• Darkness falls on college basketball.

  • Ugh. Debating about whether to renew my cable package. Some questionable calls all night, particularly with the Winslow tip that completely shifted the momentum of the game.

    I will never say that Duke didn’t earn it, but it will stay in my memory as a tainted tournament this year. There were some really atrociously-called games in this year’s tourney, and it really sours the final product. Furthermore, the benefits of using my time this poorly (for enjoying sports) are diminishing in a critical period of my life (early fatherhood).

    Sometimes, you just have to smile and walk away.

  • It is amazing that with all the available technology and instant replays available to them, the refs have managed to royally screw up some calls. I wonder if they are shown the same thing we see and if they are not, why not?

    The obvious to everyone but the blind flagrant foul by the Kentucky player was reviewed and not even a regular foul was called…it just defies logic. Same thing with the out of bounds call that went off the Duke player and the obvious charging foul by Winslow that was called a block were plays that changed the game big time and possibly the final score as they happen at the very end of the game. We have all seen how bad the refereeing was in the conference this year; instead of trying to please Bilas and redefine the contact rules, the NCAA should be addressing the issue with refereeing that has a larger and deeper effect on the game.

  • Not as dark as if KY had won…

  • I will say eventhough the refereeing was of whimsical consistency, I thought BOTH Wisconsin and Duke had nice teams, with a bit of everything on their rosters. Definitely think more calls went for Duke the 2nd half and the announcers even said Coach K was “working over the refs”. He always does that, and he then gets the calls.

    A recurring comedy.

    Or maybe, we should be praising frosh Tyus Jones, how clutch was his shooting? Amazing crunchtime performance by Jones. He deserves credit for Duke’s win.

  • @ralster the Allen kid was really good too, I don’t think he’s played much this year.

  • Yeah, great performance by Jones–but he did step out of bounds and the non-call resulted in 2 Duke points late. Allen also obviously pushed off on a drive, but instead of a turnover, a defensive foul was called that gave Duke a 3pt opportunity. At least 4 calls that should have gone the other way.

  • Banned

    I don’t doubt the refs were in the bag, but the Badgers were out coached. The Badgers weren’t beaten by talent. They were beaten by coaching. Like or hate him Coach K is a damn good coach. Duke’s bigs had no fouls to give, yet the Badgers never took advantage of that. Also for some reason the Badgers seemed gun shy of letting the shots just fly. Not sure why? However yes I agree the refs where in the bag.

    I guess with UK going down Nike doubled downed on Duke.

  • Was the difference between winning a championship or bailing out in the 2nd round being the bridesmaids for Jones & Okafor. We recruited Winslow heavily as well.

    OAD’s just won a championship with a 4th freshman having the game of his life, another top 30 kid. 1 Senior and a 1 junior. There’s no recipe for winning the crown other than having the entire team playing at a high level.

  • In the UK-UW game we appeared to see how a mediocre coach can bungle a game apparently being given to him with no calls. Cal appeared to blow it, though in the age of Ball Noir it appears perhaps remotely possible that some kind of double cross could have occurred, too.

    In the Duke-UW game we appeared to see how a great coach that appears to have sold out, like Adolph Rupp and certain New York coaches once reputedly did, appears to capitalize on a game appearing to be being given to his team first with no calls. Coach K apparently went first to a press to increase the opportunities for no calls, then, when that appeared to close the small gap, Coach K went small at the five and appeared to no call foul Kaminsky non stop, while having his hopelessly tiny but great foul shooting PG drive endlessly and appear to be given phantom calls on every kind of shot including a trey. It appeared to be a classic double whammy.

    Coach K appeared to give a clinic in how to enable referees to appear to select a winner. All coaches should study this game intensely, especially his apparent use of emotion after the game.

    Note: I am not claiming any of the above occurred, because I do not know. I am saying this was how it appeared to one fan. If the NCAA were to want to get away from these appearances, it might establish a commission to study and manage these appearances.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “It is amazing that with all the available technology and instant replays available to them, the refs have managed to royally screw up some calls. I wonder if they are shown the same thing we see and if they are not, why not?”

    Early on in the tournament it was released to us that the refs have all the same footage we have PLUS extra not available to us. I find it hard to believe they get extra footage. Money rules media. But that creates a great alibi for cheating… after all, we aren’t given the extra footage that makes the difference.

    In this case… it just appeared that his finger was pushed back… yadda yadda yadda… bs!

  • @BeddieKU23

    The game at least indicates that refs can appear to select OADs. I am less sure it indicates OADs can win a ring.

  • @drgnslayr

    Ah, yes, the old refs have secret knowledge that we mortals lack, schtick. 😄

    Great insight slayr! I missed that stretcher.

    This is like listening to Pravda back in the day!

  • @BeddieKU23

    “OAD’s just won a championship with a 4th freshman having the game of his life, another top 30 kid. 1 Senior and a 1 junior. There’s no recipe for winning the crown other than having the entire team playing at a high level.”

    Except Allen is not a OAD. Man did that guy put on a clinic last night. Imagine if KU had a guy like that throttled down in wraps on the sidelines just waiting for the magic moment?

    I guess that is the potential surprise that can happen when you have 8 or 9 McDs AAs on your team.

    I slammed UKs OAD factory because so many of their McDs AAs are totally underachieving. I have to give my hat’s off to Allen for really stepping up. The kid brought a frenetic positive, intense energy to the game and it made the difference. Why can’t we see that in a Kansas player? Our closest guy all these years was Kevin Young, but Kevin didn’t have that wicked tool box Allen has. Man… that kid is going to be special! He already is!

  • I mentioned the refs on another thread. I went into this game relaxed because I didn’t have a dog in the hunt. I did hope Wisconsin would win because it has been so long for them and I’ve seen more than enough from Duke. But the refs got me riled up as they have several times this year. Doesn’t the NFL have a replay crew that over-rules bad calls on the field? We need that in college bBall.

  • @drgnslayr said:

    The kid brought a frenetic positive, intense energy to the game and it made the difference. Why can’t we see that in a Kansas player?

    I’m probably wrong, but in my opinion, that’s why we’re not winning like we’re used to - no intense energy. The past several years, I really only perceive a very few people like that - T-Rob, Sherron, to a lesser degree, the Morris’.

    Think back to the last National Championship team - we started two Seniors, two Juniors and a sophomore. Not a single OAD. And those starters had “the fire”. Chalmers, Rush, Arthur, Jackson, Russ Rob. Tell me the OAD system is the way to go. BAH.

    There’s my new motto for this team. " BRING THE FIRE ".

    Or be what @drgnslayr’s wife says you are.

  • I don’t watch any television shows or sitcoms. I take my beautiful wife to a movie once a month for a date, and that’s about all the screen time I can handle. I just read. And I watch college basketball from November until April. I quit watching WWF when I learned it was scripted at six years old. Now, I’m faced with the same decision with College BBall. It’s a sad day for me. At least I can read more.

  • I thought Bo Ryan sounded really pathetic in his postgame comments. He had a lot of calls go his way, but they couldn’t take advantage last night. Both Okafor and Winslow, Duke’s two best players, were in foul trouble, much like Saturday when UK had foul trouble, and Wisconsin couldn’t put Duke away because their eighth man kept them in it. That’s not a time to blame the officials when the other team’s #8 guy holds down the fort while their two best players ride the pine due to fouls.

    There were some bad calls, but there are always bad calls in college games because the officials at the college level frankly aren’t all that good as a whole. They missed two big calls that went in Duke’s favor (Winslow stepping out of bounds on the drive, and the ball that he hit going out of bounds), but the third foul on Okafor was atrocious and the no call when Jones went deep late in the game was also pretty bad. Bucky had it’s chances, but they didn’t capitalize.

    As for the OAD, I hope everyone realizes that Duke’s three best players were all freshmen, and their two best were OADs. This is an OAD title. Two of the four Final Four teams were teams with OADs. UK has four Final Fours in the last five years. Duke has embraced the OAD model. UNC is embracing it. UK is all in. Arizona is pursuing it. That’s two of your #1 seeds this year, as well as a 2 and a 4.

    Unless the rules change, OAD is the model.

  • @drgnslayr Good points about Grayson Allen. Let me say I wouldnt overlook the roster of that blueblood 30min W. of KC…

    Mason had a GraysonAllen game last year against Duke, and he’s only gotten better (altho his team hasnt kept up with him developmentally…) Cannot question Mason’s heart or fire, or skillset.

    Svi could be the next Grayson Allen, we’ve seen flashes, & Oubre vacated the 3 spot…

    And Devonte Graham is on a ridic trajectory. Incredible all-around player, & will only get better.

    Self will now have another 2, possibly 3 bigs to re-work the post presence puzzle.

    Finally, Self may need to rifle thru Selden’s room in Roxbury, find the angle that makes a consistent NBA-like player we’ve seen glimpses of. Wayne is about to supernova.


  • @justanotherfan

    It’s an OAD title, if and only if we all pretend what appears to be going is NOT going on.

    Otherwise, it appears to prove refs can select OADs models.

  • @Blown

    Part of me agrees with your conclusion. On the other hand, WWF started as a dramatic fantasy. The NCAA STARTED AS LEGITIMATE ATHLETIC COMPETITION.

    Something happened.

    I like a good Mystery.

  • @Blown let us know how today goes.

  • Unless Kaminsky was wearing a chest protector last night I’d bet he’s black and blue from all the elbows he caught from Okafor.

  • @ralster

    RIght on! Most of the pieces are there, just add some post and stir. I hope Self can figure out the puzzle that will take us to another National Championship!

    Grayson Allen really got me pumped up for ball last night! Diving for balls out of bounds… the kid just exploded with energy. We don’t see that enough in college basketball these days… and the kid kept under control. What a show! Just wish he was wearing a Wisconsin uniform last night… or a Jayhawk uniform today!


    That is THE major problem in Lawrence. Getting these kids to come out loose, confident, and exploding with energy! I am fast to criticize Self for “not getting his troops ready” but when I think about it, this is a wide spread problem traveling all through college basketball. I think it is worse for teams that have some McDs AAs or that level of talent. Those kids are coddled too much before arriving in college. More need their azzes kicked several times to learn that they ain’t poop yet!

    This problem is wide spread throughout all our youth. Too much a spoiled lifestyle of perceived entitlement. More kids need to have an edge that is insatiable. Insatiable… a word that is vanishing from our vocabulary… because there are so few times to use it unless we are talking about junkies or alcoholics.

  • @justanotherfan

    I’m still not sold on the OAD theory. The tourney is all about the match ups. Duke had the easier side of the bracket and coasted in their FF match up with a poor day for Michigan State which left them rested. Wisconsin had the tougher of the two 2 seeds in Arizona to battle (committee wanted to see that rematch) and they had a really hard fought game against Kentucky two days prior which left them dog tired. You could see it from the start of the game that Wisconsin was worn out. Had Duke faced Kentucky and won, which I don’t think they would have by the way, then Wisconsin would be the National Champs today.

  • @Kip_McSmithers

    I wholeheartedly agree that the tournament is all about matchups. That’s why the OAD theory works. OADs give you more talent, so they tend to have more matchup advantages. That’s why UK was 38-0 heading into the Final Four - no one could exploit a matchup advantage against them.

    Wisconsin themselves had a rare matchup advantage with Kaminsky that they were able to exploit pretty much every game. However, Dekker was awful last night because Duke had players they could put on him that negated his strengths.

    Really, Wisconsin benefited in the UK game from the fact that Poythress tore his ACL this year. If Poythress were healthy, he draws the assignment on Dekker, where he would have been the same height and stronger. That would have shifted the advantage from the Badgers to the Cats. But of course, no Poythress gave Wisconsin an advantage there, and they used it to their full benefit against UK.

    The thing that baffled me was that after Wisconsin beat UK, people were writing articles and calling in to talk shows saying that this proved that the OAD model didn’t work, even though Wisconsin was going to still have to beat Duke to be champion. That just confused me because Duke has two guys that are OAD’s that are top 7 picks, while UK probably only has one freshman that is a top 7 pick (I think Lyles could be a lottery guy, as could Booker, but not in the top 7 like Winslow and Okafor).

    Duke’s 8th guy was just as good as Wisconsin’s 5th and 6th guys last night. That’s why Wisconsin ultimately lost the game. Neither team was really that deep, but Duke got more quality from their last guy than Wisconsin did from the middle of their rotation. The MOP was a freshman, and he isn’t even one of Duke’s OAD’s (although Jones could leave this year, but probably won’t).

    Wisconsin got beaten by a better team, and that team was better in large part due to OADs.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Okay lets assume Allen comes back, why wouldn’t he, he barely got to play all year. Mcd’s AA sthat was behind on depth chart until dismissal of Sulaimon.

    OAD’s still score about 67% of their points last night…

    We can cry about OAD’s all we want but some coaches have proven they can make it work.

  • @BeddieKU23 said:

    We can cry about OAD’s all we want but some coaches have proven they can make it work.

    Sounds like maybe you would like to expound upon this …?

  • A couple of observations from last night’s game based on the comments from friend that came over to watch the game and follow several schools, so this is not really KU biased.

    What ever happened to much ballyhooed new contact rules? I remember defensive players in our conference getting called for fouls after barely touching the offensive player and I kept hearing how players cannot use their hands, arms/forearms to defend and can use only their body in the proper position…last night the Duke players were constantly “fore-arming” the Wisconsin payers inside and nothing was being called. Also interesting that a lot of the fouls called on Duke were of the non-shooting variety and the ones called on Wisconsin were shooting fouls and it resulted in a 10 point differential at the line.

    The refereeing has become a serious problem. The NCAA better address this issue before the sport starts losing credibility. With all the technology available to them, they managed to completely miss obvious calls with UK and Duke getting what an unbiased observer would consider an inordinate number of favorable calls. Also, if players say something to the official they get an automatic “T” but rat-face rides the ref like rented Missouri mules and does not even get a warning; his schtick is becoming old and really annoying…I have a dream than an opposing coach will walk up to him and just punch him in the mouth and shut him up.

    Is the 3 point really “fool’s gold”? Dekker going 0-6 from 3 was in my opinion the primary reason Wisconsin lost. Also Wisconsin did not have a fast break hardly at all while Duke scored many baskets on fast breaks after turnovers or steals while Wisconsin slowly plodded up the court. Wisconsin had its chances, up by 9 in the second half and they let it get away…I have to give credit to Duke for taking the punch and respond with a strong come back. Other than the obvious hype, not really a memorable game…not even close to the KU - Memphis '08 thriller.

  • Maybe it was the size of the Duke players guarding Dekker but I thought the air balled threes were more about having tired legs.

    Lyles (6’10" and 235) and Lee (6’9" and 220) are the same height or taller. Sam (6’9" and 220). Booker (6’6" and 206) is a few inches shorter and smaller but he wouldn’t be the first or second choice to guard him.

    Alex is 6’8" and 238.

    Winslow is 6’6" and 225.

    Matt Jones is smaller than that.

    As a team they go 60% from FT line against Duke. They made 81% against UK. On the season they were a 76% FT shooting team. Dukes size can’t be responsible for that.

    I have no doubts that had Duke been the one to play Kentucky on Saturday and won it would have drained them and we’d be talking about the Badgers being the Champs. The win had more to do about gas in the tank then the number of OADs on the court.

  • Here is a good read:

    Wisconsin takes notice of Duke’s 16-3 edge in free throws in second half

    And this interview happened before the players and Ryan had a chance to watch the game on TV where they could see the other bad calls in the second half besides just the foul calls.

    And what about this:

    Duke’s title was aided by awful officiating down the stretch

    It shows a motion graphic of the play I was talking about that they reviewed and STILL gave it to Duke! This is crime, pure crime! As I said before… how can a guy’s finger get pulled back without something pulling on it (the ball)?

  • @jaybate-1.0 Man, I wanted Wisconsin to win too. Facing two mega Nike stack programs in a row was too much for them. Oh, and the refs were terrible! The NCAA really needs to clean house. Fire all of them. All. Of. Them. Get refs that actually have 2 eyes and a brain in their heads. Im not just talking about the game last night, which I didnt see but read about, Im talking about the whole tournament. Bad calls and even worse calls the whole damm time. I think one of the worst is the call that caused SMU to lose.

  • @justanotherfan I read some of what he said and your right, it sounded whiny to me. However, his point he was trying to make is valid. UK 10 AA’s Duke 9 AA’s, It is not fair to every other team or good for the game to have stacking like that at all! Phog Allen is probly rolling over in his grave right now. Its tragic.

  • @drgnslayr According to this story on ESPN the officials didn’t see the same replays of the ball off the Puke player. The NCAA supvr saw the replay after the officials left the table but decided not to call them back to see it cause he didn’t want to affect the balance of the game. That a$$ should be fired. And if a guy is driving along the baseline why aren’t you as an official watching his feet? CLOWNS!!!

  • @brooksmd

    Yes… now I see they are trying to excuse themselves from making “Duke calls.” What a huge pile of animal droppings!

    NCAA official says referees didn’t see crucial TV replay angles in Duke-Wisconsin game

    So the next question is… why didn’t they see this angle in the first place? We have been told they have all the camera angles we have and then extra. Nothing about having less.

    This is a total rip-off and supported with nothing but lies. If they weren’t a monopoly we’d see heads on the block and in this case, someone should be going to prison since so much money rides on this game.

    So can betters not pay their bookies because they didn’t see the final score from the proper angle?

  • @drgnslayr Good article. Based on what Adams said, he should step down. He should have stepped down long ago. If he really thought this play was so critical as to possibly affect the outcome of the game, there is no way he should have let it go.

    I don’t think that was the most critical thing–I think it was Wisconsin’s inability to take advantage of every coach’s dream of Okafor being on the bench for much of the game–but it was an ethical lapse on the part of an NCAA official who could have corrected a wrong call and chose not to.

  • @Lulufulu

    If that argument is true, then it was unfair when UCLA was just as stacked during their run in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Saying it’s unfair that some schools get better recruits than others just doesn’t hold merit to me. KU gets better recruits than K-State does. Is that unfair to K-State? K-State gets better recruits than UMKC. Is that unfair to UMKC? All of those schools are D1 schools within 150 miles of each other, but their recruiting bases are very different.

    That’s the nature of college athletics. When you have recruiting, you have a chance to have some teams that have tons of talent and others that can’t ever hope to land that sort of talent. There are 350 D1 teams and about 12-15 truly elite players in each class. Even if every single elite player went to a different school every year, there would be schools that would not land an elite player for over 2 decades.

    If Bo Ryan is mad that he can’t get elite recruits to Madison, that’s on him as a recruiter.

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