Now that your bracket has been busted all to hell, let’s relive some of the moments that caused such wreckage. It was perhaps one of the best opening weekends of tournament basketball I’ve witnessed, especially with the Thursday/Saturday games. The Big Dance started out with a bang as BYU and Florida needed double overtime to decide things, all while Old Dominion and Notre Dame game was being decided by one point. This was followed by two more great games, one also needing extra time with the other finishing with a last second, game-winning shot, courtesy of Danero Thomas.
And that, folks, was just the first four games of the tournament.
The rest of the weekend gave us more of the same: Great games, surprising upsets, game-winning “Onions” shots, and perhaps one of the best basketball names ever, Ali Farokhmanesh. Overall, it wast the kind of chaos one hopes for when the tournament starts.
Coming up, I’m featuring some of the weekend’s most outstanding plays, including the uncontainable onions of the aforementioned Farokhmanesh. Continue reading >>
Barrack Obama did NOT jinx your beloved Wildcats yesterday with his congratulatory phone call for the team’s efforts with Haitian relief. I know letting your disappointment from last night’s loss manifest itself into Obama-blaming is the vogue thing to do, but please, lets show a little bit of common sense before going off on such tangents.
Did memories somehow become shorter? Or did North Carolina, you know, the team Obama picked to win the National Championship last season, have their championship taken away? Did his support somehow create a “you lost even though you won” type of jinx?
Considering the levels of abject disapproval for the current President — warranted and/or tea-bagger-created — it wouldn’t be surprising if these kinds of thoughts actually existed.
No, instead of projecting blame onto the idea of something, why not try placing it directly where it belongs: The missed layups by Darnell Dodson and Eric Bledsoe. Patrick Patterson’s second half disappearing act. Having only three players — John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe — score in the second half. Getting outrebounded by an SEC team who ranks dead last in the conference for rebounding margin.
Oh, the inability to at least SLOW DOWN Devan Downey might be a contributing factor as well. In fact, if Obama does get any blame whatsoever; I mean, I’m sure his call did go the teams’ head, the level he receives is minuscule when compared to the rest of the contributing factors.
My boys over at Storming the Floor should be proud of the College of Charleston students, who obviously know when it is and when it’s not appropriate to rush the court after win. I think this scenario — where a small college upsets a bigger school — should always allow for a proper court storming, even if the “smaller school” is having a top-rank-worthy season. While that may not be the case for the 8-6 Cougars, Bobby Cremins’ team is always in a position for an automatic bid because of their normally-strong record in the Southern Conference — although, Stephen Curry and Davidson have been stealing their thunder as of late.
However, now that Curry is plying his trade in the NBA, the Cougars have a chance to dust off their dancing shoes again. Of course, upset wins against perennials like North Carolina only help such matters. The play of the game has to go to Andrew Goudelock, who hit an absolute bomb of a three-pointer to send the game to overtime. Oh, look, video:
Not only did Goudelock’s (Goldilocks?) three-point bomb give the storm-ready crowd free basketball, he also scored the Cougars’ final eight points in regulation. Apparently, it was Goudelock’s day to way the Superman cape. And he wore it well.
As teams prepare for the upcoming tournaments, coaches are wary of letdowns and performances that don’t measure up to expectations. With that in mind, the following three coaches can’t be too happy with the way their teams performed last night:
All three coaches watched as their teams failed to live up to their expectations, especially Kentucky and Kansas. The Jayhawks got beaten pretty handily by Texas Tech, a team that had lost 10 out of 11 games before blitzing Kansas by 19. In the grand scheme of things, this loss probably doesn’t mean a great deal, although, Coach Self was understandably troubled by his team’s performance.
Does Pittsburgh get stuck in broken record mode when they receive the number one ranking in the land? For the second time this season, the Panthers were rewarded for their play with the target, which they evidently don’t wear to well because after being voted into the top spot, Pitt lost. Again. This time, to the Providence Friars, a team absolutely dying for a quality win as the “On the Bubble” talk picks up in earnest. If beating the number one team in the land doesn’t help your tournament resume — one that actually looks pretty fair when compared to media darlings Georgetown and Notre Dame, record-wise, anyway — the phrase “quality win” should be dropped from the college basketball vernacular.
Wake Forest hadn’t been ranked number one in the country since the 2004 season, and if this is how they treat it, I can see why. Allowing a good-but-not-great/unranked Virginia Tech team to come into your gym and beat you is not what the best team in the land does, and that’s why, barring a ton of top-ten losses, Wake Forest won’t be the top team in the land when the new rankings come out on Monday. Good thing for them, this isn’t the BCS we are dealing with. Provided Wake Forest plays like they have been–before last night, anyway–they have a shot at redeeming themselves.
Credit goes to Virginia Tech for entering a hostile environment and coming away with a big win thanks to some hot shooting. It was so big, the Hokies (13-5, 3-1 in ACC) may find themselves ranked next week.
After suffering the humiliation of last second shots and losing to Cleveland State at the Carrier Dome (not to mention having to deal with the crap surrounding Eric Devendorf), Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was in no mood for faulty audio/visual equipment during his postgame press conference.
But we love them. Just ask Cleveland State. Not the Syracuse Orange, however, who probably hate them with an absolute passion right about now. After a furious comeback by the Cuse to tie the game, Cedric Jackson decided he didn’t want to play in an overtime period, so he launched his last-second shot from almost the 3-quarter court spot and absolutely drilled it, sending the Orange to their first loss of the season.