Sunday, April 01, 2012

Welcome to Bracketville---Final Four Wrap-Up Edition

Take a bow Eddie!

Even if Kentucky throws a shutout at Kansas, no one has a mathematical chance to match Eddie’s 79 points. To this point, both Eddie and Tony have picked 41 winners…the spread in points shows that it is the journey, not just the destination that makes the difference in the outcome.

If Anthony Davis didn’t block their shots, Louisville had to alter their shots. Really now---he blocked shots from the paint to the three-point-arc. Wow! He’s a true game-changer…there is no answer for him in college basketball.

Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are two extraordinary athletes, and watching them play is a pleasure. Neither one takes a play off.

It was a drag that MKG had early foul trouble in each half---that deprived us from watching a special player. What a treat it is to watch him move without the ball on offense, working through block after block. He is just relentless.

Would you rather have a player like Davis and MKG or a slacker like Harrison Barnes?

Additionally, Darius Miller and Deron Lamb made major contributions to UK’s cause.

Louisville was no Forrest Gump. They took 20 more shots than UK and outrebounded the Cats. Louisville did not go quietly into the night.

They were most impressive and will return almost everyone who played meaningful minutes.

Look for Louisville in the top five in the next preseason poll. They’ll be that good. Wayne Blackshear will be a force.

Down by nine at the half, Kansas had Ohio State right where they wanted them…or so it seemed.

Don’t forget, with less than five minutes left in the first half, Kansas had more turnovers (eight) than field goals (seven) and was shooting 29 percent.

Ohio State missed their first 10 shots from the field in the second half and KU was off to the races.

Foul trouble for OSU’s Deshaun Thomas was a break for Kansas. Kansas is nothing if not opportunistic---ask Purdue and UNC, and now OSU. They never waste a break or opening.

KU’s Thomas Robinson played at a higher level than everybody else on the floor.

Kansas center Jeff Withey showed why he was named Big 12 defensive player of the year---he had seven blocks on Saturday night to give him 27 in five NCAA tournament games.

Can’t forget the free throws by Travis Releford with about three minutes to go…that’s rising to the occasion.

It was the fifth straight game that a Kansas opponent shot worse than 30 percent in the final five minutes, including 0-for-7 by North Carolina in the regional final.

OSU’s Aaron Craft was incredible. Some times it appeared there had to be more than one of him on the floor---he was everywhere at once.

Tonight the good folks from The Worldwide Leader will broadcast the Women’s Final Four. All four team are #1 seeds. UConn/Notre Dame will be a beauty. I hope Stanford clobbers Baylor. I would love to see a UConn/Stanford finale. Watching Geno is a treat.

Not so fast: That nine-point halftime Kansas deficit was the second-largest halftime deficit overcome in a national semifinal.

One more thing: Grading the two games, I say you have to give UK and KU each an A-Plus---and Louisville and OSU an A-Minus. It was a singular night of basketball, one that showcased four teams that deserved the spotlight.

As Kansas Coach Bill Self said (paraphrasing here), “Every team had to play 40 minutes tonight.”

A night to be savored.

No comments: