Elmhurst Pub Roundtable

Where the beer is cold and the conversation loud...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Final Four

At the beginning of the tournament, experts sat and predicted that this could be the first year that all four #1 seeds made the Final Four. Today, we all sat and watched as not a single top seed will make the trip to Indiannapolis for college basketball's biggest dance. Some observations on what has gone down the last week or two:

--There was some really poor basketball played. The GMU-UConn game was great today, but that was because UConn hasn't played a complete game of basketball since the regular season ended. The other regional finals were all pretty poorly played. Memphis looked BAD, shooting only 36% from the field. UCLA looked just as horrible.
--The most complete team all tournament has been LSU. Big Baby (who Jared played against in AAU nationals) is nasty, they're athletic, and are going to give UCLA fits.
--UConn played this tournament like they did most of the season - disinterested. You'd have thought that Albany game was going to wake them up, then that nearly blowing the UK game would have. And for certain you would have thought that the game with Washington would have done it. Instead of coming out with a desire to blow GMU off the court, they let them hang around. It actually seemed to me that Calhoun was overmatched in every sense. This team struggles offensively partly because Calhoun doesn't let the players stay out on the floor long enough to get any sort of rhythm. The players are constantly looking over their shoulders waiting to be pulled at the first mistake. You can't play like that. They played defense through shot blocking reliance all year, and it showed. Perimeter defense was lazy at best.
--Another note, Marcus Williams is the best point guard in the country. Brandon Roy is the best all around player in the country. Watching Adam Morrison play regularly would make my head explode. JJ looked tired.
--The Big 10 had the worst road record of any conference and it showed. Every team was gone by the end of the first weekend. 8 Big East teams, 0 in the final four. The top conferences in the RPI ranking had average showings at best.
--Every tournament has some fantastic finishes and this one was no exception. It's the best part of any of these games, outside of seeing players and teams that are only seen in certain Geographies. Best games - WVU vs. Texas, UCLA vs. Gonzaga, GMU vs. UConn, GW vs. UNCW, Iowa vs. NW State, and Nova vs. BC.
--For all the Friar Fans out there, root for George Mason, coached by former PC star Jim Larranaga. It's a connection anyway...

Final Four thoughts: The safe bet is to say Florida is going to take down GMU, but I like that matchup for the Patriots. I think LSU is too athletic for UCLA. Give me LSU and GMU in the title game and an LSU national title. MOP of the Final Four - Tyrus Thomas.


Blogger Raenge said...

UConn is a terrible basketball team. The have all the talent and athletic ability in the world, but have no cohesion and limited fundamentals. Ed Nelson is a meathead that should be working the door at Prime Time rather than playing D1 hoops. UConn looked completely lost quite frequently during the NCAAs. It was almost as if they just expected to show up and win. If you take a few "stars" off the team and replace them with Rashard Anderson type guys, they run away with it. If Rudy Gay is a top 5 pick, I'll cut my eyes out with a rusty fork.

8:07 PM  

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