Wednesday Was Upset City In The Basketball World

kuzma

No More Win Streak For You

Heading into Wednesday night’s showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets had won 14 games in a row. That’s a lot of games. On the other hand, the Lakers had lost 3 straight games (and 8 of their last 10). Escaping from Houston with a victory would take a miracle for this young Lakers squad. Good thing it’s holiday season….

Wednesday was Kyle Kuzma’s night. Yes, I’m aware James Harden scored 51 points. Wouldn’t you rather score 1 point and win than score 51 points and lose?? Kuzma dropped a career-high 38 points on 12 of 17 from the field. The method to his madness was the trifecta. He made it rain last night, draining 7 of 10 three point attempts. That’s a lot of threes.

Harden’s individual performance was nothing short of spectacular. However, when Chris Paul left the game early in the 4th quarter, the Rockets’ chances left with him. The Lakers would go on a 10-0 run, seemingly putting the game out of reach. The Lakers held on, 122-116, handing the Rockets their 5th loss on the season.

So Much For A Tune-Up Game

When high profile college teams make their schedule for an upcoming season, they always sprinkle in nice, cushy matchups. Whether it’s Alabama vs. Mercer in football, or Duke vs. Evansville in basketball, these are supposed to be tune-ups. Well, every so often, said tune-up turns nice and cushy into a living nightmare. Welcome to North Carolina’s nightmare.

Wednesday night, the North Carolina Tar Heels lost to the Wofford Terriers 79-75 — in North Carolina!! The Terriers, led by Fletcher Magee’s 27 points, would never relinquish their halftime lead. Magee, who entered the game 2nd in the nation in scoring, put his team on his back. Assuredly, this will be the highlight of Wofford’s season, as #5 North Carolina is the only ranked team on their schedule this season.

*By the way, my previous example of #4 Duke vs. Evansville, happened last night too. Duke won 104-40. Just sayin’….

Take That Former Team!!

Isn’t it funny how players always show out against their former team?? Why is that?? Are you angry you decided to leave in free agency for more money?? Kelly Olynyk is the latest example of misplaced “revenge”. This past offseason, Olynyk left the Boston Celtics to sign a 4-year, $50 million contract with the Miami Heat. Last night, he played against his former team. Olynyk decided that was a good opportunity to drop a career-high 32 points. For a guy who averages 9.5 points per game in his career, let’s call this an anomaly. The Heat took down the Celtics, 90-89.

 

Which basketball upset did you watch on Wednesday night?? Tell me about it in the comment section below.

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The End Of An Era

Saturday night at Madison Square Garden marked the end of an era in Men’s College Basketball. In case you missed it, Louisville beat Syracuse by a score of 78-61 to capture their 2nd straight Big East Conference Tournament Championship. That final score is not exactly an indication of the way the game went, but I’ll get into that in a minute. This is meant as a tribute to the Big East, in my estimation the best conference in Men’s basketball for the past 15 years. Some can argue for the ACC, but after Duke and North Carolina that Conference isn’t made od much. Year after year we have seen 7 or 8 teams enter the NCAA tournament from the Big East. And as for the Big East tournament, there has been no other place to find more thrilling games (thanks Madison Square Garden). If you think college players don’t get up for a game on Madison Square Garden’s floor, than you are crazy. We have had the privilege of watching Uconn, Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, West Virginia, Providence, St. John’s, DePaul, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, South Florida, Rutgers, Villanova, and Seton Hall battle it out on the hardwood for years. And now sadly, thanks to the all mighty dollar, the Big East will be disbanding in the coming months.

The final game for the Big East was not the overtime thriller we’ve grown accustom to, but it certainly had it’s own type of drama. Syracuse looked like they were cruising to a victory and the Big East Conference title. However, Louisville had something else to say about that. With 15:34 left to play in the 2nd half, Syracuse held a 16 point lead (45-29). What happened next was epic. Louisville turned up the volume on every aspect of the game. They proceeded to go on a 49-16 run to close the game, winning by 17 points!! The comeback was truly a team effort, but the Cardinals were led by Montrezl Harrell, who scored 12 of his 20 points in the 2nd half. With their Championship victory, Louisville has most likely planted themselves firmly as the #1 overall seed of the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament is awesome, but it has definitely lost some of it’s flare. There is a significant amount of parody in Men’s College Basketball these days. Parody is not a good thing for this tournament. People want to watch great teams dominate, just as they want to watch history unfold right before their eyes. Do you honestly feel confident in picking the winner of the tournament this year? I know I don’t. Indiana??? Maybe??? I have no clue, and that’s why I might as well let my cat Precious fill out my bracket by scratching the team she likes on the paper. Ah, I suppose I’ll watch anyway, but this whole one and done stuff is ruining college basketball (thanks David Stern). I digress. I’ll get back to my problems with Men’s College Basketball another time. For now, let’s get back to remembering the big East for the good times they gave us, and wondering what the landscape of Men’s College Basketball will look like for years to come. It is a shame that the Big East will be splitting up, but time goes on I guess. We will just have to man up and get over it, because what other choice do we have, right?

NCAA Men’s College Basketball has many problems that I will cover in a future article. These problems include players being forced to enter College for at least one year before entering the NBA draft. If you can’t force a student-athlete to complete all 4 years in college in order to receive a degree, than they should be left to decide their own future. David Stern shouldn’t be the one to come up with such a foolish rule just to save his reputation. Another problem is money of course. What else is new right? If these schools and organizations can profit so much from the hard work and dedication of these players, who is to say that the players don’t deserve a fair share of the profits? I am in favor of players being on a pay scale while they are in school. I’ll see if I can fully tackle these major issues in the near future. For now, enjoy selection Sunday which is coming up momentarily. Check back to find my predictions for the free for all that is the NCAA Tournament.

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