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Posts Tagged ‘National Championship’

The John Wall Effect

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John Wall

And with Slam Online’s breaking post, the world revolving around college basketball has no choice but to react to the news John Wall is going to the University of Kentucky. And react it has. The news is all over Twitter, ESPN, CBS and Yahoo Sports, not to mention just about every blog with a Kentucky/college basketball connection. While there hasn’t been a definitive reply from the Wall camp concerning the news, this quote from Wall in Jerry Meyer’s article should dispel doubts:

“Being able to play against Eric (Bledsoe) is a big plus,” he said. “I told Brian and my mom that I’ve always had to fight for my position. That’s what I had to do when I first played for Brian. I’m used to fighting. It’s another challenge for me to come to Kentucky and fight for my position.”

As indicated, there’s been a lot of fallout since word got out. And it’s not limited to Rivals message boards either — although, there’s some good discussion going at both UK and the Tar Heel forums.

More John Wall fallout after the jump >>

Obama Declares War on the BCS


For those of you waiting to see what Barack Obama’s first executive decision would be, I think you have your answer.

The 44th President-elect was on 60 Minutes last night, dishing about this and that. As most of you know by now, he was asked about the BCS and his desire to see an 8-team college football playoff. From his perspective, such a novelty would only extend the season by a few weeks and would give college football a definitive national champion.

More BCS insurgency after the jump >>

Coach Calipari Loses National Championship, Writes Book

Coach Calipari

What do you do if you are a coach that’s just watched your team choke away a golden opportunity at winning the National Championship? Why, write a book of course. Just ask John Calipari. After his team missed just enough free throws to give Mario Chalmers a chance to tie the game and send it into overtime — an overtime period that resulted in Kansas snatching victory from Memphis’ grasp — Coach Cal is giving the literary world a spin.

The book is titled, BOUNCE BACK: Overcoming Setbacks to Thrive in Business and in Life.

The title reads like one of those, “I can make it, so can you” motivational guides that coaches love to dish out. You know the ones I’m referring to: Be the best you you can be and how to use my coaching techniques to succeed in life and whatnot. As of now, there’s no word on whether there will be a chapter about the importance of free throw shooting.

Nor is there any mention as to whether or not Coach Calipari is going to be following his own BOUNCE BACK advice, all things considered. Maybe he could include a section from guest author Chris Douglas-Roberts discussing how to capitalize on the opportunities that are given to you.

For those of you refreshing Amazon, waiting for the book to get its listing, you might want to exercise some BOUNCE BACK patience. The book isn’t scheduled for release until September of 2009. Of course, by that time, his Memphis squad might have choked away ANOTHER championship opportunity.

That would make for a great epilogue… something like, “BOUNCING BACK TWICE.”

Kansas Versus Memphis: Who Wants the Marbles?

Last Two

There’s a moderately important basketball game being played for the mythical BCS Championship and tonight is their last chance for these teams to impress the voters. Wait? What’s that? Oh, I’m sorry. In NCAA basketball, they actually decide these games on the court. What a novel concept.

Anyway, it’s Kansas and Memphis for all the basketball marbles. Who ya got?

If you live near me, don’t bother answering because if I hear “Rock-Chalk” one more time, my head is going to explode, Scanners-style. Who knows what will happen if KU actually beats Memphis. I’ll probably drown in a sea of red and blue, while the onlookers scream that familiar chant as I go under. Is that what we can expect out of tonight’s game? Let’s look a little closer.

First and foremost, the Jayhawks have to either A. Stop Derrick Rose or B. Slow him down. Where do you think their chances lie in completing such a task? Considering the smoldering wreckage of opposing guards left in his wake during Memphis’ impressive tournament run, it looks like Kansas will have their hands completely full with Mr. Rose.

However, if they can duplicate that first half defensive performance they gave against Carolina on Saturday, they’ll certainly have their chance.

Other match-ups to keep an eye on: Chris Douglas-Roberts and Brandon Rush. Which one of these two impressive swing guards will get the upper hand? Up until the Memphis/UCLA game tipped on Saturday, CDR was averaging 22.5 points in the tournament. On Saturday, he scored 28 (including a Kevin Love clock-cleaning for the ages).

However, Rush has been no slouch either. Against Carolina, he had 25 points and 7 rebounds. From here, it looks like these two will probably cancel each other out meaning the inside game will have to be a factor for the winning team. On the Memphis side, we have Joey Dorsey, Robert Dozier and Shawn Taggart against Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson, Cole Aldridge and Sasha Kaun. Again, this looks like another push. If both teams can keep their post players out of foul trouble, this game will be very intense and very close throughout.

Again. Who ya got?

From what I’ve seen, this game looks like it’s going to come down to the closing minutes, with each team having an opportunity to cut the NCAA Championship nets down. Will Rose explode on the Kansas back court, much like he has every other guard tandem in the tournament or will Darrell Arthur get Joey Dorsey in foul trouble and dominate inside? Questions, questions, questions. So many questions about this game.

Because of that, I’m going on a guess: Memphis – 81, Kansas – 77; giving John Calipari and the Memphis Tigers their first National Championship.

Although, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it was Kansas with the 81 and Memphis with the 77. These teams are that close when it comes to talent and ability to play the game. It should be a great game. I just hope if Kansas wins they don’t burn Lawrence down to the ground.

The Fantastic Four

Four

For the first time since they’ve started seeding, the NCAA Tournament finally has all four number one seeds in the Final Four. Your participants: Memphis, UCLA, Kansas and North Carolina. Did your bracket reflect this?

Whatever your thoughts on the teams remaining, it’s hard to deny they have been the best four teams in college basketball this season. Two have spent time in the top ranking (Memphis, North Carolina), while the other two didn’t spend much time at all outside of the top five.

While we are waiting for Saturday to arrive, here are some story lines to keep an eye on:

Can Bill Self get Kansas over the proverbial Championship hump? It’s about time that program won something, especially if they want to continue to be mentioned in the same sentence as Carolina, UCLA and Kentucky. One thing’s for sure, he certainly has the team to do so.

Can Memphis finish what the way they started? Over the past two tournament games, the Tigers have looked like one of the best teams remaining. Will this be the case next weekend?

Can Ben Howland actually win one of these Final Four appearances?

Will Roy Williams win another one, putting him right at the top for best coaches in college?

It should be fun seeing which one of these subjects becomes reality.

Dancing: Day 3 Open Thread – Part 2

UCLA

Here we are for the final stanza. Only two games to close us out and more than likely, most of my focus will be on the team at the top of the thread. KC will be showing the Big 12 game, and guess what? Texas A&M is in the Big 12.

However, MSU/Pitt has the potential to be the better game. These two teams are going to beat the piss out of one another. Stay tuned.

And we Danced >>

Dancing: Day 3 Open Thread

Stanford - Marquette

We’re here. UNLV won’t back down from Kansas, either. And what about Washington State. If this keeps up, they’ll quietly have two of the more impressive victories in the tournament.

Let’s do this second half.

And they Danced >>

Dancing: Day 2 Open Thread – Part 4

Memphis Tigers

Here it is, the last bunch of the night:

Memphis/Texas Arlington, Louisville/Boise State (Statue of Liberty?), Arkansas/Indiana, Villanova/Clemson.

You know we’ll be here.

Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance! (Keep on dancin’) >>