College / Mar 29, 2011 / 12:00 pm

Final Four: Losing Is Just As Important As Learning How To Win

Final Four

Words. Julian Caldwell

Conspicuously absent from this year’s Final Four are the top seeds that steamed rolled their way through the regular season. Instead, you see teams that struggled to perform like elite squads and drew questions of whether they even deserved tournament bids.

Duke, Kansas, Ohio State and Pittsburgh, the four No. 1 seeds, came into the Big Dance with a combined 13 losses. Butler, Connecticut, Kentucky and Virginia Commonwealth go into the Final Four with nearly triple that number. Read More »

Smack / Mar 28, 2011 / 2:00 am

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant Crack Portland; The Heat Put Up Historic Buckets

Russell Westbrook

What a game in Oklahoma City last night between the Thunder and the Blazers. It was a battle that had playoff intensity, physicality and atmosphere, great individual performances, and we saw the young core of a burgeoning NBA juggernaut take a formative step forward in their development. When it got down to winning time, the Thunder’s offense resorted to a two-man game focusing on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook running pick-and-pops and taking turns on isos and clearouts. Westbrook (28 points) ended up as the closer, burying three monster treys down the stretch to give OKC the 99-90 win … This season, it absolutely feels like the Thunder are starting to belong to KD and Russ (have you seen Russel’s kicks?), as opposed to just being Kevin Durant and a bunch of sidekicks. Everyone can feel it, including those two. Case in point, Read More »

Smack / Mar 19, 2011 / 2:00 am

Serious Drama Brewing with Carmelo in New York; Psycho T Goes Off (Again)

Tyler Hansbrough

Friday was an absolute bonanza of basketball, both college and pro. NCAA Tournament games all day and a 12-game slate of NBA games had us locked in sitting in front of a TV from noon til after midnight … Arguably the best game of the entire day was the Bulls/Pacers overtime battle in Indy. Two weeks ago it looked like the Pacers’ season was a wrap, but after outlasting Chicago 115-108 last night have now won three of their last four … Seriously, the Tyler Hansbrough thing is starting to become ridiculous. He had another monster game, going for 29 point and 12 boards, and when he fouled out in OT, it seemed like there was a definite “Uh oh, what do we do now?” vibe among the Pacers and their fans … Odd night for Derrick Rose. He tied a career-high with 42 points, but he only had 2 assists in 39 minutes. Yes, the Pacers were doubling him all over the place, but for a guy who has the ball in his hands 80% (maybe more) of the time on Chicago possessions, he needs to be setting up guys better than that … Read More »

Video / Feb 2, 2011 / 11:30 am

Shotloc Shot of the Week: Monster French League Buzzer Beater

You may have seen this on SportsCenter this morning, but if you haven’t, it’s definitely worth a look. In a French League game, former VCU Ram Jamal Shuler, with his team up one with six seconds to go, missed two free throws. The other team raced down the floor and hit a scored with 1.4 seconds left in the game. Shuler redeemed himself mightily a split second later. Check it out…

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College / Mar 18, 2009 / 4:36 pm

Barack Obama’s NCAA bracket: North Carolina all the way

President Barack Obama

While the rest of us have the luxury of filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket in relative peace — only having it picked apart game-by-game if somebody in your office pool is really bored — President of the United States Barack Obama (I still like typing that out in full) gets no such treatment. Read More »

College / Mar 18, 2009 / 9:59 am

March Madness best matchups: Darren Collison vs. Eric Maynor

VCU's Eric Maynor

Whether it’s Dick Vitale‘s hoarse screaming or Bruiser Flint reading it off some intern’s notes, every college basketball analyst will tell you that backcourt play is beyond critical in the Tournament; especially point guard play. Like I said in picking Louisville senior PG Andre McGee (and backup Edgar Sosa) to lead the Cardinals to a national ‘chip, each of this decade’s title-winning teams had, without exception, good to great point guards. Read More »