What an end to a great Big East Tournament last night as UConn beat Louisville by three, 69-66, in an intense, up-and-down slugfest at MSG. The battle itself felt like it boiled down to the Kemba Walker/Peyton Siva matchup. Players stepped up on both sides, but it felt like those two were involved in almost every big play, whether it be scoring (Kemba had 19, Siva 13), setting up teammates or keeping the tempo at a blistering pace (they are clearly two of the fastest guards in the nation) … As Kemba was imposing his will in the second half and drawing foul after foul, Jay Bilas relayed that Rick Pitino was telling the refs that “Kemba Walker is not Michael Jordan.” When he was told about Pitino’s quote after the game, Kemba replied, “I’m not Michael Jordan, I’m Kemba Walker”… Kemba finished with 130 points in his five games – a Big East record – and was the easy choice for tourney MVP … So how does this UConn run change the way you look at the Huskies as an NCAA team? Sweet 16? Further? … Think Louisville’s Mike Marra will have nightmares about last night’s game for the rest of his life? He was 0-3 from the field for the game and was an adventure down the stretch on inbounds plays, including an absolute killer turnover with :23 to go in the game and his team down by one. He then found himself in a spot where he drew a foul shooting a three with his team down three. He made the first foul shot, but then missed the second. Then, when he was apparently trying to miss the third foul shot in order to set up a putback chance for his teammates, he drilled it. Just couldn’t do anything right … If you’re going to launch a fake Kemba Walker Twitter account pretending to be him, at least be smart enough not to start following us while Kemba is actually playing … The Jimmer Fredette magic ran out yesterday in the MWC championship game against San Diego State. Jimmer still got his 30, but it was on 10-25 shooting. And he got next to nothing from his teammates … It would appear that Nolan Smith is just fine. After leaving Friday’s ACC Tournament game with a foot injury that had Duke fans fearing another Kyrie Irving situation, he came back to hang 27 on Virginia Tech in a Duke W. The win sets up a Duke/UNC ACC Championship matchup this afternoon after the Tar Heels beat Clemson in OT. UNC got 40 from Harrison Barnes in the game on what seemed like a never-ending run of deep threes. Is this finally the Barnes that everyone envisioned when he committed to UNC? Can’t wait to see what version of him shows up today against Duke …
Smack / Mar 13, 2011 / 3:00 am
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