Saturday, February 14, 2009

Jason King Needs a Notre Dame Intervention

When preseason rank-meisters put Notre Dame in the Top 5, I found it laughable.  When the official rankings came out, I still said Notre Dame was overrated.  When Jason King further wandered into crazyland, with his suggestion that Notre Dame was the second best team in the Big East, I called him high or too Catholic for his own good.  

And now, this--Notre Dame is Finally Awake, Jason King says, because they pulled off an unlikely (and profound) asskicking of Louisville.  His intro starts off with a huge assumption off the bat:  "For the last month, Notre Dame has been the most disappointing team in college basketball. Now we’ll see if it can be the most resilient."  Two things here--Notre Dame hasn't been the most disappointing team in basketball, unless you were crazy, stupid, or crazy-stupid enough to expect anything from them in the first place.  Secondly--most resilient?  After one win?  In the same week that they got their asses kicked by a decidedly questionable UCLA squad? (more on that questionable UCLA squad here)

Looking at the box score, it is safe to say that Louisville lost this game as much as Notre Dame won it.  (Let's be clear though--I watched a good chunk of this game too, and what I saw is backed by the numbers).  Louisville rushed their offense the entire game, firing up 3-pointers for no good reason (firing well below .300 from deep).   They didn't get into the paint much, despite their talent in the frontcourt, drawing a total of 12 fouls, and then failing miserably at the line, going 6-13 from the charity stripe.  You could credit Notre Dame's awesome defense for holding Louisville to under .400 shooting percentage for the game, but that would be ignoring the fact that Notre Dame doesn't have an awesome defense, and should have been overmatched at almost every position on the floor.  

Rather than call this the beginning of the resurgence of Notre Dame, as crazy-ass Jason King does, I'd call it a worrying returning of immaturity for the Cardinals, who did after all, lose to Minnesota, and have some enigmatic guard play, to say the least.  This was a "trap game" for them, and they fell in the trap.  

Anyone looking to see a big run of success from Notre Dame in the postseason is deluding themselves (don't be surprised to see them do well in their soft as pudding end of year schedule--South Florida, West Virgina, Providence, and Rutgers).  I'll be shocked if they don't go at least 3-1 in that span.  Doesn't mean they are good.  

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