Friday, March 23, 2007

Chalk Full of ... Chalk

Last night's games consisted of three great ones totaling a five-point difference and a blowout ... of 9 points. The first two games are exactly why everyone should (if possible) purchase the DirecTV package or watch the game at a bar with similar amenities. Here are some quick hits on the last night's games.

Kansas 61 Southern Illinois 58
Dear Big Ten Conference: When you argue that your teams play a grinding style due to great defense, both of these teams probably think that you're using the term "great" too liberally. Kansas didn't exactly take care of business and this biased guy thinks they benefited from some zebra love. In the first half, a no-call on a shot clock violation led to two points for the Jayhawks. In the second half, defensive goaltending was not called on a play where Jamal Tatum was fouled. There was also a shot clock violation called against the Salukis in which you can see (in slow motion) the change in trajectory after Mullins' three-pointer shaved the rim. Of course, Matt Shaw missed a gimmie layup in the last three minutes and Kansas shot 60% for the game. Credit must go to Russell Robinson who did a stellar defensive job all night. The Jayhawks go on to face the UCLA Bruins on Saturday.

UCLA 64 Pittsburgh 55
This game was as boring as the scoreline looks. The game was a three-possession battle for the majority of the game and whenever Pittsburgh, UCLA had an answer and vice versa. Classic Panther non-execution in big games and Aaron Gray was inconsistent as we hinted in our preview. Levon Kendall was underutilized and struggled when he was. Afflalo is still struggling, but he's nailing everything at the line. Pitt still lacks that go-to guard who they can rely on late in games. On Saturday, UCLA absolutely needs Josh Shipp and Michael Roll to nail jump shots.

Memphis 65 Texas A&M 64
Last Saturday, Texas A&M defeated Louisville in what was considered a road game by many in the know. Last night, Memphis got a win in similar unfriendly circumstances and credit must go to Calipari for motivating his players, because the media - real and fake - have lampooned the Tigers for chalking up easy wins in Conference USA. Douglas-Roberts did not show any signs of being injured and the Tigers at all times knew that they belonged in this game and in the Elite 8. When a 64% free throw shooter knocks two down cold with 3.1 seconds remaining to take a one-point lead, you know this team has a higher calling. On a side note, Acie Law IV was amazing this year and is the only guy who is capable of winning the Naismith Award not named Durant.

Ohio State 85 Tennessee 84
If you're a Vols fan, you're probably on the top of a building right now. Ohio State has almost as many lives as Jack Bauer. Okay, maybe not that many. A 20-point lead is relative. If Tennessee is up 20 on you, you have a chance to come back if you are a very good team. If Southern Illinois is up 20 on you, you're done like Nextel. The Vols' 49-point first half explosion was catalyzed by spectacular outside shooting and getting Oden and Conley Jr. into foul trouble. Nevertheless, Ohio State's team defense, which limited Tennessee to four two-point baskets, got them back into the game almost immediately in the second half. When the day is over, you can't forget about the efforts of OSU's Ron Lewis and Tennessee's Chris Lofton, who seemed to trade three-pointers late in the game. Missed free throws (8-for-17) and potential complacency may be on Bruce Pearl's mind for the next few taxing months.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quit griping about Kansas. They won and that's all we need to know.