Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday 03/25 (Very) Quickie:
UCLA Saves the Tournament

Update: Florida is back in the Final Four. I'm curious about two things:

(1) Short-term: Does Florida's experience against UCLA in last year's title game help or hurt them? (Help: They've already proven they can beat them. Hurt: UCLA has that powerful "revenge" factor.)

(2) Long-term: With a second consecutive Final Four to pair with last year's title, it's time to consider this Gators team in its all-time-best historical context (say, post-1985).

They aren't Duke '91-92 yet. And I wouldn't put them at UNLV 90-91 yet. (Michigan State 00-01 is kind of weird, because Izzo basically took two different teams to the Final Four.)

But, regardless of how they finish in this Final Four, I'd put them among the top 5 college teams ever since '85. More on this tomorrow. Just thinking out loud for the first time on this...

As I whittle away the hours until Florida meets Oregon...


1:49 p.m.: Rationally, I know that Oregon's style is a MUCH better matchup for Florida than either Purdue or Butler. Irrationally, all this "Oregon is this year's Florida" stuff is freaking me out.

Original Post:
UCLA saved the Tournament
: By beating 1-seed Kansas, the Bruins ensure that the dreaded "4-1" (4 1-seed) scenario once again is thwarted from ruining the Final Four.

I appreciated the prospect of unprecedented novelty, but if the NCAA Tournament is built on anything, it is the foundation of "all 4 1-seeds have never made the Final Four in the same year."

Ohio State looks really good: After watching them struggle through the Rounds of 32 and 16, to see the Buckeyes clock Memphis makes their Final Four appearance more intriguing.

(Oh, and OSU totally debunked the ludicrous theory that the tournament was somehow left with better games if it was 1-vs-2 in the regional final. This one was a dud.)

Today:
Florida over Oregon: As I said yesterday, this is "this year's Florida" versus last year's Florida. Ducks mighty-mite Tajuan (5-foot-6) Porter (33 pts in W over UNLV) scares me. But I'm thrilled for the Gators to finally not be playing the Purdue/Butler-style grind-it-out games.

Georgetown over UNC: By far the most highly anticipated game of the entire tournament. It's Selection Sunday's trendiest pick versus the field's most talented team. Should be a great one.

(And, yet: I'm already sick of the nostalgia for 1982. I appreciate that it's the 25th anniversary of UNC-G'town in the title game, but consider that no fan under 35 years old -- at a minimum -- has any recollection of this game beyond ESPN Classic-style highlights.)

Women's Tournament: No. 1 Duke shocked in upset by Rutgers. I hope Florida watched the game and keeps in mind today. No presumptive favorite is safe.

D2 Title Game: Barton over Winona State, in what was one of the best games/finishes you'll see.

Peyton Manning on SNL: I'm disappointed he didn't reprise Joe Montana's famous role from the show. It would have endeared him to every fan out there.

32 comments:

Matt T said...

I watched the first half of SNL and thought it was pretty funny.

I like him more after that, anyone that can poke fun at themselves gets a thumbs up.

DrDoom said...

he was very funny from the clips i saw online ( i forgot to watch last night)

now whenever i see him audibling for an hour (which by the way they have him doing in madden) that driectors voice will come to me.. Snap the Ball. Its a football you want it snap the ball.

Kevin said...

"I appreciated the prospect of unprecedented novelty, but if the NCAA Tournament is built on anything, it is the foundation of 'all 4 1-seeds have never made the Final Four in the same year.' "

Uh, Dan...what the hell exactly is that supposed to mean? You've been saying that for the past week, but it doesn't really make any sense at all. And you said that the OSU-Memphis game not being close implied that the 1-vs-2 games weren't all they were cracked up to be...that's a retarded statement. We've had more close games in the later rounds of this tourney than I can ever remember - you can't make a broad conclusion from one game.

kway34 said...

I thought Peyton was pretty funny during the part of the show I saw. I loved the United Way commercial they started out with.

Ferocious Bluebird said...

I am really interested in the UNC game today. If they don't win, I call it a choke job with as much as their diehard fans hyped them this year. I hope they win though.

divisadero said...

I also thought that Peyton Manning was pretty good, and I loved the United Way Commercial.

Spartacus said...

kevin said...
And you said that the OSU-Memphis game not being close implied that the 1-vs-2 games weren't all they were cracked up to be...


In addition to that is the fact that the OSU-Memphis game was close until just past the 3 minute mark, when the Tigers started fouling.

rafael said...

not sure if Dan really watched the game. and all the 1-point games over the weekend.

However, I fully expect an in-depth, second-by-second account of the Florida game tonight.

Peter Bean said...

A brief note on the 1-vs-2 thing. The problem with the South Region was that there weren't any interesting teams, other than Ohio State. A&M and Ohio State might have made for an interesting matchup, but they choked away the win against Memphis.

One last thing: you have to acknowledge the difference between good MATCHUPS and good GAMES. Take the UNC-Georgetown game today as an example. I bet four times out of five it's going to be a -very- exciting game, but one time out of five, the game itself will be a dud. Does that make it any less great of a matchup? Of course not. I don't think the Ohio State-Memphis game proved anything at all about 1s vs 2s. I just think that Memphis ran out of gas and Mike Conley played the best game of his career.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Last nights SNL...

Some of it was the best SNL in the last 2 years. The skits with Peyton Manning were funny except for two. Funniest was the United Way comm parody (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-6Ky7_sfPc) followed by the ESPN Pool Party (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9UW9DWyLGE) and the 300 sketch (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RONetPLDGBI) but if you watched the show, you know the real truth...

The TV Funhouse was one of the best ones ever. If you don't get it, it is making fun of a show called "Dora the Explorer" about a hispanic girl who has adventures like that in the video while saying 1 or 2 easy to understand spanish words at a time to help kids learn spanish. The show's trademark is the pauses to let the children answer or move their arms or other instructions Dora gives them. And here is the skit...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb7eLgaddI4

rafael said...

mike conley has apparently made each round of this tournament the latest best game of his career.

Kurt said...

Hey Len Elmore, how about you tell us one more time how great it is that Noah returned to school.

nep1293 said...

Anyone know the deal with the freaky ear on the guy from Oregon??? That thing is gonna give me nightmares

pv845 said...

Noah's decision is so good that he is going to drop out of the top 10 after being projected as #1.

Luke Bell said...

I would also love to know what is up with that ear. Gross! Google provided no answers.

pv845 said...

Could Noah and Brewer act more like punks and spoiled brats than they do right now? Seriously, you aren't that great and you got lucky here in this game. If the refs don't give you some BS calls in the paint, you would have lost.

divisadero said...

"KU wins by at least 15. UCLA does not play with anywhere near the intensity of So.Ill. UCLA has about the same level of offense. KU is vastly superior on both ends of the floor."

Good call, pv845.

I agree with you about Noah and Brewer though. Why does Dan like this team so much again?

pv845 said...

Ok so you got me. I was off, but then again KU missed like 19 lay-ups/dunks. I say you can attribute that to UCLA's D and KU has one of their worst shooting efforts ever. Still if they had made half it might have been around a 15 point win. (maybe not, who knows) Either way I was way off and UCLA kicked KU's butt.

Though glad to see that I am not the only one is bothered by the Gators and their "passion". Go Bruins!

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...

Has anyone seen this yet?

"Billy Donovan has brought in numerous people to speak to his team during his tenure at Florida. You can now add Ric Flair to the list. The legendary professional wrestler, whose nickname is 'Nature Boy,' visited the Gators' locker room prior to Friday's victory over Butler. Flair did his trademark 'Woooooo!' shout, and his appearance really fired up the team."
-- Florida Times-Union, via SportsIllustrated.com

Um, hmmm...

slaskaris said...

I am the only one who saw the SNL spoof late in the show of the Nike Air Force One commercials except with goofy white guys. Is it just me or didn't some kids already make this spoof and it was being passed around the blogs. Is SNL seriously now stealing from kids on the internet and passing it off as their own?

JeterIs#1 said...

Noah is going to the Suns w/ Atlanta's pick from the Joe Johnson trade. Perfect team for him, he can do the dirty work and make the lay-ups from Nash's ridiculous passes.

divisadero said...

No worries. I can't really talk shit: I had Maryland and Texas going to the Final Four.

Troy (Gainesville, FL) said...

(Oh, and OSU totally debunked the ludicrous theory that the tournament was somehow left with better games if it was 1-vs-2 in the regional final. This one was a dud.)

I know everyone else has already called Dan out for this statement, but with what's haoppening on my television right now... overtime, bitches!

pv845 said...

Living in the midwest, this is the first game that I have seen with Green for Georgetown. He is a STUD!!

nep1293 said...

Carolina is building a freakin mansion with all those bricks(Yes I know how stupid that is, just had to type it)

Michael said...

Man I'm glad I picked G'Town to win it all. To be down 10 with 7:00 left, come back to force overtime, and then outscore UNC 15-3 in the extra session to win is just awesome.

GuyInTheCorner said...

After watching G-Town beat UNC I am forced to determine that Georgetown didn't win the game, UNC lost it.

I think they said that UNC was 2/25 shooting since the 8 minute mark in regulation and one of those was that 3 pointer with 5 secs left.

I don't know what happend to them but I have to agree with Billy Packer when he said "I'm not sure if I've ever seen a team this good go this cold for this long."

Seriously, impressed by G-Town? More like depressed by UNC. I know that G-Town crashed the boards on those misses but if UNC shoots 8% from the field and misses a bunch of foul shots in the last 13 inutes of a game I dont see how you can give the credit to G-Town.

Oh yeah, and about 90% of those misses were open shots.

Brian in Oxford said...

And GTown 84-85 is the best 2-year run of a team I saw. Does the '84 count, since it was only in a 53-team tournament?

Kevin said...

What the hell? Florida as a top-five team in recent history? Hold on a sec, Dan...

Last year they were not even close to the most talented team - there were probably five or six better teams. But there were no truly dominant teams, and Florida was the team who got hot and rolled off six straight wins.

This year, they returned all five starters, while most of the top talent graduated (only Memphis of last year's final four teams was higher than a six-seed this year), so of course they were going to be the favorite. You don't think there's a reason almost all of the best players were freshmen? Sure, it's partly because the good freshmen are playing college now...but there were also very few great players to stay in college (i.e., no Adam Morrison/JJ Redick types). They only got a #1-seed because everybody else in the country gave it away, and they got put in a ridiculously easy bracket.

Option Right said...

"All time post 1985." "Best ever since 85."
Dan, if you think they are the best since 85, that is fine, but please don't say they are the best ever and then pick an arbitrary date that is relatively recent to crown a team "best ever."
Basketball did exist prior to 1985.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Dan put post 1985 because that is when the tourney expanded to 64 teams. This two year run by the Gators is impressive but in the history of the tourney it is not even in the top 25.

Bayma said...

I am one of the Peyton bashers (and will continue to be) and I really didn't want to watch SNL because of him. In the end, I did it despite him. And damn it if he wasn't really goddamn funny. Sure, he didn't J-O like Montana, but he did curse out some kids. Overall, I give him an A-/B+. He didn't knock one out of the park, but he did an extremely solid job. Christ, I even liked the three rings joke.