Friday, April 8, 2011

Houston, we had a problem.

Well, it's been three or four days now and I've finally gotten the rotten aftertaste of Monday night's NCAA championship game between UConn and Butler out of my system.

Houston, of course, is the home base of the soon-to-be-dismantled U.S. manned space program. Perhaps in a tribute to the imminent shutdown of NASA, the Huskies and Bulldogs teamed up to give us a game straight from the era before humans slipped the surly bonds of earth, back in the 1950s or so.

The 53-41 stinkbomb of a game was the worst game in recent NCAA history, rivaled only by the Michigan State-Wisconsin semifinal sludgefest in 2000.

That was actually a good defensive game, but the UConn-Butler game, rather than a display of dominating defense, was an exhibition of execrable offense. Both teams are decent on defense (UConn is quite good), but more than anything else the game swung on Butler's horrible shooting, 18.8 percent, and a ridiculous race-to-the-bottom display of the gut-grinding "play the right way" philosophy which has strangled the whole game of basketball over the last 20 years.

UConn also doesn't get a pass for the obnoxious offensive exhibition, because once the Huskies got out to about a 6-7 point lead, Jim Calhoun also went all the way back to the pre-shot-clock era for the late and much-unlamented Four Corners.

Whenever Butler plays, the announcers just can't shut up about how disciplined, dedicated, hard-working, well-coached and of course fundamentally sound they are. (In contrast of course to the undisciplined, slacking, lazy, badly coached and fundamentally futile idiots they happen to be playing). Oh, and do you know, they play in the same fieldhouse "Hoosiers" was filmed in? (Yeah, I knew.)

Unfortunately, like all sports, basketball is a game of imitation. And, unfortunately, more and more we are probably going to see more scenes like these, from the actual Milan-Muncie Central game in 1954 which was the actual basis for "Hoosiers."


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October 14, 2011 at 3:56 AM 

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