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).