In one of the season’s more memorable games, Duke traveled to Virginia and took down the undefeated Cavaliers. The upset left Kentucky as the lone unbeaten team in Division I college basketball. The Wildcats have easily been the most widely-covered team and the national title favorite all season. At 22-0, 18 games stand between Big Blue Nation and the first perfect season since 1976, and it’s time to consider just how good Kentucky is — and if they’re truly that much better than the rest of the NCAA. [Read more…]
Parks and Recreation deserves a celebration. This heartfelt comedy about the Pawnee, Indiana, Parks Department delivered 22 minutes of pure joy in every single episode. I fell for Parks and Rec, fittingly enough, while pursuing my Masters degree in Public Affairs. The public service setting and political humor strike exactly my tone, but the genuine feeling of love and appreciation that every character has for one another makes this show universally appealing. This ensemble cast, led by Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope, exhibits an on-screen chemistry that we will be lucky to ever see again. The show is not without tension, and it certainly isn’t without flaw, but it is undeniably fun, intelligent, and worth watching from the beginning. In an ideal world, my list would be a 138-page, tabbed binder with specific dates, jokes, and details from every episode. Practically, though, I narrowed down to five brilliant episodes. I don’t mean to argue or exclude with a “top five” list in this case. I mean this as a warm tribute to my all-time favorite show and as a jumping point for you to remember and talk about your favorite characters, moments, or episodes from Pawnee.
I discovered One Book, One Chicago in the fall of 2012 when every single person I saw on public transit had their head buried in The Book Thief. I knew it couldn’t be coincidence that the whole city seemed to read the same book at the same time, but I was too new to know the secret. Luckily, a billboard popped up near my office with the One Book, One Chicago logo and The Book Thief cover art. A quick google search later, and I had a favorite Chicago Public Library program. One Book, One Chicago aims to engage the city’s readers in a public discourse on a single book supported by events, blog posts, and small group discussions to help build a culture of reading.
The number 1,000 doesn’t hold a sacred spot in college basketball fans’ hearts the way 755, 300, or 56 might for baseball fans – mostly because 1,000 is nearly incomprehensible. That he’s gotten to 999 victories speaks to Duke Head Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s longevity as much as it does his unparalleled talent. After amassing 73 wins and 0 NCAA Tournament appearances from 1975-80 at Army, Coach K took over a less-than-powerful Duke program. Before long, the Blue Devils looked strong, then dominant, then dynastic. In 35 seasons since, Duke has 4 National Titles, 8 Title game appearances, 11 Final Fours, and an astounding 30 Tournament appearances.
The New Year brings with it a bevy of resolutions, crippling cold, I guess, and most importantly, to your resident college basketball guru, the advent of conference play. Most major and mid-major conferences play only intra-league games from now until March. Plenty of time still exists for teams to play themselves into or out of the tournament, but at this milestone, let us break down the biggest winners and losers of the non-conference season.
This is a guest post by Kevin Triskett, college basketball enthusiast and longtime friend of Meryl’s. Today he gives readers a preview into the NCAA season, which starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. Central.
Most college basketball season previews read like a paint-by-numbers. A short list of one-and-done freshman, accessing Kentucky’s chances of winning the National Championship (or going undefeated if you’re completely disconnected from reality), and an unsurprising list of teams in contention for the Final Four. Those ingredients, though, just wouldn’t do the 2014-2015 season justice. UConn’s surprise run last March, proved again that anything can and will happen in a three week long, single elimination tournament. We enter this college basketball season with less certainty than usual and no clearly dominant team. That adds tremendous intrigue to the early weeks of the season, where stories will take shape, stars will emerge, and front-running teams will test each other in the best regular season in sports. Here’s a quick guide to the teams and storylines you need to follow on the march to Madness. [Read more…]