With all due respect to Winthrop and Nevada, Friday’s biggest collection of believe-it-or-don’t moments came from the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, who scorched the Blazers to the tune of a season high 65 points in last night’s 116-111 OT win.

The only players with more career 60+ games than Kobe ; MJ and Wilt Chamberlain.

While we’re enjoying the heck out of the NCAA Tournament (well, those of us who aren’t totally immersed in the rock biz’ version of spring break), True Hoop’s Henry Abbott questions the romantic mystique of the college game and concludes, “it’s a sham.”

In the last couple of years I have talked to so many people, many off the record, about basketball in America. One of the consistent themes is the filth that pervades high-level college basketball. Moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney… as has been discussed a million times before, it’s going everywhere you can possibly imagine. Sure, those few stories about Chris Webber or Reggie Bush have made some headlines, but that’s the tip of the iceberg from what I have heard from multiple reliable sources. Boosters, agents, financial advisers, businesses, players, families, friends, “uncles,” coaches, fellow students… the stories make your head spin.

There’s a romantic notion that these guys are playing purely for the love of the game and the experience. But do we have any evidence that that in fact happens anymore at this level? I can’t tell you what percentage of players are getting paid, but, well, John Feinstein wrote that book about the Patriot League called “The Last Amateurs.”  Amazingly, I’ve never heard anyone question the implication of that title–that the guys we’re watching on TV this weekend are, by and large, professionals.