TOP OF THE TOWN – The current March Madness is more proof of what I have been saying for years that the better and earlier training methods and better nutrition have led to better basketball players, which in turn has led to better small college programs being much better. Major college programs – the so-called power five – can have 13 scholarship players in men’s basketball (15 in women’s) and because there are more better players developed earlier (training and select basketball teams can start as early as five years old) there are more and better players available beyond he power five teams. The result is you have Ohio stunning Virginia (62-58), Abilene Christian with an enrollment of about 3,500, shock Texas (53-52), North Texas beat up on Perdue (78-69) and the biggest shocker, Oral Roberts defeat a very good Ohio State team (75-72). In addition, Creighton just managed to pull victory from defeat against Cal-Santa Barbara (63-62), Kansas finally got it going in the second half to beat back plucky Eastern Washington (93-84), a very good Alabama team struggled to stop Iona coached by Rick Pitino (68-55) and Oklahoma State finally got past Liberty (69-60). My favorite team since childhood, St. Bonaventure, couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn in the first half, fell behind and never could catch up to LSU in a 76-61 loss to the Tigers. The Bonnies were clubbed on the backboards, getting outrebounded 49-30, which doomed any thought of them making a comeback. Needless to say, my brackets (I filled out four of them) were torn apart pretty quickly, especially when Ohio State fell. I saw a piece that said there were only 108 ESPN brackets that survived the Buckeyes loss. I’m interested in who took Oral Roberts? I remember when I was living in Tulsa in the mid-1960s that Oral Roberts arrived on the front pages of many sports sections across the country when it suddenly became a surprising power on the maples. But the school has been relatively quiet until yesterday when it got 59 points from two of its players – 30 from Kevin Obano and 29 from super-quick Max Abmas, the nation’s top scorer at 24 points plus a game – to send a school with an enrollment of over 66,000 home. Oral Roberts, located in Tulsa, has an enrollment of just over 3,400. It will be extremely interesting to see how Oral Roberts does the rest of the way. The Golden Eagles take on Florida next. I’m stunned how well the Pac-12 schools have done so far. All five of them advanced, including Oregon which rolled into the second round by “no contest” when VCU couldn’t make the virus protocols and had to withdraw from the tournament. VCU, by the way, finished second to St. Bonaventure in the Atlantic 10. UCLA looked very sharp in downing a BYU team that gave Gonzaga all it could handle in the regular season. The Bruins won 73-62 and never let BYU get its game going. Even Oregon State won. The Beavers, which surprised by winning the Pac-12 tournament, throttled Tennessee 70-56 to win their fourth straight game and eighth in their last ten. I don’t know what is going on, but maybe the Pac-12 schools need to be drug tested. Just kidding. Gonzaga still looks like the team to beat. The Zags are now 27-0 on the season and won their tournament opener by a measly 43 points (98-55) over Norfolk State. They play Oklahoma next. … I don’t know what is going on with the Seahawks. They haven’t had much cap space so everybody wondered how they would make out in free agency. Well, I don’t think they have hurt themselves, but I look around at the NFC West and see the Arizona Cardinals have beefed up, the 49ers have recovered from a season of multi-injuries and the Rams, well, the Rams are still the Rams. Right now I would put the Seahawks fourth in the four-team division. But maybe like Oral Roberts they will stun me. Okay, that’s enough today.