Today’s update will be brief, since is was a subdued weekend for me as far as basketball went. Friday night, I contemplated trying to catch a random high school basketball game, but aside from there being none that inspired me to head to a high school gym, it would have been unlikely that I could have found someone to go with me, and I’m still not quite enough of a nerd to watch high school basketball alone on a Friday night. Instead, I caught a good portion of the Duke-Michigan State game from last week, since I had recorded it and vowed to watch it later. I was met with no shocks, though I was highly impressed with J.J. Reddick, who I had often considered in the past to be a tad overrated. Maybe this is the year I jump on the bandwagon. And it also bears mentioning that after that performance, I was slightly surprised to see Michigan State dealt a loss by George Washington this weekend.
Saturday had some promise, but quickly fizzled. North Carolina-Kentucky was the marquee game of the day, and was not offered on Milwaukee’s CBS channel, who instead showed Indiana-UConn. I opted to clean my kitchen instead, partly due to a lack of interest in the game, and partly due to the fact that my linoleum was filthy. Either way, at the end of the day, my floor was shining and smelling of pine, and Mike Davis had lost, so things were pretty much going just as I had hoped.
Of course, there was also the Wisconsin-Rutgers game on Saturday night. Since it was not on television and I was headed to Madison for the evening, I timed my car ride so that I could hear the game on my way. Nothing unusual here, except that Mike Wilkinson finally broke out of his scoring drought. Perhaps my favorite comment of the night came after I stopped for gas and upon re-entering my car, radio announcer Matt Lepay was exclaiming "That was an incredible play by Kammron Taylor. It was also a very scary play, but it turned out incredible." I think that just about sums up what Taylor does, now. A 12 point Badger win on the road is something I’ll take any day.
As I returned home on Sunday afternoon, I finally got to the only game that I would watch start to finish–UWM-Illinois Chicago, which I had recorded the prior night. This one’s always a classic. It’s the two premier teams in the Horizon League, the two coaches hate each other, and there’s lots of up-tempo play to be seen. It didn’t disappoint. The game stayed within a handful of points for most of the game before UWM pulled ahead in the final minute. I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen more early fouls in a game, but somehow, I don’t think that I saw anyone foul out. I like UWM, though, because you don’t know who’s going to beat you. Ed McCants, pre-season Horizon player of the year, had an off night. But it wasn’t a big deal, because Joah Tucker, Adrian Tigert, Boo Davis and Chris Hill had big nights. Most of these guys, and Derrick Ford, could step up and lead the team on any given night. It’s nice to have a minimum of 6 guys to count on. And on the interesting side note that always pops up when UIC is playing, guard Marcetteaus McGee was a one-time Wisconsin Badger recruit who never ended up at school due to some sexual assault allegations. He’s not a bad ballplayer, though I’m not sure how much he would have offered at Wisconsin. With his tattoos and Allen Iverson arm sleeve, though, he looked like too much of a badass to have fit in with the Badger squad anyway. Looks like things worked out for him though.
So, my basketball weekend came to an end as Bruce Pearl and UIC coach Jimmy Collins bypassed the game ending hand-shake, as they always do. Plans to watch the Fox Sports ACC game of the week featuring N.C. State and Julius Hodge were dashed when I went to dinner at my parents’ house and my mother took longer than expected to cook the pork roast. It was a decent roast, though, so I forgive her.