How a potentially good NIT Final Four absolutely went down the tube

For the first time ever, I was excited about this year's National Invitational Tournament which featured several NCAA Tournament bubble teams that I thought could have made noise in the Big Dance.

However, of all the significant storylines in this year's NIT bracket, only San Diego State remains as that "look at me, I told you so" team as it will make the trek to Madison Square Garden in New York City. As for the rest of the trio of remaining NIT title contenders, well, um, to channel my inner Charles Barkley: they suck.

NOTRE DAME: Cracking jokes at the expense of the Fighting Irish football team is as easy as finding a Charlie Weis fat joke. But that doesn't mean it should be limited to the gridiron, for Mike Brey's group of basketballers is a laughing stock of its own.

Notre Dame's big man went from Luke HaranGODy to Luke HaranKINDASUCKy in just one year. Kyle McAlarney suffered from JJ Redick disease which occurs when lanky athletic black men decide to guard a team's best perimeter scorer.

So in one year, Brey went from basketball big shot on the verge of something special in South Bend, Ind., to the most boring NIT semifinalist in this year's bunch.

PENN STATE: Um, check that, Notre Dame is the second most boring NIT semifinalist. The Fighting Irish faces Penn State, and this is what I can tell you about this matchup.

It will not take place at either historic football stadium, which means Joe Paterno has absolutely nothing to do with this matchup. And to be honest, I cannot name a single player or coach to ever step foot on the court for the men's Nittany Lions basketball team.

I can name Dana Eikenberg, who played for the Penn State women's basketball team and is now the coach of the SIU Salukis' women's team.

And as far as Nittany Nation goes: If JoePa isn't involved, I'm not interested.

BAYLOR: Scott Drew has done such a magnificent job with the Bears with bringing that program from the dead (literally and figureatively) that he will be spared from my smarmy remarks.

In fact, the return of the Baylor Bears to national prominence in college basketball has got to be the feel-good story of the year -- if not decade. Here's a hat tip to you, Scott Drew, for creating a story basketball fans should actually care about.

I'm tired of recruiting violations. I'm sick of reading about coaches fleeing campus at the drop of the hat while players have to go through an agonizing waiting period. I'm sick of cheaters, slimeballs, dirty players, defections and all the negativity that surrounds college athletics.

With that said, I'm cheering for you Baylor ... I got your back.

If only because my sleepers Illinois State, Davidson, Creighton, UNLV and Saint Mary's are all out of the picture.