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Kevin Durant Regrets Not Playing Harder Against USC

Woa! Slow down their Randy Moss. Listen to what Texas superstar Kevin Durant said after Texas’ loss to USC in the 2nd round of the tournament on Sunday. Mind you, the stud scored 30 points. Click here for the sound.

Yes, Kevin Durant said:

Like Coach [Barnes] said, it left a sour taste in my mouth for me ending the season like this.  I kind of regret not playing as hard as I could today and throughout the whole season.  But like Coach [Barnes] said we did some good things this year but it’s always tough to lose like this.

While Durant was more explicit answering questions about his future, he left a lot of ambiguity with the aforementioned comment.

Was he really serious in saying he wasn’t trying his hardest against USC and during the season?  Was he really coasting?  Is he capable of dedicating himself to the game more?

Or

Did he completely misspeak?  Did he mean he wishes he could have done more to help Texas win against USC and during the regular season?  Did he mean he regrets that the team couldn’t have gone farther in the tournament?

To think, against Texas Tech he could’ve gone 50 and 30.

Slacker.

My Crappy NCAA Tournament Picks: Day 3

 

Ohio St is a bunch of lucky asses: Justin Cage misses a FT that would’ve made it a 2 possession game down the stretch and put it out of hand, instead, Ohio St. gets the ball back and Ron Lewis nails a 3ptr and the rest is history. Credit where it’s due however; without Oden the Buckeyes blew away Xavier in OT – Conley Jr. was a stud scoring 11 pts.

Free Throws are Key: Ohio St. was allowed the opportunity to tie it because Cage went 1 of 2 in the last few seconds. UCLA held off Indiana because Afflalo made 2 of 2 with the game tied at 49, and Collison went 2 of 2 making it a two possession game. Edgar Sosa was 15 of 15 for Louisville but missed two with 30 seconds left and his team down by 1. Levance Fields missed two FT’s with a few seconds left and the game tied at 69 for Pitt. If he made one of them, odds are Pitt wouldn’t had to go to OT with VCU.

Every Game was Close: There wasn’t one that wasn’t interesting! Almost all of the games were tight for at least 37 of the 40 minutes. The ones that weren’t at least involved a few good runs that made the games tight. Pitt dominated VCU most of the way, but they blew a 19 point lead that sent it to OT. UCLA blew a 16 point lead that made it close in the end. Even North Carolina struggled with Michigan St. for the first 36 minutes before pulling away. Meaning…

There’s No Way to Rank the Conferences: All of the games were so close that there’s no possible way to say that conference A is tougher than conference B and conference C. These games only prove how difficult all of the major conferences are (Big Ten, ACC, Big East, Pac-10, SEC, Big 12) and how competitive the top teams are. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise; each conference played the opposing conference closely. A three point win for A&M over Louisville only means these teams are pretty evenly matched, same with Vanderbilt and Washington St., as well as Georgetown and BC.

CBS Gets Their Wish: After pairing UCLA and Pitt in the same bracket for the second year in a row, they will finally get their wish. Howland vs. Dixon, mentor vs. mentee, coach vs. former assistant. I’ll discontinue this thread — you’ll get enough of it over the next week.

Here are what my crappy NCAA picks look like after three days

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My Crappy NCAA Tournament Picks: Day 2

Here are what my crappy NCAA picks look like now that the first round is over

Getting KO’d: Well, I’ve only lost two soldiers from my Sweet 16 troops so far (which is probably one or two more than most people thus far) and I couldn’t be happier! If I’m going to have my brackets busted, then I’ll take it at the expense of Duke and Notre Dame losing! Matter of fact, I’ll pick those two to reach the finals every year if it means they can lose in the 1st round! 

I’m a jackass: So I was DEAD wrong about Virginia. It’s not so much as I thought Albany was a sleeper as I thought Virginia was gonna underachieve. I also was a schmuck for picking against USC — I got caught up too much in the “size” issues for the Trojans — they absolutely dominated the game and they were clutch at the FT line.

Screw the Small Schools: I can’t stress enough how much I HATE small schools.  Screw the “mid-majors.” Matter of fact, call them what they really are — minors — cuz there’s nothing major abou them. And thank goodness we don’t have to see any of them aside from Winthrop and Virginia Commonwealth, and I guess Southern Illinois – even if they are a 4 seed.

Va Tech Gave me a Heart Attack: They should’ve lost that game. Illinois completely blew it. The Hokies (what the fuck is a hokie?) went on a 12-0 run to win it 54-52 — the Illini were up 52-42 and lost! But Tech won it for the same reason I picked them to go to the Elite 8 — they caused a ton of turnovers and horrible shots with their pressure defense. Chew on this for a sec: they shot 36% FG and 64% FT and STILL WON. They probably can’t do worse than that, so that makes me happy.

Did Tubby buy himself another year: I don’t think so…Tubby’s liable to get canned any time now. And as much as I like Tubby, I have no problem with it. Remember what I said Friday, it’s not worth winning if you can’t win big.

Lute Olson is my kind of coach: He only wins big. If he has a serious team, they go far. If not, they get the losing over with quickly. What difference does it make if this team lost in the Sweet 16 or first round? It’s not like they were going to the Final Four anyways.

What to Watch for: I’ll be pissing my pants over the UCLA/Indiana game, Michigan St./UNC, and Texas A&M/Louisville. I expect the MSU/UNC and A&M/UL games to be the best of the day.  Let’s see if my boy Izzo can pull off the upset — that would be SWEET.

Quote of the Day (courtesy Awful Announcing): “Seth Greenberg would like to see more deuces like that from Vasallo”- Tim Brando

Yes, I have the mind of a third-grader. Got a problem?

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It’s Not Worth Winning if You Can’t Win Big

I can’t believe that I just quoted a line from Little Giants as the title for a post pertaining to March Madness, but it really explains what I’m thinking.

Yesterday I heard a radio interview with former UCLA head coach and current ESPN analyst Steve Lavin. While Lavin is an even nicer guy than he is a good analyst (and he’s a pretty darn good analyst), he wasn’t very good as a coach — and Ben Howland’s ability to quickly turn the program around proved that Lavin wasn’t ascending the Bruins program to the levels they were capable of.

During the interview, Lavin’s impressive record in the first weekend of the tournament (10-1) was brought up. Lavin boasted that his winning percentage for the first two rounds is second only to Dean Smith’s. That’s fantastic and all, but you know what I say? Who cares! What goes does it do to only reach the Sweet 16 and never get past it? So what if your much talented team beats a few crappy teams early on? That’s meaningless if you’re going to lose to every team of equal, slightly better, or slightly worse talent than you. 

Lavin coached a good number of NBA players — including Baron Davis, Jason Kapono, Matt Barnes, Earl Watson, and Dan Gadzuric. These aren’t the most spectacular players in the league, but they’re all good enough to the point where you would think the Bruins would have made a better run under Lavin than they ever did.

I said the same thing about the Chargers this year — if Marty Schottenheimer chokes in the playoffs despite a league best 14-2 record in the regular season, then you have to fire him. If Lavin makes 5 of 6 Sweet 16’s but can’t beat a good program once he reaches the Sweet 16, then you need to replace him with a coach who can.

Sometimes just winning 20 games and reaching the Sweet 16 isn’t OK. Sometimes you can be like Coach K and have a down year where your squad loses to VCU in the 1st round and it happens. But we all know that Coach K can take a team to the title game — and win it. Same thing with Bobby Knight — to whom Lavin referenced for his inability to make it out of the first round of the tournament recently.

Whether or not a coach gets me to the Sweet 16 only to get blitzed or just gets the losing over with in the first round makes no difference to me. What matters to me is having a coach who takes you to the Final Four when he HAS a talented team — which Lavin was never able to do.

Bottom line is that I’m in it to win it. What’s the point of of winning IF YOU CAN’T WIN BIG!

March Madness Memory No. 1

In the spirit of March Madness…I have been counting down my Top 5 favorite moments of the tournament all week long…and now, my favorite March Madness moment is upon us. No surprise here. As Warner Wolf says, let’s go to the videotape

Coast-to-coast, it doesn’t get better than Tyus Edney and the ’95 UCLA Bruins baby.

PREVIOUSLY

2. Christian Laettner’s shot for Duke to beat Kentucky

3. Bryce Drew 3ptr puts Valpo on the map

4. Northwestern St. 3ptr beats Iowa at the buzzer

5. Chris Webber’s timeout

My Crappy NCAA Tournament Picks: Day 1

Here are what my crappy NCAA picks look like after the first day of play

A quick review: If my brackets are getting busted, it’s worth it to have Duke lose in the 1st round!  Luckily I had them losing in the Sweet 16 to UCLA anyways.  And what the fuck was I thinking take Stanfraud lol!  I must have gotten carried away thinking about their inside game.  Then again, I should’ve known better — never take a team whose center is named Robin.  What the hell kind of guys name is Robin?!?  And oh yeah, you like that purdy green East bracket baby!

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March Madness Memory No. 2

In the spirit of March Madness…I will be counting down my Top 5 favorite moments of the tournament all week long…the shot that made him great…or so we thought

God I love that play. I can watch it again and again, year after year, and never get sick of it.

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3. Bryce Drew 3ptr puts Valpo on the map

4. Northwestern St. 3ptr beats Iowa at the buzzer

5. Chris Webber’s timeout