It’s Not Pitino’s Fault His Hair Was All In Place He Spent More Time On It Than He Did His Team ……..

 

It’s  Not  Pitino’s  Fault   His  Hair  Was  All In  Place   He Spent More  Time On It  Than   He  Did  His   Team.

 

 

 

Well  the  NCAA  Tournament   has  left   us  with   four   teams  who  are  highly   skilled  ,  well   disciplined when  it  comes  to   coaching .  And if  anything  their   play    has to be  respected. 

 

 

Coach Tom  Izzo   of  Michigan  State  stands  with  his  wife Lupe and  daughter Raquel  moments  after  the  team's  stunning  upset  of  Louisville .
A moment to savor coach Tom Izzo of Michigan State stands with his wife Lupe (left) and daughter Raquel moments after his team's victory over the highly favored Louisville Cardinals. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Andy Lyons ............

 

 

 

 

In  Michigan State,  U Conn  ,  Villanova   and    North  Carolina    you’ve   as   diverse  a  quartet  of  teams    that   are   looking  to  achieve  the  same   goal.  And    that’s  to  win the   NCCA Tournament   and  to  be  crowned   the   national  champions  of  college  basketball.

 

 

 

Draymond  Green(23) of  Michigan  State  attempts  a  shot  during   the game  against  Louisville. The game  was  played at the  Lucas Oil  Arena  in  Indianapolis  , Indiana .
Draymond Green(23) of Michigan State attempts a shot during the game played against Louisville played at the Lucas Oil Arena in Indianapolis ,Indiana. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Michael Conroy .............

 

 

 

 

To my  mind  however   if  there  was   a  surprise  , it  was  in  the  Elite 8.    And  if anything   it  was the  lackadaisical  play   of   the Louisville  Cardinals  and  their   play  against   Michigan  State.   Coached   by  Rick  Pitino  this  team  had   played  a  stellar  brand of  exciting   basketball.  And   it  was   easy  to  see  why   they  were  given  that    number   one  seeding  throughout  the    tournament. In  almost  every  facet  of the  game  it’d  appear  that   this   Louisville   team   could   do  no wrong.    But   it’s  always  easy    to  state  without   seeing  the  obvious.   And   that’s   the  fact  that   the   team  had   hardly  been  challenged   through   much  of the  tournament.    They’d  laid   waste  to their   opponent in  the  previous   rounds . Much   like   Greeks   laid siege  to  Troy  ,  only  in  this case   it  was   the  Cardinals   who  came   short   in this    particular   battle. No  Greeks  came  bearing    gifts.   Just  a  great  deal  of   over  confidence  and  the   fact  that  they’d  underestimated   Tom Izzo  and  his  team.

 

 

 

Terrence Williams of Louisville walks  of  the  court  dejected having  been  part of  a  stunning 62-54  loss  to  Michigan  State  in  the  Elite  8 of the men's  NCAA Tournament.
Terrence Williams (1) of Louisville walks of the court dejected having been a part of his team's stunning loss to Michigan State 62-54 in the Elite 8 of the men's NCAA Tournament. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Michael Conroy ...........

 

 

 

 

As the title   of this   piece  alludes    had   Pitino   spent   more   time  coaching   his   team   not  merely  on the  fundamentals  . But  the  fact    that  a  game  of  college   basketball  has  to be  played   for  the  entire   40  minutes  and   not   just  as  and  when  his  players   see  fit.  Then   perhaps  the   outcome   might’ve   been  somewhat    different.   For  a   team   whose   previous   game   against  Arizona   ended   in a  103-64  blowout  of    the  Wildcats.  It   was  easy  to  see   and    understand   why   Pitino’s   team  would  be  considered   to be  the  presumptive   favorites   in the   game.  Coming off    that  win   why   wouldn’t  they  be  ?   

 

 

Former  Michigan State  player and  NBA  great  Earvin 'Magic' Johnson  who  was  courtside  congratulates   coach  Tom Izzo on the team's  victory.
Former Michigan State player Earvin 'Magic' Johnson who was courtside congratulates coach Tom Izzo on the team's victory over Louisville. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Damon Cummings ...............

 

 

 

Continue reading “It’s Not Pitino’s Fault His Hair Was All In Place He Spent More Time On It Than He Did His Team ……..”

The Look Good But How Will They Fare …..?

 

They   Look  Good  But  How  Will  They  Fare …..  ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   in The  second  biggest  sporting  spectacle  behind  the  Superbowl in  terms  of its  audience as  a  viewed  event.   The  men’s NCAA Basketball  tournament  has  its   fans  as  well   as  its   detractors.   For  the   wives  and  girlfriends  whose  respective partners  will  become  glued to  their  television  sets   or   some other  means   in  order to  embrace   the  event.   I take  this  opportunity  to  wish  you  well  over the   coming   weeks.   For myself  I’ve  no  such   qualms.    My girlfriend   is  adrift   in  her  own  sea   of  fulfillment . 

 

John  Calipari  coach  of  the Memphis  men's  basketball  team  addresses members of  the  convened  press  in  Kansas City  , Missouri   prior  to  his  team  taking   on  Cal St  Northridge  in the  first round of  the  NCAA Tournament.
John Calipari coach of the Memphis men's basketball team addresses members of the convened press in Kansas City Missouri. Calipari's team will be taking on Cal State Northridge in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt Richards ................

 

 

And  as  alluded  to  earlier in  this  piece  the  event  itself    is  prehaps  outside of  the Superbowl  the  most   popular  sporting  event  in  country.    That  being  said   one  the  reasons  behind  that  may  well  be  the  amount  of  money  that’s  wagered  on the  NCAA  tournament  itself.  Conservative  estimates  would  put  it  in the  region  of  in between  $850m  and  $1.3bn  over the  course  of  the event.   And  that’s  what  they  believe  to  be  the  legal   gambling   alone.    It’s  obvious  that   were   illegal    betting   taken  into  account .  Then   that   figure   would   be  immeasurably   larger   by   at   least   three  of   four  fold  the  estimates  given.  Less  we  forget  what   would  the   tournament   be  without    all  of  the  bracketologists   out  there  ?      This  is  where  the  event  itself  becomes   the  water   cooler  topic   of   discussion   amongst   a  great  many people  across   the  country  and   in  particular   in  the  work  place. Friendships  are   either  cemented   or  they  become   frayed   or   fractured   over  the  ensuing  weeks.    The   point   is  while   much  of  this  is actually   going   on  the  only  ones   who  are   making   money   in the  midst   of  this all  will   be  the  guys   in  Vegas.   And  the  few  of  us  lucky   enought  to   have  actually   picked  the  winner .  I  think  it   goes  without   saying  that    they   if   anyone  will    win   more  than   they’ll   lose    once  the  event   is   over.   The  oddsmakers   in  Vegas   will   be  reaping  the   benefits   of  this  all  !

 

 

 

President  Obam  get  on  with   filling   in  his  own  bracket  for  the  men's  NCAA tournament in  the  Oval Office.  Joining  him  in  the  discussion   was  ESPN's  Andy  Katz .  picture  appears  courtesy  of  espn.com/Pete  Souza  ...........
President Obama gets on with filling in his own bracket on the men's NCAA tournament. He's chosen the North Carolina Tar Heels to win the tournament outright. Joining him in the discussion in the Oval Office at the White House was ESPN's Andy Katz. I'd like to think that this wasn't the most pressing issue that the President had to deal with at the time. And at the same time is there no level to which ESPN will not sink to in order to obtain ratings ? picture appears courtesy of espn.com/Pete Souza ...............................

 

 

Much  has  been  made  as to  which   teams will  do  well and   which  will   falter  at  some point  during   the  tournament.   The fact of  the  matter   is  no  one  can   really  say  with  a  certainty   who   will   ultimately  do  well  and  who  won’t .   The  analysts   on  television  say  what  they’ll   deem to  be   the  right thing.  But  taking   their   word   for  it at present    is tantamount  to  taking  a  stock  pick   from the  likes of  CNBCs’ Jim Cramer.  And   last  I  looked  his  imploring     his   audience to   invest  their   money  in  AIG ,  was about  as   worthwhile  as  lighting  a  match  and  holding   it against  a  stick   of  dynamite  thinking that   nothing  would   happen.   Let’s  just  say  that  at this   juncture   Jim  Cramer   has  about  as  much   credibility  former  Treasury  Secretary  Hank  Paulson.  Another   who  implored   the  Congress that  spending  $700 billion of  public  money  would   stave off  the  uncertainty within  the  markets.

 

 

 

Robert  Dozier  of  Memphis  takes   questions  from  members  of  the  convened   press   during  the  team's  press conference  in Kansas City, Mo.   picture appears  courtesy  ap/photo/Orlin  Wagner  ...............
Ronert Dozier of Memphis takes questions from the press at the team's press conference in Kansas City, Mo,. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Orlin Wagner ................

 

 

 

 I  say if  we’re   going  to  malign  these   guys  as  well   as the  sport’s  analysts  on television.  Then   we   ought to  do  it  with  a  great  deal  of   voracity.   I’m  sure    that   the  sound  bytes   coming   from  the  CBS  commentary   team  will  be  varied  , at times  insightful ,  self  opinionated ,  extreme  and  or at  times downright    ridiculous.  But   for the  die-hard   fans   out   there  above  all   it  will  be   about  the  excitement  and   cheering  on  their  team  or   teams  as the  case   may be.

 

 

Memphis  forward   Shawn Taggart embraces  Tulsa's  Justin Hurtt (15)  after the  Tigers' emphatic   win  of  the  Conference  USA  basketball  tournament title.
Memphis forward Shawn Taggart embraces Tulsa's Justin Hurtt(15) after the Tigers' emphatic victory over Tulsa (64-39) in the Conference USA championship title game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Marcus Steele ...............

 

 

 

 

 

 

It cannot   have  unnoticed   amongst  many   that   there  are   those   who   feel  that  the  hottest  team  coming   into  the  tournament   may   well   be Memphis.    And under  their  coach   John  Calipari  they   have  been  impressive  to say  the  very least.  The Memphis Tigers as  they’re  more  commonly   known   have   posted  a   31-3  overall   record . And   went   unbeaten   within their  own   conference  16-0 ,  Conference USA.  That being  said  one   shouldn’t  detract  from  the  accomplishment   no   matter  how   weak  the  conference is  perceived  as  being. The  fact is  they  played  who  that  had to  play  and   defeated who   they  had  to   defeat.  Now   one  can   complain   as  to  their     schedule  outside  of  the  conference  but  in   reality  what   we see  within   the  college  basketball  sphere  is   no  different   from  what   we  witness  within  college   football.  The  Little  Sisters  of Mercy   and   those  of  The  Immaculate   Conception  are   there  to be  lambs  to  the  slaughter.  Pad  those  stats  and then  that   record  does  indeed   look  all  the  more   impressive.

 

 

Wesley Witherspoon  of Memphis  drives  to  the  basket  as Tulsa's  Ray Reese and  Jerome  Jordan(23) looks on.
Memphis' Wesley Witherspoon drives to the basket as Tulsa's Ray Reese and Jerome Jordan (23) looks on . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Orlin Wagner ...............

 

 

 

 

What Calipari  has   achieved  with   his  team  this   season  should  make  him  a  candidate as   Coach  of the Year. Whether  or   not that  will  be   come  to  fruition  ,  we can  only  but  wait  to  see   what  the   adjudicators  will  think.  But  for  now  the  Tigers do   have  some  far  more   pressing   issues  ahead.  Their  roster  is  primarily  made  up   of  freshmen  and    juniors.    And    their   tandem  of  Tyreke  Evans  and  Robert  Dozier   have  led    the  way.   But to say  that   these   two    players  alone   are  the   sole  reason   for  the   team’s  success  would   be  to   deny   others  who’ve   made  a   large    contribution  to  the  team’s   overall  success  this  season.  Their   victory  over  Tulsa  in  their  conference   tournament   was about as  emphatic   a  win  as  one  could  ever wish  to  witness.   And  the  score   itself   64-39 does reflect  how   lopsided  it  all was.   To  say the  game   was  won  with   ease  would   be  an   understatement   in  the  very  least. 

 

Tulsa  coach  Doug  Wojcik  speaks  to  his players  after  the  loss  to Memphis   in  the  Conference  USA tournament   championship  title game .
Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik speaks to his players after the team's loss in the Conference USA tournament title championship game. The game was won by Memphis 64-39 ad was infact played Memphis , Tennessee. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Orlin Wagner ................

       

 

 

 

Now  comes  the   tricky  part    for   Memphis.  If they’re  to  justify  their   seeding  as  a #2 seed  in  the  West  of the  first  round  of  the   tournament.    They  can  ill  afford  a  slip  up  at this   juncture.  Not   here  and   most  certainly   not  now  !  Their   first    round  opponent   in the  tournament  will  be  Cal  State  Northridge    of  whose  pedigree   shall  we  say   won’t  come  into   question  should  they   fall  at  the  hands  of  Memphis ?  However   should the  unthinkable   happen   then   there  may  well  be  a  great   deal   of  joy   on  the  campus  of  the  Matdors,  as  well  as   across the   state.  As  to  the  Tigers ,  failure   here  and   let’s   just  say   what’d  been  viewed  as   a  promising   season   all   of  a  sudden  just  went   up   in  flames.   After   last   season’s   heroics  ,  a chance   to  acquit   one’s  self    the  following   year    doesn’t  often   come   around   this   quickly.    

 

 

Wesley  Witherspoon  of  Memphis  dances  oncourt  after  the  Tigers'  triumph  over   Tulsa   in  the  Conference  USA  championship  title  game  played  in Memphis  ,  Tennessee.  picture  appears  courtesy of  ap/photo /   Mark  Humphrey  .................
Wesley Witherspoon of Memphis dances oncourt after the team's triumph over Tulsa (64-39) in the Conference USA championship title game played in Memphis , Tennessee . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Mark Humphrey ....................

 

 

 

Say what   you  will  about   Memphis  it   will  be   now   or  never  at this   juncture  for  the  team.  All   the   hype  and  hooplah   concerning  their  successful  season   thus  far.  In  the  end  it  will  be  all   for   nothing   if  they’re  unable  to  acquit  themselves   in  the  tournament.  As good   as  they’ve   been  they’re   going  to  have   to  perform   a  great   deal    better   if  they’re   to  win  it  all.     So  let  the   games   begin   and   let  the  chips   fall  where  they  may.  Memphis  it’s   now  up    to   you   take  on and   defeat   whoever   stands   in  your  way.

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