Friday, March 23, 2007

Someone Wake Me Up

Sorry, everybody. I was in Vegas for the first two rounds, making some money on the tournament. Which was nice. But the nonstop drinking got to me, and I spent the last week laid up with the flu due to my weakened immune system.

Let’s be blunt: this is the worst tournament ever. There’s been absolutely no upsets to speak of, there have been no buzzer beater moments, and there really hasn’t been that many close games. It’s been a bore. Outside of last Saturday, forever to be known as the Day of the Almost Upset, this tournament has had all of the drama of a Steven Segal movie. Hell, at least those games were close.

The top teams are advancing, but do any of them look impressive at all? Ohio State was bailed out several different ways against Xavier. Let’s count how:
- the refs refused to call the most blatant of flagrant fouls
- Xavier missed a free throw
- Xavier’s coach inexplicably refused to contest the rebound
- Xavier didn’t foul when up by three
- Ohio St hit a miracle three to force OT

Then OSU rallied from 20-points down to beat Tennessee last night. Does that speak highly of OSU’s resilience, or speak lowly to the fact they fell 20 points behind and needed their second straight miracle to advance? You tell me.

Frankly, I was wrong on Memphis. I didn’t believe in them, but they played a tough, hard-nosed game against Texas A&M. The exact sort of game I thought they could not win. They even hit free throws down the stretch. Count me as a believer now. Which means they are going to lose to Ohio St.

Though A&M did go into the tank. Acie Law missed a gimme layup with 15 seconds left to set up the loss. And while it was a fairly ticky-tack call which put Memphis on the line with a chance to win, A&M can’t really complain given the fact they allowed Memphis to get rebound after rebound in that last possession. Something happened that hasn’t happened to the Aggies all year: they got outhustled with the game on the line. You lose all bitching rights when that happens. Memphis made their own luck. And we won’t even get into that miserable final playcall.

Kansas, however, is about the only team that has looked like a dominant force. Yes, they turned the ball over 19 times last night. And yes, they had a terrible night shooting the ball. This just in, the Salukis play some mad defense. There’s no shame in struggling to find rhythm against probably the best defensive team in the country. Though UCLA is on the list of top defensive teams. And they get Kansas essentially at home, but we can see how much that helped A&M.

Two 1-2 regional finals after four games in which the lowest seed was a 5. Yeesh. This sucks.


Jason said...

In December we watched John Brady draw up a remarkably stupid and ineffective final play in the overtime vs. Texas. It took all season for a team to devise a more inchoate last play. Of course, TAMU did it in the Sweet 16, making it a far greater sin.

1) The lazy inbounds pass under the hoop was shitty and dumb. TAMU was fortunate that Memphis knocked it out of bounds. I don't know how that took 1.1 seconds, though. I guess that's the price to pay for narrowly avoiding the turnover and getting the ball moved near mid-court.

2) So, with 2.0 seconds they toss the ball to a guy who's just hangin' out on the wrong side of the court and have him heave the ball from mid-court. You deserve to lose if you're too stupid to attempt a reasonable shot. I don't get paid anything near what Gillespie gets paid, but I have the sense to tell a guy set a pick at the 3-pt. line to open up Law for a 20-ft. shot.

Richard Pittman said...

I agree with everything except that the games haven't been fun. There have been a lot of good, close games. The problem is that in almost every one of them, the team that was expected to win ended up winning.

There's just no narrative here. No story. Is there any team out there still alive that you would really remember even winning the national championship this year? UNLV, USC, Oregon MAYBE. There's just been way too much "chalk" out there this year.