Posted by: Nate Fain | February 1, 2010

Random notes from this weekend

What a busy weekend in sports, specifically college hoops!  

Due to the weather outside, I got to watch quite a bit of sports since Friday.  

Here are some moments, events, players, teams and plays that caught my eye:  

  • Awful officiating on the hardwood.

A lot of UK fans don’t want to talk about this because Louisville got robbed. I’m a little different because I’m a basketball fan first, then a UK fan.  

In case you missed it, in the final 30 seconds of the L’ville vs WVa game on Saturday was filled with terrible officiating. First, they missed the tripping of a WVa player, which has been a point of emphasis this year.  

Second, in the same sequence, a ball was called out-of-bounds incorrectly. It was clearly off a WVa player’s head and then hit the ref in the leg. I guess the missed foul call and bad call on the out-of-bounds play cancel each other out.  

Next, had to deal with the shot clock. Quick question: do the clock operators actually watch the game? If you watch the close of this game, the shot clock should have been dead on L’ville’s final possession, but instead it just kept ticking.  

Not many people are talking about this, but I can’t help but wonder if the Cards threw up a fast shot because they thought the shot clock, which should have been dead, was about to run out.  

The Cards missed the shot and there was a struggle for the rebound, which was right in front of a ref on the baseline. In hopes that he wouldn’t get hit in the face by the ball, he turned his back to the play and probably did what would make the home crowd happy as the ball went out-of-bounds: he awarded the ball to the Mountaineers.  

It should have been L’ville ball with about six seconds left. The officials went over to the monitor to check to see if the time was correct and probably saw that they blew the out of bounds call, but didn’t reverse it.  

So instead of having the ball under their own goal with a chance to win, the Cards were forced to foul and hope for a near miracle.  

The miracle never came much to the delight of West Virginia and UK fans.  

But I ask, why? If that had been your team would you want to have lost that way?  

Would you not be infuriated that some officials had that much influence on the outcome of a game?  

Ultimately, the Cards should have just taken care of business. They were up 12 in the second half, and let the Mountaineers creep back into it.  

Between the L’ville game and the 500 fouls that were called in the Vandy vs UK game, I’ve become quite frustrated with college hoops officials.  

It was yet another game where both teams were called for nearly 30 fouls, which made the game unbearable to watch.  

Also, apparently one of the officials for that game, took the time to introduce himself to Lebron James during a TV timeout. I can’t  

It's no secret that Lebron and Cal know each other and are friends. James talked and met all the UK players. What a recruiting tool!

 think of something more tacky or unprofessional. These guys have access to him after the game and you know James was going to stick around, so do it then instead of during the game.  

Hopefully a fine or suspension is in order for these officials.  

  • Game of the weekend:

This one was hard to choose. In fact, waaaay too hard.  

  • GAMES of the weekend:

Just picking one game was too much pressure. In no particular order:  

L’ville vs WVa  

This game featured a great comeback by the Mountaineers, followed by last second drama/controversy. Anything else needed?  

Duke vs Georgetown  

This game was great because it, yet again, exposed how overrated Duke is. Get them out of home sweet home, and they are not a top-15 teams. The Hoyas rolled all game.  

Florida vs Tennessee  

The last three possessions had everyone sitting on the edge of their seat. However, Gus Johnson was doing the play-by-play, we were all jumping out of seats. I tweeted it earlier during the game, but I challenge anyone to find a better TV play-by-play guy that is better than Gus Johnson.  

Florida almost stole one on the road, but Tennessee got a great win. If the Vols hit threes against the Cats, Big Blue might have a hard time with them. Also, this is probably one of the most athletic teams UK will play in the regular season.  

Hornets vs Grizzlies  

I realize none of you probably watched this. I’ve got NBA League Pass broadband, so I get to watch almost NBA game I want. Since I’m a Hornets fan and love watching Rudy Gay play, you better believe I was tuned in.  

The game went into OT and the Hornets won thanks to a well-balanced scoring attack. Rookie Darren Collison filled in for an injured Chris Paul (we’ll get back to that later) and broke CP3’s rookie record with 18 assists. He also got the steal and dunk that sealed the game for the Bees.  

Rondo had 21 points and 12 assists and lived up to his All-Star tag. Bryant's 19 wasn't too impressive, but he was clutch.

Lakers vs Celtics  

The two biggest dynasties in the NBA squared-off in Boston. This game didn’t disappoint.  

Although most will say Rajon Rondo was the best performer of the game, I have a hard time not choosing Kobe Bryant.  

He only had 19, but they were some of the toughest 19 points I’ve seen recently. His fade away jumper for the win was next to impossible, yet most probably expected him to make it.  

Kansas vs Kansas St  

Can we all agree that the both of these teams have some home court advantage? Phogg Allen Fieldhouse and the “Octogon of Doom” are some of the best atmospheres in college basketball, especially this year.  

This game also went into overtime and featured good basketball, for the most part. I’m still not sure why KSU elected not to foul on KU’s last possession, but I won’t let that get in the way of realizing that this was a great game.  

With this win, Kansas will claim the No.1 spot in college basketball, and rightfully so. The Jayhawks have some of the best talent in the country. When you combine that with great coaching and experience, I still think they are the best team in the nation. Anything can happen during March Madness, but I have the Jayhawks penciled-in for the winner.  

  • Biggest injury news

Colts DE Dwight Freeney questionable for Super Bowl.  

It’s being described as a third-degree sprain, which is a tear of a ligament, medically speaking.  

Aside from Peyton Manning, there could not be a bigger injury for the Colts. Indianapolis must get to Drew Brees in hopes of containing him. Freeney is one of the best in the business at doing just that.  

Chris Paul out 1-2 months. Will undergo knee surgery.  

A huge hit for the Hornets. The All-Star guard was injured during the recent loss to the Chicago Bulls while trying to chase down an inbounds pass at the end of the game.  

I guess rookie point guard Darren Collison will get some experience, whether he’s ready for it or not.  

  •  Finally, it’s over…let’s move on

I’d be lying if I said I knew when the Winter X games were over, but they will be under this category when they are finished. Aside from the Spelling Bee that ESPN airs, I can’t think of anything I’m more uniterested in that gets so much air time.  

The Pro Bowl  

Thank goodness this is over. I’m tired of hearing about it…everything about it! This game is useless and just another way for the NFL to make money.  

I couldn’t help but laugh when the NFL was so arrogant earlier in the week when they forced players from the Saints and Colts to at least attend the Pro Bowl. Obviously none of these players were going to play in this game.  

But what was the NFL going to do if they didn’t show up? Suspend them for the Super Bowl? There’s no way the NFL would suspend Peyton Manning or Drew Brees from the Super Bowl.  

Ratings would plummet and they’d get robbed of millions. Personally, I wanted them to skip it so they could stick it to the NFL. Get off your high horse, NFL, you’re nothing without the players or the fans. They’re the ones who have the real power.  

  • Looking forward

Both college basketball being televised Tuesday on ESPN should be dandies. Hopefully Ole Miss doesn’t come out flat after just one day of rest (their game against Arkansas was pushed back a day because of the snow). I’m also looking forward to Wisconsin vs. Michigan State.  

Also looking forward to Miss St vs Vandy on Wednesday. That game is Wednesday at 8 p.m.  

Thursday features a matchup in the NBA  between two of its biggest stars: Wade vs James; Heat vs Cavaliers. I’m pretty excited to watch this one. Both these players have me glued to the TV each time they play. That game is at 8 p.m. on TNT.  

There are too many games this weekend to name, but I’ll name the obvious one: the Super Bowl.  

It should be a great week in sports. I know I wouldn’t mind being snowed-in again!

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Responses

  1. The conference offices will have plenty to do this week. Reviewing the bad jobs the ref’s did this week-end will take days. I agree about the ref and Lebron. I hope the Coach Cal haters out there don’t try to make his friendship with Lebron into some kind of NCAA Recruiting Violation!

    I’m sorry to hear about Freeney and Paul. It’s sad that Freeney would get hurt trying not to hit someone and possibly miss the Super Bowl. I hope Paul can make a complete recovery, the NBA will be diminished by his absence.

    You are correct, Sir. This should be a BIG week for sport viewing. Snow is forecasted for Saturday, it wouldn’t be a bad week-end to be stuck at home in front of the TV!


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