White Hat Sports Headlines

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Classic? Yes! The Best? No!

First off, there is no chance that this column is about racing, Nascar or any type of racing whatsoever. So if you started reading this because you thought it was about racing, then keep reading and you'll learn something useful.

Last night we may have witnessed one of the most entertaining college basketball games of all time. I will not call it the greatest college basketball game of all time, that still goes to Kentucky vs Duke when Laettner hit the game winner. (Yes, I am a Duke fan, no, I'm not being a homer.) It didn't have the buzzer beaters, it didn't have great shots, or incredible plays. The biggest highlight of the game was the Devendorf buzzer beater that wasn't, and then Paul Harris missing two point blank lay ups before finally laying the ball in while getting fouled pretty much putting the game away in the 6th overtime. The game will absolutely live on in the memory of college basketball fans. The only problem was that it wasn't in the Big Dance, it was in the Big East tournament. If last night's game was on CBS on a Sunday afternoon or Saturday afternoon, then this would become a game that is mentioned in the same breath as any big time NCAA tournament game that's ever been played. Part of the romance of the game was because it was watched by fans of the two teams, and then hardcore college basketball fans, that is what will hold it back. My Mom remembers huge games, she even remembers watching Laettner hitting the game winner against Kentucky and things like that. She would probably remember something about last night's game if it didn't start before she went to bed. If it started at 1pm on Saturday while I'm watching the game, it would be that marathon game.

The other reason that the game will be remembered but wasn't the greatest was just the level of play. The overtimes were great but if you take them away the game is just another good, solid college basketball game. But when you add in the 6 overtimes the level of play went down so far. It's like when a baseball game goes 20 innings and each team has a reliever in that neither team wants in there, but you just know that it's going to end soon. There were players coming into the game last night that hardly played a minute all season and they were playing major minutes (if you're Syracuse) that could decide their fate.

The game did show one thing, it did show that UCONN does have heart. Which is something that I thought they were completely lacking. When asked the other day who I thought would win the tournament, I said right now I like Pitt, but Oklahoma would probably be my pick. (Blake Griffin healthy? Those losses for Oklahoma came when he was out with a concussion. Yes they lost yesterday, but apparently nobody wants to win their conference tournament's, so they can get extra rest for the NCAA tournament.) I was then asked why I didn't think that UCONN could win it all? My response was, when they get down they quit. They are no where near the same team when they get behind as they are when they have the lead the entire game and can dominate. They're a team that can put a team away when they know that they're better than them. But we saw it when they played against Pitt that when a team battles them and physically pushes them around they back off. Last night showed a little more of what they are made of, though they led the for the entirety of overtime and then lost the lead int he 6th overtime and eventually the game. So maybe they do have heart, but perhaps my new flack on them is that they can't put a team away? Yeah, that works for me. I don't like UCONN and that one sounds good.

Sterling Pingree

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