Friday, March 24, 2006

How Sweet It Is - There's No Crying Baseball, But Hoops? That's Okay,

What fantastic basketball last night. For people who claim the NBA exodus is hurting college hoops hasn't watched the tournament the last few years, especially this year. From the first games last Thursday, this tournament has been awesome, and last night only confirmed that.

While Bradley/Memphis turned into a bit of a rout - those Tigers, we shouldn't have disrespected their freak athleticism so - the rest of the games were had Instant Classic endings or Duke Losing, both garnering at least immediate "9's" on the entertainment scale. I'd hate to say Duke went down just like I said they would, with the freshman point guard and the ability to just lock down JJ and worry about no one else on the perimeter, but they did. By the way, JJ Redick's career numbers for games in the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four?

12.3 points per game on 27.6 percent shooting.

What gets talked up for hanging around for four years because his talent won't allow him to succeed at the next level, must come down.

We also potentially saw the career of JJ's Naismith peer come to an end last night as well, as JP Batista didn't think there was a need to secure the ball in the backcourt and Jordan Farmar's strip led to UCLA's go-ahead bucket. I don't know what Derek Raivio was thinking in his attempt to dribble through the entire UCLA team, but the eventual scrum and mental collapose of Morrison was certainly entertaining. The Gonzaga Legacy is to stay all four years, but Morrison would be the first to buck this trend, and understandably so since he's guaranteed quite a bit of money. However, imagine if Morrison comes back and Gonzaga can plug in pieces to make up for the losses of Batista and Erroll Knight- everyone else is coming back - they would be the biggest show in town next to Oden and the Buckeyes. I hope Morrison comes back, just because I think he might be insane, but if he doesn't, he's certainly had an admirable career.

Even with Duke losing and the crazy finish to the UCLA/Gonzaga game, the most heart-felt moment of the night for me was WVU's thrilling comeback against Texas, only to have freakin' Paulino hit a three as time expired. The combined fact that I hate Texas and this is the WVU seniors' last run together made that one particularly hard to swallow, but I washed it down with a glass of JJ Redick's tears, and that made it go down a little easier.

Texas, you're lucky. You survived The Gansey and getting Pittsnogled, and now it's on to the Elite Eight. LSU/Texas? Memphis/UCLA? That's like a quality Cotton Bowl and some shitty GMAC bowl, but in March. I'm excited.

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