Tuesday, April 5, 2011

For those still suffering from Butler-UConn

A lot of people suffering hangovers today from that NCAA title game last night, either because they drank too much to celebrate its outcome or imbibed too much in order to endure it.

There are great coaches who focus primarily on defense and would be happy with 50-45 games each night. Even they must have been squirming on their couches a bit last night. In low-scoring games there's often a question of whether it's great defense or bad offense. The CLANGING sound you heard from those CBS mics attached to the rims provide overwhelming evidence that this was all about the guys shooting the ball, and not the ones defending. I'd say it set the game of basketball back 60 years but that'd be unfair to the 1951 Kentucky team, which defeated Kansas State 68-58 in the title game.

Thousands of junior high girls basketball coaches watched last night's game and thought, "Man, and I thought our team couldn't shoot."

Partly I blame the setting. Final Fours will never return to regular basketball arenas and they shouldn't. If you can get 75,000 people to attend a basketball game, compared to 15,000, you should take advantage of the opportunity and when's the last time the NCAA failed to take advantage of an economic opportunity? But domes remain nightmare places for shooters, the background different from anything the players see all year. The teams might have had better shooting percentages if they played on an outdoor court on the prairie with 30 mile-an-hour winds swirling around a hoop with no net. It's not an excuse. But going back to the Houston-UCLA game in 1968, basketball just looks odd played in a dome. And it must seem even stranger trying to shoot in one.

So here's a bit of an anecdote for last night's display. Some offensive basketball, slightly different from last night's offensive play.


DRP said...

It may have been the worst title game, but it was a great tournament. UConn sure knows how to win ugly. Butler had a good run; they just ran into a long-overdue poor shooting night and a tough Big East defense. UConn closed out on the Butler shooters very well all night long.


Dad said...

How frigging good was Larry Bird??? Liked the Hawk guys falling off the end of the bench on a couple of those impossible shots towards the end.