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One Shining Moron

By no means am I the only person sad that George Mason's amazing NCAA run ended last night. But even as I rooted for GMU to figure out a way to win one more, I had to admire Billy Donovan's strategy wherein he basically used the first half to set up what ended up being a blowout. His frequent substitutions ended up wearing down the Patriots, and it showed in the 2nd half, especially with the bigs. Jai Lewis looked a step or two slower in the 2nd half, and missed plays that he was making in the 1st; meanwhile, Florida cruised. Good for them.

LSU embarrassed themselves. Badly. I kept track: it wasn't until 2:39 left in the game that LSU tied UCLA's first-half output, and it wasn't until 1:55 left that LSU exceeded that score. That's right. If UCLA hadn't scored a single point in the second half, they wouldn't have lost the game until the final two minutes. Talk about domination.

Speaking of embarrassment, I think it's time that CBS found themselves a new top analyst. Not only did Packer look like an ass before the tournament and then suffer the indignity of having to call a Final Four involving one of the teams he originally claimed shouldn't have made it, but then there was this little gem. Packer's keys to the games involved 1 crucial player from each side--Glen Davis, who squeaked out 14 points, mostly garbage, on 5-17 shooting, and then Aaron Afflalo, who only managed 9 points on 3-11 shooting. Neither player was a factor at all, and the one who actually got the better stats (Davis, barely) was on the losing side. Thanks for the insight, Packman.

I know that it's hard for the networks now, what with ESPN, but if CBS can borrow Jay Bilas, then why not some of the others who have been covering these teams for the whole season? It's getting to the point where I almost can't listen to Packer anymore--last night, during the second half, during Afflalo's lackluster showing, he actually wasted time trying to rationalize his analysis from the first half. Ugh. For what's arguably the best sporting event in this country, it'd be nice to have something a little more engaging than 4th-rate announcers.

That is all.


Fourth rate? Much too generous! But I take your point(s), all of them. Nothing to complain about in a Florida-UCLA final (except, of course, that I didn't predict such a finale in my brackets).

Donovan is really doing a great coaching job. It's going to be very exciting to watch the Gators for the foreseeable future, regardless of how many of this year's squad returns next year.

It is difficult to describe the degree of Packer's stupidity. Yesterday he repeated his criticism of Joakim Noah's free throw shooting form. Again, Noah made both shots. I turned the sound off at that point.

I've loathed Packer for i don't know how many years now.
About 2 weeks ago, when i was in State College, PA for my lil sis's ncaa game, i met Rebecca Lobo. (She's a really cool chick; we talked for like 45 min.) She, along with her husband (who is a writer for SportsIllustrated), commented on his idiocy. Even his sports professional colleagues say he needs to hang it up!

Is there anybody in America who likes that man as an announcer???

Great point about Packer having to call GMU's Final Four game this year. And it's obviously not the first time he's been burned like that. Two years ago he lambasted the Selection Committee for giving St. Joseph's a #1 seed after they lost in the first round of the A-10 tournament, even though it was the Hawks' first loss of the season. The best part of that Selection Sunday broadcast was that CBS had lined up St. Joe's head coach, Phil Martelli, for an interview, but only after they gave Packer an open mic. Martelli basically told Packer to shove it and gave the shortest, coldest answers he could to each of Packer's questions. Two weeks later, Packer called the East Regional Finals, Oklahoma State vs. St. Joe's, and it was one of the Top 5 college basketball games I've ever watched. The Hawks lost by a point, missing a 15-foot jump shot at the buzzer, but Martelli left looking like the basketball genius, and Packer the tired, worn-hack of an analyst who can't hide his total allegiance to the power conferences. My favorite criticism of Packer, though, came about 15 years ago from a writer commenting on Packer's joylessness in calling a game: "Packer analyzes a game like he's dissecting an atom."

As someone who teaches at 8 a.m. in the vicinity of GMU, I was not too sad when they lost and my class began to refill. And then the Lady Terps at the U of M ("fear the turtle")had to go and spoil it!

Joanna, imagine what it was like when SU was making its run a few years back...I made the mistake of agreeing to teach an evening class that spring. Eventually, I just assigned extra homework for those days where class coincided with games. The last couple of weeks in March were basically an extended spring break on our campus...

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