Now that Kansas State and Xavier are done providing us the best game of the tournament so far, let’s take some time to reflect. How many huge plays were there? I lost count after Jacob Pullen hit that top-of-the-key triple in the second overtime. I’m sure I was somewhere around 10. Probably more. However, the shot that I, and probably a lot of people, remember is Jordan Crawford’s “He’s got range from the awareness ribbon” three, which sent the game in the second stanza of overtime. If the college line is at 20-9 (20 feet, 9 inches), Crawford’s bomb had to have been from at least 25, if not 30.
“We kind of got punched in the mouth right from the beginning of the game,” Memphis coach John Calipari said. “They broke us down defensively like we break people down. They beat us at our own game.” I’d say that’s a pretty accurate description for a Memphis Tiger team that, save for Tyreke Evans, looked like overrated also-rans against the Tigers of Missouri.
While everyone else is celebrating Stephen Curry (rightfully so), I thought I’d focus on the multiple-game dunking display we were privy to, because unlike Thursday, last night we saw a number of monster jams, punctuating some impressive performances.
Joey Dorsey and Derrick Rose both provided incredibly explosive buckets, as well as Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur and Damion James — the latter, courtesy of a brilliant D.J. Augustin feed.
This brings up a point: with everyone talking about Tyler “The Hardest Working Player in Sports” Hansbrough and Michael Beasley when it comes to National Player of Year award and I can’t help but wonder why Augustin isn’t getting the same type of love.
All in all, your standard night of college basketball tournament action.
As for tonight’s action, will Kansas handle Villanova? Can Davidson continue their Cinderella run against Wisconsin? Who ya got in Texas/Stanford? And finally, can Memphis get past Michigan State or will Izzo continue to show he’s one of the better tournament coaches going? Tonight’s line-up should make for some good times… although, I can understand With Leather’s disposition as well.
I will say I’m sorry to see West Virginia go. The Big Dance just seems better when Bob Huggins is around. Alas, he’s not: