Another variation of Gregg Easterbrook’s Sweet and Sour:
Offensive Rebounds are Sweet: With just under 3 minutes to play and the lead widdled to 6 points, Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf missed a jumper, but Paul Harris was left all alone under the basket by the Florida Defense. Harris corralled the rebound, tipped in the basketball, and Syracuse never looked back.
Blocks are Sweet: In the second half of the Wisconsin vs Connecticut game, Joe Krabbenhoft threw the ball up for an alley-oop pass to a teammate and Hasheem Thabeet blocked the alley-oop pass.
Not Having any Veteran Players is Sour: Indiana turned it over 20 times in losing by 38 to in-state rival Notre Dame.
Paradise Jam Title Game
Given my allegiance to other Big East and Big Ten schools, I see a lot of UConn and Wisconsin, and it was fun to see both schools square off. If you watched this game, UConn was clearly much more athletic, Thabeet was changing the game even without scoring a bunch of points, and yet Wisconsin hung in there for three quarters of the game. I’ll never count out a Bo Ryan squad, but I am wondering who is going to step up and be the face of the offense. It seems like they’ve always had some veteran star player (Devin Harris, Alando Tucker, Brian Butch), but who will step up and fill that role this year? I’m not buying Trevon Hughes or Jason Bohannon yet. UConn was more than capable in this one and they join Duke and Xavier as an early season tournament winner.
I watched a little of Syracuse vs Florida and both teams put on an offensive clinic. A lot of times early in the year, teams can’t score against zone defense, but both Syracuse and Florida practice against the zone on a regular basis, and both offenses absolutely put on a clinic. You saw passes to a man at the top of the free throw line. You saw passes along the base line caught by big men and put in for lay-ups. You saw the teams work the ball around and get wide open three pointers. You saw 25 offensive rebounds (because it is often hard to box out when you play zone), and you saw both teams push it in transition. Perhaps the biggest key to beating the zone was the stellar guard play by both teams. The combination of Eric Devendorf and Jonny Flynn for Syracuse hardly seems fair.
I didn’t stay up for the ending of Kansas vs Washington, but Kansas had the game well in hand. My goodness does Kansas have a lot of new players. Hey, there’s Sherron Collins. Hey, there’s Cole Aldrich. Yeah, that’s all I recognize.
The favorites advanced in the first three games, setting up some great semifinal action.
CBE Title Game: Syracuse vs Kansas
CBE 3rd Place Game: Florida vs Washington
Maui Semi #1: Texas vs Notre Dame
Maui Semi #2: UNC vs Oregon/Alabama