Monday, March 26, 2007

Sports: They're Back


The Florida Gators are back in the Final Four, and it's been a long road for the team. Here's some observations from Sunday's NCAA Tourney action:

Returning five starters from their title team, three of whom would've been likely NBA lottery picks, the Gators have been saddled with the weight of lofty expectations from the very beginning. While most analysts focus on the two big guys, Al Horford and Joakim Noah, it's the guards that shredded #3 Oregon today. Lee Humphrey, who's been quiet in the Tourney until now, exploded with 7 three-pointers and some tenacious defense of the plucky Porter (Lee even managed to get a steal and followed it with a rare layup). Taurean Green also shot the ball well.

Regarding the second game of the evening, UNC choked pretty hard in my opinion. It's one thing to have a cold shooting period; it's quite another to fail to drive to the basket when your opponent is clearly creeping up on you. Instead, UNC rattled off forced shot after forced shot (many of them awful-looking three-pointers), and they looked collectively like a deer in headlights. Hibbert fairly destroyed them down the end, and the Oden-Hibbert clash next weekend is likely to be epic.

My pick for the championship? Honestly, I feel like Florida has the worst chance of winning - OSU, Georgetown, and UCLA are so stacked with talent and momentum that it's gonna take quite a bit to take them down. Florida has been down in all of its games in March, though never by huge margins. One thing to remember, though - while various players in the Hoyas-Tarheels game were begging for the ball from their teammates, I can't ever remember when Noah or Horford demanded that someone feed them the ball. In the end, basketball is a team game, and I do feel that if the Gators can correct some of their mistakes (mostly taking care of the ball), they're still the best team.

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