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Saturday, March 31, 2007

One Down, One To Go

The Ohio State-Georgetown game was a virtual pick'em in Vegas and I couldn't have agreed more. My instincts told me to pick the one-point favorite, Georgetown, because of experience, their conference, Jeff Green and the precision of John Thompson III's cutting offense.

I'm still waiting for Green to show up. In terms of leadership, he had an abysmal game, going long stretches in both halves before scoring (or even attempting) his first basket. The junior finished with only five field goal attempts. Inexcusable on Green's part, which Billy Packer correctly harped on, but also on JT3's part. Jim Nantz kept fawning over David Lighty's defense, but c'mon Jimbo. The frosh goes 6'6" and 220 pounds--he didn't quite "lock down" Green, who has three inches and 15-20 pounds of muscle on Lighty.

In the regional finals, Georgetown destroyed North Carolina in crunch time by letting the Tar Heels tire themselves out and clamping down on defense. UNC looked undisciplined on offense once Ty Lawson quit attacking the hoop at breakneck speed. The outside shots were open, but rushed.

Credit Ohio State for gaining control of the game and not relinquishing it. Mike Conley Jr. is just a tad slower than Lawson, but smoother and smarter. He posted his typically stellar line: a team-high 15 points on 58% shooting, with 6 assts, 5 rebs and only one turnover. Plus, his Buckeye teammates were free throw-making, turnover-forcing seniors, not freshmen.

The end of the first half and beginning of the second were the only enjoyable moments of the touted match-up of big men, as foul trouble kept both Roy Hibbert and Greg Oden on the bench for long periods of time. I did see a glimpse of Oden's potential when he received a pass as a trailer entering the wide-open lane and tried to jump over Green for the dunk. Gramps got up; Green got the foul. But the best thing about Oden's brief domination was that Clark Kellogg got to comment on the young sensation during the post-game highlight session.

Kellogg's exact quote:

"Greg Oden made the most of his opportunities in the second half and showed me a little more in his package than expected."


If you stuck around between games, you saw officials from Lowe's present Alando Tucker with this year's Lowe's Senior Class Award. Tucker was sporting a brand new shirt with some sort of savanna camouflage design. The presentation and acceptance speeches were equally hilarious. Unintentionally.

BTW, I think UCLA beats Florida. So bet on Florida and the BCS rematch.

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