A collection of my tweets from Monday night’s championship game… Enjoy!
6:01 – How the hell did Diddy get this intro? And are there any actual lyrics in this song? All I hear is “let’s work.”
5:58 – All the experts are picking Duke. I’m gonna say it right now, Butler is winning this thing.
6:07 – Anyone else realize what BS that NCAA “Where does the money go” commercials is? Short answer: into the pockets of our executives.
6:08 – I’m sorry, the money is not going to the kids. It’s just not. And anyone who believes otherwise is delusional.
6:11 – Over/under on how many coaches Tracy Wolfson has slept with: five. I would bet every dollar I have that she’s done Nick Saban.
6:21 – As much as I hate bandwagon Duke fans, the Duke student section is the best in college sports. The Cameron Crazies have no equal.
6:22 – Side note – Did you know Duke only has 6,000 undergrads. Seriously. (http://tinyurl.com/y8cc5f2) Makes the Cameron Crazies that much more impressive.
6:37 – I think Don “Moose” Lewis (http://tinyurl.com/ya33ltr) would love how this game is going right now. Very fundamental.
6:39 – I don’t know if there’s a single first-rd draft pick on either of these teams. I think Singler and Zoubek could make a roster, but that’s it.
6:48 – Butler is making ALL the hustle plays. And Duke just got its second traveling call in two minutes. Seriously…
7:03 – “Veasley’s gotta think about pulling that out, giving up so much size inside, after whipping it out.” – Clark Kellogg
7:08 – Jukes missed the dunk. The only black player on the court just blew a dunk. SMH.
7:12 – The first commercial for the Apple Maxipad. Am I the only person that realizes this thing is just a laptop without a keyboard?
7:19 – They’re replaying the Da’Sean Butler–Bob Huggins makeout. Priceless.
7:24 – I love Evan Turner, I think he’s one of four players this year who will make it in the NBA. POY he is not.
7:25 – Ask yourself this question: If you were making a college basketball team, who would your first pick be?
7:25 – If you said anyone other than John Wall, you’re either an idiot or just lying to yourself.
7:28 – Greg Gumbel’s perm still bothers me.
7:36 – I just looked up Greg Gumbel on Wikipedia and he’s 63-years-old. He’s 63! That’s incredible. This makes his perm even more offensive.
7:38 – I just realized how much Zoubek looks like Zangief from Street Fighter down there on the block.
7:45 – When did Kyle Singler become the white LeBron James?
7:47 – Seriously. Who is this kid in the Kyle Singler jersey? Because it can’t be Kyle Singler. I refuse to believe it.
7:51 – I’m going to start calling Zoubek “Zangief.” It’s official.
7:52 – Big basket by Zangief.
7:53 – Zangief gets his fourth foul. Damn it! I’ve been entertaining myself by imagining him cursing at the referees in broken Russian.
7:54 – Side note: I live in a house with two other supposed-heterosexual males and I am on the couch watching this game alone.
8:11 – Zangief puts too much mustard on the ball and throws it into the backcourt. I’m imagining him cursing in Russian again.
8:17 – There’s a little less than five minutes left and one of two things is going to happen: Singler is going to become a Duke legend or he’s going to lose them the game.
8:18 – Singler has absolutely taken over this game. He’s been the best player on the floor, by a mile, all night. This is officially his game.
8:24 – Duke finally makes a “we want it more” play to force a jump ball. That was big.
8:26 – Singler travels. I think the pressure might be getting to him.
8:28 – Holy shit! Howard just nailed the layup in Zangief’s grill. I imagine Zangief screaming, “Idi na xuy husesos! Mne pohui!”
8:28 – I google’d Russian swear words.
8:29 – Duke up one, 49 seconds left. Duke ball. It’s gotta go to Singler. It’s just gotta. Coach K must know this.
8:30 – Singler bricks off the front of the rim. Yup, pressure got to him.
8:30 – Great rebound by Zangief, by the way. Too bad he lost it off his foot.
8:33 – And we’re back. Butler down one, 13.6 seconds left. Butler ball. Just realized Butler has no go-to guy.
8:34 – Zangief is guarding the inbound pass. He forces Butler to use its last time out. “Na kaleni, suka!”
8:35 – Hayward on the fadeaway jumper?! WHAT?! You have got to be kidding me.
8:35 – Great play by Zangief. He’s been great .
8:37 – The heave…oh…wow. That was close. If you didn’t like that game, you hate America.
8:38 – Zangief runs down the court screaming, “Pokazhi pizdu detka! Pokazhi pizdu detka! Pokazhi pizdu detka!”
Butler Vs Michigan St.
Butler and Michigan State take the floor for tip-off at 3:07 pm PST (that’s right, I’m using Pacific Time, you East Coasters can do the math this time). It’s the classic Not-quite-Cinderella versus Not-quite-Cinderella match-up basketball fans dream about. In one corner, you’ve got the heavyweights Michigan State, in their eighth final four appearance. In the other corner, you’ve got the Butler Bulldogs, a scrappy young team on a 20-game win streak that everyone should have seen coming, but nobody did.
When the game begins, Butler will jump out to a slight lead by putting increasing pressure on Michigan State’s inexperienced backcourt and forcing early turnovers. Michigan State will overcome Butler’s stifling D to tie the score and go into halftime with a lead. In the locker room, head coach Tom Izzo will give a fiery, passionate speech about how he did not come here to lose. Camera’s attempting to film the speech will be literally tossed from the Michigan State quarters along with chairs, stools, Gatorade and reserve players Izzo has labeled “expendable.”
In the second half the two teams will battle to a furious finish. With 3.2 second remaining on the clock, Butler is down by two points, 62-61. On the inbound pass, guard Shelvin Mack arcs up a shot from just inside the three-point line that rims out, but somehow hits the official directly below the basket on the head and goes in. Time had expired before the shot went into the basket, but not before it bounced off the referee’s head. The referees head to the sideline to discuss and check the rulebook.
In a stunning decision, the shot is counted and is given a value of two-and-a-half points, giving Butler the victory 63.5-62 and somehow pushing a 1 and ½ point line – something previously thought to be impossible – but staying just below the 126 over/under. Gamblers around the world are simultaneously shocked and horrified. Half of the audience in Lucas Oil Stadium gets up to call their bookie. The other half throws trash onto the court.
It will be determined the next day that there is no two-and-a-half point shot and that referees Curtis Shaw, John Higgins and Les Jones had placed competing parlay bets on the spread.
Duke Vs West Virginia
The second game will be just as riveting, with Duke, the only one-seed in the tournament to make it to the Final Four, against West Virginia, the only team from the vaunted Big East Conference to get this far.
The Blue Devils will come out on a tare, with head coach Mike Kryzewski taking out his frustrations of not winning a National Championship in nine years on West Virginia. At the end of the first half Duke has a seemingly insurmountable lead, up 56-23.
At halftime, Gus Johnson says, “West Virginia is getting beat like a runaway slave, and I don’t mean like a black runaway slave, I’m talking about a Jewish runaway slave from Egypt. They’re getting beat like Biblical times – canes, whips, stones, the Egyptians did NOT play.” When color commentator Jay Bilas tries to stop Gus, he only digs his whole deeper, finishing by screaming into his headset, “The Mountaineers are getting beaten like the Jews beat Christ, crown of thorns, crucifix and everything, this is like watching The Passion of the Christ out here! Jesus, someone save these boys!”
Gus Johnson is immediately removed from the game and with Jim Nantz nowhere to be found, Bill Refferty and Jay Bilas finish the game, doing nothing but color commentary. This sequence is incredibly popular in focus groups.
As the second half begins, West Virginia goes on an all-out assault. Somehow, Tom Izzo was let into their locker room to finish the verbal tirade he unleashed on his own team to the Mountaineers. This also works, as West Virginia leads the most impressive comeback in the history of the Final Four – and Gus Johnson is not there.
The teams play to an astonishing 12 overtimes, going well into the morning. Most everyone in the auditorium is asleep and people on the East Coast are getting into work only to find out that the game is still on. The teams are now playing three-on-three, because everyone else has fouled out of the game, when a disgruntled fan who refused to go to sleep storms the court and takes out all the remaining players with a metallic wand he fashioned out of the end of the scorers table.
With the score tied and no remaining players eligible to enter the game, the referees have no choice but to call a tie game. Because there can be only one National Championship game by NCAA regulations, all three teams – Butler, Duke and West Virginia – must square off in a triple threat match. A brand new court will be created and each team will have two 20-minute halves to score as many points on either of their opponents’ baskets as possible. Gus Johnson is immediately reinstated.
The first two rounds of the 2010 NCAA Tournament have been overrun with upsets. And though my brackets are officially busted (I bet youre pretty much in the same boat), I have enjoyed the drama.
So at this point I say keep it coming. Lets see Cornell or Northern Iowa in the Final Four. Heck, for that matter, lets see one of them in the title game! Now that would be exciting.
Fill out up to five different brackets, and the winner will get something really cool, like a T-Shirt or something. Hope to see you all there!
In honor of Sunday’s Academy awards I’ve decided to put together my own college hoops themed Oscars. These are the players, coaches and teams who I think deserved to take home the hardware. Also, anything I can do to get Bruce Pearl to make a speech I am all for.
Best Team: Syracuse
The Orange really hurt themselves when they lost to Louisville on Saturday. But even that wasn’t enough to take them out of contention for the Team of the Year Oscar. Like “The Hurt Locker” the Orange haven’t been full of special effects and big name stars, but they’ve done a great job putting it together when it counts and winning when and where it matters.
Best Supporting Player: DeMarcus Cousins
Like Christoph Waltz, Cousins came into this category with a lot of hype and like Waltz he delivered. Cousins has been Cousins all season and even though he’s playing second fiddle to the enormously talented John Wall, rest assured he has been amazing this year.
Best Player: John Wall
Like Jeff Bridges, John Wall has been the favorite coming in. Also like Jeff Bridges, people can root for other guys, but when you see his performance there’s no denying who was the best this year.
Best Coach: Bruce Pearl
Kathryn Bigelow made waves as the first woman to ever win the Oscar for Best Director and Bruce Pearl is doing the same as the very first Jewish coach to win my Best Coach award. Never mind that this is the first year I’ve given the award and no one really cares what I think.
Best Small School Game: Penn over Cornell
This is sort of like Best Foreign Film because you probably didn’t see it when it happened and you probably don’t really care. But even so, this game was probably the biggest upset in Ivy League play in the past 10 years. Penn came into the game with a record of 3-15 against the perinial Ivy League title contenders. Cornell was even ranked at the time. Penn put together an amazing game and somehow came away with the victory. Penn went on to win two games after that game, but they’ll always have that fateful February 12.
Best Game Plan: Bruce Pearl – Tennessee
After having one of his best players kicked off the team and seeing some of his most talented players suspended for various legal indiscretions, Pearl laid out a great game plan that kept the Volunteers competitive this season. Even with all that Tennessee has been one of the best teams in the country this season, with victories over KU (Kansas) and UK (Kentucky).
If you know anything about sports, you know that in single-elimination tournaments the best team isn’t always the one that walks away with the championship. Everyone is making arguments for who the best team in the nation is right now, but that’s not what really matters. What matters is which team can pull a win out of nowhere when it counts.
These are the five teams that, no matter where they’re seeded or who they’re playing, I wouldn’t put my money against.
Two words: Greivis Vasquez. The Terps play pathetic defense, they lost to William & Mary (ALWAYS an indicator to lower expectations) and the ACC is the weakest it’s been in my lifetime. But despite all this, that fiery Venezuelan has a win-at-all-costs cockiness that makes great players into legends.
I personally believe the Orange are the best team in the tournament this year. They’re very well coached, they’re poised and they’ve got great size. Syracuse is dangerous because they’re hungry. Coach Boeheim hasn’t won a title in seven years and I think he’s the kind of coach that takes it personally. Also, the Big East so much better than every other conference in college basketball it’s almost pathetic.
The Hoyas are the best team in the country when they want to be. When they don’t want to be, they’re almost painful to watch. Watching them beat Villanova and then annihilate Duke, I really thought they were going to make a run at a number one seed. But when they fell to USF, Rutgers and Notre Dame, I let go of that thought real quick. Still, when they’re good, they’re very, very good.
The Vols have beaten everyone worth beating this year and they’ve done it every way you can possibly imagine. They’ve won short-handed, they’ve won as the favorite, they’ve won on the road, they’ve won by beating the other team inside and by killing teams with the three. This team is short on talent, but big on heart and they’re very well coached. Most importantly, they play with the confidence that they can beat anyone.
This is hands-down the most athletic team in the nation. If they didn’t all play together, I think the combination of Wall-Cousins-Patterson could legitimately go 1-2-3 in the NBA draft. They’re that good. The most dangerous thing about Kentucky is that they haven’t put together a full game yet. Every competitive game they’ve been in this year, they played down to the competition until crunch time, then turned it on. In terms of sheer athleticism, no one can touch this team. It’s just a matter of whether they’ll be able to turn it on when it counts.
That’s not really news, Texas is number one now and everyone knows what happened. What is news is why Kansas got beat. The previously-top-ranked Jayhawks got beaten (soundly) by a team missing four of its top eight scorers and probably its best player, because they don’t understand the concept of a sweet spot. This wouldn’t have happened if the Jayhawks or their coach had bothered to watch a few episodes of “Full House”?
On one episode of “Full House,” one that Kansas coach Bill Self obviously missed, Uncle Jesse plays in a basketball tournament. Of course Uncle Jesse is terrible, until – and this is key – he finds his “sweet spot.” Once he’s got his sweet spot, Uncle Jesse can’t miss. If you’ve seen this episode, you’ll remember that Kareem Abdul Jabar played the ref in the tournament and Uncle Jesse famously complained to him that the defense was “standing on my sweet spot.” This is also key.
The Kansas Jayhawks are obviously a
better more talented team than the Tennessee Volunteers. We all know that. When you are more talented than your opposition the only way they can beat you is if you play lazy defense and allow them to get shots from wherever they want. This can be especially detrimental if you let someone like, oh, let’s say Renaldo Woodridge, who averages 4.8 points per game, shoot from the exact same spot on the floor three times. It hurts even more if he makes all three of them. It hurts that much more if he does it on three consecutive possessions.
Once Kansas coach Bill Self finally told his defense to stand on Woodridge’s sweet spot, he scored a total of two total points the rest of the game.
The dagger for the Jayhawks was letting Skylar McBee, a white, 190-pound freshman, walk-on from Rutledge, Tenn., get to his sweet spot and splash a three to ice the game. I don’t have a scouting report on McBee, but if I see that the Volunteers have a white, 190-pound, freshman, walk-on in the game, call me crazy, but I’m going to defend the three-point shot.
I know Bill Self probably didn’t have a whole lot of film on McBee, Woodridge or any of the other volunteers playing for Bruce Pearl that day (get it?) but he’d been watching the team’s play all day. If you can’t figure out the sweet spots of a team full of walk ons and back-ups, then I’m sorry, but you don’t deserve to be the head coach of a major basketball program.
…but after learning what they were fighting over, I’m left scratching my head.
I realize I’m treading on very thin ice here, commenting on how a woman looks. Being a woman myself, and one who has received negative comments in the past regarding my appearance, I don’t want to come across as mean spirited, cruel or not understanding.
That said, when I began this blog post over an hour ago, I did a rather exhaustive internet search for images of “sexy KU coeds.” Disregarding all the pornographic results, this was the best image I could find.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she isn’t attractive (how could I tell… it’s a terrible picture). But really? This is the best “sexy” pic that’s out there for KU girls? If you search nearly any other school you’ll find countless images of hot coeds…
Like the FSU girls.
Or the Oklahoma girl.
Or even the Michigan State girl.
So come on KU! Let’s get it together and put a few “safe for work” pics out there to showcase some of your hot girls! I know you have them. Even this girl would do if the picture was taken in better light and she was wearing a tight or low cut shirt. That’s all it takes.
Because if you do that, then the whole fighting between football and basketball players over girls and jealousy thing… well, at least all that makes sense.
There are many things that bug me about this story… obviously the biggest being Pitino’s lying and cheating ways. But what I find insulting is the notion that the famed coach is truly sorry. Please! Per everyone who gets caught, he’s only sorry BECAUSE he got caught.
Does anyone really thin this was an isolated incident? Late night, woman comes onto him, one thing leads to another and before you know it, the two are banging over a cocktail table in the restaurant’s lounge. I can see it happening… I can see it happening hundreds of times over the years.
I mean he’s Rick Pitino! He’s good looking, successful and rich. There are tons of women that would throw themselves at him, and I bet that’s happened countless times with no consequences. For crying out loud, the owner of the restaurant gave him the keys to the place to lock up… wink, wink, nudge, nudge. I guarantee it was not the first time that ever happened!
And this from a man who has been outspoken about his religious beliefs! Last time I looked, adultery and (alleged) abortions don’t exactly mesh with the Roman Catholic brand of Christianity!
But the thing I can’t wait to hear more about is Tim Sypher, the guy that married Pitino’s sloppy seconds. Because when this all went down six years ago, Karen Cunigan Sypher was simply Karen Cunigan. She apparently met her soon to be ex-husband (that’s right, the two have filed for divorce) in Tim Sypher’s condo… From what I hear, that was the chosen location for the two to discuss the abortion. Sypher, who worked for Pitino when he was with the Celtics, followed the coach to Louisville.
Good Lord, this all sounds like the Young and the Restless, right?
Can’t wait to hear all the juicy details!