Matt Carberry (kingpin248) wrote,
Matt Carberry

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rock chalk Jayhawk... definitely the phrase of the day after Kansas won the NCAA Championship last night, defeating Memphis in overtime. It's déjà vu all over again from 1988. That was the last year Kansas cut down the nets; it was also the last year Cornell made an appearance in the Big Dance. That's not the only connection between the schools, as KU basically ripped off CU's alma mater. At least they're big enough to admit to doing so. Kansas' storied program has one of the best, most loyal, and most rabid fan bases in the nation, and their championship is well deserved. But as good as the Jayhawks' win was...

...Memphis' loss makes it that much better. The Tigers took a page from the storied, three decade tradition of their city's namesake submarine - they royally sucked. When I picked my bracket for March Madness, I couldn't select Memphis to win it all, even though they were rated No. 1 in the Z-Ratings on Selection Sunday. Yes, my feelings about the Submersible Death Trap influenced this decision. But the most important factor was one glaring statistic: the Tigers had shot fifty-nine percent from the free throw line on the season, a percentage that was third-worst of the 341 Division I teams. I was convinced that this deficiency would bite them in the ass at some point in the tournament. I predicted it would happen in the Elite Eight against Texas. They were able to hold on - until the last one hundred thirty-two seconds of regulation. The hallmark of a great team is an ability to close, and Memphis lacked that last night. And what did them in? Ineptitude at the charity stripe. Everyone will remember Mario Chalmers' shot to extend the game to overtime, but he doesn't even have the opportunity to tie it up if the Tigers make even one more free throw than they did. Kansas' updated version of the "Hack-a-Shaq" defense ended up paying the ultimate dividends - the right to be forever known as champions, and one hell of a party in Lawrence.
Tags: college basketball, memphis

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