The Big Time

Folks, Davidson is such a great team that they made last night's game (against apparently overrated #3 seed Wisconsin) look boring. Although I did see Stephen Curry miss two three-pointers in a row -- one very badly -- before sinking the next few with his signature panache. He's the kind of player who makes me think I could grab a basketball and land gorgeous, high-arcing 25-footers with no trouble at all.

One thing I've noticed during this year's tournament -- it's really amazing how little of a game you have to watch in order to figure out how well matched the teams are. Defensive aggressiveness and offensive rebounds are the two things I tend to pick up in the first few possessions I see (wow, that's a lot of double letters). For instance, toward the end of last Sunday's Western conference quarterfinal between Western Kentucky and San Diego, Western set up a series of defensive traps that basically shut down the USD offense; they did the same against Drake last week and attempted it, unsuccessfully, alas, against UCLA. You would only have to watch 5 or 10 minutes to see if the strategy was effective against the other team's skill.

Now all this isn't to say that I can watch the first ten minutes of a game and know beyond a shadow of a doubt who will win. Roundball is a capricious mistress, people. Anybody who's ever smacked his forehead in disbelief at an uncalled mugging or volunteered to lend his glasses to a clearly visually impaired ref can attest to the fact that games are won with 90% sweat and 10% luck.

Besides, when the games are as exciting as tomorrow's Elite Eight matchup between Davidson and the #1 seed Kansas, why watch five minutes when you can watch the whole thing?


Angus said...

I remember Dell Curry! I'm pretty sure he won Sixth Man of the Year back in 1994 or something?? I could be wrong. Basketball is awesome.

I had to cover a game last night with our local SEABL team. The South East Australian Basketball League is the offseason league to our national one, so it has more regional teams. Our local side is a bunch of awesome local guards, a couple of skinny kids, and a 6'9" dude from ETSU named Brad Nuckles. Between them they beat a team that included an Australian national team player, and three or four NBL players (that's our proper national league). It was great to watch. The good thing about my job is I get to go along and cheer loudly with everyone... and get paid to be there :) Keep up the basketball writing!

Laura said...

Interesting, an off season league. I think most of our pro basketball players fill their off seasons with training, big-pimpin, advertising deals, and trips to see their babymamas.