I stayed up way too late last night, watching televised basketball and reading Steven Erikson (about which more later). It wasn't a good night for my teams, with both Syracuse and Maryland losing, but this is the most hoops I've watched all season, and I have a few miscellaneous comments:
-- How about that Big East? Two hard-fought games in the semifinals, both going to overtime, with a spectacular individual performance by Kemba Walker. Sadly, both Syracuse and Notre Dame lost in large part due to grievous lapses in judgement, with players who ought to know better rushing three-pointers when they didn't need to. Also, this continues my teams' perfect record of losing when Kate puts SteelyKid to bed so I can watch the end of a game live.
-- Also, how good is the Big East, if UConn is the nine seed?
-- Maryland hung with Duke well into the second half, so I don't really agree with "rout" in the headlines, regardless of the final margin. "Rout" to me connotes a start-to-finish drubbing of an opponent, a game where the guys all the way at the end of the bench get on the court, not blowing open a close game in the last quarter.
Regardless, Maryland lost, as they should've, because they really weren't very good this year. I didn't see much of them at all, but from what I can tell, they didn't have anybody on the team who could reliably hit a jump shot, though they had a number of guys willing to take jump shots, which undercut the best inside play they've had since the championship team in 2002. I hope Jordan Williams sticks around, and they find some better guards.
-- I'm not sure, because I didn't see any "highlights," but I suspect the only way to make the Penn State-Wisconsin game less appealing would've been to use actual peach baskets, so somebody had to climb a ladder to fish the ball out one those rare occasions when somebody scored.
That's about all I've got. Feel free to chime in with other higlights/ lowlights/ observations.
As a former member of the PUB, I have to put in a plug for the 1-game playoff for the Ivy League's tournament slot. Princeton v. Harvard, played at Yale, today at 4:00pm EST on ESPN3.com.
Connecticut just finished an unprecedented 5 game run by beating Louisville to take the Big East Championship. Game wasn't finally decided until Louisville's last 3 hit the back rim as time ran out.
As for Connecticut's 9 seed, well, let's just say that this is a time with a great deal of variation in its performance and outcomes.
BTW, Kemba's game winning shot against Pittsburgh was the type specimen of the 'ankle=breaking move'.