Saturday, March 26, 2005

That'll hurt

Arizona stood less than 3.5 minutes from the Final Four with a 15-point lead over Illinois and had been pounding the Illini from midway through the second half . . . then came the equal and opposite reaction. A tremendous comeback by Illinois, great shooting by Deron Williams and Dee Brown, excellent hustle and a 20-5 run to tie the game at 80-all. Ultimately, Arizona will look back on this and wonder how it lost.

As for West Virginia: the Mountaineers took a page from Syracuse 2003's championship game win over Kansas -- incredible first-half shooting, running out to a huge lead . . . and didn't finish. Good timing for Larry O'Bannon to show up in the second half for Louisville, and Taquan Dean has had a very nice tournament. West Virginia was overmatched but did not play that way and John Beilein deserves the compliments he'll get for guiding this team to its Final Eight run.

Two other broadcast notes: (1) both Gus Johnson and Dick Enberg struck the right notes in excitement while calling the games today; (2) I'm sick and tired of hearing how a kid has "come to play today" -- this means stop saying that, Seth Davis. If the players haven't come to play, why did they suit up?

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