Tuesday, April 8, 2008

thoughts on kansas 75, memphis 68 (ot)

There's only one, really: What in the name of Barry Goheen were the Memphis Tigers thinking at the end of regulation? How in the world does a team coached by John Calipari let the opposition attempt a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the waning seconds when leading by three points? How do you not foul? Geoff Calkins, writing in this morning's Memphis Commerical Appeal, sums up this remarkable collapse rather nicely. But to me, anyway, that one play is the one that matters. For those who don't get my drift, Calipari was an assistant coach on the awesome 1988 Pitt team that lost to Vanderbilt in the second round of the NCAA tournament because it allowed Barry Goheen to dribble the length of the floor before attempting a 3 at the buzzer. As regular readers of the blog know, that game still haunts me. Pitt, like Memphis in last night's national title game, went on to lose in overtime. And Calipari, the slicker-than-slick Memphis coach, was an assistant coach on that Pitt team. He said repeatedly after the game that his team had tried to foul, but it sure didn't look like it, did it? The players obviously didn't get the message. And Calipari had two timeouts remaining after Derrick Rose's free throws with 10.8 seconds left; there was nothing to prevent him from using one to make sure his kids knew what they had to do. Shockingly, that's two years in a row a team coached by someone with a connection to the '88 Pitt Panthers has been eliminated by a play like that. Xavier, which is coached by Sean Miller, an outstanding freshman guard on that Pitt team, let Ohio State get away with it in the second round last year. As my cousin Pat, the man largely responsible for my bleeding heart love affair with Pitt hoops, said in a text message late last night: "How many times does Barry Goheen have to happen before somebody gets it?"

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