This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.
(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTS THEME MUSIC)
SIMON: Tonight, the party begins on Bourbon Street. Hey, wait. Do parties on Bourbon Street ever end? Anyway, the NCAA men's basketball tournament is down to its Final Four teams. They're four famous basketball programs and the women's Final Four starts tomorrow night in Denver with another quartet of traditional powerhouses.
NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman Tom joins us. Tom, thanks for being with us.
The critique of University of Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari is that he does what it takes to get his players, and they do what they want from there. Sure, this thinking goes, he's yelling at them from the sidelines whenever one — specifically Terrence Jones — puts up a 3-point shot from a step behind the arc. But he's not much of a coach.
College basketball's Final Four men's teams will play in New Orleans Saturday, to decide which two squads will play in Monday night's NCAA championship game. The first match-up pits the University of Louisville against tournament favorite — and archrival — the University of Kentucky. In the second game, Ohio State University will face the University of Kansas.
This year's Final Four seems more like Best in Show at the Westminster. Such pedigree: Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio State and Louisville –– four of the very top dogs in the history of the sport. Well, it's a Meryl Streep kind of year, isn't it?
But if the Final Four might delight fans by giving them aristocracy in its teams, unfortunately the whole of college basketball is plagued by anonymity in its players, and external issues that have diminished the popularity of the game.
Good grief. This year, there has been more buzz about Mad Men than about March Madness.