Monday, March 28, 2005

On to the Final Four

There was very high drama in the NCAA Tournament this weekend. If you had Michigan State and Louisville in your brackets arriving in St Louis next weekend, you are clearly smarter than I am. If you had Illinois and North Carolina meeting in the finals, your brackets are identical to mine. But, how they all arrived in the Final Four was pretty special.

Michigan State survived two overtimes and that controversial three-point call at the end of regulation to beat Kentucky, after closing out Duke on Friday. Clearly the least likely team to win its region, they certainly help the Big 10 puff out its chest as the conferences compare accomplishments this spring.

Louisville had a furious comeback to beat West Virginia on Saturday. If you watched that game, you had to believe that the Cardinals were in big trouble when West Virginia couldn’t miss in the first half. Again, overtime was required and Louisville earned their trip.

North Carolina had the easiest regional final in their win over pesky Wisconsin. I swear North Carolina looks like a team right out of the NBA. Just athlete after athlete come off that bench and grind down the opponents will. But make no mistake; the key to that thing is big Sean May. He is a force in the paint that will surely take those great hands to the next level.

But there can be no question that the moment of the tournament happened at the Rosemont Horizon Saturday evening. Arizona was on the verge of pulling a pretty stunning upset of Top-seeded Illinois. They hit two free throws with 4:00 left to take a 75-60 lead. Surely, a 15-point lead with less than 4 minutes to play is somewhere between impossible and unthinkable. But they did it. The fighting Illini came all the way back to force overtime and ultimately win. I was not sure what I thought of Illinois before this game, but now I am a huge admirer.

Put that one shining moment comeback right next to Loyola Marymount’s unlikely run after Hank Gathers death, Tate George’s shot, Danny and the Miracles shocking Oklahoma, Christian Laettner’s turn-a-round to beat Kentucky, and so on. That was a comeback you will never see. Now, the Illini seem like a team of destiny. That was awesome.


Dirk gains confidence

"San Antonio still does all the little things to win and they don't have a really tough schedule left," he said. "So I think they're going to finish first. For us, it's about staying in fourth. I don't know who we'll play, probably Houston or Sacramento. But that really shouldn't matter. When we're healthy, we can beat them both. We shouldn't be afraid of anybody."

US dominated in Mexico …That was most disappointing. Surely, we can do better than that!

Lebreton on the scene in Mexico

Rhoden on Illinois big night

More on Landon Donovan’s future

Juan makes the Indians ...

Rumor mill not high on Derrick Johnson

Linebacker Derrick Johnson is another Texas Longhorns player apparently dropping on NFL draft boards. The Cowboys, for one, question his ability to take on blocks and tackle from the backside. They don't see him as a first-round player.

This may prove that Save is fake. Here is Kill

Snopes weighs in on Save


Anonymous said...

If the Cowboys don't see Derrick Johnson as a first round pick, then they're absolutely crazy. He's far better than any LB they currently have on their roster now for sure. This is going to be the draft that will make or break Big Bill. I must say I don't have much confidence left in the big fat Tuna...

Mark said...

How 'bout Dirk getting Punk'd last night? He even signed a LeBron jersey...put that baby up on Ebay!

Big Daddy said...

Is there any question that Landon Donovan is the biggest pansy in pro sports? "Why strive to get better when I can be safe" seems to be his rallying cry (although in this instance it appears FC Dallas will be the big winner in the "Landon Donovan needs to come home, AGAIN" sweepstakes).

It's baffling to me (and should be to Bruce Arena, too) what goes on in this kid's mind.If he has to actually work on his game to get playing time then he just leaves? Great example for the kids, Landon.