Posts Tagged ‘ National Championship ’

Devil Of A Game

Say what you want, but the Duke Blue Devils reached the top of the NCAA world after a nine year absence.

In a season that was reigned by Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, and a few other teams, Duke was never mentioned. They quietly did their thing, and while doing that all regular season, they quietly won the ACC, the ACC tournament, and earned their position in the tournament.

The naysayers and critics believed that Duke was the weakest of the #1 seeds in the tournament, and had the easiest road, but Duke went out and handled their business. Breezed through the South Region and the Final Four for a trip to Indianapolis.

Then the stage was set for the National Championship. They faced a team that had the crowd, and a “Hoosiers” like story behind them in the Butler Bulldogs. Like Duke, this was a team that handled their business. 25 straight wins, knocked off Goliaths such as Syracuse, Kansas State, and Michigan State. Playing down the road from the championship site (Lucas Oil Stadium), Butler was looking for a great story and cap off a Cinderella run.

Butler showed nothing but heart in a game where they were a 7.5 point underdog, and many people felt that Duke would steamroll them and make it no contest. The Bulldogs showed nothing but grit and grind in this game, when Duke got up by six, Butler responded with seven straight points. When the Blue Devils wanted to pull away, Butler would not let them, it took a 48 foot heave by Gordon Hayward that hit the backboard and off the front iron that gave Duke its first championship since 2001.

For the Blue Devils, it was their fourth championship, in a tournament where they knocked off a seed higher than four for the first time since 2001 (last time they won), and they used their strengths and improved their weakness. From Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler’s ability to shoot from the outside and the length and height of Brian Zoubek and the Plumlee brothers (Mason & Miles), coming home to Indiana to win a national championship. And Coach Mike Krzyzewski, coming off the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, claims another title, which ties him with Adolph Rupp of Kentucky for the second most championships among coaches with four. (Behind John Wooden’s 10).

Finally how about Nolan Smith. 30 years after his dad, Derek Smith won a National Championship with Louisville in 1980 in Indianapolis at the old Market Square Arena, he wins one himself in the same city at Lucas Oil Stadium. A great story indeed.

The National Championship stays in the ACC, and in the state of North Carolina continues to reign supreme in college hoops. And it will just add more fire to the already heated UNC/Duke rivalry. Celebration is on in Cameron, congratulations Duke. You earned it.


BCS Recap

The Bowl Season is complete, and the BCS has been concluded with the Alabama Crimson Tide taking home the National Championship after a 37-21 victory over the Texas Longhorns to take home their 8th National Championship and first since 1992. We will talk more about that.

In the four bowl previews (missed the National Championship game due to other obligations), TSX went 1-3, add the National Championship, and the record was 2-3. So with that said, lets go with what was said in the previews, and what actually happened. The teams were picked on the numbers that were put up all season long. The games are played on the field, and some things do not work out like they have all season. That is the beauty of sports.

The Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi- Ohio State shut Oregon down, Jeremiah Masoli could not get anything going, so it was a great defensive game by the Buckeyes. This game was the coming out and coming of age of the much touted Terrelle Pryor. He willed his team to victory, and Ohio State finally snapped that BCS losing skid, and Oregon STILL hasn’t won a Rose Bowl since 1917. Wrong Prediction, and congrats to THE Ohio State University.

Allstate Sugar Bowl: This was an easy prediction, and it was hard to go against Florida in Tim Tebow’s final game at the University of Florida. Cincinnati was way overmatched and they did not look like the same team that was coached by Brian Kelly, who left them for Notre Dame. Simply was too much Tebow, and too much Gators. Welcome to the big time, Cincy.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: No offensive explosion from Boise, but they adapted to TCU’s style of play and tempo of the game with the ball control, and used their trickery in the same place where they pulled one of the greatest upsets in college football history. The more impressive thing about this game was the defense of Boise State. It was a concern coming in, but they handled TCU’s defense with no problem. Of course, they STILL can not get any kind of respect. Still sad. But it was the wrong prediction.

FedEx Orange Bowl: This one was wide left. TSX really thought that triple option of Georgia Tech would be hard for Iowa to figure out. Iowa figured it out and shut it down. When you shut down the bulk foundation of an offense, it’s hard for it to do anything else. Another factor was that Ricky Stanzi played this game. He came back from injury and really stepped up to the plate. He was/is the true leader of the Iowa Hawkeyes. They responded in his first game back, and he answered the call. Big win for Iowa, and a bigger win for the Big Ten.

Citi BCS National Championship Game: Alabama rolled the Longhorns, but you can not put down the fight of Texas. Star QB Colt McCoy was knocked out of the game on the second drive, and True Freshman Garrett Gilbert got his first significant amount of playing time in the biggest game of his life. At first it looked like Texas was doomed as they trailed 24-6. But a great job by the Texas offensive coordinating staff to adjust to Gilbert’s style of play, and he threw two touchdowns to Jordan Shipley to put the Longhorns within three. But when crunchtime came, Gilbert felt the crunch, and Texas felt the National Championship slip away. Alabama won the game due to its will to keep grinding away despite nearly collapsing. Congrats to the Tide on the victory.

It was a great college football season, and next year should be even better. Can’t wait for it to commence in August.