Good afternoon, BBN! Today we look at the biggest winner and biggest question of this past week. After that, we relive a blast from the past when #8 seed St. Joseph’s beat #9 seed Cincinnati by two in the 2015 NCAA Tournament on a dunk that didn’t count.
Let’s get started.
Biggest Winner: Oklahoma
This one was tricky, because West Virginia’s 1-point win over Texas Tech was huge too, but Oklahoma gets the nod for transforming their season in two games, winning by 7 against #9 Kansas and then following it up by beating #5 Texas on the road by a point. Sure, Texas was without their coach and Kansas hasn’t been playing well, but when you turn 8-4 into 10-4 against two fantastic top-10 teams, it’s a season-changing turn of fortune and makes the Oklahoma Sooners the biggest winners of this week.
Biggest Question: How will the NCAA pull off the tournament?
With a lot of money and a lot of people that’ll get minimal sleep. That’s all I know. Ever since the NCAA cancelled the 2020 tourney, their driving focus day and night has been on bringing it back this year. It’s not for the $900 million of revenue, but because just about every player, referee, coach, student, executive, basketball fan, and American wants the Madness back.
So the NCAA has devised a master plan that will hopefully thwart the hated coronavirus and allow the 357 team Division 1 to crown a champion. In this plan they’ve constructed a fortress around the city of Indianapolis in the flatlands of Indiana: a basketball state through and through.
Inside the fortress is enough testing, hotels, courts, germ-x bottles, plexiglass, etc. to hold off a siege. Or so they hope. Most of what I know they’re doing I read about in CBS Sports writer Matt Norlander’s articles, so you can find out more from him.
In short, we know that they have a plan. Will the plan work? We can only hope, though the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, College Football Playoff, TBT, WNBA, NASCAR, PGA Tour, etc. have all succeeded in their respective plans, so this can be pulled off and probably will.
Let’s hope so. The future of college basketball might hang on this tourney.
Flashback: #8 St. Joseph’s beats Cincinnati in the 2016 first round
It’s amazing how players wait until the very, very end of the clock to release their buzzer-beaters just before the red light on the backboard flashes. Five years ago Cincinnati was just a tad bit late, however.
After Isaiah Miles of St. Joe’s hit a three with 9 seconds left to go up two, Cincinnati’s Octavius Ellis slammed home a dunk to tie the game right as time expired. After a long review, the refs decreed that the clock had beat him, and the basket did not count. St. Joseph’s advanced to the 2nd round, where they lost to 1 seed Oregon, and Cincinnati was bounced.
Decide for yourself whether the dunk should’ve counted. I think his fingers were still touching the ball as time expired.
That’s all for this week! Until next time, go ‘Cats!