Well—the season is over
By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS activities director
The NCAA Championship Tournaments are over for both the men and women’s basketball teams. The women’s tournament was a good one and the championship game featured Louisville and UConn. That final had not been played as of this writing but I am going to pick Connecticut and see if I can at least pick one winner for this year.
Connecticut defeated Notre Dame in one of the final four games and that was the fourth time this year the two teams had played. Notre Dame had won all three of the previous games and eight of the last nine against UConn, but if it is really hard to beat a good team three times in one season, imagine what it is like to try to get four. Didn’t happen and Connecticut might be able to play that right into another National Championship year.
Men’s Game Great
The final four games were great to watch as was the final game. My sentimental favorite was Wichita State and they played great against Louisville for 35 minutes. The game is of course 40 minutes and Louisville played well the last five minutes and moved into the championship game.
Michigan and Syracuse matched up well and Michigan had the offensive skills that worked well against the Syracuse 2-3 zone. Sometimes some teams just match up better against certain opponents and I think that is what prevailed in this game. Syracuse would have been a team that could have been the National Champion as easily as any of the final four.
The Championship game was exciting to watch. I am not sure I would call it an ugly game to watch but I would not call it pretty either.
The officiating which had John Higgins on the crew (he is an Omaha guy) let the boy’s play. There were times when I don’t know how a whistle could not have wind going through it. But play went on and you just wondered how three guys working the game didn’t see something when it appeared there could have been maybe four or five rules not just bent, but fractured.
The boys on the CBS panel thought it was well played and I know they see a lot of basketball. I think it was exciting to watch, but that doesn’t make it well played in my eyes.
When it was all over, Louisville was able to make more plays than Michigan. They were quick. They could play defense and their pressure wore teams down. I think good defense often pays off the most towards the end of games as teams wear down because of increased fatigue that is caused by constant pressure. Louisville was excellent in that area.
Rick Pitino had a great week or so. He gets elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame, his son gets the Minnesota head basketball job, he has a horse in the Kentucky Derby and his team wins the National Championship and the only coach to win a National Championship at two different schools. I would bet he has had worse weeks than that.
The worst part of this week is that the basketball season is over. It will be six months before the college game fires up again. I really like DVRs at this time of year.