You’ll have to excuse Patrick Corbin and JJ Putz if they do not watch their teams in the NCAA Final Four this weekend.
The first basketball game in Atlanta tips off an hour before the Diamondbacks are to play in Milwaukee Saturday afternoon.
The issue, though, is not the first game from the Georgia Dome, it is the second game: Syracuse vs. Michigan.
Corbin is from Syracuse. Putz went to Michigan.
Their schools are scheduled to hit the court at 5:49 p.m. Arizona time.
“Well, that’s pretty much right smack dab in the middle of our game so probably not too close,” Putz answered when asked how much he will pay attention to the game.
However, he added, “I wouldn’t put it past me to ask some of the fans in Milwaukee, ‘Give me some score updates’ or something. It should be a good game.”
Putz, at least, should be able to follow along — if he so chooses from the bullpen, a lot easier than Corbin, who is scheduled to make his season debut getting the start.
“Probably won’t see anything while I’m pitching but after I’ll make sure I go in and check it out,” he said. “It’s a big game to make it into the championship so it’s exciting.”
It has been 10 years since Syracuse reached the Final Four, capturing the school’s first NCAA Tournament Championship in 2003. “That was the one year I won my bracket because I had Syracuse winning it all,” Corbin said.
It has been 20 years since Michigan reached the Final Four, going back-to-back years in 1992 and 1993; though those two appearances were later forfeited due to NCAA violations.
Either way, there is a lot on the line. So might there be something on the line between teammates?
“There’s no wagers at all,” Putz said. “I think we’re both just hoping for a good game, hoping Michigan wins.”
Wait, no wager? Not even a friendly one?
“I don’t like to bet on Michigan,” Putz explained. “Zig (Brad Ziegler) tried to bet me on the Kansas game. I don’t enjoy the game, watching the game if I do that. The last couple of years Gibby (Kirk Gibson) and I bet the Michigan-Michigan State football game and they were horrible games to watch.”
Corbin, what say you?
“I haven’t said anything yet,” he said. “Maybe (Putz is) worried about the game a little bit. I don’t know. Usually he comes up with a bet or something like that. I’m sure he’ll say something before (the game). (But) maybe he’ll leave it alone just because I’m throwing that day.”
Wager aside, Corbin seems more worried about when he will get to see the game.
“My parents are going to be (in Milwaukee),” he said. “I’m sure they want to watch it too so I don’t know how they’re going to see it either. I’ll probably just have to see the highlights after the game.”