BGTD: Late Night AnalysisPosted by nvr1983 on February 5th, 2011
The evening and night games provided us with plenty of memorable moments and two of the best games so far this season.
- A Classic That Nobody Saw. If two teams play an epic conference game and the nation can’t see it (except via RTC Live), did it really happen? Tonight Arizona and California played a ridiculous triple overtime game that most of the nation couldn’t see. If you’re wondering why most of the nation doesn’t respect the Pac-10, it’s because most of the nation can’t watch them play. Starting your games three hours late for East Coast fans doesn’t help, but if you didn’t have to go online trying to find an illegal stream of the game most college basketball fans would find a way to watch you. As for the actual game, it was a huge win for the Wildcats. Sure they were the better team, but if the past month has taught us anything it is about how hard it is to win on the road against a decent team especially when the Wildcats were missing their star player (Derrick Williams) for most of the game. All season everybody has been pointing to Washington as the team to beat in the Pac-10, but it may end up being the Wildcats who run away with the regular season title.
- Big win for the Gators. I killed the Gators earlier this year for how they folded when Ohio State visited. It turns out that Ohio State might have been a bit better than I thought they were. Kentucky may not be the team that some people thought they could be, as they rely on too few players to do too much, but they were a worthy adversary as demonstrated by their ability to nearly comeback from a big deficit to win in Gainesville. Still, the Gators found a way to fight off the momentum that the Wildcats had late and won a big one at home. The Gators aren’t a top 10 team like some polls predicted they would be in the preseason, but they should be a threat to advance to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, which is something that Billy Donovan has not done since the back-to-back championship team in 2007.
- UConn Shows Its Mettle. We’re not sure how much to put this on Seton Hall for blowing a lead at home, but any time you can come back from 14 points down in the second half against a decent conference opponent you have to congratulate the winning team. UConn still has issues (we will discuss a major one next), but for a young team they are starting to come together nicely. There are a lot of ways to praise the Huskies, but the most deserving is Jim Calhoun who has battled a lot of criticism (some of it may be deserved depending on your point of view), yet he may be turning in one of his finest coaching performances to date by turning a team that started the year as Kemba and a bunch of intramural players into a team that would be a tough out in March.
- What’s wrong with Kemba? Speaking of the Huskies, we can’t be the only ones to notice the precipitous drop-off in Kemba Walker‘s play recently. After a scintillating performance in Maui where some were discussing Walker as a potential top 5-10 pick in the NBA Draft (ridiculous even at the time), Walker’s play has fallen dramatically. While he still hits his share of big shots in big moments, we can’t help but wonder if Kemba has hit some sort of mental wall. In his past six games, he is 34/107 from the field (31.8%) and 10/37 (27%) from beyond the arc. UConn is a team with a lot of potential (particularly next year if Kemba returns to Storrs for his senior season), but if they are to make a run deep into March Jim Calhoun will need the old Kemba Walker back to buoy the Huskies when they are in tight situations.