Final Four: Miss You Never, Kentucky
– Duke 81, (7) Michigan State 61
- Yeah, so Sparty just had no answer. Zero. None.
- We should’ve seen this coming. Duke’s best is better than Kentucky’s best, which would have been a great matchup. But Sparty, while great and the darlings of everyone (me. They’re the darlings of me) was a 7 seed. It is always surprising when they score. The fact that they scored 61 is a surprise. They rode a weird seeding (because Sparty should never, ever, ever be lower than, like, a 5, even if they miss the Tournament) and a generous placement to the Final Four, where they ran into Duke.
- And speaking of Duke. My goodness. I don’t even know which part of them to compliment first. They dismantled Sparty. This isn’t the first time this Tournament I watched Okafor play and said “Well, there’s the next Tim Duncan right there.” Winslow might be a top 5 pick as well.
- One last thing: Every time Coach K and Izzo step onto the court, 9 out of 10 times they are smarter than the guy opposite them. I just wanted to point that out.
– Wisconsin 71, (1) Kentucky 64
- Sorry, sorry, give me a sec—
- Ok, I’m good now.
- This game was awesome. Even if Kentucky won, this game was entertaining the entire way.
- Which begs the question: how in the world did Kentucky lose? There were points when Wisconsin was up by 8 points, and Kentucky seemed in control. I have no idea how the lost this game.
- Well, that’s not entirely true. Wisconsin is really good. Kaminsky had 20 points and 11 rebounds against THREE SEVEN FOOTERS. HOW? HOW, KENTUCKY?
- (Not to harp on this or anything, but Kaminsky will be a nice 6th man on the Charlotte Hornets for the rest of his career. This was his peak game, before he gets eaten alive by Okafor. A combined height of 21 feet, and this guy gets 20 points and 11 rebounds. I mean… I can’t…)
- Wisconsin should get all the credit in the world. They slowed the game down to how they wanted to play it. The first few minutes of the game, Kentucky raced to a 5-0 lead, punctuated by a thunderous Cauley-Stein dunk. Wisconsin was never going to win running up and down the court like that.
- So, they deliberately picked their moments, ran the shot clock, hit their threes, limited their turnovers, and forced Kentucky to make their plays. It happened against Notre Dame. Not against the Badgers.
- On, Wisconsin.
Championship Game: Grayson Allen Cares Not For Your Happily Ever Afters
– Duke 68, (1) Wisconsin 63
- I have a weird relationship when it comes to Duke, in that I love to root for them: Coach K is awesome, they typically play smart basketball, and they win. It surprises me that people of a certain generation have a hatred for them, so I may be happier than you right now, because I like to see Duke win. I also root for Magneto over the X-Men, so I don’t know what to tell you.
- Going into this game, I thought Duke was the easy pick. I was wrong, in that I thought it’d be easier for the Blue Devils. To me, Okafor was Kaminsky with an NBA future; Winslow was Dekker with more explosion. In theory, it should be harder for Wisconsin to score on Duke than it should be for Duke to score on Wisconsin.
- Tyus Jones was the one I couldn’t account for. I couldn’t figure out who on Wisconsin was going to guard him. And that ended up being the difference, as he—and Grayson Allen, too—led that late charge.
- It was the freshman that did Wisconsin in. There were four of them, totaling 60 of Duke’s 68 points. Wisconsin’s four seniors scored 28.
- A requiem for Wisconsin, though: they took the two best shots that Frazier and Ali had, and took them well. The fact they led for as long as they did was the most amazing thing, since they only had a day after destroying a Hydra. And they brought their best, indeed: Kaminsky outdueled eventual no. 1 pick Okafor with a 21 point, 12 rebound performance, while also getting Okafor in foul trouble. He needed more help, though, probably in the form of Sam Dekker, who was quiet again, as he was against Kentucky, minus the biggest shot of the game.
- As for Coach K: he now has more national championships than every human being in history except for one man, John Wooden. Wooden racked up 10 in an era that allowed him too. Coach K has five in an era that shouldn’t be conducive to that. Coach K is the greatest coach of all time
- Last note: Tyus Jones is listed as 6’1”. There’s, like, no way that’s possible, right? Am I crazy, or is he much closer to 5’8”?