Sunday, March 6, 2011

you guys don't know what you're missing

You'd think having two college teams to root for would be the shit, with no qualms, no reservations. It is the shit, but it's trying sometimes; like when the scheduling wizards put their football games on at the same time. Having them battle for recruits actually isn't the can't-lose proposition that it sounds like. And I find myself constantly defending the one to the other's fans; it's amazing to listen to ACC fans thinking Big Ten football should be relegated to mid-major status and vice versa. Worst of all, neither one of my football teams has won their season-ending rivalry game since 2003. That's not just fucked up, it's fucked up twice.

Whatever; two teams is still twice the fun. Those of you without a second team will never know what Saturday was like. While Maryland was busy losing to Virginia after their football coach informed the crowd that Maryland does not lose to Virginia, Michigan dispatched Michigan State with rather more ease than I expected (though it wasn't exactly easy.) This is like winning a million bucks and then winning a million more and then not having to pay taxes on it. It's better than twice the fun. It's twice the fun and then a whole fun factory. And then - with Virginia Tech losing to Clemson and creating a popping sound you could hear in Katmandu - the competing factory across town burning to the ground. It's that damn fun. I may never experience such basketball nirvana again on a day that doesn't involve a bracket. Maryland and Michigan State - there are zero other teams I'd rather beat on a basketball court. That's as good as it gets.

So it's pretty sweet. So, do you remember the goal I set for this team way back when, and abandoned in the aftermath of an ugly loss to the worst team in the conference? Here they are: a winning record. 7-9 in the ACC - even in one of the worst ACCs in recent and not-recent history - is a frickin' hell of a thing to do when the best player on the team is unavailable for the whole thing. And it was sealed against a team I thought we matched up against badly. Badly, because they have a zillion really frontcourt options and we have Assane Sene and Will Sherrill. And then Maryland had to bring in dudes from places that can't even win the Eurovision contest in however many decades of trying let alone an Olympic bronze in basketball because what was a matchup nightmare in game one turned into domination in College Park. "Assane Sene, 15 points 5 rebounds" is something I can get used to. The guy is officially no longer someone that other coaches actively hope gets the ball in his hands. He is a Matchup Problem, one that requires Iceland to fix. If they can.

This team is rolling, and Miami awaits on Thursday. You may remember Miami from Why Can't We Hit A Damn Free Throw and That Was Only A Foul In Your Stupid Imagination. Fix these two eminently fixable problems, and UNC will be the Friday opponent. That's the near future. The distant-ish future is a sky's-the-limit proposition, on account of the rather large number of woulda-coulda-shoulda games (Miami, UNC, Duke, etc.) plastered all over the schedule. You are not only authorized but strongly encouraged to act during the offseason as if Seattle and Norfolk State never happened.


Other stuff:

- I guess I can live with the complete lack of UVA representation on the all-ACC teams. Joe Harris seems like the most obvious snub, if any, and that'd be for the all-freshman team, but pretty much everyone there is statistically better than Harris. Kendall Marshall of UNC would be the only one who isn't, but I actually appreciate his presence there because it shows the media did more than look at the stats when they voted for the team. Of course, they would only watch North Carolina games - and Duke ones - but people who did watch Carolina couldn't help but notice the improvement in that team with Marshall on the floor. Larry Drew's huffy departure was the best thing that happened to UNC because it saved Roy Williams the dilemma of how much to get Drew on the floor when he was being so obviously outplayed.

- So they highlighted the venerable Maryland tradition of actively ignoring the visitor's lineup being announced. You know it's Maryland when their traditions involve making a big in-your-face deal of showing as much disrespect as possible to the opposition.

- Maybe the best thing about the Maryland game, besides having more points than them, was that unlike most of our wins this season, this one didn't involve grinding the game into an ugly brickfest. No, I'm not complaining about Tony Bennett's style. Winning is fun no matter how it happens. It's just nice to know that we can also win games by simply matching them basket for basket and then some. That's a preview of the offense with a post game. Clemson was your example of offense minus a post game.

- I was hoping for a path to sneak into the NIT if we ended up with a winning record, but the RPI is just too sucky. Blame Seattle. And Wake Forest. I've said it before, but I really do hope the administration uses some of that profit on the CBI, which is still a money-loser. Partly it's because this team really can use all the games they can play against decent competition, but partly it's because ending the regular season 4-1 has a way of making me crave more basketball.

- I haven't said the name "Sammy Zeglinski" yet in this post, which is a shame because he only scored 25 damn points. Yikes. Sometimes you just have one of those days where you're feeling it and can't miss if you try. I know the feeling and I'm five-foot-seven, so, far be it for it to be a totally foreign thing to a guy like Sammy. Nice frickin' game.


I was going to involve the lacrosse game against Syracuse in this post, but it's getting long and that was a loss and why adulterate happy time with a loss? I'll have some kind of comprehensive-ish lacrosse thing later this week.

No comments: