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Tuesday, April 3, 2007

National Champs, Part Deux

Florida repeated as national champion Monday night, thus cementing its position as one of the greatest college basketball teams of modern times. If nothing else, the '05-'07 Gators are certainly one of the most dominant tournament teams ever. Like 11 teams before them, Ohio State fell victim to Florida flipping the "ON" switch and bringing down a devastating combination of talent and unselfishness upon their helpless victims. America ate it up with a spoon.

I was enjoying several polls on ESPN's SportsNation tonight (check out how much Wisconsin hates Barry Bonds). A plurality of the ESPN web-citizens felt that what's latest is greatest when it comes to NCAA repeaters. I never thought I would defend Duke, but the Devils did upset a truly great team (UNLV) during their first title run in 1991 and bested a ferocious title contender (Kentucky) in their repeat bid in 1992. You can't really say the same for Florida's opponents the past two seasons. To be in the conversation is the honor--one that Florida earned at Monday's final horn.

On the home front, Ohio State's offensive drought during the late first-half run by Florida doomed the Big Ten rep. It's a telling point that Greg Oden posted his most dominant performance of the year, but the Buckeyes still could not mount any charge in the second half. Regardless, Oden needs to flee college ball to gets some real competition.

Ohio State shot a poisonous amount of three-pointers and shot them poorly (props to Big Ten Wonk on his last day). Florida contained Mike Conley Jr. for the most part, allowing Greg Oden to rack up his double-double. Ron Lewis came back to earth. Lee Humphrey did not. End of story.

It would be a truly historical feat to three-peat, not that anyone is holding their breath. At least three Gators are NBA-bound next season, maybe more. The amount of hype that would follow Florida around day-to-day would dwarf that of this year and almost certainly disrupt the amazing harmony the team enjoyed when it really mattered. Egos don't get smaller with two-time defending champions.

Not to mention Humphrey, the NCAA tournament's all-time leader in made three-pointers, is a senior this year. Florida has talent to spare and a sick crop of incoming freshmen, which will ultimately keep Donovan in Gainesville. Yet, even if the juniors returned, the Gators might not even be the preseason No. 1 in the fall with Kansas and North Carolina's thoroughbreds all a year older.

So I'll be saying goodbye to Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer. Unless the Bucks draft one of them (please Larry Harris, say 'no' to Noah).

: : :

Seth Davis continues to disappoint me. A few years ago when Davis made his CBS debut, he seemed well-informed, connected and polished. Now he just gets under my skin belittling the Badgers whenever possible and, apparently, lower his standards. How is rational to be pleased by the ridiculous interview Noah gave following the title game? He talks (looks?) like a special education student. I began referring to Noah as "Kim" a while ago, but with the help of this hilariously disrespectful YouTube video, I can never go back. And as one of Bill Simmons' readers brought to his attention, Noah is actually 22 years old already. He should sound more mature than his peers, not exponentially less mature. But let it be known that he is probably still "doing it up real big" 24 hours after Florida's victory.

: : :

- Randolph Morris is averaging 0.5 ppg with 3 DNPs!!
- Iowa hires Butler's Lickliter; Michigan buys out Beilein's contract

- Arkansas gets screwed/Dana Altman might be whipped
- Central Florida head coach Kirk Speraw is my new hero (YouTube)


  1. So what did you think about Simmons advocating the Bucks draft Brewer?

    btw, I can't change from "Benjamin" What a pain.

  2. oh, and I think Big Ten Wonk was talking to you ...

  3. Well, I beat Wonk to the punch, unless you were referring this being one of those "middling and easily ignored blogs."

    The Bucks need guys who can defend, so yes, I'm interested in Brewer. He could guard LeBron, Rip, Billups, Gordon ... but that would be the smart choice. It will be tough to pass up Wright (or Horford) if Milwaukee sticks at #3.

  4. Yo Phil - I'm liking the hire of Beilein. I just want to dance, dance, dance.


Do you like the NCAA tournament's new 8-team "first-round" format?

What should Wisconsin do with the newly vacated scholarship?

Poll: Who will win the Big Ten?

Poll: Who was Wisconsin's first-half MVP (thru 16 games)?

Poll: How Many Regular Season games will wisconsin win in 2009-10?