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Random Thoughts

March 15, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments

Random Thoughts – Day 1

by Jon Gonzalez

You know what? Thank God for digital cable. Thanks to digital cable, I am able to watch every single NCAA tournament game. The game that I am most grateful for having the chance to watch was Wyoming/Gonzaga. I knew the Cowboys would win it and I am so glad the ‘Zags got bounced.

“Hey, we should have been a higher seed, hey we’re the ‘Zags, hey, give us respect,” cry the Bulldogs. Ha. You play in the West Coast Conference with the likes of St.Mary’s, San Diego and Loyal Marymount. Just because you’ve had a little success in past NCAA Tournaments doesn’t mean the committee should throw you a 2-seed.

The only difference between you and say, Holy Cross, is that you have won a few more games in the big dance. And for those who said they should have been a higher seed because of their rank: polls and tournament seeds are two different things, people. So for all of you who picked Gonzaga to waltz through the West, serves you right . . .

Did anyone see that UNCW/USC game? How in the world did UNCW win that game? They had the Trojans flat on their backs and proceeded to crumble like a cookie. It seemed like they turned the ball over every single possession after USC decided to play ball. USC would score, the Seahawks would turn it over. If there was a bad pass to be made, UNCW made it. For the last eight minutes of that game, I thought I was watching USC vs. UNCW-middle school, it was that bad.

There was one guy in particular for UNCW that when he decided to dribble, a Trojan defender would knock the ball away. It looked like me dribbling out there. You think the guy would have tried not to put the ball on the floor after the first three times he got stripped. When USC was down by three with seconds left I knew the Trojans would go down the court and tie the game, which they did.

At that point I realized that this was the biggest tank job that I had seen out of any basketball team, ever. The Seahawks must have realized they were beating Southern Cal by 19 points and decided to play like a normal Colonial Athletic Conference team because they flat out quit playing with 10 minutes left in that game. It came to the point where UNCW players spent more time looking at the clock, praying for it to tick down, then at the ball.

But just when I had thought I had witnessed the biggest choke job of all time, then came OT. The USC Trojans need to take a hard, long look into the mirror. Before the extra frame began, the USC players stood in their huddle with smiles on their faces. They might as well had been rolling around on the ground in laughter because after outplaying UNCW for the last 8 minutes and change and forcing a tie, they had all the momentum in the world and looked primed to rout the Seahawks in the extra period. The Trojans then proceeded to miss a few easy lay-ups, thus giving UNCW life, and eventually lost the game.

I don’t think I have ever been more dumfounded after watching a basketball game. But hey, two chokes for the price of one, can’t beat that. By the way, why did the Seahawks have on gold uniforms? Last time I checked, gold wasn’t part of their color scheme . . .

More Thoughts
Just to make things fair, I think the NCAA should have let Winthrop use 8 players on the court at once. That way, the Eagles might have lost by 20 instead of 47 points . . .

I think the biggest seeding error of the whole tournament was seen yesterday in the Miami/Missouri game. Prior to the game I had heard that Miami was having a hard time adjusting to the New Mexico altitude and many players were throwing up after pre-game practices. How come the Mizzou players looked more than comfortable playing at The Pit?
I guess Miami should have been paying more attention to the Tigers and less attention to the beach. Mizzou hardly looked like a 12-seed as they dismantled the Hurricanes . . .

So, I see the edifice in Saint Louis is now called the Edward Jones Dome, hmm . . . catchy . . .

Is it me, or does every low-seeded team that has a chance to pull an upset manage to miss easy shots that wind up costing them the game? It happens EVERY SINGLE TIME, EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Little team A has big time team B on the ropes, and proceeds to miss 1-foot bunnies, wide open three pointers that the shooter had approximately 20 seconds to shoot and free throws. It breaks my heart. It has already happened to Holy Cross, Davidson and Santa Barbara. Note to lower seeded teams: If you want to pull the shocker, relax and make the easiest shots in all of basketball, geez.

Anyway, I am out.


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