Thoughts. Done Randomly.
–Well, count me among the few who thought that Final Four sucked ass. ‘Hey, we’ve got all four number one seeds. We’re sure to get three great games on Final Four weekend for once!’ Yeah, how’d that work out for you? Saturday night’s matchups featured a Memphis team totally outplaying UCLA and Kansas unexpectedly raping North Carolina. Sure, the Heels made a run in the late first half and early second half and should be commended for cutting a 40-12 deficit to 4 points, but it seemed that run was just as much of a condemnation of Kansas’ focus as it was the Tar Heels’ drive to make a run.
–Also, once and for all: Tyler Hansbrough is not the best player in the country. He proved it Saturday. The Jayhawks big men shut him down, and Hansbrough wasn’t even the best player on that floor over the weekend (Derrick Rose). To those media members–including Jay Bilas–who stated that although Hansbrough probably wasn’t the best player in the country he should get the award anyway…..you’re dead wrong. I’m not going to call you an ‘idiot’ or rail against your knowledge of the game. But I will say that admitting that Psycho T wasn’t the best player in the country but still giving him the award for BEST PLAYER IN THE COUNTRY is asanine. The award isn’t National Most Valuable Player; if that were the case, I’d listen to arguments for Hansbrough over Michael Beasley and Rose. But its for National Player of the Year. The best player. The national media members who voted for Hansbrough even though they thought he wasn’t the best player in the NCAAs blew it this year.
–Also, I know everyone was ecstatic about the championship game yesterday. Yes, it was exciting. It went into overtime, and there was a game-tying three point shot at the end of regulation. But the quality of the play during the game was really, really bad. Ball handling was very sloppy. Both teams took bad shots. Memphis looked horrible at the free throw line down the stretch. The Tigers blew a nine-point lead with two minutes left. Joey Dorsey played a really stupid game and was lucky to not have been called for a few technicals during the game. Also, it seemed very apparent to me that the officials in the game couldn’t keep up with the level of athleticism displayed by both squads. There were numerous instances of out of control ball handlers getting blocking fouls called when it was obvious they didn’t deserve them. Also, there were a lot of instances where the reverse situation occurred: a player made a strong move to the hoop, drew contact, lost the ball–and nothing happened.
–However, the worst part of the game was the coaching of John Calipari. I hate Billy Packer like everyone else. But he made a very good point during the game: every time Rose had the ball, the Tigers set a screen for him. Either Rose would call for one or a screen would be set for him. And every time, the Jayhawks did a fantastic job of stepping out and denying the open lane, essentially creating a double-team on Rose, causing him to give up the ball. Packer was calling for Memphis to stop setting Rose screens all game, and until the final five minutes, they kept doing it. Then, up three with seconds left, I really do not understand the decision to not foul there and allow Kansas to take that shot. I know it was a terrific shot by Mario Chalmers. I know there were two Memphis players there contesting. But if you foul him with three or four seconds left, the Jayhawks–with no timeouts–have to devise a play to get an open look, rather than just improvising during a chaotic situation like they did.
–Finally, what really steamed my clams (WTF?) during the weekend was the announcement of the 2008 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame and its coverage. Honestly, you would of thought that Dick Vitale was the only guy that made it this year. ESPN interviewed a bawling Dickie V for its story on SportsCenter and then showed a list of the other guys that made it–including PATRICK EWING AND HAKEEM OLAJUWON!!!. Lets see……this year’s class includes Patrick Ewing, perhaps the best player in New York Knicks history and a top-five center; Hakeem Olajuwon, a player many consider (including me) to be the best center of the modern era and winner of two NBA titles; and Pat Riley, one of the best coaches in league history…..and the four-letter network decides to run the interview of Vitale sobbing like a little girl with a skinned knee over and over again like its some touching moment. Then, while in the car listening to Westwood One’s pre-game coverage of the NCAA tournament title game, their reporter describes the class like this: This year’s class includes Patrick Ewing, a member of the 1984 NCAA Championship team and the New York Knicks all-time leading scorer; Hakeem Olajuwon, member of those great Houston Cougars Phi Slamma Jamma teams of the 1980s; and of course, Dick Vitale–Dickie V–coach anc announcer. They then played Vitale’s interview. What the fuck?????
I don’t begrudge Vitale’s induction and his emotion; I’m not sure if he deserved it, but I don’t have a vote. But I think even Dookie V would be a little embarassed that he was getting the majority of the coverage while two of the best players and one of the top coaches of the era were being inducted right next to him and being mentioned in reports as mere afterthoughts.
Tags: basketball hall of fame, Calipari blew it, Dick Vitale, Final Four, Hakeem Olajuwon, hardawayhatesyou, hhy, Kansas Jayhawks, Memphis Tigers, NCAA tournament, North Carolina Tar Heels, Patrick Ewing, random thoughts, UCLA BruinsYou can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.