The NCAA men's basketball tournament is consuming. But I saw compelling basketball Monday night that had nothing to do with seeds or brackets.
The Charlotte Bobcats beat Washington 119-114 in an old school up and down back and forth NBA game. Gerald Henderson was outstanding for Charlotte, and Josh McRoberts again was good. McRoberts can pass, score and rebound, and he understands.
But it was Kemba Walker who made the game his. As the Bobcats made their game-clinching run Walker took a charge, was knocked to the court and jumped up smiling. He stole the ball. He hit a pretty jumper off the glass. He twice went to the basket like a crazed pinball, bouncing around bigger defenders for layups.
Leading the Bobcats to a home victory against the Wizards is not the same as leading Connecticut to the national championship. But for a Monday night it's not bad.
Later Monday, Miami rallied for a 105-103 road victory against Boston. I watched Jeff Green play for Georgetown in the NCAA tournament and thought, this guy is going to be good. He was Monday. He scored a career high 43 points for Boston and he scored them efficiently, taking only 21 field goal attempts.
But Dwayne Wade turned humble for Miami, looking for LeBron rather than looking to score. James, in turn, made his usual array of dazzling passes and scored when he needed to, which in the last couple minutes was almost every time he had the ball. He scored 37 and had a game-high 12 assists.
Miami has now won 23 straight. The streak generates considerable attention and lets fans know that, even in March, the NBA is still here.