Sunday, March 26, 2006

Blue Moon

First time since 1980 that no #1 seeds have made the final for. Relatedly, first time I can ever remeber getting zero Final Four picks right. I don't think I've ever done that on a single bracket, yet this year, I think I'm o-fer every bracket I filled out. Though to be fair, UCLA is the only one I could have conceivably picked, pre-tourney. And I hate their team, so I would never...

Speaking of 1980, it was also the first time in about that long that I found myself consitently nodding in a approval to Billy Packer's analysis. Nova did a poor job utilizing their advantages. Allen Ray did seem a little overcome by the moment, repeatedly taking bad shots and fully earning his first half technical. But his best point of all was the Nova looked like it had just a little less bounce, possibly as a result of the grinding, punishing style of BC. It reminded me of a boxer who's been taking body shots for 8 rounds and all of a sudden has no legs for the end of the game.

Still, Randy Foye is good, and will be a quality NBA 3rd guard, and my appreciation for Kyle Lowery is immense. Joakim Noah is making himself some cash this tourney as well. Not Tyrus Thomas cash, but some serious jing.

And for the record, Kevin Drum's plagaristically named immodest proposal is intriguing.
But I have a suggestion for the gods of college basketball: reduce the number of timeouts allowed and don't allow timeouts at all during the final two minutes of the game. The 20 lumbering minutes that it takes to finish the last few minutes of most games is nothing short of excruciating, but in games where both teams have used up their timeouts the final minutes are some of the most exciting in sports.

So: no timeouts in the final two minutes. Let 'em run. Who's with me?
Maybe not no timeouts but certainly fewer and shorter. I also think they should go back to the rule where if a team calls a full timeout, that counts as the next "TV Timeout" so we don't get the situation where 3 whistles in 15 seconds of game action causes my head to explode from multiple tales of tails of some tasty shrimP.


XWL said...

I've been trying to fight that battle, and almost included a Kevin Drum mention in my Katrina Vanden Heuvel post, but then, it's a losing cause, and you really can't own what you stole in the first place anyway.

Main reason I didn't include Kevin Drum's piece, nothing really funny to add, not sure that I agree or disagree though, college basketball can get but slow at the end, and the five foul limit means that bad refs can seriously destroy one team or the other, so maybe change would be good.

mortnut said...

Unfortunately, the time outs, as in football, are all driven by television and the big bucks paid to broadcast these events. No way, unfortunately, that the number of time outs is going down, even though, as you correctly note, it really does adversely impact the game (to say nothing of the incredibly boredom factor, particularly when you are actually in attendance at an event and there is NOTHING GOING ON.) It has devolved to the point where baseball, about which the non-purists complain unmercifully because of the slowness of the game, actually moves ahead more naturally since the commercials fit in between half innings and when there are pitching changes (though, during some events, like the playoffs and series, the powers that be extend the length of the between at bat breaks to allow for more huckstering.

Lauren said...

without timeouts, I think we'd really be sitting here talking about the poor quality of college ball (save for that Texas shot with no timeouts remaining that took the LSU game into OT*) Also George Mason would have lost that game to UCONN and would still be trying to catch their breath. I think the last GMU sub went in with 10:30 left in regulation!**

*I could be wrong here, but I know for sure that Texas made an end of regulation shot without a timeout to send one of their games to OT and/or to win the game. Too much basketball to remember which!
**See above.

Pooh said...

Texas won the WVU game without a timeout. Not sure if they had one left.

By contrast, Villanova didn't need timeouts, and won several games by getting open shots off inbounds plays.

Fletch said...

While I agree that the end of games drag on (just like in football or baseball), I would rather sit through the timeouts to watch quality ball in the final two minutes. By the second game of the weekend, even the young legs are wearing down, and a time-out can help get their breath back.

Sure, watching a team race down court to heave a desperation three at the buzzer only to watch it rim out is exciting. But it is much more exciting to watch them sink the game winner on a well executed play.