Wednesday, March 3, 2010

That was the Most Pathetic Thing I Have Ever Seen.

 At least we don't have to worry about sweating on Selection Sunday anymore.  I know I said I was anticipating a loss, but I couldn't have predicted this.  Absolutely pathetic in every possible way.  I don't know what was worse, the lay-up line they gave Michigan, the complete lack of anything resembling defensive pressure by the Gophers, or the stagnant offense.  Also, can anybody tell me if Tubby ever went back to the zone, or was the one dunk allowed when Sims slipped behind the zone so damaging that he stayed in the man-to-man the entire game despite the fact that there wasn't a single Gopher who could cover any single Wolverine the entire game?  I don't know, because at the 15 minute mark of the second half I put my DVR on x3 mode and never saw a reason to stop as the Michigan side of the score kept rising. 

Utter and complete humiliation, and everybody - with the possible exception of Damian Johnson - is to blame.  Obviously in my tenure as a Gopher fan I've seen bad defeats.  I've been let down, disappointed, and even embarrassed at times, but I believe this is the first time I've been ashamed.  Zero effort, poor preparation, no hustle or defense at all, and no adjustments.  If there were a way to dismiss the entire team and coaching staff and start over right now, I'd be all for it.

But if the Gophers don't seem to care about getting to the NCAA Tournament I don't see why I should, so let's just move on.  It's still March, and if you care about basketball there is still a lot to pay attention to (not to mention Spring Training is getting going).  Cincinnati lost a game last night that knocked them off the bubble with the Gophers (possible NIT match-up?), while Florida couldn't quite pull off the upset against Vanderbilt.  That loss doesn't kill them, but it would have been very helpful to get. 

And congrats to UTEP, who beat Marshall last night and clinched their first Conference USA Championship, which should be good enough to clinch an NCAA bid as well.  Clemson likely also punched their ticket by knocking off Georgia Tech, as did Marquette with their win over Louisville.  Meanwhile, Illinois joined the Gophers in their efforts to get the Big Ten just four bids.  Good work, gents!

Plenty of action going on today, including a couple of monster games involving four good teams:  Kansas State @ Kansas and Maryland @ Duke.  Of course, there are also a couple conference tournaments kicking off again today, and since you brought it up:

ATLANTIC SUN: The A-Sun is a lower tier conference which seems even lower because outside of Belmont none of the team's are really recognizable:  Jacksonville?  Lipscomb?  Kennesaw State?  And they are currently in a state of flux with new additions South Carolina Upstate and Florida Gulf Coast - seems like a really geographically specific conference.  
FAVORITE:  Belmont.  There is actually a four-way tie at the top of the standings with Belmont, Campbell, Lipscomb, and Jacksonville, but I give the nod to Belmont because they have the highest ranking by Ken Pomeroy's numbers (#131) and rank in the top 170 in both offensive and defensive efficiency - the only team in the conference to do so.
SLEEPER: Lipscomb.  They swept Belmont and split against the other contenders, and that's good enough for me.  Plus, they rank in the top 80 in offensive efficiency, the only A-Sun team to rank that high in anything.
W's PICK: Belmont.  They seem to always play tough and pushed Duke to the limit in the tournament last year, not to mention a near-upset in the regular season of Tennessee a couple of years ago.

PATRIOT LEAGUE:  The Patriot ranks even worse than the A-Sun, coming in 27th out of 33 in conference ratings at, but is more fun because I read John Feinstein's book about it (The Last Amateurs) a few years ago, which highlighted that this is the kind of conference where a star player has to drop off the team because he needs more time to work on his Biochem Doctorate.  I don't condone that kind of quitting or having your priorities that out of whack, but it was a fun book.
FAVORITE:  Lehigh.  They won the regular season crown at 10-4, and Snacks has a Lehigh Hooded Sweatshirt for some reason so he could always where that when he goes to the bar to watch the play-in game.
SLEEPER:  Navy.  I always think team's that play a radically different style from the rest of the conference are dangerous, and Navy qualifies with a up-tempo game that ranked 14th fastest in the country when only one other team in the Patriot ranked in the top 100, even if they don't play any defense (DEf = 286th).  But Navy did sweep Lehigh and they have the conference's top scorer in Chris Harris.
W's PICK:  Bucknell.  These team's are all terrible, so it comes down to who gets hot and Bucknell has won five of their last six.  Plus, they are at least kind of a name school (Kansas = hi).


Temple @ St. Louis - The Billikens need to keep winning.  They are probably all the way out barring a run all the way to the A-10 final, but knocking off a RPI Top 20 team would help.

Wake Forest @ Florida State - Both teams could use this game, but FSU needs it to get a bid while Wake needs it to stop their losing streak (they're almost certainly in already).

UCONN @ Notre Dame - Not quite an elimination game, since I think even the loser can still get into the tournament, but the winner takes a big step forward.

Charlotte @ Rhode Island - A true bubble elimination game right here.

NC State @ Virginia Tech - Va Tech is in "can't lose another game" mode.

Miss State @ Auburn - I think the Bulldogs are in pretty good shape, but a loss to Auburn would put that all in jeopardy.

Memphis @ UAB - Another elimination game - certainly for Memphis, probably for UAB.

Colorado State @ San Diego State.  SDSU is another team in "can't lose" mode.

I also want to mention that this post is the first time I've used the "NIT" post label in two years.  That's fairly depressing.  Although it brings me to a good question - which is more prestigious, the CBI or the CIT?


Dawg said...

Were the Wolverines on a 40 minute power play last night? Yikes.

I would like to thank the gophers for releasing me from an anxiety riddled next couple of weeks. We will finally get to see Rodney log some major minutes which he should benefit from going into next season.

L-Dub - I wish you success at the next level. I'm curious if the next level will be the LA Fitness or Lifetime rec league. Either way you will dominate because nobody expects you to pass or play defense.

WWWWWW said...

In other depressing news, I am losing my fantasy college hoops championship right now 213-68 thanks to Trevor Booker being awesome and Chandler Parsons sucking.

The upside is that he's had seven games played and I've only had three, but the per game averages are 30.4 for him and 22.3 for me. We each have 20 games this week, so I need a big night tonight. Come on JaJuan, don't let me down. And all you other guys too.

Anonymous said...

Rick Reily has a pretty good article on rushing the court. There is also a solid cheap shot at MN in the article which was spot on and sad at the same time.

WWWWW When are the baseball previews coming out?

WWWWWW said...

I stopped reading at this part "Rick Reilly has a pretty good article."

Anonymous said...

You being critical of a writer is like Tubby being critical of another teams offense.

WWWWWW said...

I would agree with you but with two exceptions: Reilly and Reusse.