Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Noah's Snark

Worst Final Four ever?

I'm going to have to say yes, at least in the modern era. You only occasionally see a blowout in a championship game. The only two I can think of were UConn over GTech in '04 and UNLV over Duke in '90. But in both of those cases, there was at least one entertaining semifinal game; not so this year.

Noah fully met my expectations, both by playing brilliantly and by preening like the diva he is. I now believe he is the biggest pr**k to lead his team to a title since Laettner. He was actually flirting with the UCLA cheerleaders on an inbounds play. (I have to admit, there WAS something kind of hot about the UCLA cheerleaders wearing team jerseys, as though each one had spent the night with a player).

More annoying than Noah, however, was the performance of UCLA. How could this team beat LSU and Memphis so convincingly and then not even show up against an equally talented but young Gator squad? I knew something was wrong early on when Mata, the guy wearing the Lecter facemask, made the single dumbest play of the entire tournament: he found himself wide open under the basket, botched the easy layup, then grabbed the rebound and despite being now closely guarded by two bigger Gators, didn't even look to kick it out but forced up another futile shot, then INTENTIONALLY gave a hard foul on the defensive rebound knowing full well it would be his THIRD with still five minutes left to play in the FIRST HALF!

I've never yelled at the TV so much during a non-KU game. Coach Wooden must have been rolling over in his hospital bed.

One consolation for long-suffering KU fans: at least we've never been as uncompetitive in a tournament game (in the Roy and Self years) as the Bruins were last night.


  1. I agree. It was the worst Final 4 of the last decade. I know Florida plays well in March, but I really did not get the sense that they were the best team in the country, despite their destruction of a sleep walking UCLA. Did anyone else think the anoouncers were terrible? Why all the emphasis on the block? It doesnt really change the game that much. Although, that being said, the UCLA guys looked timid inside, as if they were expecting to be blocked. Why all the gushing over Noah- every second phrase was some comment about how brilliant he is. I am disapointed and a bit angry...
    I guess one the UCLA cheerleaders called Noah "ugly" during the game. I think his ego will get over it....

  2. That's hilarious about the cheerleaders; thanks, Ismail, for passing it on.

    Although I'm no fan of last night's game, players, or call, five blocks in the first half is pretty impressive. And the previous record in a championship game was four. . . .

    I do agree on the quality of this final four, though: in fact, Scott, Kevin, Emily, and I went to see V for Vendetta at halftime last night. (Scott, at least, liked it quite a bit. . . .)

  3. Blocks and steals were not recorded for Final Four games until 1986; I think it's safe to assume that Wilt, Russell, Alcindor and Walton may have exceeded four blocks.

    Final Four records can be found here. I'd recommend taking a look; there's some fascinating KU-related facts.

    For instance, the previous record for blocked shots in a Final 4 game was held by our own Danny Manning (6 against the Dukies in '88). In that same game, Kansas as a team set the record (now broken, I assume) for team blocked shots, with 9; unfortunately that record was tied in 2002 by Maryland against ... Kansas.

    Also, the record for 3-point FG percentage is held by our own Adonis Jordan in the 1993 semifinal; he shot 5 for 7 (71%) from downtown. However, tying that record was North Carolina's Donald Williams--in the same game, which Carolina won, ending Jordan's great KU career.

    In case you're wondering, a few notches down in that category was Gerry Mac in '03, when he went 6 for 10 against us.

    But did anyone remember that in the same game, Nick Collison had 21 rebounds? This was not a record, but it would have been if this category only went back to the mid-'80s like the blocks category does. The most recent player to match that total was Olajuwon in '83. (Unfortunately I think a lot of Nick's boards came off his own missed FTs).

  4. I actually wanted Florida to win. This Florida team, unlike most during Donovan's tenure, had chemistry and were fun to watch.

    I, however, did not watch the final game. I wanted either LSU or GMU to make it. Once they were history, I tuned out. The games in the semis were so rotten I was bored to distraction. It sounds like the final was more of the same.

    The tournament was excellent. Teams that pulled upsets (Bradley, GMU) built on their success and went much farther than most gian killers. To have a 4 and 11 seed in the final four blowing everyone's brackets to hell, was lovely.

    If only they could have stopped playing after the elite 8.

  5. For the record, Florida had 10 team blocks, just breaking KU's Final Four record of 9 set in 1988.

    Noah was credited with 6 total blocks, which ties but does not break Manning's record from that same '88 game against Duke.

    Speaking of beating Duke, congrats to my beloved hometown Lady Terrapins, who defeated the hated Lady Devils in a dramatic come-from-behind overtime victory. Now that's how a championship game is supposed to go!

  6. V for Vendetta is teh gratest moovie evah!

    It rulz! LOLROFL...(internet gibberish continues)