Monday, March 26, 2012

Welcome to Bracketville---Final Four Set Edition

When the final horn sounded in St. Louis, Eddie took over the lead from Tony by a point (69-68) and Carl has 65. The maximum possible in the final three games: Eddie 85, Carl 81 and Tony 73.

Kansas and Kentucky both beat the spread.

The Westwood One/Dial Global Sports Radio broadcast of the Kentucky/Baylor game was a treat. The delay was just about one second, so the action on the screen and play-by-play went off pretty much without a hitch.

As an analyst, Coach John Thompson Jr. shows what a difference a pro makes as opposed to an abject amateur like Clark Kellogg.

Coach JT Jr. is barely a silly millimeter behind Coach Knight in my book. I learned a lot listening to his remarks.

A priceless one was his comment on the difference between a blow and a rest. “A blow is when I take out a player who has played well and hard and needs a break. A rest is when I’m mad at a player and I cover him with a blanket because he’s sitting for a long time.”

I loved his summation on how a team advances in the Tournament, “It’s not necessarily the best team that wins; it’s the team that’s playing best that game.”

In the opening minutes, when Baylor’s Quincy Acey drew his flagrant one foul, Coach JT Jr. wondered why the refs had to check the monitor by saying, “Even Ray Charles could see that one.”

That’s an old chestnut that always brings a grin to my face---so I am the last person on the face of the earth to take offense.

Imagine if Bobby Knight or another white announcer had made that comment. The professional liberals and race hustlers from Jackson to Sharpton to PMSNBC to Media Matters would be screaming for a firing or a trip to the stockade in the public square a la Don Imus.

In the game, Kentucky was faster, quicker, smarter, more aggressive and more athletic. They were bad news for the Bears. Kentucky goes marching in to New Orleans.

Was the crowd for the final ten minutes of the Kansas victory over UNC great or what?

Earlier in the week (it’s spring break in Central Florida) I was behind a college kid wearing a Kansas tee shirt at Publix. I asked him how he thought the team would do. He just looked at me and said, “Rock, chalk, Jayhawk.”

Enough said!

Kansas certainly did just that in final 3:07.

That was a helluva finish in a very exciting ball game. The first half was really entertaining.

Carolina was just 2-of-17 from 3-point range. The Tar Heels shot just 22.6 percent overall in the second half.

The second half was nail-biting time. Just a lot of fun, especially for those of us with Kansas going to the Final Four.

KU’s game against Ohio State on Saturday will mark the second time the Jayhawks and Buckeyes have played this season. Kansas won the first meeting 78-67 in Lawrence, but OSU’s forward Jared Sullinger didn't play because of back spasms.

KU’s Thomas Robinson has averaged 12.5 rebounds during the tournament.

Not so fast: Meanwhile, back at the ESPN Tournament Challenge, just 0.4% of the brackets had all four correct in their Final Four…9.3% of us have three correct. I’m number 1,045,641 out of 6.45 million. That’s a big helping of humble pie to go.

One more thing: I thought it was impossible to have a uniform uglier than the neon green monstrosities Baylor wore in their first three games. However, the repulsive black ones with neon-greenish-yellow set a new standard in tacky bad taste.

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