Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Washington Post column: 'Instead of a coronation, dismal NCAA title game was a culmination of bad habits'

Here is the latest The Washington Post column ----------

This was the message of Monday night’s NCAA national championship game: You reap what you sow.

This is where basketball has come after years of the powers-that-be fiddling while the sport has burned.
It is not news that the level of play — from youth basketball to the NBA — has been dropping like a stone for a good long while now, but Connecticut’s unwatchable 53-41 victory over Butler put that fact into focus on the game’s biggest stage.

There’s no doubt these were the two teams that deserved to play for the championship. Connecticut had won 10 consecutive games to get to the title game; Butler had won 14 in a row. Each had survived scares by making big plays late, and both had that little bit of luck that most national champions need.

And then they both no-showed on Monday night, except that Butler out-no-showed U-Conn. Were the Huskies the best team? Let’s put it this way: They were less bad than everyone else in the (too many) 68-team field.

Please — please — let’s not go down the “that was great defense” road. Let’s agree that the defenses were good while acknowledging that the offenses were god-awful. Butler couldn’t make a layup or an open jump shot. Matt Howard, who is as admirable a player as has ever played in the tournament, had a night that will keep him awake for years to come.

Click here for the rest of the article: Instead of a coronation, dismal NCAA title game was a culmination of bad habits


Giant Glass said...

As a Connecticut native, I felt like I was rooting for the Russians in 1980, but I was glad the Huskies won. As a basketball fan, I have to wonder, was CBS forbidden by the NCAA from discussing the Nate Miles issue (or for that matter, any probation issues) at UConn?

GMoney said...

John, your point about staying in school for 3 years once you commit is perfect. That will return college to the amateurs instead of it being an NBA prep camp. How can we drive this change?

Dana King said...

If the championship game was the first college basketball game I'd ever seen, I'd never watch another.

SMar said...

Johnny-boy, you hit it on the head. The systemic degradation of the quality of play in basketball continues unabated due to the desire for big money. Poor, poor basketball..I'm sure this is not what Dr. Naismith had in mine.

Anonymous said...

John - what say you on the Yow comments on Gary Williams? Something tells me you have some pent up stories in your gut...please, please let them fly.

Robin said...

The only HS Senior that was physically ready for the NBA was LeBron James. I think we can still see (7+ years later), that he was not mentally/emotionally ready, and it continues to impact his level of professionalism and maturity by going to the NBA at 18 years of age.

I would like to see the NCAA tourney at 64-68 teams, but possibly have a bubble tourney of mid-majors and big conference teams on the bubble. Maybe a couple games between 2nd and 3rd place mid-majors and 4th and 5th place BCS teams. If you scoot up the conference tourneys a little in the schedule, you could squeeze in two extra games. I would have liked to have seen St Mary's and Colorado in this year's tourney, not to mention Washington State. Witchita State was good, too. The only two teams that I thought should have been out of the tourney this year were VCU and USC, VCU proved me wrong.

Anonymous said...

I believe Moses Malone was a decent pro in his rookie year coming out of high school, but I must agree with Robin and Feinstein that for every Malone and James, there is a Bill Willoughby and Leon Smith.

Sean said...

I think more needs to be talked about moving the 3pt line back. It would fundamentally change the college game for the better....keep beating that drum.

Michael said...

Maybe a Washington Post editor made this decision, but I'll ask anyway. Why does a column about the NCAA basketball final have a dateline of Augusta, Georgia? That seemed odd to me.