An awards list unlike any other

Daniel Madden

As people catch their breath after 19 riveting hours of college basketball on Saturday and Sunday to wrap up the regular season, here are a few  of my own awards from this year’s college basketball season.

Evan Turner of Ohio State won the Player of the Year Award through pure trickery. We actually never saw him play because no one wants to watch the Big Ten, but we hear good things about him, so we’ll give it to him anyway.

Buzz Williams, Bruce Pearl, Steve Alford, Mark Few and Jay Wright all win the Coach of the Year Award. We like Buzz Williams (Marquette) for his unnecessarily large water bottles seen by his side during games, but he has, for some reason, strayed away from it. We also like his deft dance moves while rocking the baby blue blazer. 

We like Bruce Pearl (Tennessee) for his over-the-top excitement and also because he went shirtless during a Tennessee women’s game, fortunately continuing to sport an orange blazer for more dapper wear.

We like Steve Alford (New Mexico) because he beat Jim Boeheim and Syracuse in the 1987 NCAA championship game while playing at Indiana. 

We like Mark Few because he coaches Gonzaga. 

And we like Jay Wright, obviously.

The Coach Most Undesirable to Play for This Season Award goes to Jim Calhoun (Connecticut) and Bob Huggins (West Virginia), mainly because they’re Connecticut and West Virginia. And because they don’t like people. Rick Pitino (Louisville) and John Calipari (Kentucky) come in at a close second, but for different reasons. Also, movie producers are considering the state of Kentucky for the site of “The Godfather: Part  IV.” And it’s still unclear if UK is a real school. 

Frank Martin of Kansas State wins the Most Intimidating Looking Coach Award. When asked about his players’ efforts in the Jan. 18 game against Texas, he responded that if they failed to bring that same intensity again, “I will destroy them.” He has also been linked to criminal activities involving extortion for the Russian mob.

The Worst Announcer of the Year goes to Doris Burke. She will start an inevitably uninteresting sentence, say something negative with little energy, tell us that the “reality is this,” emphasize words like “can” and “are,” say “and I’ve said this before” and allow Dave Pasch to just wonder why he always gets paired with her. We don’t know what we feel worse about — that Dave Pasch has to announce with her every game or that Dave Pasch calls her “DB.” Speaking of announcers, though it’s still unclear, we think Bobby Knight threatened to shoot Jay Bilas with his shotgun last Saturday. Also, someone needs to bring Tom Brennan back.

Uniform of the Year goes to Marquette’s baby blue alternate, decorated with a border of gold and deep and light blue stripes along the sides. Marquette also earns extra points for capitalizing on the new fad minimalist jerseys like those of Texas and Ohio State that just so happen to make the colors and combinations Marquette rocks look like gems. And no one in the country looks better than Lazar Hayward when he wears his matching baby blue headband. Villanova wins honorable mention in the most aesthetically pleasing category with their pure blue and light blue combination.

The Duke Blue Devils win the Most Intimidating Uniform of the Year Award for their deep, soul sucking, pure black, Darth Vader cape garb with the cold and ocean abyss blue letters for the away jerseys. And it is perhaps one of the few jerseys that accurately portrays the school’s nickname. 

Best Name for an Arena Award goes to Kansas State’s “Octagon of Doom.” Nothing exudes intimidation like shapes with sharp angles and the underworld. Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gymnasium wins the Worst Lay-Out of an Arena Award for the 50th year in a row. The court sits elevated above the first row seats, enabling a few lucky students to have perfect shots of the cheerleaders, but unfortunately nothing else of the game. The court also spreads out so far that the fans fall away from the action. And the absurd location of the two benches at the end of the floor rather than along the sidelines adds to its imbecility.

The Player Most Likely to Prove Everyone Wrong in the NBA Award, also called the Dick Vitale-Stephen Curry Award, goes to Sherron Collins at Kansas. An absolute winner his whole college career, he drops to a second round pick because of his size. So while not on par with the lottery pick that Stephen Curry was, Dick Vitale will fight Jeff Van Gundy over Collins’ ability, just like he did over Curry and accurately predicted his success.

With the sudden end to a fast few months of college basketball, the conference tournaments and NCAA tournament are sure to bring new action and new surprises worthy of our attention and maybe some new names to step up for the postseason awards.