Here’s a sentence that’s never been typed: Texas Tech and Virginia will play tonight in Minneapolis for the NCAA basketball championship.
We here at TMG Central thought this highly unlikely match-up called for a highly-unusual game advance.
The schools have never met on the basketball court, but we’ve been lucky enough to assemble a fantasy round-table featuring the most famous citizens from Lubbock and Charlottesville.
We’re calling it “Buddy Holly meets Thomas Jefferson: In Their Own Words.”
Moderator: Welcome gentlemen, we’ll start with Buddy, born in Lubbock on Sept. 7, 1936 as Charles Hardin Holley. You were nicknamed “Buddy” by your mother and became “Holly” when your last name was miss-typed on your first recording contract.
Gary Busey, of course, famously portrayed you in a 1978 biopic about your storybook rise as a 1950s rock star.
Any thoughts on Busey’s career after that performance?
Holly: “Oh boy.”
Moderator: Also, your reaction had someone would have told you in October that Texas Tech would be playing for the NCAA basketball championship in April?
Holly: “That’ll be the day?”
Moderator: Walked right into that one, so let’s bring in Mr. Jefferson, who is singularly responsible for getting the University of Virginia to the title game by designing, building and founding the school in 1819.
TJ, you must be as proud as a peacock at what Virginia basketball has accomplished this year, especially after last year’s epic first-game loss to UMBC.
Jefferson: “We confide in our strength, without boasting of it, we respect that of others, without fearing it.”
Moderator: Little syrupy-heavy for a first answer, but let’s continue. I’m guessing your clips service has provided you with a compendium of articles celebrating Virginia’s exciting run through the NCAA Tournament:
Jefferson: “I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.”
Moderator: Perfectly understandable given the salacious things written about you back in the day, but the industry has really changed and these days you can get a terrific digital subscription rate from the Washington Post.
Jefferson: “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”
Moderator: Look, we get it. Stephen A. Smith has not been our most inspiring truth-teller, but you’re the same guy who said he’d rather have newspapers with no country than a country with no newspapers. Make up your brilliant mind!
Back to Virginia, coach Tony Bennett has done a fabulous job this year getting his team to buy in.
Jefferson: “It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.”
Moderator: Good point, toil and sacrifice.
Jefferson: “If you want something you’ve never had you must be willing to do something you’ve never done…”
Moderator: I’m going post-it note that on my refrigerator. Buddy, Texas Tech is on the verge of becoming only the second team from Texas to win an NCAA title in basketball. The first was UTEP in 1966. Lubbock must be a rocking, party scene:
Holly: “Rave on, it’s a crazy feeling. I know it’s got me reeling.”
Moderator: What have you been doing during this long dry spell in basketball?
Holly: “Crying, waiting, hoping.”
Moderator: I admittedly haven’t seen much of Texas Tech this year:
Holly: “You don’t know what you’ve been missing.”
Moderator: Slow down there, Hoss. I covered Texas Tech at the West Regional in Anaheim and came away thoroughly impressed with the Red Raiders. I’ve never thought in a million years a team could hold Michigan to 44 points.
Man, that defense, they make it look so easy.
Holly: “It seems so easy, so doggone easy.”
Moderator: We all know it’s not, but most of the experts still think Virginia is the team to beat in tonight’s game.
Holly: “Think it over, what you just said. Think it over in your pretty little head.”
Moderator: Well, I think I have thought it over. Texas Tech has held opponents to 36.8% shooting. I mean, in this tournament, your Red Raiders held Michigan and Michigan State to 95 total points and 8-for-43 from behind the three-point line. But Virginia also plays great defense and has a few more offensive weapons. Plus, I picked Virginia in my NCAA office pool.
Jefferson: “He who knows best knows how little he knows.”
Moderator: I wish James Naismith would have been born 100 years earlier because you, my man, would have been a great basketball coach. Your little sayings remind me of the teachings of John Wooden. Be quick, but don’t hurry..Make each day your masterpiece…Cut your hair Walton, Walton, WALTON!
Funny, but these days, coaches are getting into politics. Tommy Tuberville, a former Auburn football coach, just announced he’s running for Senate in Alabama. Your thoughts?
Jefferson: “Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.”
Moderator: Some of our best college coaches start to learn rottenness at the university level. But we don’t have time to address the admissions scandal.
To be clear, Tuberville probably leans more Jeff Sessions Republican than Jeffersonian Democrat. But the worst blot on his record remains losing the Belk Bowl after he bolted out of Auburn for Cincinnati.
Jefferson: “It is always better to have no ideas than false ones; to believe nothing than to believe what is wrong.”
Moderator: Man, like I said, you would have had a field day with Stephen A. Smith. He’s a Philly guy, just like Ben Franklin. Ok, we’re getting closer to tip off. Buddy I’m sure a Texas Tech victory in your home town would bring joys to share for those who really care.
Holly: “All my life, I’ve been waiting, tonight there’ll be no hesitating.”
Moderator: Well put, and best of luck to Thomas Jefferson’s U of Virginia.
Jefferson: I’m a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
Moderator: I’ll be happy with a quick, clean game with very few stoppages for instant replay review. That drives me crazy.
Jefferson: “Delay is preferable to error.”
Moderator: You sound like a Power Five commissioner.
Any other words of pearls of wisdom?
Jefferson: “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.”
Moderator: Man, that’s a money quote they should put on the back of one of your two-dollar bills.
Bet you wish you were in Minnesota tonight, maybe sitting court-side next to 99-year old Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I mean, you almost could have known him.
Jefferson: “I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon and letting the world roll on as it liked…”
Moderator: You’re a strange cat, TJ, but you can verbally bring it…Ok, we’re done, take us out Buddy.
Holly: “Piddly Pat.”