Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Knee-Deep in the Hoop-blog 2/27/08

I haven't watched quite as much hoops in the last couple of weeks as I usually do, but I do have a couple of observations:

1. Memphis was so ripe to be taken down. I took my boys to Memphis on the Saturday of the big Memphis/Tennessee game. We saw a movie (U2 in 3D- totally boss, check it out), ate lots of good food and watched some hoops; not Memphis, I absolutely would have sold those tickets. We also went for the pre-game atmosphere; being a total sports geek, I love the buildup as much as the event. The city was everywhere, good-natured (at least early) jabs between the 2 sets of fans, and more than one (in retrospect) unfortunate tribute to the Tigers shaved in goofy white boys' heads. This is the same city that lets out a collective yawn over their NBA team, the Grizzlies. I had no doubt they would lose, it was sadly inevitable.

2. It was during this game that Bruce Pearl officially became one of the most annoying characters in all of sports to me. His interview going into halftime with Erin Andrews was more of an ESPN audition tape (now, with more groping!). He is so self-important and full of himself...he loves to hear himself talk. Digger Phelps- watch out, he's after your job. He's already got the questionable fashion sense down pat.

3. We watched my beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs actually pull out a road win over South Carolina in overtime. They are more than talented enough to beat South Carolina (who is mediocre at best), but this was exactly the kind of game they generally tank. Arkansas had lost earlier, State had the chance to extend their lead in the SEC West and guarantee a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament. I had no doubt they would blow it. But, oh-me-of-little-faith, Ben Hansborough (Tyler's little bro) was fouled on a last second 3 pointer that would tie the game. He then sunk all 3 free throws to send the game to OT, and the Dawgs never looked back. I'm still stunned.

4. Second least surprising outcome of a game in the last week- Newly minted #1 Tennessee gets taken out by Vanderbilt. Nothing to say except that it couldn't happen to a nicer guy in a hideous orange jacket.