Great game. Just unreal. It felt like a conference tournament game. It went back and forth and into overtime. The game was at Madison Square Garden in NY- meaning you had a smart, basketball savvy crowd. You had Duke alum Jay Bilas calling the game- even admitting some of the charge fouls against Pitt were "close". That's code for "crap". Duke got out to a big lead, Pitt fought its way back in it, and prevaied in OT. A few thoughts:
1. Last year, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski did not seem focused. The team was not prepared for games, missed free throws, and seemed to run around randomly instead of usig set plays late in close games. Since last summer's FIBA tournament, where Coach K coached NBA stars, he seems refreshed and has his fire back. And his team ran plays that worked. Of course, at the end of OT with no timeouts, his team ran around like headless chickens, but the other 45 minutes they looked prepared to win. Next time, coach, prepare your team for the possibility that they may be down 2 with 4 seconds left and no timeouts. It's happened before.
2. Duke just hustles.
3. So does Pitt.
4. Before I die, I want to see a basketball game Madison Square Garden.
5. Both of these teams can beat the Knicks.
6. Pitt coach Jamie Dixon had his team well prepared, made good adjustments in the second half, and kept his team focused after a player suffered a serious injury. He is good at all of the aspects of college coaching (recruiting, season planning, game planning, in game adjustments, play calling, keeping the team focused, and dealing with adversity). I know he has not had much success in the NCAA tournament, but it's just a matter of time.
7. Last year, Duke's point guard Greg Paulus was an overrated crybaby. Now, he's a good floor leader and a solid player who may get to cut down a net at the end of the big dance.
8. College refs reward flopping, especially by Duke.
9. Pitt rhymes with "legit". Seems appropriate.
10. You know it was a good game when my 5 year old did not want to go to bed- and immediately fell asleep once the buzzer sounded
Saturday at 11- Georgetown at Memphis. Somewhere Michael Graham and Ralph Dalton (GU alums) will be placing a bet with Andre (the Little General) Turner and Baskerville Holmes (former Memphis players).