Sunday, April 4, 2004

Duke n UConn

Okay, it was kind of cute when they beat us in 1999, but this is enough. I do not ever want to lose to that Calhoun character again. As far as I'm concerned, UConn is the new Kentucky. If UConn plays Carolina, I'm rooting for injuries.

I was both more and less impressed with this particular UConn team than I expected to be. I kind of bought the hype that they'd probably beat us, that they were a more talented team. Well, they may be better than us, but they're a one man team.

This is going to be one of those what-if memories. Imagine how differently this game would have gone if it had been officiated differently. If Okafor hadn't sat down for so long but neither had Williams and Randolph, how would it have played out? I expect it would have been a higher-scoring game, and we'd have won.

Also, why didn't we continue to drive inside in the final minutes? Well, Billy Packer, one of your keys to the game was the "shot-swatter" inside. Remember? Stupid, freaking, insult-to-injury sportscaster.


  1. Imported on behalf of: Dan
    That game had one of my highest "shut up Billy Packer" to Cheer ratios ever.

    I also kept thinking, why is Daniel Ewing the only one trying to win this game? He was driving in, and nearly got that Gordon kid a ticket to the bench. Okafor is definitely the stand-out on that team, but Gordon had a couple of plays that were downright scary.

    Actually, I take that back, JJ did try to get to the foul line since he was so well guarded outside. I couldn't really tell from the replay, but that last play where JJ drove looked like a pretty blatant hack. Any time I see JJ driving the lane, it makes me nervous.

    Pledger brought up an interesting point. Who is going to step up and be a leader next year? Daniel Ewing seems a little too reserved to really fit into that role.

  2. Imported on behalf of: Lee
    I don't know if Daniel Ewing will become a leader or not, but two years ago, I wouldn't really have expected it from Chris Duhon either. And who knows? It could be Deng or even Dockery.

    Gordon was pretty good, but my point is, that's a team we could beat in nearly every respect. I don't think we could have defended against Okafor, but I think we could have done okay on rebounds and beat him on the play of our guards -- if if if there hadn't been all that foul trouble.

    Ah well. Go Tech!

    I get nervous pretty much any time JJ Redick dribbles the ball-- but not as nervous as I get when he passes it to the other team. Pure shooter, all right. No other contaminating guard qualities. Does play pretty mean defense, though.

  3. Imported on behalf of: mcsk
    **too many flashbacks**

    For some reason I didn't hate Packer as much as I usually do, even though he makes losing more excruciating than any other announcer.

    But didn't the finish seem just too eerily familiar? Down by one to UConn, slowish-dead-eye shooting guard drives from the left wing with about 10 seconds and produces nothing? (Why oh why not the fast guard [Avery/Duhon] driving with dishes in mind?)

    Or do I mean a potential game-winning last-second shot being stopped by the collision of arms (a la Boozer-Jeffries) with no whistle? I didn't think it was actually a foul until I read this: "To be honest with you," Anderson said, "I thought they were going to call a foul because I did think I got a piece of him, but I wouldn't take it back." Jeffries admitted to fouling Boozer as well in 2002--it was like the first thing out of his mouth at the press conference.

    The thing is, it's a no-win situation. If Duke had won either of those games on either of those calls there'd be nothing but non-stop harping on Duke gets all the calls, just like after the Xavier game. Shit, there was even a Duke-gets-all-the-calls when they didn't: "The reason a foul wasn't called is because there was no foul. But if instead of Connecticut it was N.C. State the Blue Devils were playing, and if instead of an all-star crew it was ACC officials calling the game, does Duke get the call? You think?"

    And now I have to obsessively read dozens of recaps, which talk bullshit like Okafor's "phantom" first two fouls, or that connecticut won because they had the will to. Goddammit. The only fun thing to read were Mike Jarvis's scouting reports of the last three games, where he obviously had some bone to pick with UConn, mentioning at least three times that upsets were possible, as long as Okafor didn't get eight fouls as usual.

    I must say however that I agree with King Kaufman, "By the end, though, all of Duke's big guys had fouled out of the game, which was officiated under a mysterious set of foul rules, though one not favoring either team," and "Okafor sat for about two minutes early in the second half after the aliens who were apparently controlling the officials signaled them that it was time to whistle him for his third foul." Except for maybe the goddam alien signal that was Shelden's 5th. Both Okafor and he looked at the referee, neither sure which way he was going to point.

    I think Steve Lavin was the jinx. He was the only guy who picked Duke out of all the talking heads. Lavin in your corner has got to be a curse. I hope his hair grease catches fire.

    And fuck, the title game debacle makes it just sadder. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

  4. Imported on behalf of: Dan
    **O+ AND O->**

    dammit, dammit, dammit! I wanted US to be the first school to have simultaneous men's and women's national champions!

    It's official. I hate UConn.