Well, it’s over. Another season’s in the books. The final night of the season ended not in fanfare, or with a huge celebration at a local tavern (most of which were far too crowded with fans from the opening day for the Milwaukee Brewers), but sitting at home and taking in the game with my friend Beau. And if you’re looking for a guy who’s equally good at breaking down a basketball game, and discussing inane crap, Beau’s probably your guy, so despite the inordinately subdued nature of the evening, it was a solid way to end the season. As you already know, while Florida’s play may have been excellent, the game itself was not. My brief thoughts below:
1) I haven’t seen a dunk total for Florida last night, but it had to be an insane number. For most of the night it seemed like Joakim Noah was doing his best impression of Duke freshman Josh McRoberts, who I’m still convinced has never hit a shot in college other than dunks off of well delivered passes.
2) Memo to Joakim Noah: Run, don’t walk to the NBA draft. You’re a very good player, but I heard you discussed as a potential top-15 draft pick this year, which is insane, considering that you’re also a 7-foot guy who can’t weigh over 215 pounds. You’re never going to have this much attention on you again, and given that your first post-game interview comments began with a plea to your professors to give you an extension on homework, you can’t be that enamored with school. And it’s looking like sort of a weak draft this year, so is there any question as to what you should do? I’ll miss seeing you play real basketball, but get yourself a big paycheck before your name cools off.
3) Since Al Horford’s dad Tito was a fiercely mediocre player for the Milwaukee Bucks back when I was a kid, the Tito Horford jokes have been flying around constantly during the tournament. It’s been cracking me up to hear Tito Horford mentioned with the other famous Florida dads, since to me, Tito Horford was always just that other guy that the Bucks drafted during the year they picked Jeff Grayer in the first round. Nonetheless, Tito has to be happy this morning, and sometime this week, in his honor, I’m going to drink some Tito’s Handmade Vodka. It doesn’t have any affiliation with Tito Horford, but it’s the best vodka I've ever had, and I always get a kick out of the name.
4) Okay, I’m done mocking Jordan Farmar, since he played a great game, and handled all of the post game questions that I saw him answer with poise and class. One suggestion to him though–next time he plays in an NCAA final game, he might want to bring the rest of his team along with him.
5) Though they may have the championship, I question whether Florida is even getting the respect that they deserve. All of their games in the tournament, other than the Georgetown game, were double-digit, authoritative wins. No one’s thinking about this, since Florida wasn’t a #1 seed, but they really rolled over five good teams en route to the championship. I guess it was true what people were saying about the Gators playing really well coming into the tournament.
6) CBS did a shot at one point of what the announcing team stated fairly authoritatively were the best four centers ever to play basketball: Bob Kurland, Bill Russell, Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Somehow I think Wilt Chamberlain, George Mikan, Tom Gola and Tito Horford might argue with that.
7) Was it just me, or did One Shining moment seem really short last night? Maybe it was just rushing by quickly as I tried to fight off the knowledge that once it ended, my favorite leisure time activity would be out of reach until November, but it just seems like prior years have had much lengthier presentations. It was well done, though, and again, CBS avoided those ridiculous computer "enhancements" that have marred previous years.
So, with CSTV showing endless highlights and wrap-up coverage of the game, I eventually drifted off to bed. I’m still coping with the fact that the season’s over, but seeing a team play as well as Florida did somewhat eased the pain. And with the way that the last two tournaments have gone, it’s almost a given that things will again be great next year.
So that’s it for fresh updates. Later this week I’ll do my grand wrap-up for the year, and talk about what I’m going to be doing during the off-season. And then it’s off, save for sporadic updates, until late October. I’m already counting the days.