Monday, February 26, 2007

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State: Ugh...

Wow, big weekend. UWM plays UWGB and wins on a last-second shot. Marquette plays their old rival Notre Dame and various parties nearly come to blows, proving that the rivalry is far from dormant. And Wisconsin meets Ohio State in a rare #1 vs. #2 battle (even if Michigan State took some of the shine off of this one earlier in the week). I’m going to forego discussion about how Luke Harangody’s physical appearance hides how good he his, or the splendor of Paige Paulson’s last second layup against UWGB, and instead focus on the Wisconsin-Ohio State game today. After all, #1 vs. #2 is going to take precedence almost any time. I’m a bit dehydrated because of the tears that have been streaming down my face since the end of the game, but I think I can pull it together for a recap.

1) Has any explanation been given for Joe Krabbenhoft’s start in place of Brian Butch yesterday? Did Bo Ryan just get confused and put the wrong big, blonde guy in? Because it was a bizarre move for a guy who sticks to his starting lineup almost to the point of absurdity. Not that I particularly minded, since I’m a huge Krabbenhoft fan, even if he displays the kind of confidence shooting the ball that I did in asking girls out when I was in high school. (Feel free to consider Greg Oden's monster block on Krabbenhoft as a metaphor for my success with the ladies back in my teen years...)

2) I’m not sure there was a moment in the game when I was happier than when Trevon Hughes hit Jason Bohannon for his layup to end the first half. Not only was it great to see two freshmen come up big in a limited-time situation, it was nice to see Hughes and Bohannon helping one another out, when it would seem more logical that they should be getting in daily fistfights over playing time.

3) I missed the most gruesome shots of Brian Butch’s elbow injury, partly because I was looking away the first time they showed it (though I did notice beforehand that he went down really hard), and partly because I tend to look away on replays of things like that, as I am one of the most squeamish men alive. (Sometime maybe I’ll tell you about how as a kid I passed out at the movie theater during the birthing scene of "Look Who’s Talking, Too.") The collective disgusted groan of the crowd at the bar I was at told me all that I needed to know about the injury. And thus, Brian Butch’s disjointed elbow will now join Allen Ray’s protruding eye in my list of sports injuries that I never want to see. (Much like with Ray’s injury last year, any emails that I get with YouTube links will be promptly deleted, so don’t even try...)

4) Highlight of the game for me had to be the CBS crew catching Thad Matta as his gum fell out of his mouth to the floor, followed by Matta pickinig the gum back up, putting it back in his mouth, and continuing his chewing. Disgusting? Sure, but you have to admire Matta’s focus on the game, and the CBS crew’s ability to catch him doing something just one step above picking his nose. For a brief moment, it was almost as I was directing today’s coverage of the game...

5) You know, it’s a lot more scary to watch the Badgers play when they actually get someone in foul trouble.

6) When Greg Oden gets to the NBA, I think he should hire a personal groomer. While I’m glad that his awful neck beard is gone from earlier this year, today he looked like a guy who tried to contour some sort of thin beard, but then got bored and let the patchy stuff grow in.

7) Oden’s grooming aside, he threw down a dunk in this game that was so fierce that I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen as powerful a slam since Neon Bodeaux was being recruited by Western University. Thank goodness he had an affinity for traveling during this game...

8) I’ve liked Mike Conley all season long, but I didn’t understand how much until today. As a Badger fan, I felt completely uncomfortable watching Conley with the ball in his hands on Ohio State’s final possession. Not since Mateen Cleaves have I been that upset just watching a guy contemplating what to do. You know Conley’s going to come up with a smart idea and make it work. It’s annoying to have to say this about a freshman, and even more annoying when he’s not even the most hyped freshman on his own team.

9) While I understand why Wisconsin called timeout at the end of the game, I really would have liked to have seen them run it right back at Ohio State, as they attempted to do as the bench was calling timeout. (Seriously, I’m not just saying this because Jason Bohannon hit a crazy shot, not knowing that timeout had been called.) I’m a big believer in using the chaos that ensues following a late shot to get the other team on its heels, rather than calling a timeout, and allowing the defense to regroup. All that said, I think the suddenly-down-at-the-end-of-game timeout is something of a reflex, because even though I’ve subscribed to the above philosophy for as long as I can remember, I kept screaming at the TV for a timeout. This is why I could never coach.

10) I guess it merits mention again–the Badgers remain rush-worthy, chalking up their third opposing-fan court rush in four losses this year.

So that one hurt, especially since the game could have so easily been in hand with two foul shots, but I move on. It’s time to get ready for another insane week of basketball for our state’s fine teams, as well as the start of the high school tournament tomorrow. While the end of this week saw all of my teams limping towards it, the fact still remains that as of Thursday, it’s officially time for some madness...


At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Krabby got the start over Butch because of OSU's starting lineup. With Chappell on Oden, there was no slow big guy left for Butch to guard effectively.

At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Terry The Jerk Who Was Just Banned From WestHoops said...

If we're comparing you asking girls out to Krabbenhoft's shooting, does this mean he will never shoot again?!

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Jack Fu said...

RE: the timeout at the end

I'm an OSU fan, and I noticed that I was the only one, amidst the people celebrating heartily at the bar, who was shouting "GET BACK" as soon as the ball went through the hoop. I was terrified of the quick inbounds that might catch people celebrating.

RE: rushing the court

I'm not saying the crowd necessarily would have done the same thing had it been, say, Michigan State or Illinois, but the win DID give OSU the outright Big Ten title. I think that definitely at least factored in...

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Butch -- Ryan said something about wanting someone quicker on his feet (not his exact words), something about OSU's 3-point shooters.

I always get frustrated with Butch but he does block a lot of shots and can on occasion make a clutch shot. I just wish he made more of them. Nothing worse than watching a big man miss a layup. But I'm sorry to see him go out that way.

What is it about Taylor's late-season inconsistancy? I really thought he faded last year and he shows signs of doing it again. On the other hand, I think he was 2 of 4 from 3 point range, so maybe it's my imagination.

Hitting that free throw woulda been nice tho.


At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah. rushing the court in this instance is a bit different. ohio state clinched the outright big ten championship. it is their first back-to-back regular season championship in over 40 years. also, there is nothing wrong with the fans collecting near the trophy presentation.

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out this article "Why Wisconsin Will Win It All" at unbelivable rant from the Gators


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