Getting Off Dickie V’s Back (For Now)

Posted by jstevrtc on January 20th, 2009

John Stevens is a featured columnist for RTC.  His columns will appear on Tuesdays throughout the season.

This past Saturday I was watching the North Carolina vs Miami (FL) matchup and simultaneously checking out nvr1983’s live press-row blog of the event.  Just before the second half started, ESPN’s Dick Vitale started talking about his favorite subject, the Duke Blue Devils.  No surprise there, right?  Well, this time he prefaced it by saying, “I know people don’t like it when I talk about Duke, but I’m gonna talk about them!” or something close to that (I don’t have video of this, but if you do, put a link in the comments section and I’ll add it to the post and credit you). 

daylife.com and Getty Images)
Why is that man smiling? Forget it. We know why. (photo credit: daylife.com and Getty Images)

This tells us that it’s obvious that Vitale is very much aware and maybe even a little sensitive about how the college basketball-loving public perceives him as favoring the Blue Devils.  Heck, I admit, in the past I’ve been quick to jump on the guy with both feet about this.  I’ve rolled my eyes and shaken my head like so many others when he, in a non-Duke basketball game, starts prattling on about Duke like a lovesick 6th-grade girl who has a crush on a boy and wants to talk about it endlessly.

So Vitale said a few things about Duke and that was that.  Big deal.  Big surprise.  But right as the second half began, I began thinking — this wasn’t his usual Thom Brennaman-Tim Tebow hyperbole about the Dukies.  It was — gasp! — actually relevant.  You see, it was the “I know people don’t like it” part that caught my attention, specifically.  That borders on an apology, or at least an acknowledgment of his Blue Devil affinity.  Now, like a lot of college basketball fans, I think, I don’t have a problem with the Duke program (I’m still deciding whether Coach K’s satellite radio show is fair or not) as much as I have a problem with Vitale (and certainly Mike Patrick) bringing it up when it has no relevance to what’s going on in front of him.  That’s the only time it ticks me off.

You know what it reminds me of?  When you’re talking to some girl and she does that “boyfriend” thing, meaning she inserts a random reference of the fact that she has a boyfriend into a conversation the FIRST chance she gets because 1) she really has one, or 2) she’s not interested and this is her way of telling you.  I think you know the conversation I’m talking about.  Who among us hasn’t been here:

Me:  I had a flat tire today.
Girl:  You know what?  My boyfriend’s car has tires.

Or:

Me:  That’s a heavy oxygen tank, there.
Girl:  My boyfriend breathes oxygen!

Or maybe:

Me:  Hi, I…
Girl:  Boyfriend.

I recall that great bit on Seinfeld where George was out on a date with a woman who does that little trick by telling George he has a nice watch, then says, “My boyfriend loves watches, he’s a real watch freak.”  When discussing it with Jerry, Jerry notes, “They just SLIP it right in there, like it’s all part of the conversation.”  Well, I think that’s kind of what Vitale does.  And I think it’s combined with a little bit of that schoolgirl thing I mentioned above.  Or perhaps in Mr. Vitale there’s a little bit of that guy who was affected so much by Star Wars as a kid that he’s never been the same.  You know the guy, the one who makes a Star Wars reference any time he can; the guy who filters his whole existence through that movie, seemingly asking himself at every moment of the day, “What does this have to do with Star Wars?  What possible link can I make between that movie and the things that happen in my life on a moment-to-moment basis?”  I think all of these are at the root of Vitale’s Duke-o-philia.

BUT, my dear readers, I caught myself on this occasion, before I started texting my friends and ripping Vitale.  There’s a difference, this year.  This season, Duke is relevant.  Because Duke is good.  True, Duke is usually good.  But this season is different. 

I see a different sort of energy around this particular Duke squad that I haven’t seen in recent years.  This is a team that has bought into the fact — one that coaches across the country at all levels try SO HARD to get into the collective consciousnesses of their teams — that defense creates offense, that the toughness of your defense will determine your success.  In addition to being 4th in the nation in scoring, themselves, Duke keeps their opponents at 39.6% shooting per game, and they are second in the nation in a statistic I consider very important and telling, that of Turnovers Forced Per Game (17.0!!).  So maybe Vitale, in his Duke love, is to be given a little leeway this year?

I admit, that’s going to be tough.  How many of you recall this incident from last year, where Vitale was calling a Duke game and this was shown:

misterirrelevant.com
The Vitale Grandkids (Photo credit: misterirrelevant.com)

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2008 NBA Draft Live Blog

Posted by nvr1983 on June 26th, 2008

Well this is sort of unplanned, but rtmsf asked me to do this and I’ve got nothing else to do tonight so I figured I would throw up a live blog of the events.

7:30 PM: Everybody’s favorite commissioner/megalomanic David Stern walks to the stage. Pretty weak response from the crowd. Minimal booing and almost no response to a mention of the WNBA. I think Isiah and Dolan have broken the New York fans.

7:38 PM: Stern announces the Bulls’ selection of Derrick Rose. Kind of anti-climatic, but surprising how quickly the consensus swung from Michael Beasley to Rose in such a short time without anything really big coming out (other than Beasley being shorter than advertised, but the decision was already made at that point).

7:40 PM: ESPN shows some highlights of Rose winning the state championship game 31-29 in OT. Yes, 31-29. I guess the lack of offense in the Big 10 goes all the way down to the high school level.

7:42 PM: Stern comes to the podium with the Miami Heat’s pick. . .Michael Beasley. For all the talk about going with O.J. Mayo I always thought this was a no brainer. I mean they could have dropped down to the #5 pick, but I don’t buy the whole Rudy Gay + #5 for #2 trade. There’s no way Memphis would have done that. Does Pat Riley think Chris Wallace is an idiot? Oh wait. . .

7:45 PM: The interviews have been pretty tame so far. Beasley could have at least pulled the dead rat “joke” on Stephen A. Smith. The Stephen A. Smith guys better have something good planned for the draft because this is pretty weak so far.

7:48 PM: Minnesota is up. Time for Kevin McHale to shine. And the pick is. . . O.J. Mayo! Why do I have flashbacks to KG and Stephon Marbury. Stu Scott fills us in on O.J.’s full name. Thanks for that since we haven’t seen it in every single article written about him (except on RTC). At least O.J.’s time in Hollywood got him prepared for the bright lights of Minnesota. Wait, Minnesota?

7:50 PM: If you’re reading this after the draft and wondering why the writing sucks, blame it on the stupid 5 minutes between picks. There’s no way Bill Simmons live blogs this stuff. It’s impossible. He has to take 3-4 hours after the draft to put something together.

7:53 PM: Wow. Six picks for Seattle. Stu Scott with the quick math (6/60 = 1/10th). I’m not sure why they didn’t do some kind of big package to try and get some help for Kevin Durant.

7:54 PM: Stern with the pick. . .Russell Westbrook! Our first surprise of the night. I had heard Westbrook might be top 5, but never really believed it. The guy’s athletic, but I just don’t see how he’s considered the 4th best prospect in this draft. If you’re just going on athleticism, I’d take Eric Gordon over Westbrook. As for his “great” defense, I don’t remember it against Memphis and Rose. Plus I don’t buy Westbrook as a NBA point guard.

7:58 PM: Commercial break. Weak start to the draft so far. At least we have the comedy of the booing of the Knicks draft pick to look forward to in 2 picks.

8:00 PM: Bilas is pushing for Memphis to take Kevin Love. Stern with the announcement. And it’s Kevin Love. Nice call by Bilas even if Love basically gave it away on PTI earlier this week. I’m pretty sure the first time that anybody has ever had the Color Me Badd facial hair in Memphis.

8:03 PM: Pretty routine breakdown of Love. Good court sense/knowledge of the game, passes well, good range, and can’t run the court. Can we have someone disagree with a pick? I just want to see the player’s reaction (not to mention what their mom will do).

8:05 PM: Waiting for the Love family interview to finish so I can see the Knicks screw up their pick. This is the highlight of the night. . .

8:07 PM: Stern walking to the podium with the Knicks pick. . .(dramatic pause). . .Danilo Gallinari. BOOOOOOOOOOOO! Sorry. Just had to join in the fun. I don’t really buy Gallinari, but hey the YouTube video looks decent and that worked out well for guys like Kwame Brown and Eddy Curry worked out great, right? (Yes, I know that was before YouTube).

8:08 PM: Fran Fraschilla offers the most important piece of news of the night (for those of us who read Deadspin or The Big Lead). “Gallo” is apparently the Italian word for “rooster”. If you’ve read the posts on either site yesterday, you’ll know what that’s important.

8:12 PM:  The Clippers select Eric Gordon. I feel bad for the guy. He goes from the most dysfunctional program in the country to the worst franchise in pro sports. Love the guy’s game, but he’s just too inconsistent at times. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

8:15 PM: Our first horrible suit of the night. Gordon with the combination of white coat and navy blue pants. Not quite Karl Malone level, but you would figure his high school agent could have gotten him something nice.

8:18 PM: Joe Alexander to Milwaukee. At least it won’t be much of a culture shock going from Morgantown to Milwaukee although Joe won’t be seeing as many burning couches.

8:23 PM: MJ and Larry Brown are on the clock. It seems like Brook Lopez is the choice here. The Bobcats certainly have enough college talent on that team being veterans of the lottery process (tip of the hat to the legend Elgin Baylor).

8:24 PM: Jay Bilas and Mark Jackson agree with me.

8:25 PM: But apparently MJ and Larry do not. The Bobcats take D.J. Augustin. Looks like Raymond Felton is going to have some competition. This seems like a good pick for a trade.

8:27 PM: I still don’t get it. Of course, MJ was also the mastermind behind the Kwame Brown selection so maybe I shouldn’t.

8:28 PM: So it looks like Brook Lopez here to New Jersey. They can’t take Jerryd Bayless since they already have Devin Harris. This will be an interesting pick since they just traded away Richard Jefferson for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons.

8:30 PM: Brook Lopez at #10 to New Jersey. Solid pick especially this far down. I’m surprised that he fell down this far. A 7-footer with a mean streak and solid fundamentals. Usually guys like this go too high and typically don’t slip. Not sure what is going on.

8:33 PM: Wow. Looks like our first classic draft moment of 2008. Apparently Jeff Spicoli dressed up as a 7-foot tall guy who went to Stanford. I wish I had been there for Brook’s Stanford interview. What? You mean he didn’t go through the regular admissions process?

8:35 PM: Bayless at #11. I like Bayless at #11, but does Indiana need another guard? Jamaal Tinsley, T.J. Ford, and Bayless. Looks like Tinsley and his gun collection are moving out of Indiana.

8:42 PM: Sacramento takes Jason Thompson. Our first real surprise pick of the draft. I’m actually ashamed to say I have never seen this guy play. Bilas says he’s pretty good so I guess I’ll have to go with that.

8:46 PM: Portland at #13. . .Brandon Rush. Interesting pick. He’ll probably fit in well with this team. He isn’t a star, but they have enough young talent that they don’t need him to be more than a solid role player. He’ll probably back-up Brandon Roy for the next couple of years.

8:50 PM: Golden State is on the clock. This is the part of the draft where teams have a lot of choices. Let’s see what the Warriors do.

8:51 PM: Stern with the pick: Anthony Randolph. 3rd team All-SEC member. Even the LSU blogger doesn’t believe in him. Not sure what else I have to say about this pick.

8:54 PM: Dick Vitale ripping the international. Comparing Gallinari to Darko Milicic. Ouch. Not a surprise since Dickie V loves all things college (as do we, but we don’t rip on the other stuff).

8:56 PM: Phoenix takes Robin Lopez at #15. I’ll admit it. I’m hitting the wall here so I’m probably only going to make it through the first round. I actually like this pick. Robin isn’t an offense force, but is a pretty good defender, which Phoenix is lacking.

9:03 PM: With the 16th pick, Philadelphia selects Maureese Speights. Seems like a talented player. It will be interesting to see how he works with Samuel Dalembert. Wow. Stuart Scott just compared FG% in college to FG% in the NBA as if it’s the same thing. I don’t even know what to say to that.

9:08 PM: Toronto selects Roy Hibbert at #17 for Indiana (part of the Jermaine O’Neal trade). This makes sense. Hibbert will “replace” O’Neal. It’s too bad that Hibbert fell this far. He would have been a top 10 pick last year. He didn’t get injured or play poorly, but because he never exploded like NBA scouts hoped he would he fell far enough down that it probably cost him a few million dollars.

9:12 PM: JaVale McGee at #18 to Washington. Looks like Lebron has another guy to dunk on.

9:15 PM: Pretty interesting trade. Indiana gets Jarrett Jack and Brandon Rush for Ike Diogu and Jerryd Bayless to Portland. Bayless and Roy make a really scary potential backcourt dishing the ball off to Greg Oden and company.

9:19 PM: Cleveland is on the clock. This pick is big for Danny Ferry because it might go a long way to keeping Lebron in Cleveland and out of Brooklyn. Darrell Arthur is still sitting in the Green Room. . .

9:21 PM: The Lebrons select J.J. Hickson and Darrell remains seated.

9:26 PM: Charlotte’s on the clock at #20 and take Alexis Ajinca. I’ll turn to Stuart Scott here, “Who is this guy?”

9:28 PM: Wow. I’m pretty sure that’s the first time the economy ever was mentioned in the NBA Draft. Fran informs us that the fall in the dollar’s value will affect Ajinca’s decision whether to stay in Europe. (Side note: Josh McRoberts is part of the Portland-Indiana deal. He’s not worth his own post.)

9:33 PM: The Nets go with Ryan Anderson at #21. Darrell is still sitting. . .

9:38 PM: Looks like Orlando goes with another guard by taking Courtney Lee. I loved Jeff Van Gundy’s analysis. Basically, Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis are the only two guys he likes on the team–a team that’s coached by his brother. More importantly, what does this do to everybody’s favorite Zima drinker, J.J. Redick?

9:42 PM: Utah takes Kosta Koufos. It will be interesting to see how Koufos fits in with Utah’s bigs (Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur, Andrei Kirilenko, and Paul Millsap). He’s a skilled big guy who was really hyped coming in, but was too inconsistent to stay in the top 10. Playing for Jerry Sloan will either toughen him up or turn him into AK-47 (and cry during the playoffs).

9:49 PM: Seattle takes Serge Ibaka. Fraschilla says he’s good and he’ll be here in 3-4 years. Yeah. . .

9:50 PM: Doris Burke interviewing Darrell Arthur. Pretty tame interview. No tears. Not much to say.

9:55 PM: Houston takes Nicolas Batum. Fraschilla compares him to Rudy Gay, which I guess is good. Fran also says he needs to work on his ball-handling and he’s only 20 years old. Since when do people learn how to dribble after they turn 20?

9:58 PM: Ric Bucher announces that Darrell Arthur has a kidney problem, which he says explains why Arthur hasn’t been selected. Sounds like a HIPAA violation somewhere along the line.

10:00 PM: George Hill from IUPUI? Well apparently he plays great defense and has 3% body fat (thanks for that Stuart).

10:08 PM: New Orleans Portland ends the madness and takes Darrell Arthur. Nice moment as the New York fans clap. Nice pickup here. He should be able to come in and spell the big guys for a few minutes here and there immediately.

10:15 PM: Memphis selects Donte Greene. Seems like he’ll be playing behind Rudy Gay for a while. Well at least they got something for giving away Pau Gasol.

10:22 PM: Detroit selects D.J. White. Nice pickup at this position. Productive player who should be a solid guy off the bench for stretches.

10:31 PM: Mercifully, Boston with the last pick of the first round. J.R. Giddens. Wow. What a long ride it’s been for that guy. The former big-time recruit at Kansas who transferred to New Mexico.

Well it’s been a long first round. We’ll be back tomorrow with a more in-depth (and hopefully shorter) analysis.

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National Championship LiveBlog

Posted by rtmsf on April 7th, 2008

We kinda suck at this, but what the hell, it is the national title game after all. So here goes it…

Pregame – we kinda enjoyed Bill Self’s little pregame speech there. It wasn’t Vince Lombardi or even Norman Dale, but the point he made about tonight being a night the players will remember for the rest of their lives was a good one. We also enjoyed seeing the Memphis warmups stating “March is a Brotherhood” thing – first time we’ve seen those (apologies to MU fans everywhere). The KU fans are ready to explode – they’ve been waiting for tonight for twenty years. As an elite program, they need that validation another championship brings – whereas the Memphis fans want it. Fwiw, Memphis definitely looks looser through warmups.

18:15 – wow, who had Joey Dorsey at +1200 for the first basket prop?!?! Arthur was short on his first attempt and Rush missed a FT – are they tight? Sloppy so far – already four turnovers… KANSAS IS TIGHT.

15:36 – that stat CBS threw up is telling – these teams really are mirror images of each other. Another KU turnover, but Memphis isn’t looking much better on offense. Derrick Rose AND 1… Robinson is a great defender but he’s going to have his hands full tonight. Memphis is so far doing to KU on defense what KU did to UNC the other night – absolutely getting their hands on everything. Blocking a Rush three – are you kidding?

14:53 – KU down 9-5 isn’t too terrible yet; we think that they’ll settle down and start going inside soon. Packer takes credit for something he really hadn’t said yet (Collins to Kaun backscreen).

13:40 – 71% in the Tourney from the line is amazing for this team. Does that mean Shaq just needs to concentrate more also? Packer busily making up words – nondefensible.

12:17 – guess Billy meant the second one:

No results found for nondefensible.

Did you mean indefensible (in dictionary) or Non-diffuse nebulae (in encyclopedia)?

12:05 – 2 on Taggart and 2 on Dozier – well, that was predictable. KU has recovered nicely from its opening nerves, going inside the last several possessions. That’s where they’ll win or lose this game.

9:42 – great kickout to Chalmers for a wide open 3. Memphis has to know they’re not going to win this game with their inside people. Rose and CDR have to get going. Right now Kansas looks in great shape.

9:11 – Saturday hero Aldrich comes in and immediately makes two mistakes. Lucky for him, Chalmers stole it back and got two. Big momentum-changer there.

7:50 – we loved Rose not going 1-on-4 there and finding the open Anderson for three. That’s maturity in a point guard. Another 3 for Dozier keeps it close.

7:22 – wow, Roy with the olive branch there. Guess he wants to be loved at both schools after all. Memphis with a nice 11-2 run here to stay in this game. This game is starting to have the earmark of being a fantastic one.

4:44 – CDR’s game reminds us a lot of Tayshaun Prince. It’s awkward, kinda ugly, but completely effective. Already with 13 pts, KU is going to have to figure out how to handle this guy.

3:50 – KU is hitting 60% and is still tied. That can’t be a great sign for Self at this point.

2:31 – not sure how that was a block on Dorsey there, but it means Dorsey has 2 to go along with his frontcourt mates. KU is much faster to the loose balls right now.

1:02 – before that foul, Arthur was playing great. 10/4 already for him. Packer’s point about their big men getting tired appears to be the case – KU almost has as many offensive rebounds (6) as Memphis does total rebounds (9) at this point. This is a key last minute and Calipari knows it – Memphis is playing tired and he doesn’t want to go into the locker room down 8 or even 10 after playing mostly even this half.

0:32 – a near turnover for Rose leading to a rushed brick – Rose doesn’t look comfortable, but we’re not buying the illness thing (gummy bears don’t make you that sick). We think Nantz is on to something with his comment that Sherron Collins has gotten into his head a little bit. Will he take the challenge in the second half?

Halftime – who had the under 146 tonight – that’s looking like a LOCK right now. Unless Derrick Rose takes over this second half, we’re not sure how Memphis can win this game given what we’ve seen thus far. Kansas can get points almost any time it wants by going inside – so long as the Jayhawks don’t forget to do that, they should be able to avoid any major scoring droughts. They had 8 turnovers, but at least half of those were in the first five minutes and were probably due to jitters. And they’re playing fantastic defense on everyone on Memphis, with the possible exception of CDR (5-8 for 13 pts). But CDR cannot beat Memphis by himself. Ultimately, it’s going to come down to Rose. If he steps up his game in the second half, Memphis has a shot to win; without him playing to his abilities, however, this game is already over (h/t to Billy Packer). Still, we really like Kansas to win this game and the title (same as earlier today).

19:33 – Rose with a great move to start the half, leading to a dunk. He’s gonna have to do plenty of that. Quick three for Anderson – tie game. Chalmers FTs and Anderson And1… Memphis appears a lot more aggressive than Kansas right now.

15:15 – Now the Kansas D is swarming again, but here’s Rose with a lob to Dorsey to counter. Foul on Dorsey for his third. Kansas has to keep going inside on nearly every possession. If they do, they could have every Memphis big in foul trouble by the 8-min mark.

14:00 – As much as we’re harping on Kansas going inside, they’re only 1-7 from three so far. Packer noted that they didn’t shoot well from 3 in their losses this year. They’re going to have to hit a few (~4) of these looks to win this game. Wow, the rim was unkind to both teams on what appeared to be sure twos there.

11:35 – 0-2 for Anderson from the line – is this the close game where it finally bites Memphis? CDR with another one of those Tayshaun-esque one-handers. We love this kid. Rose with his first bucket of the second half… wow, these Ds are fantastic. There are no uncontested passes at either end.

9:31 – what kind of offense was that – KU ran the weave through six passes, and finally Chalmers stuck a 15-footer. Here comes Rose with his strength – another basket. KU misses another three – 1-8 isn’t going to get it done, Jayhawks.

8:08 – Kansas switches defense and immediately gives up an And1 to Dozier. Another brick from the line, though (now 4-7). Not sure we like this defensive strategy by Kansas here – CDR wasn’t killing them this half, so why change up the D? Now you give a guy like Rose open looks to start getting it going. This may have been a disastrous decision by Self. Can someone explain that???

6:19 – Rose is starting to show signs of feeling it. Kansas can’t seem to find the openings anymore. Another missed 3 from Collins – still only 1-9 from outside. KU is starting to look really tight offensively. Scoreboard watching? Why are they not going inside anymore???

5:10 – WOW – what a finish! Rose is taking over this game!!

3:57 – Sherron Collins with some brass ones on that move. And Rose throws one off the glass for three. Ridiculous. A 13-2 stretch led by Rose has effectively put Kansas away in this game. They already look defeated out there.

2:22 – Rose’s ridiculous shot was only a two, but somehow we knew that it was going in when he shot it. Wow, Rush babied that one when he should have dunked it. This team is TIGHT right now. We’re not sure they have enough left to make one more run. Self changing defenses again (1-2-2 zone), let’s see how this one works out. Rose very nearly hit another desperation long-range jumper there.

1:54 – KU is starting the fouling strategy (2-2 FTs). It’s probably too little too late here. KU just isn’t getting anything out of its offense, and hasn’t for about the last ten minutes. Arthur hit an 18-footer, which is not really what they needed there.

1:44 – HUGE steal and three for Kansas there. Only down four now. If the fouling strategy starts working, this could get interesting…

1:23 – 4-4 FTs for Memphis since the fouling strategy started. And Dorsey fouls out 25 feet from the basket on a hedge. Pretty stupid play, actually.

1:15 – Chalmers gets both, and CDR is fouled again. He MISSES. Interesting! Arthur down to 2… now they don’t have to foul….

44.0 – gotta believe Rose is the man here to make something happen. Shot clock different is 25 so KU will have plenty of time… VERY dangerous play there by Rose. What was Collins DOING there?!?!!?

14.0 – he misses BOTH and KU is killing themselves by not getting the rebound! Unbelievable! Then CDR slammed the ball to the ground – another extremely dangerous play – after the foul. Jumping back a bit, Packer was all over Memphis for not pulling the ball out on CDR’s drive, but we can’t believe that 5’11 Sherron Collins thought it was a good idea to go 1-on-3 against the Memphis shotblockers there.

10.8 – Memphis has missed FOUR in a row!!!!!!!

OT – What an amazing sequence there. Collins almost pulled a Trajan Langdon by dribbling himself into falling down, but he managed to just be awkward enough to give Chalmers an slight opening, where he drilled it fading slightly away. What an unbelievable finish! Last OT – 1997 and what, 1989 before that one??

4:21 – KU’s first lead since they effectively starting choking it away. Is Memphis feeling the pressure now? Sure looks like it. If KU wins this game, Memphis fans will never get over missing four of the last five FTs to give Kansas a sliver of hope.

3:38 – where has that been (lob dunk)?? Without Dorsey, Memphis must rely on offense from Rose, and instead Anderson bricks a three.

2:32 – After another inside score from KU, Calipari calls timeout and looks like a guy who just lost the national championship. KU has ALL the momentum here. Rose is going to have to try to use his talent to put this team on his shoulders, b/c they’re reeling right now.

1:48 – good stop there by Memphis. They’re not out of this game yet, but Rose is going to have to do something.

1:00 – two misses by KU and a putback followed by a leakout where it appeared that Brandon Rush’s knee gave out a little bit (scary), then an ENORMOUS three by CDR to cut it to one possession. Kansas is still in control of this game, because they’ll hit their FTs under pressure (we think).

45.1 – not sure why you foul Collins there. He’s a good FT shooter, and KU is stroking them (last 11 from the line). He got both with no problem whatsoever.

29.9 – hahahaha, as soon as we’re thinking it’s over, one of these teams does something completely stupid, like oh we dunno, slipping and falling out of bounds to give Memphis life.

12.8 – another miss by CDR, and now we’re starting to hear the haunting sounds of Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk… this is Kansas’ game to lose now. They make FTs and they’re the champs. Memphis’ lack of FT acumen makes them the chumps.

FINAL – Kansas is the 2008 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS – what an UNBELIEVABLE comeback thanks to the Memphis free throws! And Nantz gives us his obligatory “Rock, Chalk, Championship” phrase. Thanks, Jim. We don’t remember the F4 having fireworks before – or are all the Memphis fans erupting in random acts of gunfire?

Postgame – we’re not sure what to say here. This game reminded us a little bit of Arizona’s comeback against Kentucky in the last OT game in 1997, but we can’t remember a national championship game decided by four missed FTs in the final minute. Self won this game with his strategy of fouling at the end, but we still believe he made a mistake by changing up the defenses that were working in the mid-second half. For the two of you that were reading along, thanks for indulging us… More later…

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