Monday, April 07, 2008

The Post Mortem: Practice Your Free Throws

Memphis had heard it all year. No team could win a championship when they shot free throws so poorly. And until the final moments, the Tigers almost had proven the experts wrong. But when the game mattered the most, Memphis lost the game on the line.

Chris Douglas-Roberts performance at the free-throw line could only best be described as "One Choking Moment."

If these kids spent as much time practicing free throws as they have apparently spent at the tattoo parlor, then maybe this wouldn't be a problem.

And yes, grousing about tattoos makes one read like a curmudgeon but that’s the breaks. Besides, nothing can make you feel older than spending time in O’Shea’s with a bunch of guys that were 10 when you were in college, drinking their body-weight in beers.

And speaking of O’Shea’s, it is still a wonderful place. Anyplace on the strip that serves a $2 beers is always going to have a special place in the heart and liver. But the carnival 6-5 on blackjacks and the lack of 75-cent Guinness like they did back in the day still lingers in a beer-addled mind.

Of course, those kids pounding drinks had better form shooting ping-pong balls in a game of Beirut than Douglas-Roberts showed in the closing moments.

  • But before we go blaming the free throws, and we should, why was Kansas hero Mario Chalmers even allowed to get off a three-point shot? Why not foul the guy with some time left to take away the three-point shot? Why, because coach John Calipari does things the right way. Fouling a player at that point is akin to doing "spins" in foosball. Or hitting reset when things aren't going your way on Madden. Calipari will be ripped for not going for the foul, but it would have been puss-ball to foul in that situation. Make a defensive stop and win the game. Fouling right there would have seemed like cheating.
  • Thank you to Memphis and Kansas for giving us the great game the sports fans deserved. But this does not make up for the dogs of the Sweet 16, Elite 8 and even Final Four Saturday. This was a great championship game, but this still can’t erase the fact that the previous three rounds were just dogs.
  • Roy Williams is going to catch a lot of hell for sporting a Kansas sticker, but get over it people. Sure, he has a new employer. But he has a long history with Kansas and is a part of the family, for better or for worse. And maybe this championship will help some of the faithful in Lawrence get over Williams departure to North Carolina. Classy move.
  • The Bruins losing in the Final Four has become a traditional unlike any other. Bruins fans are already rumbling that maybe Ben Howland doesn’t have what it takes to get his team to the NCAA title. This was supposed to be his most talented team, but they once again were outmatched by a better team. The only question is, why isn’t UCLA getting better players into its program. Kevin Love is great, but there seems to be a lot of holes on this team that shouldn’t be. There is no excuse to not have enough talent to win it all in Westwood. But honestly, Love is gone and the team will be in the same position next year.
  • North Carolina was one of the most fraudulent top-seeded teams maybe ever. What an absolute horrible performance. The Heels received a pretty favorable draw and went into “all-good mode” against some inferior competition, but they flat-out were exposed by Kansas. And yes, the Jayhawks went on to win the title, but North Carolina looked like they had no business being on the court. Like one of the Asian dealers at Binions summoned to ruin a little half-time blackjack, this was clearly a mismatch.
  • Tough break for you guys who played the "over" (if you follow that kind of thing). Overtime and still didn't even hit the number.
Fitting that Kansas won the title on the 20th anniversary of Danny Manning’s win in 1988. Of course, Larry Brown soon bailed from the Kansas gig to take an NBA job. (And if memory serves, he was offered the UCLA job at that time, too.) Will Bill Self relive the tradition by bolting for Oklahoma State?


DAWUSS said...

Now we get to talk about SEC Football

2010 Eritrean Men's Olympic Basketball Team said...

Awesome showcase of basketball fundamentals American ! We forward looking to meet these NBA future stars when our air force has repaired the plane!