Tuesday, April 07, 2009

UNC 2009 Champs!!

From an old high school classmate who now lives on the west coast but wishes he could have been in Chapel Hill last night. Thanks, Geramy!

Vitale put dook in his top 5? Never saw that one coming.

Roy can't win the big games.
Roy's a great recruiter, but chokes in the big games.
Roy won the title with Doherty's players.
Roy will get outcoached by (fill in the blank).

UNC is overrated.
UNC can't play defense.
UNC will choke again.
UNC hasn't faced a team as tough/deep/talented as (fill in the blank).

The entree of the day is Crow. Eat up folks!

Nothing can be done to placate the jealous, the haters, the whiners, and those who simply do not understand the game at all. There are still a lot of defective craniums out there who still believe the following:

Anybody can "coach" that kind of talent and win a championship.
Rebuttal: Doherty couldn't. Remember John Thompson & Georgetown of 1985? Remember that Houston team of 1983? It's a very long list...

UNC has all those future nba players on their roster. It wasn't fair.
Rebuttal: Izzo (a great coach) had the same opportunity to recruit every single player on UNC's roster. A vast majority of you seem to think all those UNC players will fail in the pros anyway, so how could they be so dominant? Who knows or even cares what type of professional career they'll have, and that has no bearing at all on this season or the game last night.

UNC gets all the talent, they don't even have to try, those recruits just fall in their laps.
Rebuttal: Remember Roy? He's that guy that does all that great recruiting. He's also the guy that makes all that talent jell together into a championship team. How many more does he need to win to prove it? Weren't Pitt, UConn, Louisville, etc. supposed to have just as much, if not more talent? I know, it gets confusing. Denial does that to a person.

I could turn this into a novel, but why bother? Congrats to a great UNC team.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More on that shot (because it's fun to talk about, okay?)

I, too, didn't think about the lack of defense on Ty Lawson until well after the fact, but in retrospect, that decision was absolutely ludicrous.

Let's compare it to the 1992 Duke-Kentucky game. You know, the one where Christian Laettner gets the ball on an inbounds play with 2.1 seconds left to beat Kentucky in the NCAA East Regional Finals. On that play, Kentucky coach Rick Pitino opted not to defend the inbounds pass.

Pitino knew the decision wasn't a great idea, but due to the circumstances presented to him, decided to allow Grant Hill to inbound the ball undefended. Perhaps he overthought the situation; perhaps it was just bad luck. But regardless, Pitino cited valid reasons for not defending the inbounds pass. Furthermore, Pitino did have a man on Laettner, that man just wasn't able to prevent Laettner from scoring.

The Seminoles, with 3.2 seconds left in the game (read: more time than was left in the Duke-Kentucky game) not only chose not to defend the inbounds pass, but also didn't guard the person most likely to receive the ball (read: it took no effort whatsoever to get the ball to Lawson; perhaps they were hoping that he would trip over his own feet).

I am quite sure that anyone who knows anything about college basketball knows that Lawson can run the entire length of the floor, while dribbling the ball, in less than 5 seconds.

So again...why did FSU play absolutely no defense on in the inbounds pass? The more I think about it, the more it baffles me. I have yet to find an explanation.

But hey, I'll take the outcome of the game.

Heels win on last second shot

I was too elated last night to think about it then, but this question occurred to me this morning as I drove into work: Why on earth did Ty Lawson even have the ball? If you're FSU, why aren't you face guarding the one guy on the floor who would be able to get even that close to the basket in three seconds? Joe Ovies shares my confusion.

Oh well, works for me. On to Raleigh.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Did you like the calls during the UNC-FSU game?

No, no, you did not like the calls during the UNC-FSU game. It doesn't matter if you're a UNC fan, an FSU fan, or just a plain ol' basketball fan. The game was not well-officiated. Karl Hess is partially to blame. The funny thing about Hess & Company's poor performance is the rant posted below, written by Jonathan Howard before the game even started. He's a VCU alum, so he's none too happy about the VCU-Northeastern game:

When comparing college sports, sometimes it's really difficult to figure out which is better, football or basketball. On the one hand, college football season affords fans to build up excitement for an entire week before cheering their guts out on Saturday. On the other hand college basketball's post-season system is one of the most exciting in all of sports. However, there is one thing that I believe college football has that college basketball has yet to figure out: Consistency within the refereeing system.

Now, I'm not trying to say that all college football referees are great. Some are just plain horrible. ACC fans such as myself have yet to figure out how Ron Cherry is still employed. However, at least it's consistent. College football referees are not independent contractors. They work in crews with specific conferences. Basically, while Ron Cherry tends to be a giant question mark in the eyes of the arm-chair quarterback, at least he and his crew are the same giant question mark week in and week out while doing ACC games. If something goes wrong, they'll hear about it – as a group.

College basketball is a completely different animal. Referees are independent contractors. While they may appear in a number of conference games, they are not tied down to any specific conference, enabling to do a number of games in different conferences per week. Also, because they are independent contractors, they can do as many games as they want. I'm sure the same fans who shutter at the thought of Ron Cherry on the football side, have the same reaction to Karl Hess, Duke Edsall and Jamie Luckie on the basketball court.

However, the performances of these officials have more factors attached to it. For one, because they are independent, they don't work with the same people every time. This makes for a different flow in officiating for every game. Referees can work together many times, but it's not a night-in and night-out kind of thing. Also, referees are humans just like the athletes, and have to do just as much running. If referees are traveling the country and doing multiple games per week, it puts strain on their bodies. Like an athlete, they suffer from fatigue. And to put it bluntly, like an athlete it leads to a decline in performance.

Hess is a great example of this. Tuesday night he officiated a CAA contest between Virginia Commonwealth and Northeastern. It was his sixth game in seven days and rumor around the arena was that he'd be doing the North Carolina-Florida State game on Wednesday. It's safe to say that those in attendance found Hess' (and really the entire crew's) performance on Tuesday below par. And why not? He's been running up and down a basketball court all week, he just did a Big East game the night before with an ACC showdown the following night. Why is a Colonial Athletic Association game important? The fact is, the VCU-NU game was for first place in a conference that is highly competitive at the top. It deserved the same type of attention that a UNC-Duke or Pittsburgh-Georgetown game would receive. Unfortunately, it did not, and the flow and consistency of the game showed it.

I have a simple solution for this problem and perhaps the NCAA will one day think of it to. Simply manage basketball referees the same way they manage their football counterparts. Make them work in crews, within one conference, and limit their games. Games will instantaneously become more consistent and have an even flow. No referee will have to be singled out because it will be on the crew to have a solid performance. Until this happens, college basketball officiating will continue to be a joke.