Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday 03/26 A.M. Quickie:
Top 4 Final Four Storylines

Between holding my breath during Florida's win over Oregon and hyperventilating at the insanely awesome Georgetown win over UNC, I'm finally recovered this morning...

Ranking the Top Four Storylines of the Final Four:

(1) Florida trying to repeat. I would contend that winning a title then returning to the Final Four – with the same five starters, no less – puts this team among the Top 5 since the field expanded to 64.

1. UNLV '90-91
2. Duke '91-92
3. Florida '06-07
4. Michigan '92-93
5a. Michigan St '99-01
5b. Kentucky '96-97

(2) Ohio State's Fab Frosh. Oden and Conley have put themselves in the Pantheon of all-time Tournament freshmen alongside Carmelo Anthony, the Fab Five and Mike Bibby. But they need a title for Melo-style immortality.

PS: Not a bad victory for the "National Bracket" that the team picked by the most fans to win the title makes the Final Four. (But not nearly as impressive as the fact that nearly half of all fans projected Georgetown beating UNC.)

(3) Georgetown is back. And college hoops is SO much better for it. Thompson. Ewing. Jeff Green as the Tournament's Most Valuable Player So Far. And, my god: That "Hoya Detroya" overtime against UNC, which capped one of the greatest regional finals I can remember. Seriously: How amazing was that game? (I guess if you're a UNC fan, you might disagree.)

PS: When was the last time the trendiest pick before the Tournament actually comes through and makes the Final Four? The Fab Five in '92?

(4) UCLA returns to the Final Four. In any other year, the idea of a team repeating as a Final Four team would make them a strong contender for "Best Storyline." In this field, the Bruins are an oversight.

The idea of a re-match of the 2006 title game scares the hell out of me. Won't UCLA find extra motivation in trying to avenge last year's ass-kicking? Or will Florida rely on the fact they "owned" the Bruins?

What are your favorite storylines of the Final Four?

Recapping the Weekend:
UNC: Totally choked. Totally.
Oregon: Too much foul trouble.
Memphis: Not ready for national stage.
Kansas: Who didn't see this coming?

Tournament Challenge: Despite picking 3 of 4 Final Four teams, I'm only in the 63rd percentile in the "Daily Quickie Readers" pool. (For comparison, my 10-month-old son's bracket picks are in the 88th percentile.) If I had used the National Bracket to make my picks, I would have been in the 74th percentile.

Tomorrow, I'll be back to being able to focus on other sports. For now, just a few notes:

Kobe Watch: Scores only 43. Cripes: "Only."

I'm in the bag for Arenas, but I love the fact he makes little $10 side bets with fans sitting courtside. (And of course the NBA doesn't.)

Kentucky Watch: Izzo? I don't think so. Put him in with Donovan and Barnes in the "Wishful Thinking by Kentucky Fans" category.

Theismann booted from "Monday Night Football": Unknown who his replacement will be, but I'd vote for Ron Jaworski, who could provide an expert's eye to balance out Tony Kornheiser. (via ProFootballTalk)

Tiger is awesome. Yawn.

-- D.S.

73 comments:

Hisjazziness said...

I'll post this again so that maybe Dan will see it.

"I think Dan is a little premature about the greatness of the Gators. If UCLA wins two more games, that would be 2 championship games in a row, plus a title. That would have to be better than the Gators, wouldn't it? I mean, it would be 1-1 head to head, 1-1 in championships, but only one final game appearance for Florida to two for UCLA. So wait until Saturday to determine which of these two teams faces the prospect of all-time greatness."

Natsfan74 said...

I'm gonna defer to hisjazziness and agree that Florida's run isn't top 5 worthy without a win over UCLA. Either way, I don't think they win another championship.

My final 4 sleeper team this year in my brackets was Duke. I thought they would have the advantage of low expectations that could help carry them. So I end up with 6 of my elite 8, 3 of my final 4, and my championship game still alive. But, my wife went 14/16, 8/8 and 4/4 and has OSU beating UCLA for the Title. If those 2 teams simply make the final game, my wife wins our pool (95% guys). Damn you Duke, now I have even more reason to hate you!

Lew said...

I originally had Georgetown going all the way in my bracket, but figured that was too trendy and switched it to Texas A&M. I told my wife this after A&M lost and the Hoya's advanced and she told me it was a stupid decision on my part for second guessing. As is the fate of the tournament.

Matt T said...

I have to ask this. How is UNLV considered a better team when they only won one title and Duke beat them in the final four on the way to winning the '91 title?

2 year runs are great too, but that Duke team also went to the final four the year before and the year after their two championship teams.

Thomas said...

By that logic, Dan, the '98-'01 MSU Spartan teams have to be included in your top-5 list. They went to three straight Final Fours and won a National Championship.

Bob The Monkey said...

Give us Jaws! Give us Jaws!

Jason said...

How is a team that made the elite 8 twice in a row and beat A&M in Texas "not ready for the national stage?" Memphis could have gone to the finals and you'd still crap all over them, Dan.

Is it because they don't play in the SEC?

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

1996-1997-1998 Kentucky is top 3.

Ftrain said...

Re: natsfan74

Really? Duke? I'm a Duke fan but even I knew this was probably the weakest teams in the last decade. There was nothing , talent or character, that would indicate to me that they've would've made a run this year.

On a brighter note, I did have G-Town defeating UNC in my bracket. The only one in my pool to do so. If i win, that's strip club money for me.

Also how about Roy Williams letting his team die in overtime? How about calling a time-out to calm your young team in OT? I almost felt bad for them. They look like a bunch of deer in headlights. Way to go coach!

Todd said...

Refs were bad last night in the UNC/Georgetown game. First they were calling everything tight (too tight), then they switched it up and didn't call anything. Not saying it benefited one team over the other, but just making the point that inconsistency in officiating is a cardinal sin for referees.

I have someone new in the office who went to Georgetown but doesn't know that much about College BBall, and so everytime she says something about Georgetown I plan on giving her the traveling sign...

Todd said...

Also, for those very few who care, the Frozen Four was set this weekend, with no #1 seeds advancing. It'll be BC vs. North Dakota, and Mich. St. against Maine on the other side.

My BC team continued its dominance and hot streak, winning 12 consecutive games with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Miami in the regional final. This after BC beat Miami in last year's opening tourney game 5-0.

With Minnesota eliminated, I think anyone has to consider us the team to beat right now.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

My top 5 teams since the tourney expanded are:

91-92 Duke-Back to back titles trumps anything UNLV did they also went to the title game in 1990 when Vegas trounced them.

96-97 Kentucky-The '96 Kentucky team is probably the best team assembled in the 64 team era. It took outstanding games by Simon and Bibby and OT for Zona to beat the 97 Cats.

94-95 Arkansas-This is a team that people forget but they did beat Duke in the last minute in '94 and then fell to UCLA in '95.

90-91 UNLV-No denying the Rebels those 2 years but they did not even make it to the title game the next year so I do not think they can be number 1 on the list.

99-00 Michigan St.-Dan had the right team but the wrong years. Izzo took the exact same team that got beat by Duke in the 99 Final Four and beat his beloved Gators the next year in the title game. Of course Dan probably had no idea that he would end up slurping the Gators back then.

Michigan should not sniff the top 5 because the Fab Five did not win a title. They were a great talent but they never won the title and that should exclude them from any list.

jhawkjjm said...

ftrain-
That's classic Roy Williams. He very rarely calls a time out to stop momentum as he feels that best way is to play through it. I've got to see this first hand many times at Kansas. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Dave said...

YAY! No more Theismann!

kway34 said...

"I think Dan is a little premature about the greatness of the Gators. If UCLA wins two more games, that would be 2 championship games in a row, plus a title. That would have to be better than the Gators, wouldn't it? I mean, it would be 1-1 head to head, 1-1 in championships, but only one final game appearance for Florida to two for UCLA. So wait until Saturday to determine which of these two teams faces the prospect of all-time greatness."

Just thought this should be up again so everyone can see it. IF Florida wins Saturday you can go crazy on them, till then take a cold shower cause '06-'07 UCLA could end up being better than '06-'07 Florida.

Gary said...

PS: When was the last time the trendiest pick before the Tournament actually comes through and makes the Final Four? The Fab Five in '92?

I don't know if you consider UConn in 2004 a "trendy" pick, but every talking head on TV said they would win it, and they did. So that might qualify, considering that UConn was a two-seed coming off a monster Big East Tourney much like Georgetown. The parallels are actually quite staggering if you go back and look at the 04 Huskies and the 07 Hoyas. From early non-conference losses to a late run and a snub for a 1-seed, there is a lot to parallel the two teams.

rafael said...

Izzo is a MSU lifer. Ohio State fans are worrying about Matta leaving though. He'd be crazy to leave that team behind, I think.

I think Florida beats UCLA, but it will be a very very tight game. Oregon plays ok defense, UCLA is better. Is it just me or has Noah been almost non-existent this tourny? This team is Brewer and Horford or bust.

Oden v Hibbert will be great. Plus, because both are similar size, it should cut down on the BS foul calls that both get when facing smaller players. The x-factor will continue to be Mike Conley, Jr. I'm surprised he's already announced he's returning to OSU next season. I bet he'd be rocketing up draft charts.

rafael said...

and damn Miami for not beating BC in hockey. boooo

Geo B said...

Yes please - Theisman is a joke, please give us Jaws, he seems to really have a clue, is insightful, and isn't there just to pump himself up. I can't stand the announcers that are there to 1) hear their own voice and 2) masters of the blatently obvious. Good bye and good riddance!

verbal97 said...

todd:

North Dakota scares me. Maybe they're not as good as the teams from 6-7 years ago, but neither is BC.

Also, since Dan rated the five best basketball "dynasties", I'll give an honorable mention to the BC hockey team in my four years there, going to the Frozen Four all four times, the championship game three times and winning in the last year (2001).

Brian in Oxford said...

Geez, how's this for my comeuppance....ZERO final four teams (only one in the pool to do that) and a distant last place. Last year I got ZERO final four teams and still won the pool.

Watching GTown get every rebound yesterday late....it was like being back in the 80s again. And luckily Fred Brown Jr. wasn't there to give it away.

Has anyone who remembers that game noticed that over the years, it STOPPED being the game decided on that pass, and was suddenly replaced as the "first sign of greatness by a young UNC freshman hitting the game-winning shot"? Just more Jordan slurping by the national media. Sheesh, there were 18 seconds left, and if Fred Brown doesn't throw the ball to Worthy, Sleepy Floyd woulda hit a game winner instead!

Anyways, I realize that the UCLA game is going to be the late game to try to maximize west coast viewers, but why not put the "good" game into real primetime back east, instead?

DrDoom said...

so no maryland amongst top five teams. They would have won 2 straight years had they not been ceheated by the duke alumni officials in 01.

jhawkjjm said...

I was ticked UNH lost (where I grew up).

And just because I think its funny. This is probably the best excuse as to why KU missed all those little bunnies against UCLA. It's a bit on the NSFW side, so just go to kusports.com and look on the message boards under men's basketball. The thread is "UCLA Retro Cheerleaders Outfits".

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Very, VERY funny SNL skit (I didn't think that was possible after 1999). Peyton did very well.

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/#mea=84993

cwhager527 said...

I agree that Oregon lost because of foul trouble, but seriously, was the discrepancy in foul shots only noticeable to people that weren't the officials? How does Noah take more free throws than the entire Ducks team? Granted, Florida has more talent, but something about that officiating didn't sit right with me.

Dan Mega said...

My 2 remaining teams are OSU and UCLA. I sure hope both make the final game. I hate Georgetown more than I despise Duke.

nep1293 said...

I think when Carmelo and Syracuse won it all they were a pretty trendy pick for the final 4. I remember them playing the regionals in Albany or somewhere pretty close to Syracuse.

The Georgetown-UNC game was just unbelievable. I really think that game has joined Boise St-Oklahoma for Game of the Year discussion. UNC's inability to make a shot was just crazy. And let's face it, a regional final is much more important that a basically meaningless college football bowl game.

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...

I don't really appreciate Dan's attempt to throw the jinx on by proclaiming the Gators the bestest ever.

As everyone else has been saying, all UCLA needs to do is win 2 more games and they become the best team of 06-07. And have themselves one of the best 2-year stretches ever--better than the Gators'.

I know there was a pretty big foul descrepency in the UF-Oregon game, but should the officials really be required to make sure the foul shot numbers look ok, or should they just call the game and let the foul shot distribution fall as it may? Maybe there was referee bias, but it didn't jump out at me watching the game, and I don't think the number of foul shots proves anything.

Brian in Oxford said...

How about Duke crapping the bed against Rutgers?

If that were men, it'd be as talked about as the Memphis thing a couple of years ago....probably more.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

RANDOM ALERT!!!

Did anyone see "Planet Earth" last night on the Discovery Channel? It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

Brian in Oxford said...

Oh, and is the woman in the Right Guard Xtreme body spray ads this year's "Old Spice Red Zone" girl?

(I brought this up when were wondering who this year's George Mason would be....)

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...

RANDOM ALERT!!!

Yes! The flying shark attack and the down-the-mountain Snow Leopard hunt were two of the most "fucking awesome" things I've seen on TV. If I had the money, I would buy a HD TV just for that show.

David said...

ok, automatically, michigan should be DQ'd from any discussion. The NCAA does not even recognize the appearances anymore. Therefore, you cannot put them on this list. UNLV lost in its repeat bid, cannot be number 1. I hate to say it, but Duke has to be number 1 since they are the last team to repeat. Kentucky should be number 2, with 98 added to the list, they won 2 in 3 years, and lost in OT in 97. fixing the list it should read



1. Duke 91-92 last team to repeat

2. Kentucky 96-98 isn't eveyone in the NBA?

3. MSU 99-01 seriously 3 final fours in a row

4. UNLV 90-91 we know they threw it in 91

5. Maryland 01-02, lonnie baxter would make al horford his personal whipping boy.

kway34 said...

Yes! The flying shark attack and the down-the-mountain Snow Leopard hunt were two of the most "fucking awesome" things I've seen on TV. If I had the money, I would buy a HD TV just for that show.

I missed the shark...thank you DVR I can see it tonight. The down-the-mountain snow leopard hunt might have been the coolest thing ever.

Matt T said...

@David

You mention MSU going to three straight final fours, but the 91-92 championship Duke teams also went in 90 and 93. That is 4 straight

ryan from boston,ma said...

Joe Thiesman gone from MNF makes me happy to know.From the gecko,it should be like Tirico,Vermeil, and Jaws.

No Tony K(stick to PTI), or Theisman.

My headline of the Final Four is how Greg Oden does matching up against Roy Hibbert. Both are lottery picks gaurenteed by most Draft experts.If one dominates,that stock will rise by most people.(See Hibbert)

I haven't seen much of Oden this year,but it could effect their draft stock.

David said...

MATT, I do have Duke listed as number 1 though. There is no denying that they were the best since the field expanded to 64. I was just stating the 3 final four appearances by MSU makes them top 3 worthy. But if Florida wins, automatically vaults them to number 2. Kinda like Peyton Manning with his Super Bowl win. He was outside a lot of peoples top 5 QB list until he got that win.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Actually Matt T from 1986 to 1992 Duke was in every Final Four but one and that was 1987. In 1993 they were beat by Jason Kidd and Cal in the 2nd round. They made it to the Final game against Arkansas in 1994.

I thought about putting the 01-02 Terps in there but Arkansas was the defending champs. The Terps blew a 22 point lead in the Final Four.

DrDoom said...

i agree 01-02 terps were great.

they had the clutchest college player ever. (juan dixon)

and to answer random alert:
yes i saw it, it was incredible. The snow leapord sprinting down the himilayas was awesome.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

drdoom I am sorry while Juan Dixon was extremely clutch and he is my favorite Maryland player. I will have to go with Christian Laettner as the most clutch college bball player.
1990-Game winner against UConn sends Duke to the Final Four
1991-Hits the game winning free throws to beat UNLV in the Final Four
1992-Duke v. Kentucky

Matt T said...

@futurelegendVY

Thanks. I was just going off of the top of my head again. That always gets me in trouble.

GuyInTheCorner said...

As I said before...

Best two year stints:

I think that the criteria should be winning a title and reaching the final four as a minimum in two years. Back-to-back can't be expected and two final four appearences is two common. Also, abiding by the 1985 limitation because of expansion, these are the teams that qualify...

1990-1991 UNLV Runnin' Rebels
Won 1990 championship, reached final four in 1991

1991-1992 Duke Blue Devils*
Won 1991 championship, repeated as champions in 1992
*=assuming the 1992 team was better than the 1990 team

1994-1995 Arkansas Razorbacks
Won 1994 championship, lost 1995 championship

1996-1997 Kentucky Wildcats**
Won 1996 championship, lost 1997 championship
**=assuming the 1996 team was better than the 1998 team

2000-2001 Michigan State Spartans
Won 2000 championship, reached final four in 2001

2001-2002 Maryland Terrapins
Reached final four in 2001, won 2002 championship

2006-2007 Florida Gators
Won 2006 championship, currently in 2007 final four

***UCLA could become elligible with a championship

I'd say that the top five be this:
Duke 91-92
Kentucky 96-96
UNLV 90-91
Maryland 01-02
Michigan St. 00-01

I'd like to say that people give so little credit to the Maryland team. Eventhough I'm from Maryland I can say that I've had similar debates like this one and everytime I remind people of the Terps they have one of those "Wow, I forgot how good they were."

"The Juan and only" was absolutly crazy, add Stevie Blake and that was one of the best backcourts since expansion. When they won that title they were experienced and fundamental. They worked it down low to the Baxter-Wilcox combination that was the perfect combination of traditional post man and 6'11 crazy leaper. Byron Mouton was the perfect glue guy. It was also good to know the if "The chosen Juan" ever got tired we could bring in Drew Nicholas. Also to not forget the two big men off the bench Ryan Randle (pure size) and Taj Holden (could step out for the 3). Bottom line is that they had ALL of the pieces except a big 6'7 wingman.

Please do not forget "The only Juan for me".

Patriots64 said...

From King!

"First game of the year: Very likely Saints at Colts, Sept. 6, the Thursday night opener at home for the defending champs. As I suspected, the league did not want to waste the potential game of the year, Pats at Colts, in a time slot that will get a good rating on NBC anyway. Look for Pats-Colts to go down in November.

c. First concert of the year: Very likely John Mellencamp, in downtown Indy before the Colts-Saints affair.

d. The schedule will be announced April 5 on ESPN, which owns much of the free world and is currently in negotiations to buy the rest.

e. Giants-Cowboys, Sept. 9, Sunday night, with the league counting on Romo Appeal and the buzz around the Eli Manning referendum to put a big Week 1 rating on the board. "

Natsfan74 said...

I love having best team ever debates right before the championship. I remember when USC football was the best team ever, right before Texas beat them. Last year, Ohio State football was this rolling force that was going to beat the number 2 team in the nation 3 times in one season, right before getting whipped by Florida. UNLV -- best team ever right up until Duke beat them.

Keep on praising Florida and UCLA. On the other side of the bracket, we'll settle for a one year great team with a Championship.

flubby said...

Kentucky Watch: Izzo? I don't think so. Put him in with Donovan and Barnes in the "Wishful Thinking by Kentucky Fans" category.


Along with Rick Pitino. Right, Dan?

Todd said...

Wow Maryland fans... let it go... seriously, if I hear more Maryland fans reminisce about Juan Dixon, I'll go insane. It's six years later, and you guys have been kinda crappy and have underachieved since then.

You know how people are sick of Red Sox fans? I kinda feel like that's how a lot of ACC fans and other College BBall fans felt about Maryland. It's that, yeah, we'll always hate Duke the most, and so it's awesome that Maryland bettered/betters them, but their fans sort of (like us Red Sox fans), got some sense of insufferable entitlement.

Let's face it, no one fears the turtle anymore.

Geoff said...

The NCAA may have wiped out the records, but Michigan still played those games so fans just don't have to ignore that they happened. They may not have won a title but they are still the most talked about team in college basketball history. That has to count for something.

Todd said...

I agree about Michigan. It's not like any of the other programs didn't have recruiting violations or shady contact with players. Michigan just got caught.

I mean, come on, in this day and age, are we to believe there really are any true, clean programs?

David said...

IF YOU CHEAT AND GET CAUGHT, IT DOES NOT COUNT.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Todd-

I'd like to point out that Maryland fans only obsess over that team because we haven't been as good since. It's also only been 5 years.

I completely disagree with your no one fears the turtle statement. Coming into this tournament alot of people feared the turtle, including many Florida fans who collectivly breathed a sigh of relief when they fell to Butler.

We swept Tobacco Road this year. They fear us alot.

And we are talking about teams from the past anyway. How scared would Florida be if they had to play the '02 Terps instead of UCLA?

I'm guessing... very scared.

Think about the guys on that team and never forget "The Chosen Juan"

GuyInTheCorner said...

I forgot about Michigan because, um... they didn't win a championship!

I think my requirements are sound. 2 years minimum a championship and aonther final four.

You've gotta get a title.

GuyInTheCorner said...
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GuyInTheCorner said...
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futurelegendvinceyoung said...

I agree with guy in order to be elegible for this list the team had to have won a title. The Fab Five does not qualify. They were a group of exceptional talent and brought some cosmetic changes to the game (baggy shorts, black socks, black shoes) but they never won anything.

David said...

You can believe whatever you want to believe. But the bottom line is that everyones KNOWS Michigan cheated. Therefore, you cannot include them into greatness

R. Crowe said...

UCLA vs Florida - Dan! It's On! I've been waiting for this rematch all year - The Bruins are better this year than last year, and have a great shot to dethrone the Gators - but I'm worried about Florida's size advantage on the boards. Can't wait for the game though.

As for tournament refereeing - I haven't seen one dirty tournament game this year, but too many teams have been in unnecessary foul trouble due to ticky-tack refereeing.

Example: Wouldn't it be nice if they could stop calling contact fouls 30 feet away from the basket, when that contact does NOT result in a turnover or loss of ball handler momentum?

Smack said...

Dan said:

Kobe Watch: Scores only 43. Cripes: "Only."

This reminds me of one of my favorite headlines: "Jordan held to 23 as Bulls lose"

Held to 23. For most NBA players, that would be a career night.

GuyInTheCorner said...

AP ALL AMERICANS

First Team
• Kevin Durant, Texas
• Alando Tucker, Wisconsin
• Acie Law IV, Texas A&M
• Arron Afflalo, UCLA
• Greg Oden, Ohio State

Second Team
• Nick Fazekas, Nevada
• Tyler Hansbrough, UNC
• Chris Lofton, Tennessee
• Jared Dudley, Boston College
• Joakim Noah, Florida

Third Team
• Jeff Green, Georgetown
• Al Horford, Florida
• Aaron Brooks, Oregon
• Al Thornton, Florida State
• Aaron Gray, Pittsburgh

Natsfan74 said...

Maryland fans are a minor nuissance, it's NC State fans that are stuck living in the past. They hold on to their one title and their "glory years" much more than the NJ native Maryland fans ever could.

Interesting look at the All American team. I wonder how different it would be if it was done after the tourney.

Cheater or not, Michigan didn't win any titles, so it doesn't merit discussion. Most talked about doesn't equal greatness either. Otherwise, we would all have to concede to Duke, Notre Dame, and the Yankees being the best teams ever.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

NC State fans are stuck in the past but the school has won 2 National titles in 1974 and 1983. You are right though most State fans think the program is on the same level as Duke and Carolina.

Natsfan74 said...

Michael Vick now says the hidden compartment in his water bottle was to hide jewelry. He claims he said that all along, but the TSA didn't record that to "frame him". I guess if you are around people smoking pot all day (as we all know he doesn't do it), your earrings are bound to smell like pot. So, put the earrings in a container, it might smell like pot too.

GuyInTheCorner said...

As an ACC fan I will say that the NC STATE fans do live in the past a bit, but they don't think they are Duke or Carolina.

Do not forget that they used to be the big hated team. The chant around the ACC used to be "Duke is Puke and Wake is Fake, but the one we hate is NC STATE"

They are still a formidable basketball program. Sid Lowe took them to the ACC final with that red blazer this year and as recently as a couple years ago (read: the Julius Hodge era) they were pretty scary.

They are also one of the many homecourts in the ACC that you would rather not play on.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Guy they did the same thing under 1st year coach Herb Sendek back in 1996 making it all the way to the ACC Finals before getting beat by...UNC.

What happened with Sendek? He only revitalized the program after the Les Robinson debacle and made them perennial tournament participants. For some reason State fans think they should compete at the national level like Duke, UNC and Maryland have.

Trayton said...

Welcome to the booth, Jaws!

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2812834

DanShanoff.com said...

Re: That All-America team. You all know I'm a Florida fan, but (1) Horford should be on that 2nd team where Noah is listed, and (2) Noah has no business on that list, for any team 2nd, 3rd, whatever. I appreciate the amazing job Noah did during the Tournament last year, but reputationally he's been living off those six games all year long, undeservedly so.

Todd said...

But All American selections are based so much on reputation anyway (Oden missed time and took awhile to establish himself).

Afflalo is also a good case of this, as his stats really aren't spectacular (2/1.7 AST/TO ratio, 38.9 3pt%), and are inferior to Aaron Brooks at Oregon. I'd argue that Brooks is more important to his team as well.

Anyway, I'm glad Jared Dudley made 2nd team. That guy was so big for BC this year, and we'll really miss him.

Matt said...

I agree with the sentiments on the '96-'97 Kentucky team. That team was ridiculous.

There's a reason they were nicknamed The Untouchables.

Does anyone else remember the notion in '96 that Kentucky's five bench players were good enough to reach the Sweet 16? The scary thing is, it's true, they probably were. Jeff Sheppard, Cameron Mills, Ron Mercer, Mark Pope and Nazr Mohammad. Those were the backups people, the backups!

Kentucky absolutely shattered the bracket. They beat 4th seeded Utah by 31 points in the Sweet 16. They beat 2nd seeded Wake Forest (with Tim Duncan) by 20 in the Elite 8. They got tough fights from Marcus Camby's UMass and John Wallace's Syracuse in the Final 4, but in the end their full-court press was unstoppable.

The team lost just twice all season, once early in the year to UMass (the consensus pick as the 2nd best team in the nation that year), and then they were stunned in the SEC title game by a Mississippi State team that turned out to be a sleeper, reaching the Final 4 a month later as a 5 seed.

And by the way, I could be making this up, but I swear reading once that the '96 Kentucky team finished with the highest Sagarin rating of any modern team in history.

For whatever reason (mostly injuries) the '97 team wasn't quite as dangerous, but it was still a shocker when they fell to Arizona in the title game.

The funny thing is, that '98 team was probably the weakest of the three rosters, but they came back and won the title.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Matt I agree and if they had won that 2nd title against Arizona that is easily the best 2 year run by a school since the expansion of the tourney. I have no idea what Dan was thinking when he ranked Florida over them. The 96 Kentucky team would have torn any of these Gator teams apart. The only schools that could have matched 96 Kentucky are 92 Duke or 91 UNLV.

divisadero said...

Todd, I don't think it's fair to judge Afflalo on stats alone, although his stats are more than decent. He's a little like Shane Battier in that way. It's the cumulation of the little things he does--defensive disruptions, gritty rebounds, timely free throws, etc. And anyone who has followed the Bruins this year understands that he is the heart and soul of this team--first one to practice, last one to leave. Oh, and Afflalo is twice the defender that Brooks is (although, I believe that Brooks is probably more talented offensively).

Todd said...

@divisadero,

It's true Afflalo is a better defender than Brooks. I'll concede that one everytime.

And while Afflalo's stats are decent, I feel like his reputation supercedes his talent and actual on the court accomplishments. Admittedly I didn't follow the Pac-10 as much as the ACC. But I think I'd have put on either Brooks or Lofton into that final spot (first team well behind Acie Law).

I guess the real truth of it is that it's a fairly weak guard pool this year, especially compared to all the great forwards this year.

Does anyone else think Noah may be playing himself OUT of the #3 position for the draft? I know I'd rather have Horford.

Matt said...

I think if anyone over the past few days played themselves out of a potential #3 position, it was Julian Wright from Kansas.

The kid was completely invisible in the game against UCLA after barely bothering to show up vs. Southern Illinois.

Can you remember the last time a guy was so faceless and nameless in the tournament on a supposed title contender, yet is still considered a slam dunk top 6 draft pick? I can, and his name was Marvin Williams. Ask the Hawks how that's turning out.

rafael said...

i still think there should be room on that team somewhere for Conley, Jr.

(ok, i admit..i think i've got a mancrush)

Todd said...

I don't think most people realized exactly how important Conley is to OSU. Like I said earlier, All-America status is so much about reputation, that it doesn't necessarily mean everything. It's entirely likely that Conley will be the best guard at the next level.