Jill and I bet on the Georgetown/OSU game and this is the prize – winner posts on the loser’s blog. I’m also cross-posting this on my blog. Probably this isn’t an even bet since Jill actually has readers as opposed to people researching rap lyrics. But the bet was made, and, well, I have no shame.
Listening to the sports chatters Saturday Night and Sunday morning, the conventional wisdom coagulated around the idea that Greg Oden and Roy Hibbert didn’t matter because the big men cancelled each other out. This is annoying me as much as the phrase “Georgetown’s Princeton-style offense” is annoying Redhorse.
Yes, when Oden and Hibbert were both on the floor, they pretty much battled to a draw. But they weren’t on the floor together more than a few minutes. The story of the game was that when Oden was on the bench, Ohio was able to hold serve against Hibbert, but when Hibbert was out, Oden dominated.
Game turned around the 8:50 minute mark when Oden was on the bench and Hibbert picked up a cheap fourth foul with the score tied. Oden came back in and sparked a 10-2 run. Hibbert came back in to staunch the bleeding, but the damage was done. Oden picked up his fourth on the eve of Let ‘em Play time, so it mattered little. State protected the lead for four minutes and change. Ballgame.
For myself, poormouthing my team worked well and I always go with what works so: OSU looked good, Florida looked freaking amazing. Way scary. Scary like OSU football looke going into the BCS. No really, I’m worried. Really.
A few random thoughts to finish out.
As much as Oden turned this game, it only partially redeemed a fairly lackluster tournament. His agent should – but probably won’t – encourage him to return to college. Yes, I’m biased – I’d like to see him in an OSU uniform again next year. But right now he has the look of a kid who might go to the NBA, have a series of disastrous starts, lose his confidence and end up in Europe. He has tons of talent, but needs some seasoning. Right now, Carmello Anthony thinks he’s not mature enough to go pro.
I’m wondering about my assessment of Georgetown’s regional final. How much of that was Georgetown’s wearing out UNC physically and how much was yet another Roy Williams team just not finishing?
Has a basketball coach ever been more poorly served by coming from a power football school than Billy Donovan? Is there a more under-appreciated coach in the game than Donovan? OK, what’s-his-name from Illinois, but aside from that? Donovan is mentioned as a good coach of some pretty good teams. He should be discussed as one of the best coaches working today, but he’s taken for granted, mostly because basketball at Florida is overshadowed by football.
People talked about Georgetown’s bid for history – first father-son duo in the final four as coaches. First dual father son duo as players and coaches, etc. There was another record on the line. Only one team has beaten the maximum number of #1 seeds possible – Arizona in 1997. Partly this is because it doesn’t always happen that the number ones line up right. This time it lined up for both UCLA and Georgetown to have a chance at equaling the feat, but neither team could pull it off in the semis.
If Florida wins, they will be the first school to win football and basketball championships in the same season. Lots of people have noticed this. It surprised me though that few schools have won each championship sometime in their history. It gets complicated comparing the two sports because of the bizarre way NCAA D-I football decides its champion. But comparing past hoops tourney champions with the “official” NCAA list of the various declared football champions each year, only a handful of schools have won it all in basketball and have some claim to some sliver of the football championship. I’ve only given it a quick look and found but six schools:
If someone wants to spend more time to either locate schools I missed or weed out those whose claims don’t stand up, feel free.
Nobody has said that OSU would be the first school to have two second-place finishes of they lose tonight; presumably they would. But hopefully we’ll have two schools first to have one first and one second.