I would like to congratulate the 1937 NCAA Basketball Champion’s UConn & Jim Calhoun, for tearing down the peach baskets Monday night!! That was honestly some sorta basketball game…wasn’t it? You know, after you have a champion, everybody always asks “well, was that the best team in the country?” Yes! UConn, in my opinion, was the best team in the country and this is the best way I can say it. They go 3-0 in the Maui Invitational beating – at the time, 2nd ranked Michigan State and top 10 ranked Kentucky. Then they go to the Big East tournament – neutral floor, and win 5 straight games over 5 straight days over four ranked teams. Then they go into the NCAA tournament and go 6-0. So UConn was 14-0 on neutral floors! It should be noted, in most of these events, there were fewer UConn fans than those who they played.
Connecticut is not a big state, UConn is not a gigantic booster program, and they don’t travel across the country. In the tournament, they were forced to go 3,000 miles away. When they played San Diego State there was like 200 UConn fans. This is the best team in college basketball! They go 14-0, beat 10 ranked teams on neutral floors, usually with a crowd disadvantage…that’s the best team in college basketball. In fact, if you take out road losses – because nobody wins in college basketball on the road, it’s just very difficult! They only had 4 losses for the year, where all of them were close home games all against ranked teams. Louisville, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Marquette…that’ the best team in college basketball.
When you’re watching how Butler is beating teams in the tournament and their coaching – to go into a game and just completely shut down Butler, was a real testament to this basketball team that has got two NBA players and in a sport that is eroding by the year, in which you have two NBA players like Jeremy Lamb, who will be a nice NBA player, and Kemba Walker, who will be a little less nice, I don’t think he’ll be a star in the NBA, he’ll be a really nice player, Raymond Felton sorta level. But it seems to me that this is the best team in college basketball!
I will say this, we tend to over-react! One of the recurring theme’s I have on my blog is this “step back, take the emotion out of it, your over-reacting” Remember the first day or two of the tournament? People were saying “oh the Big East is over-rated!!!” Slow down, take a deep breath because the team that won last night finished 9th in the Big East conference. Any other conference in college basketball where even your 3rd place team or even your 2nd place team would win a national championship, they finished 9th in the Big East. Don’t judge the SEC in football on how Kentucky does in a bowl game okay? When the dust clears, the SEC ends up on top! And when the dust cleared, a Big East team ended up 14-0 on neutral floors. So when they play Kentucky and Hawaii, there are a lot fewer UConn fans than Kentucky fans. When UConn plays Georgetown on a neutral floor, there is definitely more Hoya fans. When they play Arizona, Kentucky or San Diego State, there is a lot more of those fans than UConn fans.
I’ve been to the state of Connecticut, it’s tiny! They don’t draw; they just don’t draw on the road!! Want to know why? Here’ another little secret, because of the airport – Hartford Airport that is. It has very few direct flights from Hartford to go anywhere, in this economy; it’s like $800 to Phoenix. When you’re in an airport like the Hartford one that doesn’t have direct flights, its super expensive! So UConn plays a bunch of neutral floor games where they are actually the road team.
But then again, I would like to congratulate the 1937 UConn Huskies, I hope you enjoyed Monday night as much as I did! God, that game was just unwatchable!! I was just waiting for an underhand free throw! I’m surprised that my television didn’t turn into black and white. Something else that you were hearing Tuesday morning, “Well Andrew, that was total defense” That is honestly a bunch of baloney.
Never forget this, at every level of basketball – high school, college and professional, the great scorers always scored! Nobody ever stopped Larry Bird – at high school, college or pros. Nobody ever stopped Dominique Wilkens, nobody ever stopped MJ. Nobody has ever stopped Kobe; nobody has ever stopped the greatest scorers in basketball. The best defensive player – the Michael Cooper of his era, still gets worked by the best offensive players. What you saw Monday night, were mediocre college basketball players, because it was not – by the way, Kemba Walker could get off his shot anytime he wanted to, Jeremy Lamb could and he’s an NBA player that was not about defense.
Adam Morrision averaged 28 points a game in college and shot 50% from the floor. In the NBA, he can’t get a shot off and shots 37% from the tile. Don’t tell me college basketball is where they play defense and nobody plays it in the NBA. Elite players – you think Lebron Monday night struggles from the floor? An elite player at every level score…Monday night was just bad basketball.
In regards to Butler, you know what…I don’t think any less of them, so let’s not bag on Butler. I still contend that it’s a top 20 program and I think they have a great coach. I do wonder if Brad Stevens wakes up in the morning and thinks “[sigh] I’m still Butler” Listen, I’m an advocate of Butler, I think they’re Gonzaga with better icing…they are literally Gonzaga with better icing. Same cake, little better icing…it’s a great job! But I do wonder if Brad Stevens wakes up and says “it’d just be nice to wake up and have Kentucky’s players or UConn’s players” because there is NBA guys in those programs…everywhere!