UCONN upset Kentucky Monday night in the National Championship game, defeating the wildcats 60-54 in an up-and-down game that they led buzzer-to-buzzer. There were big shots and highlight plays made all night by NBA level talent. The game could have gone either way until UCONN wrapped things up with just under two minutes to play. The presentation, broadcast and atmosphere were A-plus. Shabazz Nappier and Ryan Boatright were phenomenal. Kentucky’s heralded freshman class flashed NBA talent. Especially James young. It was the second fantastic title
I was sitting at the famed Carnegie Deli in NYC over some matzoh ball soup with my dear friend and Jewish godfather (and also a recent basketball Hall of Fame nominee) Howard Garfinkel, who mentioned a quote from a once-famous basketball coach named Elmer Ripley. The quote dates back more than 50 years and was delivered at a coaching clinic: “The big men are all the same. It’s the guards that make the difference.” Being that I was once a proud point
With 2.3 seconds remaining and the NCAA Tournament’s last Final Four spot on the line, Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison gave us our tournament moment. A good three feet behind the 3-point line, Harrison rose with confidence over Michigan’s Chris LeVERT, an outstanding defender that was constantly impacting the game on that end of the floor all game. Swish.
As far back as I can remember, it was always “You bring your guys and I’ll bring my guys, and Let’s Have At It. This year’s Sweet 16 reminds me very much of that old axiom. As close friends and family can attest, I have always been considered a basketball savant — from a very early age as they would say Bobby is of those coaches who can beat you with his guys, then turn around and beat you with your
As it often does, the NCAA Tournament provided a wild first weekend. Mercer saved Warren Buffett $1 billion, Dayton won the state of Ohio and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in 30 years, Stanford sent Andrew Wiggins and Kansas packing, and the young Kentucky Wildcats ended Wichita State’s dream season. So out of the 32 second and third-round games won by the 16 teams still in contention for the national championship, what statistical trends and insights can we gain
March is about underdogs. That’s why we love it so much. Well, most of us anyway. (Can someone check Chris Bernucca for a pulse?) Just kidding, boss. It’s the incredible stories like Mercer’s upset of Duke, Dayton’s run to the Sweet 16 and Stephen F. Austin’s miraculous comeback against VCU that keep us glued to the TV screen in March, like a month-long Rob Ford press conference. There’s nothing like a good underdog narrative, and year after year, the NCAA Tournament delivers with several
From the time I first saw Chuck Daly, Pat Riley and my all-time favorite, Larry Brown, who used to wear the cool sport coats with the patches on the elbow, roaming the sidelines coaching in the NBA, I aspired to someday be an NBA head coach. Because I read about the great Moses Malone putting a note in the Bible, wanting to be a great NBA player someday, I decided at age 11 to do the same thing. Somehow, I didn’t
I don’t like the NCAA Tournament. I don’t like that college basketball’s regular season provides little postseason incentive. I don’t like that the coach is a bigger personality than the players. I don’t like that the games are played on neutral courts. I don’t like that one bad game or bad call or bad break can end a team’s season. I don’t like that “close” becomes a synonym for “well-played.” And I don’t like that poor play determines the outcome much