Saturday, March 3, 2007

Early Saturday Thoughts

Hoyas win! Hoyas win! The Georgetown Hoyas are Big East Champions! Tune in tonight to see if Pittsburgh gets a share of the title. In a game in which the officials flat out refused to call an offensive foul on either team (I counted at least 6 charges that were not called), Roy Hibbert was the man. It is amazing how much he can dominate against man-to-man defense.

Back home I watched the tape and Iowa held on to beat Illinois in a game that had 11 ties and 12 lead changes. With the exception of Ohio St. and Purdue, Illinois has led in the second half of every loss this year. Maybe it is the free throw shooting, maybe it is the lack of a clutch shooter like Dee or Deron, but Illinois cannot finish games this year. Right now, my numbers suggest that they are “out” of the field.

If Illinois can beat a legit team in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament, they still have a chance at an at-large bid, but they need to play better. My eyes tell me this may not be possible. They played good defense and they played hard against Iowa, but they still came up short. Truthfully, they do not look like a tournament team right now. I like the AP quote from Webber. “We've got to find a way to make some progress ... or it's going to be over."

Amazingly, I still caught the end of VMI-Winthrop after watching the Illinois-Iowa tape. Poor execution by the Keydets who could only muster an off-balance half-court 3 pointer with 10 seconds left. Congrats to Winthrop. Meanwhile, the NCAA committee breathes a sigh of relief.