Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Fitting Ending to a Down Year in College Basketball

"We're shooting 18%!  What is going on?"

What a brutal ending to a fun college basketball season!  From the outset of the season, it was obvious that there were no truly great teams this season, and this was the weakest tournament field of all-time in regards to the amount of losses the teams had. 

I never expected to see a national championship played so poorly.  As a matter of fact, last night's game reminded me of my middle school basketball coaching days.  The days where a 6 point lead was insurmountable.  That was the feeling I had after UConn made their run early in the second half.  Missed layups, open 10 foot jumpers, clanking three pointers, Butler looked like a middle school team I coached one year that couldn't throw it in the ocean.  I mean we were doing good to get to 20 each game.

Even though the final score was 53-41. it wasn't like either of these teams played a slow tempo.  Both teams ran up and down the court, neither trying to limit the other's possessions.  It reminded me of JV girls basketball where both teams full court press the enitre game and the final score is 20-18.  The score didn't match the pace of the game, which is what can happen when teams aren't very good.  THAT'S BAD OFFENSE, NOT GREAT DEFENSE! 

The national news is lauding UConn's defensive effort last night, but I didn't see it that way.  They did do a good job of altering some shots under the basket, as Butler scored only ONE basket in the pain all night.  The majority of Butler's shots were from long range, and many were uncontested.  Go back and watch the game and see how many wide open looks that Butler missed.  They shot 18% for the entire game!  That's epically terrible, even for a regular season game in November, much less the National Chapionship game.  Again, that's not good defense, that's bad offense. 

I still am not sure that UConn is the best team in the country, but no one else can lay claim to that in my opinion.  This really was a down year in college basketball.  There were no great teams and the championship game showed us that.  What are your thoughts on last night's debacle?


  1. I was pretty disappointed. I tuned in because I was expecting a tight well played game, much like last years Championship. Instead, I got a sloppy game, poor shooting (from both teams), and no rhythm. Tell me how a team shoots 12 for 64 and only looses by 12 points? That's down right embarrassing for UConn, but a win is a win.

  2. For the last two years we have had NCAA champs who no one would call great. The last great NCAA basketball champion was in 2008. So yes another down year. We all know, as long as kids keep leaving for the NBA after one year is the reality we will be watching!

  3. I think the fact that they were champs gives them the right to be called great. There have been several teams that were never thought of as great but were given titles. You as a carolina fan ought to be familiar with this. That team that Michigan handed the title to was by no means great. I saw Duke play in 92 however and that team was. You people are just upset because you've been drinking the Kool aid for so long you don't know what real ball is. A low scoring championship game doesn't mean it wasn't a great game. I personally enjoyed it and as the saying goes, offense wins games but DEFENSE wins championships. Somebody from Carolina ought to enjoy a low scoring game. Y'all did invent the 4 corners to slow down the game and give your inferior athletes a chance to play with the big boys. I'd like to follow this blog more but I'm getting nothing but the echos of PTI. Step it up if your gonna keep this thing real.

  4. Alright Eric, I'll take the bait on this one. You know I like good defense, especially teams that play sound man defense mixed in with a little zone. I love watching a grind-it-out half court game. But, please spare me the lecture about how good the defense was Monday night!

    Both teams shot extremely poorly, and this was because they couldn't knock down OPEN, UNCONTESTED looks. If either team would've made open shots, the game is played in the 60-70's and nobody is talking about how poor the game was.

    Here are some stats for you from the game:

    Butler 64 shots/UConn 55 shots
    That's 119 shots in a 40 minute game, which is one shot every 20 seconds. These guys were getting open looks within 20 seconds each possession, most times even less than that.

    Butler had 19 offensive rebounds and UConn had 15, again, that's not good defense, way too many second/third looks.

    Butler 6 turnovers/UConn 11 turnovers. Here's the one that tells the story. If UConn was so great on defense Monday night, wouldn't they have forced more than 6 turnovers and given up less than 19 offensive rebounds?

    Watching the game it was very obvious that the quality of both teams' play was less that stellar. If either of them had played like that in the first 5 games of the tournament, they would've already been at home.

    If I have to give UConn credit for their performance, it's the fact that they were able to control the tempo of the game and make Butler play at a pace that doesn't suit their strengths. Kudos to the Huskies for winning the title, but they weren't excellent Monday night.

    Didn't Lou Holtz say that we don't have to be the best today, just better than the team we're playing? That was UConn Monday night.