Every day there are three things, none worth devoting an individual post to, but each worth at least mentioning.
1) Basketball is dead to us. The Final Four is set, and no one we care about is in it. I'm sure you're like me and had Oregon and South Carolina both winning their respective regions.
On the Muskies....There really wasn't much to say about how Xavier's season ended. They ran into a team on Saturday night that's about three bad minutes against BYU from going into the Final Four with a perfect record, one that was machine-like against the Muskies. When a top-five team in offensive efficiency that's also the most efficient defensive team in the country hits 50 percent of its threes, no one is beating them.
Saturday night was far more about what Gonzaga did than what Xavier didn't.
It was a great run for the Musketeers, and if Edmond Sumner and Trevon Bluiett are back, there's no reason why a long run in March this year can't be parlayed into a season that's sets them up for something similar a year from now.
On the Wildcats....I figured on a lot of Carolina players potentially sticking it to Kentucky. Luke Maye was not on of them. Yesterday's regional final was an odd game early - loaded with fouls and questionable calls - then in the second half, we got bursts of the kind of game most of us expected. My main two questions involve John Calipari not calling a timeout to set his defense and make substitutions after Malik Monk's game-tying three, and why Monk went so long in the second half barely touching the ball.
It was an odd season for UK. The Wildcats were, at times, very, very good. They peaked at what felt like the right time, and even with their issues this season, they won both the SEC regular season and tournament titles. They have a point guard that I badly want to see in a Knicks uniform and a shooting guard who was often capable of helping his team mask its deficiencies.
But they never really had the "it" factor that you expect to see from Calipari's teams. Even at their best, they had never completely came together for long enough stretches of time to make you consider them one of the tournament's true favorites.
On the remaining teams. It's a refreshingly new final quartet of teams still playing, one that's sure to make this year's Final Four ratings take a tip. Two programs who've never been this far, one that hasn't in like eight decades. There's Dana Altman, who looks like every male high school math teacher that's ever lived. There's Mark Few, who looks like the cool boss at an ad firm. There's Roy Williams, whose sportcoats look like they were made from pieces of my grandmother's couch. And there's Frank Martin, who during his time at UC, always said hello to the behind-the-scenes guy on the radio broadcast. Needless to say, I'll be rooting for his Gamecocks.
2) Archie Miller. The former UD coach is headed to Bloomington to be
the next coach IU fans will hate the head coach of the Hoosiers.
Good for him.
Every coach has one responsibility: Leave the program in better shape then when he took it over. Archie did that in spades, helped assemble some of the most enjoyable UD fans since I started caring about the Flyers, and took them to the Elite Eight in 2014. I'll root for him at Indiana.
And there should be no shortage of coaches who are interested in leading the Flyers.
3) Rey Maualuga. Rey Mauluga has managed to do something that's pretty difficult. He played eight seasons here, was a mainstay on some of the best teams in franchise history, and yet his departure this weekend left me feeling pretty unmoved.
I mean, Rey wasn't a bad player, not by any stretch. But it feels like he was never as good as he should've been. It also was frustrating to watch as he showed up to camp the last two years out of shape, and painful to watch him struggle in coverage in recent seasons. Had Rey been taken in a later round without the name recognition had carried out of USC, perhaps we'd view him differently. Maybe not. I don't know. I have no real opinion of Rey Mauluga, other than it was time to move on from him, which the Bengals did. So that's good.
Radio Show: The period of time after the local college basketball teams are finished and before the Reds start their season is always interesting. We'll come up with something interesting today , starting at 3:05 on ESPN1530.