April 8, 2008

Memphis blows it

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

I don’t know how you a) win 38 games in a season and b) get to the national championship game and c) have a two point lead with 10-point-something seconds left while shooting free throws and lose a game. Memphis deserved to lose the game. Any team that cannot hit game-clinching free throws should not be a national champion. Even worse, after bricking two free throws, they were able to get the offensive rebound and draw another foul! And the consensus number 2 pick in the coming NBA draft could only hit one of his two tries. I would be remembering that sequence if I drafted Derrick Rose.

Then the Jayhawks Most Outstanding Player, Mario Chalmers, nailed a death-defying three to tie the game and send it to overtime — where Memphis never had a chance. Chalmers’ shot, with two Tigers in his face, was about as clutch as you can get. Nearly Kobe- or LeBron-esque.

Now, in retrospect, despite the absence of a cinderella story or even a 2- or 3-seed making it into the championship game or even the Final Four, the fact that two number one seeds duked it out in the final makes both the tournament and especially pools, somewhat more interesting. I had figured it was going to boring for poolies, seeing that many experienced entrants would not go against history and taking four number 1s. But the most exciting part about your pool is now “who took the right 1s?” Anybody who wanted to go against the masses and picked against UCLA and UNC is obviously raking in the dividends now.

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