Friday’s Den: Ranking the months of the year……

1) March— Conference tournament basketball, March Madness, spring training games on TV every day, plus winter is winding down. March is a good time of year. 

2) November— Lot of football going on, plus college basketball starts

T3) June/July/August— Summer months are all good in upstate New York; hot weather, the horses are up in Saratoga in late July/August, baseball on the tube every night.

6) December— I spend 10 days in Las Vegas every December, wrapped around Christmas, so that ramps up this month’s ranking a lot. Walking on the Strip and seeing all the Christmas decorations is a little unique. 

College basketball games, the NFL stretch run, bowl games- good stuff.

7) September— When I was a kid, this was the worst month of the year, going back to school and all, but as an adult, football season starts, the pennant races in baseball, plus the weather is mostly still summer-ish. 

8) October— Slowest month for this website, which usually means a trip to the desert, never a bad thing. Football Sundays at the Westgate Theater are really good. 

9) May— Really the same month as April, except one more day and the weather is usually a little bit warmer. 

10) April— Baseball season starts, which is very good and winter is replaced by mostly rain, but the NBA/NHL playoffs start

11) January— 31 days of cruddy weather offsets the NFL playoffs and conference play in college basketball. There are no bad months of the year, but January is a damn cold month. 

12) February— Only 28 days (usually) but the same cruddy weather, plus only one football game, though the new AAF could start making February a little better. 

Wednesday’s Den: Wrapping up Opening Night in college hoop

13) Kansas 92, Michigan State 87— Jayhawks led this game the whole way, were up 50-36 at halftime, but Spartans fought back late and made the Kansas fans sweat. 

Dick Vitale started his 40th season on ESPN with this game; he surprised me by saying that he thinks college basketball season starts too early, and shouldn’t begin until after Thanksgiving Day. Don’t think I agree with that; after Thanksgiving would be too late. 

I liked the early season basketball marathon ESPN used to run for 24 hours, but they’ve done away with it now. That would’ve been early next week. Who needs sleep? 

12) Duke 118, Kentucky 84— Blue Devils led this game 34-13 at one point, and then it got worse; impressive display by a very young Duke team- game was 59-42 at halftime, 85-52 with 12:22 left. Wildcats don’t get whacked like that very often. 

11) Texas Southern 72, Baylor 69— When you pay an opponent to come to your gym and play, they’re not supposed to win. Last year, Texas Southern played its first 13 games on the road- their first home game was New Year’s Day. TSU started last year 0-13, lost by 31 at Baylor, but the Jonny Jones era gets off to an excellent start here. 

10) Arizona State 102, Cal State-Fullerton 94 2OT— Titans made NCAAs LY but weren’t given a big chance here; Ahmad/Allman combined for 64 points, but no other Titan scored more than 11 points- they’ll need a third scorer to emerge. 

ASU was only 26-44 on foul line; they took 18 more FT’s than Fullerton. 

9) North Carolina 78, Wofford 67— This game was tied 46-all with 10:30 left, but reality set in down the stretch. Credit to Roy Williams for going to Wofford’s gym and playing a real road game— it’ll make the Tar Heels better. Wofford has to be encouraged by this game. 

More teams need to have some guts and play some true road games. 

8) Georgia State 74, East Tennessee State 68— Couple of solid mid-majors hooked up here; ETSU had 27 offensive rebounds, but were just 4-23 on arc, 17-27 on charity stripe. Four Georgia State starters played 35:00+, so not a lot of depth there. 

7) Bills-Jets total this week is 36.5; it is the lowest NFL total since 2012. 

6) Penn 72, George Mason 71— Quakers win a nail biter despite going 6-18 on the foul line. 

5) Stony Brook 77, George Washington 74 OT— GW led this game 22-0 but lost; not exactly the best way to start your season. Stony Brook’s first points came 10:14 into the game; they were only 6-26 on arc, 17-27 on foul line, but they out-rebounded the Colonials 46-38, who were 16-34 on the foul line in at overtime loss. 

4) Providence 77, Siena 67— Friars made 13-25 on arc, Saints 12-28 in relatively foul-free game; only 20 FT’s were tried in this game. Siena started a soph and two frosh in coach Christian’s Siena debut; they have to be somewhat encouraged by this game. 

3) There are now 353 Division I basketball teams; Cal Baptist (WAC) and North Alabama (Atlantic Sun) are the two new teams this season. 

2) Boston College 73, Milwaukee 53— BC was down 10 at the half in this game; they outscored the Panthers 46-16 in second half. 

1) Louisiana Tech 71, Wichita State 58— Could be more of a rebuilding job than people thought for the Wheatshockers- they were a 10-point favorite here.