Archive for the ‘NCAA Men’s Basketball’ Category

73 … and counting

October 24, 2008

No denying that there’s a glut of material on the internet that falls into the  ‘highly questionable’ category, depending on any number of factors, including what your individual tastes might happen to be.

You might not like this situation very much but, nevertheless, accept it for what it is. Or, you might think it’s exactly the way things should be, in an open and pluralistic society, based upon fundamental human and democratic rights/principles. Or, you might be at any one of a billion different places along the continuum which exists between these two endpoints. Regardless …

Every once in a while, then you come across a story like this one … ↓↓↓ … which NEEDS to be displayed by each and every blog that portents to be related to the world of human athletics because of the simple smile it brings to your face when you take a minute or two out of your exceptionally busy day to watch a short video clip which just might be a source of inspiration to each & every person you happen to know in this Life.

Hopefully … it’s had this effect on you, too.

Have a terrific weekend. 🙂

Commemorating an original Miner

September 9, 2008

A terrific coach and an even better man passed away on Sunday.

Pioneering basketball coach Don Haskins dead at 78

What is the legacy of the legendary former head coach for the men’s basketball program at Texas Western University (known today as the University of Texas-El Paso [UTEP])?

According to the man who’s coached his team to more victories in US college basketball history than anybody else, long-time friend, Bob Knight:

“The word unique does not begin to describe Don Haskins. There is no one who has ever coached that I respected and admired more than Don Haskins. I’ve had no better friend that I enjoyed more than Don Haskins.

The myth that surrounds Don Haskins in the movie Glory Road and what he did for black players is better said that he cared like that for all his players. To me that tells me more about the man than anything. There was never anyone like him before and there will never be one like him again.

He took a school that had no reason to be a basketball giant and made it into one.”

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet … 

do yourself a favour and check out the story of Coach Haskins’ 1996 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship winning team chronicled in the major motion picture, Glory Road.

“It’s not about talent … it’s about heart. It’s about who can go out there and play the hardest. They’re not going to give US anything. So you’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to take it.”Don Haskins [as played by Matthew McConaughey]

Thank you Coach Haskins … not for trying to make a social statement with your Texas Western lineup but … for simply starting your BEST PLAYERS.

You changed the game of college basketball, forever.

Return On Investment

August 31, 2008

* Winning a championship, at any level, is difficult.
KU Jayhawks, 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champions.
In the end, it’s about enjoying the process AND the toughness … emotional, mental and physical … it takes to complete the journey.

Final Four: Game 2 – North Carolina (-3) vs Kansas

April 5, 2008
  1. The Head is saying … North Carolina is the one team with the quality (super athletic) depth it will take to hang with Kansas, whose team strength is this very aspect of their game, in a match-up of Titans, like this.
  2. The Heart is saying … Kansas is going to play huge ‘up’ in this game vs Roy Williams (former KU head coach), AND on behalf of their fallen teammate (Rodrick Stewart) who went down with a serious knee injury yesterday, incurred during their Final Four ‘Open Practice’ session.
  3. The Bankroll is saying … North Carolina should be more than a -3 favourite in a game of this magnitude, with a healthy Ty Lawson in their line-up (assuming he is not severely hampered by the leg injury he picked up at the end of last weekend’s Elite Eight victory over Louisville).

In a situation like this … the Bankroll is going to rule the day.

LIVE-BLOGGING UPDATE:
(#1) 9:24 PM … KU 33, UNC 10 (9:31, 1st Half) … the Jayhawks are quicker than the Tarheels at each of the 5 positions, when Carolina tries to play their regular Big line-up … Unless Roy Williams recognizes quickly that he has to go with a smaller, quicker group of 5 … this game is over.

(#2) 9:29 PM … KU 38, UNC 12 (7:32, 1st Half) … Full Time-out … “This game is over.” – Billy Packer (CBS Analyst)

(#3) 9:40 PM … KU 40, UNC 16 (4:32, 1st Half) … and, FINALLY … Carolina goes small with a line-up of Thomas, Ellington, Ginyard, Green & Hansbrough

[Note: There is so much poor coaching at the Men’s NCAA D1 level it’s not even funny.]

(#4) 9:44 PM … KU 40, UNC 19 (3:00+, 1st Half) … Deon Thompson subs in for Hansbrough … good sub for the Tarheels

(#5) 9:47 PM … KU 40, UNC 22 (2:00+, 1st Half) … Hansbrough subs back in for Thompson-D … questionable move for the Tarheels

(#6) 9:50 PM … KU 42, UNC 27 (5.1, 1st Half) … if Carolina can get to half-time only down 13-15 they’re gonna have a chance in the 2nd half

(#7) 9:52 PM … KU 44, UNC 27 (0.0, 1st Half) … it might not be possible for the Tarheels to win the game straight-up … but, at least they are no longer embarassing themselves and their storied program

[Note: If Carolina just stays small, with only 1 of their Bigs (i.e. Hansbrough or Thompson-D) on the floor at a time … they can hang with Kansas … and, if the Jayhawks go cold from the perimeter, as they can do from time-to-time, then the Heels will be able to get to the final 10 minutes down by single-digits. If they can accomplish that goal … ??? … then … this might just be remembered as an historic game]

(#8) Carolina starts the same line-up that opened the game … BIG MISTAKE by Roy Williams

(#9) 10:13 PM … KU 46, UNC 27 (19:50+, 2nd Half) … the Jayhawks start the half with an easy inside hoop

(#10) 10:18 PM … KU 54, UNC 37 (16:30, 2nd Half) … Danny Green (Carolina’s ‘best’ athlete) subs back in … Note to Roy Williams: Do Not take him out again!

(#11) 10:20 PM … KU 54, UNC 40 (15:54, 2nd Half) … Full Time-out … if the Heels can just it back to single-digits, then …

(#12) 10:23 PM … KU 54, UNC 42 (14:41 , 2nd Half) … Danny Green makes a Pull-up Jump Shot … Kansas takes a Full Time-out

[Note: If Roy Williams would just take out 1 of his 2 Bigs … the momentum is going to swing all the way to Carolina.]

(#13) 10:27 PM … KU 54, UNC 44 (14:14, 2nd Half) … it’s a 10 pt game!

(#14) 10:29 PM … KU 54, UNC 44 (12:40, 2nd Half) … Offensive Foul on Danny Green (Charge in transition) … Carolina makes a sub, Ginyard in for Green … NOOOO, Roy, don’t do it!

(#15) 10:31 PM … KU 54, UNC 48 (12:00+, 2nd Half) … Hansbrough’s layup cuts the lead to an amazing 6 pts … “If they can do this … this would be the mother of all come-backs.” – Jim Nantz (CBS Game Announcer)

(#16) 10:40 PM … KU 58, UNC 53 (7:53, 2nd Half) … Under 8 Minute, Full Time-out … Aldrich (C, Fr) going to the FT Line for Kansas

[Note: My, Oh, My … what a last 5 minutes this is going to be. Possibly … Final Four history in-the-making.]

(#17) 10:46 PM … KU 64, UNC 57 (6:00+, 2nd Half) … 2 made FT’s by Deon Thompson (59%)

(#18) 10:49 PM … KU 69, UNC 61 (4:47, 2nd Half) … Carolina, Full Time-out … and, then, Roy Williams subs out Danny Green, again

(#19) 10:52 PM … KU 74, UNC 61 (3:30+, 2nd Half) … gonna be tough for the Tarheels now

[Note: There’s a reason Roy Williams hasn’t managed to win more than 1 National Championship to this point in his coaching career.]

 (#20) 10:57 PM … North Carolina is out of gas.

(#21) 11:04 PM … Final Score: KU 84, UNC 66 … the two ‘Best’ – i.e. most skilful and athletic – college basketball teams in the U.S.A. will be meeting for the championship on Monday night!

Final Four: Game 1 – Memphis (-2) vs UCLA

April 5, 2008
  1. The Head is saying … Memphis is going to cover this number … which is way too small for a team that has lost but 1 game all year long (i.e. a tough road game @ Tennessee).
  2. The Heart is saying … UCLA is going to win this game … late … on the strength of their mental & emotional toughness, and the experience of their upper-classmen, i.e. Collison, Mbah a Moute, Shipp, et al.
  3. The available Bankroll is saying … this is going to be a terrific college basketball game which should just be watched, enjoyed & appreciated for the outstanding spectacle it is going to be.

In a situation like this … it’s almost always best that the Bankroll does the loudest talking of all.

Enjoy what should be a hum-dinger of a game … decided in the final minute of play.

To be continued

April 1, 2008

Courtesy of Jeremy’s Weblog, Good Bye Mr. Wildcat

… legends come in different forms.

Where 25 in a row happens

March 28, 2008

Nov 14, 2007 … The significance of that date?

This headline, right here:

No. 1 Tar Heels wake up in time to defeat Davidson

which accompanied the following, Final Score:

Davidson 68
North Carolina 72

and this insight, 4 months in advance of March Madness, by the ‘Choir Boy Assassin’ himself,

“The No. 1 team in the country and we were right there with them,” Curry said. “It shows that we’ve got better since last year. But we’ve still got a lot of work to do to win one of these games. We’ll have more opportunities.”

Yessiree, son … ain’t that gonna be the truth, now that the Wildcats will be playing in the ‘Elite Eight‘ come Saturday evening.

Featuring …

“Another splendid performance from the super soph.”Clark Kellogg (CBS College Basketball Analyst)

Where a ‘Sky Song’ happened

March 28, 2008

Courtesy of Crooked Pencils, One Shining Moment

If you do know it, it’s everything that’s right about sports and life.

… thinking that he might write a song about basketball, and a phrase pops into his head, out of nowhere, and the next morning he sits down for lunch and scribbles on a napkin the great cornball anthem that, two decades later, still makes grown men cry.

The story ‘behind’ the classic song … which brings a smile to the face and sends chills down the spine, just thinking about it, once again.

Man, Oh, Man … 20 years goes by … just … so … darn fast.

Where 24 in a row happens

March 24, 2008

… as a baby-faced David(son) slays G(eorgetown)oliath

and ‘Cinderella’ nimbly makes her way through ‘the Big Dance’.

Where 23 in a row happens

March 22, 2008

Davidson University, Men’s Basketball, 2007-2008

“Wow! … is this kid good.” – Jim Nance

World … meet Stephen Curry …

and his coach, Bob McKillop.