Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday Evening Random Thoughts

- He’s back! It wasn’t quite Bryce Drew hitting a 3 at the end of the game, but we may already have our signature moment of the first round. Eric Maynor hit a jumper from the free throw line with 1.8 seconds left to beat the Duke Blue Devils in the first round of the NCAA tournament. To me the key to the play was the fact that Maynor started his move early instead of waiting to take the shot with zero seconds left on the clock. Too many players wait too long and then get a tough double teamed shot. By starting his move two seconds earlier, Maynor had the threat of the pass to the corner, and used it to shake free for the open jumper. Maynor has already clinched a spot on my all-tournament team.

- Although I highly enjoy the Full Court package, I can’t justify purchasing March Madness on Demand for so few games. Unfortunately, my market was given the late game of North Carolina vs EKU. Who other than North Carolina fans wants to watch this? Thankfully North Carolina was in domination mode from the beginning and it didn’t take long before I was taken to Indiana vs Gonzaga. (I had even contemplated heading to a sports bar to see the Indiana vs Gonzaga game.) Just as I was enjoying the 2nd Half, I hear this:

“Eastern Kentucky has gone on a 30-8 run, and we’re sending you back to Winston-Salem.”

You have got to be kidding me. Not only did the Tar Heels beat my Illini in 2005, not only are the Tar Heels fans cheering loudly against my Hoyas in 2007, but the Tar Heels are depriving me of games I actually want to watch because of their poor play. Uggh.

Luckily, it didn’t take long before the lead was back to double digits and I was sent out to Xavier-BYU. Here we see Danny Ainge’s son in action.

Patrick Ewing’s son. Danny Ainge’s son. Dell Curry’s son. It’s a father-son picnic today.

Drew Lavendar, the McDonald’s All-American I discussed Thursday morning hit 2 of the 3 big shots down the stretch to give Xavier the close win. But, I still questioned Xavier’s strategy down the stretch. For some reason college teams do not see the value in going two-for-one. In a tie game with 1 minute left, Xavier ran the clock down to 30 seconds before taking the shot. Had Xavier missed, BYU could have held for the last shot and the possible win. Why not run your offense and take a good shot with 45 seconds left. Then even if BYU makes a shot, you are still going to get the ball back. If Xavier had run their offense and then taken a late shot, I could have understood the move, but they ran the clock down by dribbling. Of course my strategizing did not matter, as Xavier won anyway. Xavier now gets a shot at former coach and cross-state rival, Thad Matta and Ohio St.

Back to Indiana vs Gonzaga, is it just me or does every Gonzaga player look like he was designed by the create-a-player feature on a video game? Bald white kids, bushy haired white kids, red-haired white kids, multiple players with beards. Len Elmore stole the obvious line about Matt Bouldin. Gonzaga hopes Bouldin will pick up Adam Morrison’s scoring ability, but not his mustache.

More tournament thoughts tomorrow.