Wisconsin vs. Indiana: A Minor Setback
Last night was one of those games (Indiana vs. Wisconsin, to be specific) that I viewed at a tavern with friends. As per usual, the noise and general ambience of anything away from my home tends to draw my attention away so that it’s not 100% focused on whatever I’m watching. Who can concentrate with so many shiny objects around you? This typically results in my having particularly few game points. Today is no exception, as I continue the last several weeks of mailing it in:
1) The humor of the overly sensitive microphone on one of the hoops during the broadcast last night never wore off for me. The first time that I noticed it was when Brian Butch shot a badly errant three-pointer (when Butch misses, he makes it count), at which time I just figured that the loud, gong-like sound was due to such a long-distance shot clanging horrifically off the rim. There it was for the rest of the game, though, announcing every missed shot, and almost every made shot. While it was sort of annoying in the second half to hear a sound that seemingly announced the Badgers’ demise with every made Hoosier shot, I still can’t help but get a smile from minor technical snafus.
2) While watching the Badgers lose is never fun, when a team plays like Indiana did, I can’t complain too much. The only word that I can use to describe what I saw from the Hoosiers last night is "clutch." I wanted to hate Indiana, but I couldn’t help but marvel at their ability to hit both tough shots and big shots. D.J. White started off the game with two shots that it would have been nearly impossible to defend any better. And A.J. Ratliff seemed to do nothing in the second half but calmly hit big shots. IU’s already a tough place to play, and it’s a lot tougher when the Hoosiers are hitting their shots in key situations.
3) Kelvin Sampson’s appearance always makes me chuckle. Specifically, I always enjoy his typical dark blue shirt and tie combination. The only other place that I’ve seen this combo is back in high school when the basketball team was required to wear shirts and ties to away games. For most guys, this meant slapping a tie onto his best denim shirt. Not a look to strive for, but Sampson seems to like it. At least he’s not wearing cargo pants, I guess.
4) For the record, I’m about as big a Joe Krabbenhoft fan as there is. It is a thing of beauty to see a guy versatile enough to pull down a rebound, then start dribbling (competently) down the court on his own in hopes of leading a fastbreak. No outlet pass required. That said, could we find a way to get this guy comfortable with shooting? You know he’s got the ability in him, but whenever he puts the ball up, neither he nor anyone else has confidence in him at this point.
So it’s a loss. And while I still sort of don’t believe it, and I’m bitter about the fact that I’m going to have to scroll down an extra 4 inches to get to Wisconsin box scores on ESPN.com this week, due to a likely drop in the national rankings, it’s not the end of the world. There might still be a worse loss lurking out there, and hey, Wisconsin didn’t lose this one–Indiana beat them. I can’t get too bent out of shape about that.