Tuesday, March 29, 2005Final Four Thoughts..
Oh well Ashley, maybe Kentucky's hockey team will make you proud.
Even if the next three games are total slaughters, nothing will ever replace the excitement that was felt this weekend, four exciting games, three were completely riveting and I applaud the efforts from Arizona, Kentucky, Wisconsin and West Virginia for their part in the festivities. It was a very elite eight.
-- Of course someone at ESPN has to ruin the feeling by running some "what if" story on the front page. This time David Schoenfield [link] is the culprit. It's a fun, unoriginal and completely outrageous piece with an incredibly weak closing line that's a total lie.
-- The game has actually gotten better because so many of the players went pro. That defection has allowed teams to develop players over a period of time. Teams like Michigan St. and Illinois are in the Final Four based on the leadership from their upperclassmen.
-- However, North Carolina is still the most talented of the four. But unless they learn how to play defense they will do no better than second best in this tournament. 82 points to Wisconsin? You've got to be kidding me.
-- And make no mistake about it, this is Roy Williams' best chance to even win a national title. I'm not blown away by his incoming class and he'll surely lose May, McCants and Felton during the off season. He'd better get his kneepads ready for Marvin Williams as well because the Bremertonian is top 5 on my NBA draft chart.
-- If Michigan State wins Saturday they will have defeated Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina in consecutive games. They shouldn't have to play a championship game after that run.
-- As much as I loved this weekend's games, it time to move that 3-point line back to the international distance. At 19-9, it's a step away from being a free throw. When you've got Mike Gansey hitting them from 26 feet out, having a line under 20 feet is pretty weak.
-- As for Louisville, this might just be the beginning for these guys as this transfer [link] and this redshirt freshman [link] join Juan Palacios on the front line next year.
-- Back to the 3-point situation, last weekend the eight teams combined for 87-of-188 shooting from the arch (46.3 percent). Two teams shot over fifty percent: West Virginia (18-of-27) and Michigan St. (10-of-19) and two teams shot JUST a shade under: Wisconsin (11-of-24) and Kentucky (9-of-19). North Carolina took the fewest threes (and rightfully so with May in the middle) going 5-of-16 while Illinois took the most, going 16-of-35.
-- I know it's been said plenty but it's the truth. Tom Izzo hasn't gotten enough credit for his accomplishments at MSU. 4 Final Fours in seven years is comparable to any of the great coaches. Is he the best coach in the college game today?