JR Swift’s Blog

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Final Thoughts on the Final Four

Posted by jrswift on March 26, 2007

Wow…that was a pretty brutal weekend and it has been a pretty brutal week or so for me which would account for the lack of activity here in “blog-land.” Two of my Final Four teams survived but I did lose my projected national champion (and coincidentally) my favorite team this weekend. As good as Kansas looked offensively in their first two games, they looked that bad in their last two. I will say that both Southern Illinois and UCLA are exceptional defensive teams though I have to say that I respect the way UCLA plays a great deal more. Whacking and hacking at guys all game long is not basketball by any stretch of the imagination and that is what I see SIU doing a great deal of the time. If the Missouri Valley truly wants to become a major basketball conference, they need better players and they need to learn how to play basketball the way it was meant to be played. There…that’s my soapbox on that one.

As to UCLA, I take my hat off to them. They are amazingly quick and athletic and, on this night, they were making some great shots. I won’t say they were lucky but I will say Kansas seemed out of it from the beginning of the second half and looked completely out of sync. I’ll give the Bruins some credit for that as I think they took the Jayhawks completely out of their gameplan and KU couldn’t cope. To be fair, I think Kansas did the same thing to UCLA but the Bruins had better poise and found a way to win, which is what good teams do.

I continue to be surprised that Ohio State keeps winning. They often look downright awful doing it and Saturday was no exception. Given their knack for slipping and sliding their way into the winner’s circle, I figure they probably have as good a chance as any to win it all. On the other hand, Memphis just looked awful for most of the game. They were good enough but they just didn’t play like it.

As for the Sunday games, I have to admit that I watched only bits and pieces of them. Florida did exactly what they should have done and finally dispatched an overachieving Oregon team. With both North Carolina and Kansas gone, they are the most athletic and balanced team left in the field. I think UCLA takes them to the wire though and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see a Bruin win. I think the winner of that game wins it all.

I like Georgetown to finally knock off Ohio St this weekend. That is one tough team and they won’t be a walkover when they play for all the marbles a week from tonight. As a result of the Georgetown win, we had the opportunity to see yet another “Roy Williams sob session” which is getting pretty old, but I have to say I find it a bit amusing as well. On the other hand, you can’t blame him for crying after the way his team collapsed in the second half and overtime. Georgetown had more heart and was able to impose its will. That’s what usually happens to Roy’s teams at some point in the tournament.

Probably have some final thoughts on the tournament after it is all over and maybe post on some basketball topics through the year but, with the season coming to end, this is also one of the last “March Madness” blogs. I hope you enjoyed reading them.


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