Saturday, March 31, 2007

Final Four Weekend, Boo.

I'm going to try and not let my love of Georgetown factor into this review of the day's action too much, but I think it is fair to say, without hyperbole that this was the worst weekend in the history of college basketball.

OK, so not really. But man, I'm disappointed. Not just in the Georgetown loss, but the way they lost. As I predicted fouls on the big men were a factor--with Oden picking up two very quick fouls, and sitting for most of the first half, and then Hibbert picking up his second about 6 minutes later, and also sitting a lot. Note: CBS Sportsline columnist Gregg Doyel is not happy about those fouls. even though he admits they were fouls.

Of course, both men ended up finishing the game, which means that they could have played more, dammit. Because of the fouls, they hardly played against each other at all, but when they did, I think you'd have to give the edge to Hibbert, who beat Oden a couple of times in the post when Georgetown was trying to get back into the game. But on the whole, Georgetown seemed out of sync, and you'd think after their win over North Carolina, a 6 point lead in the final couple of minutes wouldn't seem insurmountable, but it did today.

And I'm not being sour grapes here, but I just particularly care for Ohio State's style of play. They deserve to be in the final game--that much is clear. They've won in the tournament in a variety of ways (luck, big comebacks, etc) and their run during the regular season and Big 10 Tournament was fuckin' impressive. And they were effective in this game, somehow keeping Jeff Green out of much of the game (Billy Packer would say that is as much as Jeff Green as it is on the Ohion State defense). But watching them? Ugh. No one is going to confuse this team with the Illinois teams that made their championship runs out of the Big 10. They may not be as boring as watching paint dry, but speaking as a former housepainter, they are less exciting than applying a stain in hot weather, and watching that dry. That's exciting and difficult work. Watching Ohio State feels like work, too, but without the scary ladders or the nice housewives that make you Kool-Aid with double sugar for your lunch break.

In the other game, Florida took UCLA's lunch money for the second straight year, and while I predicted Corey Brewer would be the difference, I didn't imagine he'd have the game he did. First, I didn't imagine that he'd be man-on-man with Afflalo the entire game, or that he'd completely shut him down, which he did do. I also imagined him driving to the basket for his points, rather than chillin' on the 3 point line and doing his Lee Humphrey imitation.

The way Florida is winning versus the way Ohio State is winning tells me that Florida is a huge favorite in the final. They've also got the experience, more big men (and thus fouls to give) than Ohio State does, and I again think Corey Brewer will pose massive match-up problems. He'll be Jeff Green should have been. I really do have trouble envisioning a scenario in which Ohio State wins this game. Which is too bad--not because I want Ohio State to win. Ideally, in my perfect world, both teams will lose. Is that possible? No? Shit.

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