Saturday, November 22, 2008

One Down, Eight To Go

Coaches vs Cancer

Is there anything better than coming home on a Friday and seeing a high profile college basketball game already under way? Oh there is. Well I don't care.

What’s with all the once-in-a season plays?
Thursday it was the double dive out of bounds play for Duke. Friday, UCLA pulled off the double behind the back passes en-route to a dunk.

For all the concerns about Duke, UCLA to me looks much more like a POT (perimeter oriented team) this year. When they knock down their threes, as Collison did to break open a close game and put UCLA up for good, they will be almost impossible to stop. But when the jump shot isn’t falling, this can be an ugly looking offensive team.

Part of the problem in this game was that no one on UCLA could make a free throw in the first half, and that can really hurt. The key with bad free throw shooting isn’t that players miss free throws, the key is that those players often become less aggressive because they are afraid of getting fouled.

Once UCLA-Southern Illinois got out of hand, my eyes were wandering in the exercise room and I saw CBS had on that story about the 73 year old who had scored 2 points in a college basketball game. At the time I saw the story, I remember reading this quote: “Seriously, who fouls a 73-year old basketball player? Dude, move your feet a little." But then I saw the CBS feed of the video. Ha, it’s true! I always assumed that someone got called for a cheap hand foul or intentionally fouled him or something, but that’s not what happened. Someone on the opposing team actually got faked out, went airborne, and came down on Ken Mink. Uh, I’m pretty sure when Ken Mink has the ball you don’t need to jump early. That’s hilarious.

Not much to say on the late game between Duke and Michigan. If Duke looked this good against Michigan with little time to prepare for Michigan’s unorthodox style, think how good they are going to look when they re-match in a few weeks.

And with that tournament in the books, there are still 8 more high profile early season tournaments left.

Puerto Rico Tip-Off

Xavier beat Virginia Tech on a half-court buzzer beater. Sweet. And as has been pointed out elsewhere, what a stat-line for Virginia Tech star A. D. Vassalo. He had 10 rebounds, 8 assists, but went 0-6 from three point range and 2 for 13 in the game. And Memphis beat Seton Hall, setting up a Sunday match-up between two of the top non-BCS teams in the country on Sunday. Here’s the Sunday lineup:

Xavier vs Memphis, 1st Place Game
Virginia Tech vs Seton Hall, 3rd Place Game
Missouri vs USC, 5th Place Game

Paradise Jam

The three BCS teams advanced to the semis. But Wisconsin needed overtime against an Iona team that went 2-28 a few years ago. Here are Sunday’s semifinals.

Wisconsin vs San Diego
UConn vs Miami