Review of listless weekend


We have finally done it.

We have correctly predicted that this year's elite teams would be just that.

With nine of the last 11 games having double-digit outcomes, this NCAA tournament has (with the exceptions of Steph Curry, WKU and the Xavier/WVU game) lacked any sort of sizzle.

Hopefully, the heat in San Antonio is coming from the Alamodome and not just from the 80 degrees on the riverwalk.

In case you were wondering, here's presidential candidate Barack Obama's bracket.

Let me run through several thoughts from this listless second weekend in the Dance.

• Did Derrick Caracter really declare for the draft? He does know this is a professional army and that he, just like our brave men and women across the country, can go down to the recruitment office on any business day and sign up to serve ... oh, he meant the NBA draft, uh yeah, OK ... whatever.

Seriously, Caracter and Edgar Sosa might be the two most enigmatic New Yorkers to ever play for Rick Pitino. Sosa scored 12 points in the Cardinals' loss to UNC, but Caracter didn't even seem like he was in shape, despite limited minutes. It was to the point where I wish I could pull DC aside and show him tape of Tyler Hansbrough and say, "If you ever played that hard, then you can declare for the NBA." For those of us who argue back and forth about Hansbrough's NBA future, just know that Caracter is a guy he would be fighting against for a bench spot and with that in mind, why would anyone not take Hansbrough.

Ty Lawson's attitude and game make UNC unpressable and his health and their newfound defensive toughness have the Tar Heels playing better than ever before. While so much of the attention this weekend was on the Texas/Memphis game, UNC's point guard advantage was, along with Hansbrough's play, the biggest reason for UNC dominating this weekend.

• Can we stop with the Curry as an NBA player questions? It completely ruins the entire experience of watching Curry torch defenses to estimate what type of pro he might be. Curry is only 6-foot-1.5, he rarely handles the ball in setting up the offense and he has two more years to run the point at Davidson now that Jason Richards' career is over and so, after another year or two, we will know what type of pro he will be. Instead, let us appreciate Davidson and their defense, passing, team play and ancillary parts for a moment. Thomas Sander, Andrew Lovedale and Boris Meno can all ball and the "White Lobster", Bryant Barr, would have been better suited for Raftery to call the game with some "onions" on his jumpers. That was one heck of a team.

• I can not blog without asking the obvious white elephant question of why? Why call timeout when the play would be right in front of Bob McKillop? Why, after calling timeout, would Curry come off a flat ball screen instead of running any of the marvelous sets with the nation's leading assist man making the play? Why go against the one girl who brought you? McKillop's gameplan was great, his team's offensive and defensive execution was stellar and yet he, like Belmont's Rick Byrd before him, did not just let the team play and make a play, and instead he let KU set their defense, make a substitution and switch on the obvious ball screen. Oh, and now Bill Self is a genius. While I am being sarcastic about the genius comment, Davidson should have at least had their last assistant at the scorers table in order to go back to McKillop with the line-up change before they broke the huddle.

Also McKillop took Bryant Barr out with 4:30 or so to go and Davidson did not score another field goal until Curry's jumper with 54 seconds left.

And kudos to Self for being honest about the pressure that his team clearly played under.

• Guess Memphis is really good, huh? Last year I spoke with Coach Cal and he said, "Derrick Rose on this team would make us a national title contender. Wait until next near." He was right. Rose was the best of the point guards on the floor in Houston and never seemed fazed by the magnitude of anything taking place with his team. He is a ridiculous athlete whose reputation as a winner is coming to fruition.

• Oh and the Big Ten is who we thought they were and Memphis and Davidson did not let them off the hook. Let's not be overly negative because Wisconsin far exceeded expectations with 31 wins this year, but the Spartans never really clicked this year. Drew Neitzel looked like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders and this edition of MSU might go down as the strangest team in Izzo's career.

Speaking of the Big Ten, my sources have told me that Tony Bennett was concerned about attention paid to the IU job and what it would do to his family.

Other coaches have said that IU is a mess and probation/sanctions are highly likely. Expect a ton of turnover on the Hoosiers roster next year as there are apparently all kinds of issues that other high-major coaches have become aware of and thus are hesitant to take the job because of.

Let's all have a good laugh now, shall we.

Seriously, Zeke, IU might become desperate, but not that desperate.