I'm going to keep this short because no one really cares, not even me really. Still, I think credit is due.
The Atlanta Hawks are pretty good this year. I have to make sure to refer to them as the Atlanta Hawks on first reference because I honestly think they're thought of less than the city's hockey team, the Thrashers. When the term Hawks is used on an ESPN.com headline, it's usually referring to the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL or the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL. I guess shortening the team names to the Chicago Blacks and the Seattle Seas makes less sense, especially that Chicago one. Might be smidge less offensive than the Washington Redskins, though.
There's good reason for that lack of respect, though. The Hawks have historically sucked, just like the Falcons and the Thrashers. Atlanta sports teams with bird mascots just tend to have histories of mediocrity at best. I'm still a bit of a homer, even if I'm not a real basketball fan, so I do keep up with Hawks' seasons via ESPN's website. I was thrilled last year when they made the playoffs, but didn't expect much given that they made it in with a losing record because of the NBA East's overwhelming mediocrity. They ended up proving they belonged there by forcing the Boston Celtics, the eventual NBA champs, to seven games in the opening round of the playoffs. This year looks to mark the return of the Hawks to the playoffs, although this time with a winning record (currently 42-29). Even if they lose all of their remaining games, they'll finish with a 42-40 record. Given their performance over the last month, I doubt they live up to past expectations. Go Hawks!
Moving into college hoops, the NCAA tournament has been incredible this year. I'm usually a big proponent of wildy unexpected upsets because I've got a perpetual hard-on for the underdog. The tournament this year fails me a bit there, but it seems like every game I've watched has ended up either in a frantic last minute attempt to win a close game or overtime. There have been a handful of blowouts (and one of those was the Cleveland State upset of Wake Forest, so it was still exciting), but there were so few that I haven't actually even seen any of those live. I replayed portions of the Cleveland State game just to get a feel for what happened to Wake there. This year's tournament so far has made me want to be a basketball fan, although I doubt I'll put in the effort to fully convert myself.
Now that I've got it out of my system, you may never see me post another piece about the basketball again, unless, of course, the Hawks put up some fireworks in the playoffs this year.