Posted on: April 6, 2009 9:29 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2009 9:34 pm
So far the Tar Heels are doing exactly what they want. Roy Williams has to be pleased. North Carolina is 6 of 7 from the field and have hit both of their threes. Michigan State is having a hard time hitting a basket. It's 17-7 It's 7-3 early. Tyler "Funny Face" Hansbrough was blocked trying to dunk. He made one of two free throws. It's 8-3 early and this pace favors North Carolina.
Posted on: April 6, 2009 9:22 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2009 9:23 pm
The computer is trying to shut me down. I won't be stopped. * * * It got so loud with boos when the Tar Heels were being introduced you could barely hear their names.
Posted on: April 6, 2009 9:04 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2009 9:23 pm
...were just introduced. The place went nuts again.
• When the Tar Heels were introduced it sounded like they were playing at Duke. Booooooo! One minute to go...
• Michigan State was just introduced. The place went crazy. It's loud as hell now. The Michigan State mascot scares me. His arms are gigantic. He's high fiving the players and flexing and strutting. He's going to give me nightmares. Five minutes and counting.
• Both teams are warming up and stretching. It still feels like a huge football game. There is definitely a Super Bowl feel to this. I'm not kidding. The Michigan State fans have made this Final Four more special than some others in recent years.
Posted on: April 6, 2009 6:44 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2009 7:57 pm
They are meeting with the press now. We've heard all of their stories before and discussed the importance of that game they played many years ago. But this is what's now most striking about the two: they genuinely seem to really like one another.
Their rivalries never seemed to destroy their friendship and I can tell you it's a rarity in sports for the egos of two superstars not to disintegrate their closeness.
* * *
The mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard, was mugged outside Ford Field after Saturday night's games.
I'm guessing this won't make the tourism brochures for the city of Detroit.
Does anyone know where Matt Millen was at the time of the alleged incident?
* * *
I rarely do this. In fact, I never do this. But I just have to say it. Gary Parrish is breaking just about every story there is on the college basketball beat. It's freaking ridiculous. He's dominating the beat like few people I've seen in 20 years of doing this.
The thing I like about Gary? He's not a pompous ass like some of his fellow college writers.
That's it. Moving on now.
* * *
A question. If Roy Williams wins then that's two national titles for him which would be impressive. So where would he rank in terms of the all-time great coaches? Top ten, top five?
Think about it and post your thoughts.
And there is a slob next to me eating his potato chips with his mouth open.
Just wanted all of you to have that image.
* * *
The blogging starts now. Unfortunately, Doyel is still bald. The light from his head is blinding.
There's a guy across from me who won't stop talking. He says Dirk Nowitzki is the worst MVP in sports history. He's a big mouth idiot.
I'll be blogging all night, you'll be bashing me all night, and it'll be, well, like every day on this site.
Posted on: April 4, 2009 4:25 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2009 10:12 pm
North Carolina is destroying Villanova.
The Wildcats have suddenly morphed into the Detroit Lions.
Bad time to do that.
The Wildcats did just cut into North Carolina's lead and they now only trail by nine points.
We know Villanova has heart.
But do they have the manpower?
* * *
I'm covering the next game so I won't be blogging as much but I'll check back in a few times.
By the way, has anyone seen Doyel?
And remember, never, no, never, ever be that guy.
* * *
What happened to Connecticut?
It's not as simple as the fact Michigan State got the Huskies to play down to their level.
They did and Michigan State played well. I don't want to take anything away from the Spartans.
The Huskies, however, were the sloppiest I've seen them in this tournament. They turned the basketball over on fast breaks and allowed the Spartans wide open dunks and layups.
And, as usual, the Huskies missed a large number of free throws.
This was as much a failure by UConn as it was a victory by Michigan State.
This is also an uncomfortable fact for Jim Calhoun. Tom Izzo undressed him. Tom Izzo took Calhoun over his knee and spanked him. It was a clinic.
Then again, Izzo does that to a lot of coaches.
* * *
He's just 4 of 13 with nine points. The Spartans have done an excellent job on him.
And UConn just missed another free throw.
They're now 12 of 22 from the line.
* * *
UConn is 12 of 21 from the free throw line.
Even Pistol Pete Prisco could make more than that.
Those misses are absolutely killing them in this close game.
The Spartans have only shot seven free throws but made five.
* * *
The Spartans take a 53-49 lead and it's loud as hell in here again.
UConn was forced to call a timeout and the entire Michigan team erupted.
The Spartans are acting like their lives depend on this game.
This one is going down to the last second.
* * *
Again, UConn makes a run, this time as the second half begins, and again, Michigan State responds.
After the Spartans made the score 46-44, Tom Izzo went out on the court, pumping his fists and screaming.
The Huskies can't pull away.
* * *
I've seen UConn a lot during this tournament and Jim Calhoun is solid entertainment all by himself. He's almost as fun to watch as the games themselves.
The NCAA's basketball committee is seated about 10 feet away from me and right next to UConn's bench. Every time there's a bad call that goes against UConn, Calhoun complains to the committee.
There's nothing they can do Jim. At least not right at the moment.
You knew the committee members want to chuckle at Calhoun's antics but they can't. Meanwhile, those of us within earshot are laughing hysterically.
* * *
This has been a pretty good tournament and this game is no different.
Michigan State fans will say I've underestimated their team. For the opening half, at least, they're right. Michigan State plays a highly unattractive brand of basketball but they are one tough team that won't go away.
They've withstood charge after UConn charge. It's impressive.
The near fight towards the end of the first half showed the Spartans weren't going to be intimidated by a bigger and more athletic UConn bunch.
As the game officials broke it up Michigan State's Marquise Gray looked at the UConn players and said: "(Expletive) you guys."
* * *
As Kemba Walker walked off the court after making a horrible pass, he had the misfortune of walking by his coach, Jim Calhoun.
"What the (expletive) is wrong with you?" Calhoun yelled.
Calhoun's face was so red I thought his head was going to explode like a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
* * *
Ford Field has gotten a little more subdued. The Michigan State crowd is realizing just how good the Huskies are.
Either that or the beer has run out
* * *
UConn has done a tremendous job of withstanding a blistering early run by Michigan State. The Spartans, behind the emotion of their home crowd, took a large lead early but now the Huskies lead 16-14.
Michigan State doesn't have an answer to Hasheem Thabeet who is killing them inside. He might easily end up with 20 and 10 tonight.
* * *
The Michigan State guard was aching and slowly walked over to the bunch.
He sat down and grimaced.
But now he looks OK.
Good thing he remembered to not be that guy.
* * *
...with Tom Izzo.
Then suddenly remembered and sprinted over.
* * *
It's unreal here. This game feels like a Michigan State home game or, more succintly, a Michigan State home football game.
It's loud and all the cheering is being done by Michigan State fans.
Seriously, it's almost all Michigan State fans here.
It's like UConn is playing at Georgetown or Duke.
We'll see how this affects the Huskies.
* * *
Michigan State is warming up.
Even their warm-up drills are ugly.
One thing: Ford Field is absolutely gorgeous.
And, as always, never, ever be that guy.
* * *
Detroit has done a fine job with the Final Four. The city and its residents should be proud, no question. Yet in walking around downtown, it's easy to see just how awful things are here. Many of the stores are boarded shut. Many of the shops and stores are gone. The atmosphere is festive because of the games and the Michigan State fans but -- and this is difficult to explain -- but you almost feel guilty for having a good time amid such depression.
Does that make sense or am I too in touch with my feminine side?
And remember, don't be that guy.
* * *
I'll be blogging all night beginning now. We'll begin with Michigan State fans. As Emmitt Smith might say, they've blow'd up. They...are...everywhere. It's a sea of green down here. I'm also sitting next to Gregg Doyel. His head is a sea of baldness.
And remember, don't be that guy.
Posted on: April 5, 2008 2:56 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2008 8:16 pm
UCLA = Buffalo Bills
The Bruins can't make a shot and can't generate offense. Collison was just called for a foul. Time for UCLA to play hack-a-Shaq and start fouling the Tigers.
The common thought coming into this game was that UCLA's defense would slowly wear Memphis down. But the opposite has occurred.
Love is taking too many outside shots.
The Bruins make a great defensive stand.
Love miss. He has not had a great game tonight.
OhmyGod! Chris Douglas-Roberts just dunked on Love!
Love just redeemed himself by blocking Dorsey and then Dorsey makes a great rejection of his own.
Three minutes left and Memphis is up by 11.
Thus far, with 2:53 left, Dorsey has one of the strangest lines you will ever see: no points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Even Prisco could score at least one basket.
They just showed Penny Hardaway on the screen. Why Penny? Why not Dollar Hardaway?
You know the game is over when Memphis makes it free throws.
Kevin Love? Helloooooo? Kevin? Big fella? You there?
In the past 5:22 no UCLA field goals.
Final score: 78-63 Memphis.
Memphis fans are going crazy and will officially be insufferable for the next 24 hours. I don't even want to talk about Calipari.
As for Ben Howland, this is just a brutal loss. Getting to this many consecutive Final Fours demonstrates his brilliance and greatness. It's damn difficult to do.
Unfortunately this is a bottom line business and his failure to win will frustrate some Bruins fans. Howland is going to become known as the Marv Levy of the college basketball coaching business. To me, that's an awesome comparison. But to others, it's a slap in the face.
Taking a break to go drink with Leinart and will be back for the University of North Hansbroughs against Kansas.
JOEY DORSEY HAS ZERO POINTS
The big zilcho for Dorsey. He also just landed his third foul with 19 minutes to go.
That's the bad news. The good news is that Memphis leads by seven.
Think about that. Dorsey is probably the team's second best player and he's done basically nothing and Memphis is still winning.
I'm awaiting my man Love to put his stamp on the game. He had the quietest 10 first half points I've ever seen.
"Hey Ben why don't you call another timeout," says Elvis, mockingly.
The Bruins despite 17 minutes to play have only two left.
I'm beginning to think Collison is extremely overrated. He's getting destroyed by Memphis guards the way D.J. Augustin did in the Texas game.
48-37 Memphis. The Tigers are making their free throws.
Huge rebound and put-back by Love.
Block and dunk by Memphis. Even when their offense is sluggish by their standards they can whip somebody's ass.
UCLA on a little run. Five point game.
Quick question: Who is the player most likely to end up with photos of him, a bong and babes on the Internet ala Matt Leinert?
Easy answer: Dorsey.
Dorsey and Love are having a great physical battle under the basket. Dorsey, despite his foul trouble, is crushing UCLA on the boards.
Memphis continues to make its free throws and Dorsey takes a seat for now.
Twelve minutes left the UCLA lead is back to seven. The Bruins have to get two or three good stops.
The refs are calling the second half a little tighter.
INSERT YOUR UGLY JOKE HERE
At this rate, if you had a drink for every missed shot, your blood alcohol level would be gin and tonic.
UCLA can't quite control the tempo because they can't make shots. But their defense is preventing Memphis from sticking its foot up Bruin butt. Memphis has a five point lead.
Calipari is a great, great coach. I like him most of the time. He's a Hall of Famer and a pro team should make another run at him. Yet every time I see him I think: no thanks on the extended warranty.
Even on a steal UCLA can't score. Dorsey blocks a UCLA steal and break.
Memphis huge dunk and they're starting to widen the gap.
Love gets booed by psycho Memphis fans for taking so long to get to the free throw line. Relax people. Love had to take a bite out of his roast beef sandwich first.
Another timeout. Time for me to go grease down my laptop.
Oh, wait. It's been about five minutes since a CBSSports.com community member wrote this: "FREEMAN'S A RACIST!!" Just want to keep the continuity going on the site.
This is one of the uglier Final Four games you will ever see. There is a loss of a ratings point with every Darren Collision brick.
The Memphis defense is playing better than UCLA's.
Niles just came into the game. All the M&Ms in the building just ran for their lives. Same with the burgers and hot dogs.
I don't think I've ever seen a basketball player that big. He's Big Baby with high cholesterol.
Tyler Hansbrough just dove on the floor for a loose ball! Oh, wait, he's not playing yet.
Love is making love to the free throw line.
I'm telling you now. Derrick Rose is going to be a 10-time All-Star.
Rose complained to the ref about getting fouled. Calipari complained as well then he said: "You really should look into the extended warranty."
UCLA continues to stick around. It's just 38-35 at the half.
This is the kind of game UCLA wants -- almost. Memphis is still able to generate offense. They've taken almost 40 shots already. Forty!
FINALLY, THE GAME BEGINS
If suddenly this luscious blog stops that means the NCAA busted me, took my computer and dragged me to court like my name was Chris Henry.
I have to say this: Memphis forward Pierre Niles is listed at 310. But I believe that 310 is one thigh. Niles looks like he ate a small car.
UCLA wins the tip and scores the first basket. The clock winded down pretty far.
Did you know that Tyler Hansbrough is gritty?
Memphis two bad shots back to back.
UCLA 3-pointer. 5-0 UCLA.
If you're UCLA you love this pace. But Kevin Love hasn't gotten involved.
There he goes. Hook shot. Followed by a UCLA three.
Memphis goes to a press and UCLA beats it easily. You're seeing what happen when AND 1 Memphis goes against athletes against as they are. The game is much more hotly contested.
Big 3 by Memphis. 11-10.
Rose just scored and that was followed by a Memphis dunk. Suddenly it's 17-12 Memphis.
The scoreboard, for a few minutes, had UCLA players listed under Memphis and vice versa. I'm the only loser who seeks these kinds of things out.
Love is sweating and breathing like he just ran a marathon. Big boy needs to do more cardio.
Another timeout. Somebody get me a beer and some Greek yogurt.
Dorsey is beating Love down the court constantly. Hey Love, next time, skip the chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.
Another timeout. Ben Howland excitedly gestures at an official. Howland showing emotion seems unusual. Howland seems so laid back he makes Tim Duncan look like Robin Williams.
UCLA's offense right now is horrible. But the Tigers' isn't much better. It;'s 24-23 with nine minutes left.
THE BEST OFF THE COURT...
Cheerleaders: Memphis. Runner up: UCLA
Fans: Memphis. But they're also the most obnoxious.
Mascot: UCLA. Though he grabs his crotch too much.
Dressed coach: Calipari.
JUST 40 MINUTES UNTIL MEMPHIS-UCLA
This game to me is the best of the night. I love contrast of style contests. Can UCLA slow down the Tigers?
This is how different Memphis is: during warm-ups now they're practicing alley ooop dunks. That's when you know a team likes to run and gun.
Another NFL comparison: If Memphis loses isn't their season a waste? Wouldn't it be similar to that of the New England Patriots last year?
A STORY YOU WON'T BELIEVE
Pete Prisco told this story when I appeared on his radio show (one of the best in the country I must add). I won't mention the coach's name except to say it's an NFL coach EVERYONE knows.
Prisco was at the owner's meetings in Florida. He had to go to the bathroom (get that image out of your head as quickly as possible). Inside was the NFL coach doing his thing. But in a nearby closed stall was some ruffling and woman's voice. The woman was saying something to the NFL coach to the effect of is it safe to come out?
Prisco was obviously wondering: what the hell is going on here?
A woman comes out of the stall. It was the head coach's girlfriend.
So to recap: the head coach brought his girlfriend into the men's bathroom. Just bizarre. I mean really, really odd.
Especially since there was no one in the nearby women's bathroom.
That has to be one of the best stories I've heard in many years.
If you have been awaiting the season premier of "Battlestar Galatica" the way a nine-year-old awaits Christmas morning are you:
A: A Loser
B: A Fracking Loser
C: A big, fat fracking loser with no life?
Posted on: April 5, 2008 2:42 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2008 2:46 pm
The game isn't for hours but the blogging begins early. That's how we roll here at CBSSports.com.
The main blog objectives today:
1. Make fun of Doyel's atrocious haircut which looks like his head got caught in a wood chipper.
2. Blog every important moment of the game including chronicling John Calipari's gyrations.
3. Count the number of times Tyler Spazbrough is called a "hero" or "gritty" or "a gritty hero." The over/under is 912.
4. Sneak in talk about "Battlestar Galatica" the best show on TV since "Cheaters."
5. Document the number of Memphis fans who will say no one respects their team.
Most of all, have fun, and talk a lot of basketball.
Three-plus hours until game time. What do I do first. Hmmm...eat my turkey sandwich with swiss and extra mustard or make fun of Doyel?
So many decisions...