Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Post-Championship Thoughts

What a way to end the basketball season!  Other than a photo finish, the Louisville/Michigan title fight had everything: speed, scoring, stars playing great, role players stepping up, and a righteous outcome. Sure, it also featured more than a few blown calls and some poor endgame strategy from the Wolverines, but I'm not going to complain too loudly.  The Cardinals deserved their 82-76 victory, and they earned it in thrilling fashion.
Last night was about how great college basketball can be, when coaches set their players loose, and let them win or lose on their own merits.  Far too often in the college game, coaches pump the breaks by slowing possessions down in a desperate attempt to keep their kids on a short leash (Coach Boyle is often guilty of this; we call it Tadball).  But not once last night did either Rick Pitino or John Beilein excessively slow the game down.  Both teams were well over one point per possession, and, as a result, basketball fans across the nation were treated to a beautiful exhibition of speed, athleticism, and effort.  It was joyous to watch.

Did Michigan get screwed by a couple of calls, particularly the phantom foul called on Trey Burke?  Yeah, but I'm begrudgingly resigning myself to the fact that basketball played at anything close to a high level is impossible to officiate cleanly.  I'm just glad that, for the most part, the zebras stayed out of it.
Notice the ref screened by the play.  He had to guess.  He guessed wrong.  From: Deadspin.
I just hope this tournament serves as a lesson to coaches around the nation: you don't have to play negative basketball to win.  Run, score, be aggressive on defense.  Play fearless, play to win.  Don't look at Bo Ryan, as he is clearly the devil in disguise. 

So, now the long wait for November officially begins.  205 days.  *sigh*

After NBA decisions are made next week, and barring any surprise transfer news, things should be pretty quiet in Boulder until October practices start up.  There's a good chance that the intervening months will be filled with talk of a top-25 team, and the potential for the greatest season in CU basketball history, but, for now, we'll just have to wait patiently.

I hate waiting patiently.

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