Monday, April 04, 2005

UNC 75, Illinois 70

First of all, it's official: The Monk won his tournament pool in a dead-on exact two-way tie with someotherguyIdunno. He works with Wongdoer and we put in the same tiebreaker total = 156 points. And this wasn't some five-guys-from-work thing -- this pool had nearly 60 entrants.

Second, I think that UNC played with fire for the last 12 minutes of this game and barely avoided getting its hat handed to it. Why? (A) Disappearance of Rashad McCants; (B) sloppiness of Marvin Williams; (C) loss of poise by Jawad Williams; (D) inability to feed the big dog in the last minutes after May had carried that team to a pair of double-digit leads (42-27 early second half, 65-55 in the homestretch); (E) giving up good looks to Deron Williams and Luther Head. Roy Williams stuck with man-to-man too long, didn't rein in some of the quick shots (that's you I'm talking to Marvin Williams, Melvin Scott! and Rashad), couldn't get his BIGGER team to keep the Illins from killing the 'Heels on the glass, didn't get his kids to fight through the screens (of course, crappy reffing helped the Illins -- usually those moving screens are only legal in the NBA or some rigged Cold War contests in Munich from 33 years ago).

So congrats to the Tar Heels, who rode the back (and 18 second-half points) of Sean May, who were saved from humility by the clutch play of Raymond Felton (a can't shoot point guard two years ago, he dropped in 4-of-5 three-pointers).

And now a couple of broadcast complaints: (1) I may have missed the discussion at halftime, but in the second half the announcers and graphics never noted the Kentucky-deficit-at-halftime stat I referred to below, but I know it popped up time and again in Syracuse's game against Kansas (you think I haven't watched it again since 2003? Get real); (2) the post-game sucked rocks -- tons of commmercials, return from commercial to pump the late night repeats and the One Shining Moment montage, and what happened to Billy Packer returning to Raymond Felton for more comments? I think CBS has sipped too much of ESPN's self-promotional Kool-Aid; (3) Uh, Illinois' other school color is blue so why couldn't Bruce Weber wear a blue blazer with an orange tie and hanky?

Ultimately, a really good tournament with a Final worthy of it.

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