Where 2013-14 Happens: Reason #1 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on November 8th, 2013

seasonpreview-1

Here we go… headfirst into another season heralded by our 2013-14 edition of Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball, our annual compendium of YouTube clips from the previous season completely guaranteed to make you wish games were starting tonight. For the next three weeks, you’ll get two hits of excitement each weekday. We’ve captured what we believe were the most compelling moments from last season, some of which will bring back goosebumps and others of which will leave you shaking your head in astonishment. To see the entire released series so far, click here.

#1 – Where Repeat Performance? Happens.


We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-112011-12, and 2012-13 preseasons.

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Where 2011-12 Happens: Reason #1 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on November 7th, 2011

Another preseason preview gives us reason to roll out the 2011-12 edition of Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball, our annual compendium of YouTube clips from the previous season 100% guaranteed to make you wish games were starting tonight. We’ve captured the most compelling moments from the 2010-11 season, many of which will bring back the goosebumps and some of which will leave you shaking your head in frustration. For the complete list of this year’s reasons, click here. Enjoy!

#1 – Where Welcome Back, Luther Happens

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 seasons.

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CBS Dumps Jennifer Hudson for Luther Vandross

Posted by nvr1983 on March 31st, 2011

Our long national nightmare is over. Ok, maybe it was only one year, but CBS has announced that it had decided to go back to the more “traditional” Luther Vandross version of “One Shining Moment” after using Jennifer Hudson’s version last year. While fans and critics widely panned Hudson’s version for the artistic liberties she took with the song and the fact that the video featured several clips of her instead of basketball footage CBS was more kind in their assessment of her version. Harold Bryant, the vice president of production for CBS Sports, stated “Both versions are great. She [Hudson] did a great job. We just felt like we wanted to go back to Luther.”

The Vandross version is one of four (including Hudson’s) that have been used since the song was used at the end of the NCAA Tournament in 1987. The two other renditions are from its songwriter David Barrett (1987-1993) and Teddy Pendergrass (1994-1999). With this year being the 25th anniversary of the song’s introduction it appears to be an especially appropriate time to bring back the Vandross version of the song.

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Morning Five: 04.16.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on April 16th, 2010

  1. After a big day of comings and goings Wednesday, not as much action yesterday so we’ll handle it here.  BC junior forward Rakim Sanders will transfer from the school, most likely to Fairfield, for his senior season.  This is a bit of a coup for the Stags, as Sanders is the type of inside player (11/4 last year) who will excel in the MAAC.  Meanwhile, across the country, Washington guard Elston Turner also announced his transfer to a school closer to his hometown of Houston, Texas.  Turner had an inconsistent year for the Huskies (6 PPG in 15 MPG), but he came on during the NCAAs and scored 14 against Marquette and 10 versus New Mexico in consecutive games to help UW get to the Sweet Sixteen.  Finally, some good news as Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn announced that he will return to the Bears for his senior season.  This will be a huge boost for Scott Drew’s team, as Dunn will join Quincy Acy and newcomer Perry Jones to produce another formidable team in Waco.  And in late breaking news on Thursday night, Georgia’s Trey Thompkins also stated in an impromptu manner at the season-end basketball banquet that he is returning to the Bulldogs for his junior year.  Thompkins is an unheralded player nationally, but he was among the leaders of the SEC in scoring and rebounding (18/8) and with the return of uber-athletic Travis Leslie, Georgia should be positioned to make a leap forward in the SEC East next year.
  2. KenPom: last effing laugh.
  3. This was written prior to the Final Four, but we’re just now finding it.  The author makes some interesting observations about (mostly male) college hoops fans and the way in which they (we) get all teary-eyed over One Shining Moment.  She even called it “cheesy” before finally succumbing to its magic.  Guess you have to have grown up on it.
  4. Luke Winn writes that John Calipari’s recruiting prowess is a bit overstated when it comes to actually making the Final Four and winning national championships.  If we’re lucky, we’ll have a post up analyzing this sentiment later today.
  5. It’s a good thing Rick Stansbury got that recent contract extension to stay at Mississippi State or he wouldn’t have been able to afford the $30K that the SEC is fining him for criticizing officials on a lane violation no-call that he said they missed by “eight feet.”  Here’s the video from under the basket — what do you think?

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Your New “One Shining Moment” Singer: Jennifer Hudson

Posted by nvr1983 on March 10th, 2010

By now you have probably heard the news that CBS will have a new singer for its traditional “One Shining Moment” montage to finish the NCAA Tournament. To be perfectly honest the reason that it took me so long to get this post up is because I had to figure out who Jennifer Hudson was. I’m not saying she isn’t a “big name”. I have heard of her, but I had no idea why she was “famous”. So after an extensive literature search, we can tell you this about her:

  • Was a finalist on the 3rd season of American Idol (never watched it)
  • Won a bunch of awards for her role in Dreamgirls (never watched it)
  • Had a self-titled debut album that sold over 1 million copies worldwide (never listened to it)
  • Is friends with Barack Obama (familiar with him, but still waiting on our invitation for a RTC vs. White House pick-up game)
  • Has a few hit singles, “If This Isn’t Love” and “Spotlight” (never heard them before, but I am assuming they are hits because they have over 3 million and 8 million hits on YouTube and don’t involve dancing babies or drunk girls)
Credit: http://showbizstacey.wordpress.com

Your new "One Shining Moment" singer

Now that we have that background information out of the way we can get to the important stuff namely Hudson being the fourth person to sing what might be the most second most famous song in sports (behind “The Star-Spangled Banner”, just ahead of “O Canada” and “Take me out to the ball game”, and well ahead of “Sweet Caroline”). As every college basketball fan knows, the three previous singers–David Barrett (1987-1993, 2000-2002), Teddy Pendergrass (1994-1999), and Luther Vandross (2002-2009)–were all guys and while the knowledgeable fan can differentiate the versions by singer having a female voice will certainly be a significant change. While I am willing to try change (rtmsf might disagree with this), I have to admit that I would have preferred if they had went with the Teddy Pendergrass version given his death in January of this year as a tribute much like they did for Doug Towey, the CBS producer who decided to use the song in 1987, after his death in March last year.

In any event, we will just have to sit back and listen to Hudson’s version on April 3rd before passing final judgement, but you can be sure that the Internet will have plenty to say about it on the morning of April 4th.

After the jump we have videos of “One Shining Moment” from each of the three previous singers to get you in the mood for March Madness. If you have any thoughts on your favorite version of the song or on Hudson taking over the reins, we would love to hear them in the comment section.

Read the rest of this entry »

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One Shining Moment: 2009 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on April 7th, 2009

We wouldn’t blame you if you went to bed somewhere around the 15:54 mark of the first half tonight, so in case you missed it

Tipoff of 2009-10 is roughly about 216 days from now… set your alarms.

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It’s Christmas in March

Posted by rtmsf on March 17th, 2009

Dave Zeitlin is an RTC contributor.

I’ve often said that the first Thursday of the NCAA tournament is like Christmas for me. So what better time to make a Christmas, err, a March Madness wish list? Here, in no particular order, is what I want as the best three weeks in sports begin:

xmas-tree-ornament-bball

  • To hug a stranger at a bar while cheering for a player I’ve never heard of at a school I don’t know anything about.
  • Anyone who roots against a big underdog for the sake of his bracket to be forced to watch exclusively LPGA tournaments through the rest of March.
  • Another George Mason to make the Final Four. I’m looking at you, Siena.
  • A 16 seed to finally win a game, and not just for the free Arby’s burger. (This promotion, though, is sort of funny, especially this quote: “Each year at this time, people crave that Cinderella story – the team that takes everyone by surprise. Our new Roastburgers offer an unexpected change from standard greasy burgers.”)
  • A brawl between Gary Williams’ sweat and John Calipari’s gel in Round 2 (speaking of greasy things)
  • A cat-fight between Fran McCaffery’s wife and Rick Pitino in Round 2 (sorry, I must have that mascot brawl on my mind).
  • A game that goes seven overtimes. Six is nothing.
  • A buzzer-beater that will make Bryce Drew say, “Now that was impressive.”
  • A moment so memorable, I’ll always remember where I was when I saw it. (Unless I’m with Jim Calhoun. Wait, why would that happen?)
  • Someone just as fun as Stephen Curry to become the new Mr. March.
  • Greg Paulus to become the new Miss March.
  • Fran Dunphy to win a game. He deserves it.
  • Bob Huggins to lose a game. He deserves it.
  • Jonny Flynn to keep doing his Energizer impression
  • To win my pool, though I’ll settle for keeping my bracket alive past the first day.
  • To watch my alma mater, Penn, try to win a game. What’s that? The Quakers aren’t in the tournament for the second straight year? And they had one of the worst seasons in recent history? Excuse me while I jump from the Palestra rafters.
  • Jay Bilas to stop hating on the little guy. How many mediocre schools from BCS conferences to do we need to see before we realize it’s the upsets that make this tourney tick?
  • Binghamton’s D.J. Rivera to get his revenge for the ultimate snub by torching the team everyone loves to hate. Speaking of which …
  • To find a new villain other than Duke. How about … let’s see … um …. Oh, hell, I’m sticking with Duke.
  • The announcers doing the Cornell game to abstain from saying things like “I thought Ivy League kids were smart” after a bad turnover. SAT jokes are a no-no, too.
  • Players to stop thanking God after wins. I’m OK if Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado repeats this gem though: “I’ve got to use my quickness to outquick the opposing opponent.”
  • Bob Knight to offer a formal apology for once saying, “All of us learn how to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.” Hey Coach, those words you’re stringing together for your new website with fellow jerk knowledgeable hoops personality Billy Packer. I’m not entirely sure but I think it’s called writing.
  • Gus Johnson to yell even louder.
  • Any commentator who says the expression “body of work” more than twice in one sentence to stop getting lessons in awful announcing from Suzyn Waldman.
  • Gonzaga not to ruin my bracket for the millionth straight year. Please? If I win my pool, I’ll split the money with you, Heytvelt. You can use that cash for your supply of – and moving on!
  • The dude who said, “I’m the weather man” to come back into my life.
  • To hear my stepdad explain the same last-second play he created years ago while lamenting, “No one ever does this.” (It’s March. Everyone’s a coach.)
  • A team with a great story to rally behind. Cleveland State and North Dakota State seem like good choices, but I’m open to suggestions.
  • To tune out anything that has to do with the economy, the wars, the demise of newspapers, octomoms and Dane Cook … and get sucked into a world of college hoops for three straight weeks, remembering so many great shots, players and moments that I have enough material to write another column gushing about March Madness 20 years from now.
  • And, of course, to cry during One Shining Moment. I mean, what?

So that’s my wish list. May Santa, I mean Greg Gumbel, come down the chimney and bring it to me.

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Doug Towey — Thank You, and Godspeed.

Posted by jstevrtc on March 11th, 2009

John Stevens is a featured columnist for Rush The Court.

one-shining-moment

On the news feed tonight the information has come down that Doug Towey, the CBS Sports executive who was responsible for the playing of the song “One Shining Moment” at the end of the network’s men’s NCAA Tournament coverage (that is, the song that plays over the highlight montage after coverage of the championship game), has died at age 61.

Evidently, the story of the song’s emergence goes like this:  the song was written on the back of a napkin by a man named David Barrett, who actually wrote it after watching Larry Bird play for Indiana State in the 1979 version of the Dance.  Barrett passed the song on to a friend at CBS (rumored to be Armen Keteyian) who in turn passed in on to Mr. Towey.  The original plan was to air it after Super Bowl XXI (1987).  Time constraints didn’t allow it, so the song was eventually aired after the 1987 NCAA Tournament final (Indiana 74, Syracuse 73, aka the Keith Smart game).  I, for one, say thank God for the long interviews after Super Bowl XXI.

I recall the first-ever spin of the song after that IU-Syracuse game.  As happy as I was to hear Teddy Pendergrass, with the first few notes I remember thinking that this was going to be some worthless attempt at tear-jerking, wondering why they would choose to end their coverage in this manner.  By the end of the song, I had already called a fellow hoops fan who I knew would be watching and we agreed — it was perfect.  The song itself can stand alone, especially because it was written with our beloved game in mind.  But when you pair it with the highlight montage… well, you indeed have perfection.

Nobody Turns Off the TV Until Luther is Done (photocredit: AP)

Nobody Turns Off the TV Until Luther is Done (photocredit: AP)

The late great Luther Vandross has had the honor since 2003.  And I’m not afraid to say that whether it’s Pendergrass or Vandross singing it, when I hear it, the ol’ eyes still well up to this day.  Maybe it’s because of what it symbolizes — you know, another season’s end.  Or maybe it’s because it’s just a great song.

So with nods to Messrs. Barrett, Pendergrass and Vandross, today we at RTC offer special thanks to Mr. Towey for pairing this song up with our game.  In that spirit, here are a couple of samples of what Mike Krzyzewski (and countless others) calls “the national anthem of college basketball.”

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Escape from Detroit

Posted by nvr1983 on December 30th, 2008

You may have heard things haven’t been going too well in Detroit lately. The city that has been trashed by countless writers including RTC’s very own rtmsf. While the Wolverine basketball team has turned it around this year including a big win at Crisler Arena, the Motor City has been hit by hard times. Their NFL team set a new benchmark for futility, their college football team lost to Toledo and that was only a harbinger of things to come, their MLB team finished last in its division, and their NBA team is no longer a contender. And then there is the impending economic depression that will hit Detroit if the Big 3 collapse, which they will even if the government continues to recklessly throw money at them as long as they continue with their flawed business model.

Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times
Credit: Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times

There is some good news for the residents of Detroit. [Ice hockey is not a sport so don't even bother telling us about the Red Wings.] In a brilliant PR move, the University of Detroit has decided to make tickets for their New Year’s Day game against Youngstown State free. If you’re in the Detroit area on New Year’s Day, we want to tell you how sorry we are recommend you check out the “Free for All” at Calihan Hall (1:05 PM tip). In addition to the free tickets, spectators also get free non-alcoholic Bloody Marys and complimentary aspirin or ibuprofen for the hangover from some more potent drinks the night before. To be honest, this isn’t the most attractive match-up on paper (3-8 Youngstown State at 4-7 University of Detroit), but we believe that it is important to reiterate that it is FREE. According to our rudimentary math skills, it’s pretty hard to beat that value proposition (at least in ratio form).

While the University of Detroit is probably most well-known as the only successful stint of Dick Vitale’s coaching career (78-30 with a 21-game win streak that ESPN uses to justify his role as the most well-known promoter of our beloved sport), the Titans have been perennial contenders for the Horizon League title and had 4 consecutive 20-win seasons between 1997-98 and 2000-01. The Titans program also produced NBA stars Dave DeBusschere and Spencer Haywood.

http://www.cineastentreff.de

Credit: http://www.cineastentreff.de

While I hope that the Detroit basketball program reaps some rewards from this PR move, I am more intrigued by the idea of a grassroots campaign to get people into college basketball at a level that is more pure than what ESPN and CBS feed down our throats from Midnight Madness until One Shining Moment. If more colleges try this model, they can start to pull in families and get a younger generation of fans who actually root for their local team rather than just what they see on SportsCenter or what some rapper is wearing on BET. If they do that, college basketball can start to fight its way back into the national conscience, which is a place we all know it belongs.

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Post-Championship Fast Breaks (04.08.08)

Posted by rtmsf on April 8th, 2008

A few more drops of residual knowledge in the wake of Super Mario’s bomb…

  • Where does 2008 KU rank among this decade’s champions?  We’d put them higher than seventh but lower than fourth. 
  • Brandon Rush is going pro, according to Yahoo Sports.  What an amazing silver lining for Rush and KU after he blew out his knee during NBA workouts last spring.   
  • As a mirror question to the one floated about One Shining Moment below, is there anyone alive who actually likes Billy Packer?
  • More blowback on Roy’s Kansas decal last night.  And here
  • Arizona’s Chase Budinger will test the waters of the NBA Draft, joining teammate Jerryd Bayless from last week. 
  • In a bit of a surprise, Florida’s Marreese Speights (14/8) will also test the waters of the draft.
  • When does that two-year rule start again?  LSU’s Anthony Randolph will also be testing the waters.
  • After not playing in the entire 07-08 season due to an injury, Alabama’s Ronald Steele is also putting his name into the draft. 
  • While not official at this point, reports are indicating that Kansas St.’s Bill Walker will also declare for the draft soon. 
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One Shining Moment

Posted by rtmsf on April 8th, 2008

We were going to save this for our season and tourney wrapup posting, but why wait if it’s already available?  Is there anyone in America who hates 1SM?  Anyone at all?  Not us, we’re just asking…  Enjoy.

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One last shining moment for this season. . .

Posted by nvr1983 on April 6th, 2008

After Saturday night’s blowouts, we can only hope that tonight’s title bout will give us a great game to finish off the season. I think both teams have too much talent to get blown out, but I never would have expected UNC to fall behind 40-12 before nearly making Billy Packer look like an ass (again).

I’ll offer my take and hopefully rtmsf will add his too later (see below).

Aside from a shaky performance at the free throw line against Mississippi State that made their 2nd round game much closer than it should have been, Memphis has totally dominated the opposition on its way to Monday night. I don’t think I am going too far into the realm of hyperbole when I say that their performance in the last 3 games has been as dominant as any team I can remember from the Sweet 16 to the National Semifinals. The even more amazing thing is that a lot of people were picking the Tigers to lose each of those games. The Tigers gave us all an indication of how far off we were in the first game of that stretch when they destroyed Michigan State in their Sweet 16 game as they led 50-20 at half. After easily beating Texas in Houston to advance to the Final 4, the Tigers had a little tougher time with the Bruins who hung tough for a half. Despite the close score for most of the game, I never got the sense that Memphis might lose the game. Of course, the poor FT shooting was at the back of my mind. As I noted in my post immediately after the game, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose completely dominated the game with Rose controlling the game from end-to-end and CDR controlling it inside the 3-pt line. Joey Dorsey also submitted what may be the greatest 0-point performance in a Final 4 by a non-PG (I can’t think of a great 0-pt performance by a PG, but just trying to be safe). Memphis also got a solid performance out of Shawn Taggert. One thing that has gone largely overlooked in the CDR-Rose lovefest was how good the Tigers played defense, which is something they have been doing all year. Perhaps it is because they are so captivating on offense or the fact that they rely on length and instincts rather than the Shane Battier step-in-front-for-the-charge style that the ESPN analysts seem to love so much. In any case, the Tigers’ defense is what really gets things going for them. Perhaps, if their key guys stuck around for another year or two or Rose came in a few years earlier (and they learned how to shoot FTs), we would be talking about this Memphis team along the lines of a 21st century Runnin’ Rebs team.

As for Kansas, like I said on Saturday night I’m not really sure what to say. They had one of the easiest paths to the Final 4 (based on opponents’ seed) that I can remember and the cruised all the way to San Antonio with the exception of the Davidson game where they looked tight. However, they made up for it on Saturday night against #1 overall seed UNC. Their performance in the first 15 minutes of the game was among the best I have ever seen at the college level. They were all over the court hounding UNC into countless turnovers as they jumped out to a 40-12 lead. The image of the game for me was little-used, but much-hyped freshman Cole Aldrich ripping the ball away from everybody’s national POY Tyler “Psycho T” Hansbrough. After Billy Packer declared the game was over with 7:32 left in the 1st half, Kansas fell apart and appeared to be headed towards an epic collapse when UNC brought the game to 54-50 with 11:16 left in the game. The Jayhawks survived with a late run of their own (possibly due to UNC running out of gas too). If you watched the first half of the game, you are aware of the tremendous pressure that the Kansas guards can exert. That pressure will certainly be put to a challenge against the Tigers’ talented backcourt.

A couple key things to watch tonight:
1) What tempo does Kansas want to play at? Kansas showed us on Saturday night that it can thrive on a fast pace against a very talented team. However, as you have probably read Kansas has the ability to play at both a quick (talented guards & inside guys who can run) and slow pace (guards who can penetrate & multiple inside guys with developed post games). Normally I would recommend that Bill Self flip a coin and use that to decide which way to play because Kansas can win either way, but against Memphis that is a different story. While the Tigers have talented, athletic guys at every position, they are much better when the game is up-tempo and they can use their athleticism. The Tigers lack a traditional inside game and don’t have many great outside shooters. Thus, Self should really thing about trying to slow the game down. It sounds crazy given how good Kansas looked against UNC (and it’s easier said than done), but doing so would give the Jayhawks their best shot at winning their first title since Danny Manning and Larry Brown led them to the promised land in 1988.

2) Who will guard Derrick Rose? Kansas has 2 exceptional defensive guards in Mario Chalmers and Russell Robinson, who both did a great job harassing UNC in the first half. As you may have heard, Rose is a completely different beast. As good as the Jayhawk defenders are, I don’t think they can stay with Rose if it is an uptempo game. However, if Bill Self listens to me and slows the pace of the game down, Kansas can use both in addition to Brandon Rush to try to contain Rose. I am assuming Rush will draw CDR, which is a tough assignment in itself, but he will need to help off CDR if and when Rose gets by his man.

3) Will Dorsey stay out of foul trouble? Shawn Taggert is a nice player, but he isn’t really built to battle the big guys from Kansas. If Memphis is going to win the title, they will need Dorsey on the court as he is the only one with the strength to give the Tigers an edge in this match-up. Dorsey will have to win the battle (or at least limit the Jayhawks’ advantage) against Darrell Arthur, Sasha Kaun, & Co. if Memphis wants to cut down the nets in San Antonio.

Who will take home the trophy?

Opening Line: Pick ‘em.
Prediction: It looks like the money in Vegas is going towards Memphis winning as the line has shifted to Memphis -2, which is a pretty big shift for a game that was originally a pick ‘em less than 24 hours ago. I could see this game going either way, but in the end I think the brilliance of Rose (assuming he lays off the Gummy Bears) and solid all-around play of CDR will carry the day. Plus, as I’ve learned decision markets are usually pretty reliable indicators of what will happen so I’m going with the Tigers in a hard-fought battle.

rtmsf take:

We’re still in considerable shock at just how dominant Kansas looked vs. North Carolina Saturday night. For the first ten minutes of that game, it appeared as if KU was playing Colorado in the Phog; NOT the de facto tournament favorite led by everybody’s favorite superhero, Tyler Hansbrough. Kansas was bigger, quicker, faster, and simply wanted it more. One thing we believe was a major factor but has been left unsaid in much of the MSM was that the KU players spent the entire week hearing Roy this and Roy that and they wanted to stick it to him for leaving the program in the manner that he did (even though his departure predates all of their arrivals at KU). Of course, all of the players and certainly Bill Self will deny this forever more, but KU played that first half as if something had been stolen from them. Carolina didn’t play with the same fire and intensity, and it showed (40-12). We’ll leave it to the KU fans to provide this info, but we can’t remember the last time a Roy Williams coached team was so thoroughly and completely dominated as they were last night. If it has happened at all, we’re guessing it would have been in the 90s.

As for the other semifinal, UCLA’s tendency to endure prolonged scoring droughts ultimately proved ineffective when facing a team with the caliber of Memphis’ talent. We were surprised with just how thoroughly dominated Darren Collison was by Derrick Rose as well as UCLA’s maddening inability to get the ball to Kevin Love in the post. Part of that was the Tiger defense making it very difficult for Love to find his preferred spots, but part of it is also attributable to poor decision-making by Mbah a Moute, Collison and others. It wouldn’t ultimately have mattered, because the Bruins were an offensively flawed team and they were never going to score enough points to threaten Memphis, but it still surprised us.

So we’re now left with the two least flawed teams in the tournament. It’s been well documented that Memphis struggles with FTs, and it showed in their one semi-scare against Mississippi St. in the second round; it’s also been commonly discussed that Bill Self teams have a tendency to choke under pressure, and KU certainly had a scare against Davidson and looked shaky at times yesterday after leading by 28 points. But these are ultimately nitpicks because both of these teams are beyond excellent and filled with NBA talent all over the floor. So which of these two squads is better and will win Monday night?

The thing that really stood out to us when we were watching the Carolina massacre was just how big and athletic Kansas looked compared to UNC (a team that itself has a reputation for size and athleticism). We think that this is the one area where Memphis can be exploited. UCLA was unable to capitalize on this advantage because only Love was a capable scorer on the blocks. Kansas can get offense underneath from not only Arthur, Jackson and Kaun off the bench, but also apparently from Cole Aldrich (who looked fantastic (8/7) in his 16 minutes yesterday). We think this is the mismatch that will have Bill Self salivating for the next 20 hours or so.

Memphis will counter with the silky smooth Derrick Rose (25/9/4 assts) and Chris Douglas-Roberts (28/4), but with the perimeter defense that we expect from the KU guards (who held the UNC perimeter players to 16-47 shooting), we think that Memphis is going to have trouble finding enough offense to match the Jayhawks. Put simply, there’s absolutely no way we see that the KU defense allows 83% of Memphis’ points to come from the backcourt as UCLA did, and who among the Memphis bigs will pick up the scoring slack? Dorsey? Taggart? Dozier? If that group collectively scores over 15 pts, we’ll be shocked.

So despite what the decision markets and our compadre on this blog suggest, we’re going with the Jayhawks to cut down the nets tomorrow night. Bill Self gets his first title, and John Calipari starts to hear the ignoble distinction of being the best active coach to not win a championship.

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