March 30, 2009

One hell of a game

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Firstly, I have to say that Villanova did their best to lose that game. Be it their needless fouling in the second half, their inability to match up with the monstrous DeJuan Blair, their poor decisions and that damned Hail Mary attempt to inbound the ball with 10 seconds left and up by two, well you can choose why the deserved to lose to Pitt. But the only thing that matters is the final score, and that favoured ‘Nova.

And, not to gripe too much, but wow, Pitt was playing dirty for a while there. Blair was body-checking whenever possible. He was clearly shoving a bit too much under the basket and, my favourite, set some of the most illegal screens I’ve ever seen. Seriously, he actually went and ran into a Wildcats player out of bounds to keep him from defending the shooter coming off a moving screen.

Finally, what a play to end the game. That half court hook-and-ladder was something out of Boise State football’s playbook. Plus the clutch-ness of hitting that layup was incredible.

Moving on to Sunday, since UConn quite predictably handled high-powered Mizzou, how disappointing was the Blake Griffin-Tyler Hansborough faceoff? How about “very.” While Griffin is the consensus number one pick in the draft — and showed that again — Psycho T is a great team player and let his mates do the talking in their romp over Oklahoma. Basketball is a team sport and one man cannot win a title by himself.

But now, as we move onto the Final Four, we get two intriguing matchups. The afformentioned Wildcats will take on the heavily favoured North Carolina Tarheels while the UConn Huskies will take on the Michigan State Spartans, who are basically playing at home in Detroit. I wonder how many people actually had the possible MSU vs. Villanova final in their bracket? They’d probably clinch a pool title with those two in the finals, regardless of the championship outcome.

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