It’s a Love/Hate Relationship: Volume XIPosted by jbaumgartner on February 25th, 2013
Jesse Baumgartner is an RTC columnist. His Love/Hate column will publish each week throughout the season. In this piece he’ll review the five things he loved and hated about the previous seven days of college basketball.
Five Things I Loved This Week
I LOVED…. Ohio State’s Sam Thompson getting so high on this alley-oop against Michigan State on Sunday that he was literally staring at the rim when he got the ball. That would have been enough, but then he chose to hammer home right on a poor Michigan State defender – just for kicks. Definitely one of the more impressive athletic plays I’ve seen this year.
I LOVED…. the hilariousness that is Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery on set. In this week’s gift from above, Raftery comically asks Bilas if he’s “ever been ridden” before. Take a look – it’s just too much.
I LOVED…. everyone realizing that Miami can be very, very average – or in this case, downright bad in a loss to a Wake Forest team that was 4-9 in the ACC going into Saturday. If Miami and Gonzaga somehow play their way into #1-seeds, I don’t think it’s overkill to say that they could be two of the more susceptible #1-seeds ever for a first-round upset. And Miami could even be the likelier of the two because of how much they love the three-ball.
I LOVED…. glancing at the Georgetown schedule and having my jaw slowly drop lower and lower as I looked at their defensive efficiency during this very impressive nine-game winning streak. Check it out – since losing to South Florida on January 19, the Hoyas have allowed 47, 51, 52, 56, 63, 55, 55, 66 and 46 points. That’s pretty stingy, and it bodes well for a Tournament run if they can continue mustering enough offense.
I LOVED…. revenge. I feel like we often overuse the term and overestimate how much players and coaches really think about things like it while the game is in progress. But there’s no doubt that the Kansas Jayhawks had TCU circled on their calendars after the Horned Frogs embarrassed them earlier in the season (for what remains their only Big 12 win). 38-9 at the half? Yeah, they definitely hadn’t forgotten.
Five Things I Hated This Week
I HATED…. that Syracuse couldn’t put up more than 46 points on their home floor. These are the types of embarrassing displays that put an asterisk on a team for me when I start filling out my bracket. No matter how well the Orange has been playing, or how they finished off the conference tournament, you know in the back of your head that they barely averaged a point a minute in late February.
I HATED…. the reprimand of Cal coach Mike Montgomery for his shove of Allen Crabbe last Sunday. After watching the replay and seeing the force that Montgomery used, I find it fairly unacceptable and deserving of the short suspension similar to what Morehead State coach Sean Woods got for screaming at his player back in November. Yes, I understand he was trying to fire his player up, but in today’s day and age I think it’s pretty clear that those ploys no longer fly. Montgomery might not have a history of such actions, but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t receive a similar punishment.
I HATED…. Michigan State not being able to hang on to a late lead against Indiana, a game that I thought could really allow the Spartans to start thinking #1-seed. On the other hand, I continued to love how Indiana has responded to their bad Illinois loss. And I continued to love the play of Victor Oladipo, who is really putting his stamp on this season as the Hoosiers start thinking about an No. 1 overall seed.
I HATED…. thinking about life as Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa this season. Make no mistake – these are not bad teams. The Illini especially have a number of quality wins (including Gonzaga on the road), but having to go against Indiana/Michigan/MSU/Ohio State/Wisconsin seemingly every other game is killing the records of these second-tier Big Ten teams. Hopefully the selection committee will remember that in March.
I HATED…. picking my current Final Four with all of this parity. This will probably change by the day, but how about this lineup – Indiana, Florida, Kansas and Michigan State. My thought process is as follows: Indiana has the best overall squad, Florida has a good balance mixed with experience, Kansas has a great inside-out dynamic, and Michigan State has talent to go with the nation’s best coach.