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It's deplorable that you can't crack 70 points in the national championship game. That's not "good defense". These games were just hard to watch, and the tournament is supposed to be a showcase. 

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It's deplorable that you can't crack 70 points in the national championship game. That's not "good defense". These games were just hard to watch, and the tournament is supposed to be a showcase.

Both teams in the title game scored at above 1.0 ppp. Wisconsin's offense this year was the best offense since Ken Pomeroy started tracking points per possession in 2002. It may not feature a ton of transition buckets and fast breaks, but it is the way offense was meant to be played.

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This is hardly the way basketball should be played. College basketball games should routinely be played in the 70s-80s. There is a severe lack of flow to the game and whistles nearly every minute to minute and a half. It's stifling. It doesn't have to be all transition baskets. You can play with lots of movement. The product that's being presented is just not good. There's no way that nba lottery-pick caliber players are in a game in the 60s. 

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I have in previous seasons been quite bored by Wisconsin's offense, when they would routinely score in the 50's, but it seemed quite different this year. The only messy think to me was a lot of missed layups or very easy shots, namely by Okafor who will most definitely be a lottery pick.

I like college sports because they are messy. I really enjoyed last night's game despite the outcome.

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College basketball games should routinely be played in the 70s-80s.

According to who? That kind of offense is usually accompanied by more fouls and turnovers, like what you saw in the UNC-Arkansas game earlier in the tournament. It's possible to run that kind of offense well, but you really need skilled, fundamentally sound athletes to do it. UNC plays an uptempo game and is also really good at turning the ball over. Even Roy can't recruit that level of athlete.

You can play with lots of movement.

Wisconsin's entire offense is based on movement, spacing and finding a good shot.

namely by Okafor who will most definitely be a lottery pick.

Okafor is a typical big man. Bigs, when they have early growth, are pushed into the post and not really taught how to shoot. They're taught to bang around in the low post. Compare him to Frank Kaminsky, who can shoot and handle the ball because he was only like 6'4" in high school and played point guard. Then he grew and suddenly he's a center, but with ballhandling and shooting skills. Kaminsky is comfortable on the perimeter, more of a finesse player and doesn't bang his body around in the low post. Nothing wrong with either one, just two different types of player.

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I didn't watch the championship game but according to my boyfriend there was a bad call late in the game that gave Duke possession on a turnover and that even the announcers claimed it was the wrong call and the ball should have gone to Wisconsin.  Any thoughts on that?

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It was a bad call, and it may or may not have changed the outcome of the game because the bad call gave Duke 30 more seconds of offense when there were only about two minutes left.

The head ref looks like an ass about the whole thing, but then again John Adams has routinely said stupid things the entire tourney. He said he saw the right call just after the refs left the table after reviewing the call, but he didn't say anything because he didn't think he should insert himself into the game.

Personally, since it wasn't the absolute last call of the game, I'm not going to say it GAVE Duke the win. It might or might not have helped Wisconsin, but their play at that point was suspect regardless if they got possession at that time.

Edited by mojoween

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Yeah, the refs messed up the call. But the more absurd part is that they had a replay system that features a 12 inch monitor and can't see the angles like we do at home. If you're not going to do replay right, then just chuck it.

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Like > 75% of the championships games over the last 25 years or so have been in the 70s, 80s. Presumably, if you've won 5 games in a row at that point, you're playing near to your best basketball. It's patently absurd to think that the best teams at this point can't crack 70. It's indicative of fundamental problems with the game itself; how it's called, how it's coached. 

 

They need to reduce the shot clock imo and really study how the game should be called to open it up more. I think that would easily make for a better game. I mean, come on, minimizing possessions to keep the game in the 50s, 60s, and missing open looks isn't basketball. 

 

Agreed with replay. Stick to scoring plays when the clock runs out and that's it. The replays caused way to much of a delay. With the 27 million time outs and whistles nearly every 60 seconds, it's like there's only 40 seconds of actual playing at a time. Maybe the refs should unionize too. 

 

I'm not like an "everything is better back then" person because that's never true. Just take the Coach K championship teams. They were far better skilled imo. They still played defense too. They actually were able to hit shots too and not just dribble all over tha place. Maybe it's a symptom of the one and done rule. Coaches are doing what they can with what little time they have with any given player. I find it hard to believe that the game itself wasn't better as little as 5-7 years ago. It's really disappointing and turned me off. 

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I'm a casual fan so I know nothing about the stats behind any of it, but I will say that I felt like this year's tourney had way more whistles/fouls/stopping the flow of the game than in previous years. No scientific fact, just a gut observation. I ended up watching far fewer games because of it.

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It's patently absurd to think that the best teams at this point can't crack 70.

Don't focus on points per game. Focus on points per possession, which is a better metric of how good a team is on offense.

Duke this year had those two big men that couldn't shoot well, which is why it seemed like they were missing so many shots.

With fouls, the problem is there is just no consistency on how fouls are called. Some refs call hand checking, others won't. Most won't call a charge. Movinh screens are common. And so on.

But-- it was the most-watched tournament and most-watched final in many many years. So someone is doing something right.

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But nobody watches regular season games and attendance is down, even in some power conferences.

 

 

 

Attendance in men's Division I basketball has fallen seven straight seasons, from an average of 5,327 in 2006-07 to 4,817 last year. The Southeastern Conference even asked its TV partners for flexibility in scheduling to help drive fans to the arena.Not that life has been easy on broadcasters, either. ESPN and CBS, two networks with a long college basketball tradition, have both weathered a decline in ratings this season. As of last week, ESPN was averaging just under 1.5 million viewers on its main network for men's basketball games, down about 6 percent from the same period last year.

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Part of that could be attributed to the fact that there are SO MANY college games on TV these days. The market might be oversaturated with that a bit. Every night you turn on the TV, there's a game or three on. And let's not forget the conference shifting. The old Big East which was popular for ESPN on Monday nights is dead. You can't compare Syracuse-UConn to Butler-Marquette or whatever for ratings.

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PPP is a fair metric, but when you milk the shot clock to minimize possessions, you'll still score less points. I was going on a cursory overview of the scores of past games. Not that you have to run and gun, but when you have an open look, you should shoot. The problem is, that's not highly skilled anymore. Hanging on to the ball for 27-30 seconds for the sake of maybe catching the defense being winded and getting an easy shot isn't really how the game is meant to be played. I feel like there's less emphasis on making plays. 

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Cuban, an Indiana alumnus often asked by disgruntled Hoosiers to buy out coach Tom Crean's contract, said he is actually a fan of Crean because he coaches a faster-paced, freer-flowing offense than the vast majority of his NCAA counterparts.

Well, that tells me everything I need to know about Cuban. Crean has milked his run with Dwyane Wade harder than anyone has milked anything, ever. His teams routinely underachieve. Somehow he gets a collection of four- and five-star players to play with no organization and no coherent plan. He also runs players off on a regular basis. But hey, free flowing basketball!

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I graduated from Indiana and I am not a fan of Crean.

Hoping when Brad Stevens flames out in the pros this year or next, Indiana hires him instead. If he becomes available and they pass up the chance I will be pissed

There were a TON of bad calls in the tournament. I only watched a handful of games, including 2 of the 3 final four games, but I saw 4 just blatantly bad and missed calls in those games alone, all critical calls that could have changed things a ton. And not charge/block or questionable fouls, I mean black and white, that is the wrong call

UK and Wisconsin : Wisconsin player scored a good second after the shot clock went off, much discussed.

Surprisingly less discussed was a UK player just BLATANTLY hits a wisconsin player in the face and its a no call. And its not that they didn't see it or missed it on the court. They review it, for a long time, and it was a no call. Wasn't accidental and it really shouldn't matter, he hit him in the face. There was a play a few years back where an Indiana player in the process of shooting hit a guy guarding that got to close him in the face with an elbow and it was called a flagrant one, it was a bad call and the explanation at the time was any hit to the face is a flagrant one, automatic. Then I see this, just shoves him, clear as day in the face and no call after reviewing it? I don't get it.

Then the title game, the much discussed out of bounds play, obvious wrong call on replay. Its bad either way really. If they did not see the angle we all did on TV, why not? that is stupid. And if they did see it, how did they still get the call wrong?

Then also player drove the baseline and was out of bounds, missed it, tosses it out for a score by Duke. I can at least forgive that one as hard to catch in real time, if not for the fact there was a ref right by the guy that should not have missed the call

What they need is

1. 28 or 30 second shot clock

2. Put someone in a booth to review all replays. Don't have the in game refs, stop go to a screen, watch it, come back, reset the clock, go again. Just put a ref isolated in a booth, as soon as it needs reviewed, just start looking at it on whatever is the biggest damn high def screen you can find rather than a tiny little screen down on the court while listening to the crowd and coaches and everyone else.

Edited by DrSpaceman

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There were a TON of bad calls in the tournament.

 

I'm not a conspiracy theorist in the least but I almost wonder if with so many bad calls the refs unintentionally intentionally tried to ensure victory for certain teams.  It kind of reminds me how it seemed like nothing was ever called against Michael Jordan even when it was blatantly obvious that he traveled, or whatever the infraction might have been.

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I just realized I didn't stay up the extra 15/20 minutes to watch One Shining Moment. Went straight to bed.

 

I'm getting old.

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The shot clock seems like an easy fix. I think the refs would be better if they were unionized. That's a long shot though.

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It'll be an interesting couple years for Wisconsin, that's for sure. As far as I'm concerned we're one bad hire away from being completely mediocre. Wisconsin isn't the most fertile recruiting area, and we have little history to speak of, pre-Bo Ryan. In the history of UW basketball, the team has gone to a total of something like 21 tournaments. 14 of those came under Bo. Every year, opposing fans would say, well, xxxxx player graduated, THIS is the year the Badgers will suck. And every year Bo had the team fighting for the Big Ten title and took us back to the tournament. I don't know if I can go back to the days when "bubble team" or "NIT" were regularly in Wisconsin fans' vocabularies.

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That Wisconsin program sure doesn't lack coaching drama.

 

I would not want to deal with Barry Alvarez this morning.

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Stories I'm reading today say that Bo Ryan wanted to retire before this season but that family issues in his assistant's life prevented him from being able to take over until now. It doesn't sound like Alvarez was caught off guard.  Bo was a great coach and left a great legacy.  I hope Wisconsin bounces back soon.

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Wisconsin is average and he wanted his buddy to get the job. (Although leaving him with an average team doesn't seem like the best way to get the interim removed from his title.)

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Bo wanted to retire earlier, but his assistant Greg Gard's father had terminal cancer. It sounds awful but it was basically like they were waiting for Gard's father to die. And yeah, Alvarez knew. The Wisconsin basketball twitter and the official website had all kinds of videos and tributes up basically during the press conference. So the athletic department definitely knew. 

 

There have also been rumors around Madison that Bo's health is not the greatest, which I dearly hope is not true. I do think he looks like he's aged about 10 years in the last two, since his own father passed away. I also think he was basically hanging on last year, because he knew that team was special. And this year he seemed almost checked out, almost like the fire was gone. 

 

But whatever a coach has done to elevate a program, it would be difficult to equate it to what Bo did for Wisconsin. I wish him luck. Thanks, Bo.

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*runs in, looks around*

What, no love for last night's KU/OU, 3OT, barnstormer @ the Barn?   It's 24 hours later, and I'm still exhausted from the TV viewing of it all.

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This Terps game is hard to watch...aesthetically...  

 

And basketball-wise, but mostly it's just hard to look at.

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I saw a graphic yesterday that basically said there have been many more upsets this season than is normal. I think Oklahoma is the most fun to watch, but they lost their first game after being ranked #1 so I wouldn't say they are going to dominate by any means. SMU is also super entertaining, but totally irrelevant due to the post season ban. I haven't seen Iowa play yet but on paper they sure are impressive!

Edited by AndreaK1041

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Wow, I think Brent Musberger made a reference to Bayesian priors in the Oklahoma/LSU game.

 

That's got to be the most geeky ( and unexpected) non advanced stats reference I have ever heard in sports.

Edited by xaxat
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Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes throws some awesome shade on the NCAA over the controversy surrounding the Under Armour basketballs.

 

“It’s definitely different,” Hayes said. “Personally, we don’t like it too much. I don’t like the Under Armour ball whatsoever. But that’s the way this amateur sports league is set up. We’re supposed to be having fun, but all the money is in these basketballs that colleges play with. But it’s an amateur sport, we’re just here for fun. It’s not really that serious. So I guess any ball should be OK.

“Maybe we should have a universal ball like the NBA. You don’t go to the Clippers’ stadium and play with a Nike and then go to Golden State and play with a Rawlings. But in this amateur sport of college, where money isn’t the goal — it’s the student education and experience that you get — we play with a million different basketballs.”

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I love Nigel and he makes some great points but honestly for him to complain like that is a bit weird. Opposing players have been complaining for years about the ball that Wisconsin uses (Bo Ryan had some kind of deal with Sterling, so maybe it will go away after this year).

 

He's probably right though. I mean the NCAA can make those silly uniform courts for the tournament. Just pick a ball and make every team use it. 

 

Also I bet Barry Alvarez is gritting his teeth as Wisconsin just signed a huge 10-year deal with Under Armour.

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He unfortunately only did those interviews for the 2014 tournament.

He's had various amusing press conferences and interviews though. Nigel is the perfect student-athlete. Smart, thoughtful, funny and well-read. And a great ambassador for the university.

 

ETA: Here's his presser from when the Badgers played Ohio State last week. 

 

Edited by Minneapple
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Minneapple  -  what a great win for our Badgers, ending Maryland;s home win streak.  As Matt Lepay just said, those who thought the Badgers were done, might need to think again.  Greg Gard is making his case for the "interim" to be removed from his title.

 

Now I'm really going to sound like a homer, but I thought Diamond Stone should have been tossed.  He's on top of a guy on the floor and deliberately smacks his head into the floor?  And then there's a foul on the Badgers because they push Stone away from their guy on the floor?  I realize Stone was called for a flagrant, but I thought it should have been a flagrant two.  Stone showing his immaturity, letting his frustration get the better of him. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Stone is a hothead and smacking Vitto's head on the floor should have been a flagrant 2 and an ejection.

Nigel was asked about the Under Armour ball tonight and said "The basketballs were perfectly fine. I loved them." Lol. Love you, Nigel.

Great win. Now just don't fuck things up and we're in the tournament.

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I don't like MSU at all but when I was looking at my Facebook memories I had one from last year or the year before that said "I can't hate on a kid named Valentine making the game-winning shot on February 14."

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Dick Vitale is going off on Louisville's self sanctioning and how it will "hurt the kids." So he's promoting Pitino's proposal of massive (twenty million dollar) fines instead of post season bans.

 

Where does he think that money would come from? The athletic department? So the swim team has to take a hit? (It sure as hell wouldn't come out of football's budget.)

 

The university's general fund? So the economics department takes a hit?

 

The only fair monetary sanction would be to heavily fine coaches. And I really doubt that's going to happen. 

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If they fined Pitino or Louisville, some big booster like Papa John would step up and pay the fine. It would have to be a really over the top fine, like $50 million or something, and the NCAA would never do that.

You won't ever stop the hundred-dollar handshakes, but maybe just maybe you can stop a brothel being run for recruits in the basketball dorm.

Edited by Minneapple
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It's not as horrible as the other message board rumors. Which involved Bo murdering a guy at an Autozone in Milwaukee.

I'm disappointed in Bo as a person but maybe I should stop being disappointed when these things happen seeing as how they happen so often.

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