It was a bad shot. That’s really where you have to start. It was pretty much indefensibly bad. Ali Farokhmanesh cannot plausibly argue that it was wise to take that three-pointer from the right wing with 37 seconds on the game clock, 30 on the shot clock, and his Northern Iowa Panthers up one on top-seeded and top-ranked Kansas.
Farokhmanesh had played an uneven game to that point. After a hot first half (4-for-4, 11 points), the UNI senior hadn’t scored since intermission. The Panthers, likewise, began leaking oil down the stretch. Solid for much of the afternoon, Northern Iowa struggled to get the ball past halfcourt against Kansas’ press. The Jayhawks found lanes for layups and putbacks. A double-digit lead was trimmed to one, and it seemed Kansas would have, at worst, a chance to tie with its next possession.
I wrote—albeit briefly—about my love of the NCAA Vault late last season. For the uninitiated, the NCAA Vault contains every NCAA Tournament game from the Sweet 16 on played since 2000. That is 165 games in all. That is, in fact, too much for you to rationally sort through to figure out which games are worth skipping to the end, which games are worth perusing, and which merit full-blown opening-tip-to-final-buzzer immersion.
That’s why I’m here.
As part of our comprehensive college basketball preview over the next few days, I’ll be breaking down the contents of the NCAA Vault (and March Madness On Demand, which houses all 64 games from last season’s epic Tournament). Whether you’re in the mood to see a great individual performance, a team operating on all cylinders, or the moments when an eventual champion came closest to elimination, I’ve got you covered.
Sounds like gooooood watchin’.
The Five Games from the 2010 Tournament You Should Rewatch…NOW
Let’s be honest: The NCAA Tournament had hit a little bit of a late-decade rough patch before 2010. From the 2006 Final Four blowouts straight through to North Carolina’s romp through the field in 2009, there wasn’t a whole lot of memorable action (Mario Chalmers’ three and Stephen Curry, notwithstanding). Continue reading
If there was any remaining doubt that this was the best NCAA Tournament ever, last night’s Xavier-KSU game (which I declared would not be close) should have cemented that status. Anyway, here are some more picks you can take to the bank….
2 Ohio State vs. 6 Tennessee
Original Pick: Georgetown over Ohio State
What I’ve Learned: Obviously, if the Volunteers are going to win this game, they are going to have to shut down Ohio State’s leading scorer in this Tournament: Jon Diebler. Diebler tore up UC-Santa Barbara in the First Round, dropping 23 points, and everyone knows that as goes Diebler, so go the Buckeyes. In all seriousness, Evan Turner has been the best player in college basketball this year and—notwithstanding what Denis Clemente, Terrell, Holloway, Jordan Crawford and Jacob Pullen all did at various points last night—the player who can most take over a game in this Tournament. Thanks to Georgetown’s early loss, Tennessee got to face Ohio in Round 2 and dispatched them fairly easilyafter struggling against San Diego State. But the fact that the Volunteers haven’t played a good team yet should make anyone wary of their ability to contain Turner.
The Pick: Ohio State Continue reading