end?

Remember when Jim Boeheim acted sane after basketball games?

Remember Cody Zeller was the best player on Indiana (this is actually no knock on Zeller, who has been unfairly maligned in some places), and Victor Oladipo wasn’t a basketball revelation?

Remember when Miami had a chance to tie late, on the road at Duke, but missed a pair of 3s, but everyone only talked about Ryan Kelly, Coach K’s “one for the ages” comment, and Joe Lunardi crushed the Hurricanes for a 3 point road loss, with a chance for a tie at the buzzer, when an opposing player had the game of his life, and the winning team was ranked #1 in RPI coming in?

Remember when the Big 10 didn’t play ridiculously exciting basketball games every time out?

Remember when Baylor was supposed to be the stiffest competition for Kansas coming into 2012-13? Hello Marcus Smart!

Remember when McDonald’s All Americans actually played that way in college? Hello Brandon Ashley!  Hello Cameron Ridley! Hello Tyler Lewis! Hello DaJuan Coleman! Hello Devonta Pollard! Hello Tony Parker! (no Eva, not that Tony Parker)

Remember when Rick Pitino coached all 40 minutes, and not just the first 38 ½ before turning things over to a Peyton Siva/Russ Smith backcourt sh*tshow?

Remember when all of Kentucky’s freshman were listed on the honorable mention list for preseason all-America, presumably because last year’s Kentucky freshman were awesome?

Remember when James Southerland returning was going to be a boost for Syracuse?

Remember when Texas was going to get tournament-level better when Myck Kabongo got back?

Remember when the NCAA didn’t try an enforce their rules by participating in shady tactics and keeping things secret from 19 year olds who are overwhelmed/intimidated by the process?

Remember when conference realignment wasn’t a reality, and the college sports landscape wasn’t a complete mess?

Remember when Connecticut competed in a legitimate athletic conference? They soon won’t remember.

Remember when Butler didn’t?

Remember when everyone was excited out west for Mark Lyons to transfer to Arizona? It happened about the same time everyone remembered that the words “Mark Lyons takes a shot” and “Mark Lyons takes a bad shot” weren’t synonymous.

Remember when Durand Scott was the best player on Miami?

(This became less timely after Saturday, but…) Remember when Ryan Kelly was just a decent overall, great outside shooting, soft inside big man, and not Duke’s savior?

Remember when it used to turn to February, you looked forward to the Tournament, and couldn’t wait for the regular season to end? That was before every Big10 was decided by 1 point or less (don’t ask us how that’s possible, it just seems that way), a #1 ranked team lost every third day, and regular season conference races weren’t razor thin.

Remember when Marshall Henderson went bonzo on the crowd at Auburn, he became a media darling, and people actually talked about Ole Miss? Since then they’ve gone 4-6, and have lost to every tournament caliber team they’ve played as well as South Carolina & Mississippi State, who are barely SEC conference tournament worthy.

Remember when Jay Wright was vilified, lauded, vilified, commended and then vilified again, all during the 2012-2013 season?

Remember when no one talked about Marquette, even though they’ve got 10 wins against the top 100, are undefeated at home, have only 1 bad loss all season (only lost by 2 despite a wretched performance), and otherwise haven’t lost to team ranked lower than 55, and are only 1 game out of the top spot in the Big East, yet people only seem to remember that Louisville, Georgetown & Syracuse are in that conference.  That’s right, it’s still happening.

Remember when Connecticut was postseason banned due to APR, yet they would be a MUCH better at-large inclusion than about 45% of the soon to receive invitations.

Remember when everyone outside of New Mexico didn’t have 5 or more Mountain West conference game losses?

I was tempted to say, without further ado, but after that laundry list, could the ado really go any further? Here is the first published Buffetology of 2013. One last non-Buffetology item, just think, if we’re resurfacing now, that means it is just in time for the 12 Days of Conference Tourneys… Buckle up.

Have “Remember When”s of your own? Please comment with your favorites.  Or follow the Buffet on twitter @InTheBuffet and reach out there.  This social media thing might catch on, afterall.

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