Thursday, March 23, 2006

WOW!

First off, I'm a UCLA Bruins fan, so obviously I thought this UCLA/Gonzaga was one of, if not the best game I've ever seen.

The first half was pretty much not good at all. UCLA just came out playing uninspired ball... no defensive effort at all, settling for open jumpers that were not falling, and turning the ball over a lot against the zone. Gonzaga's lead was up to 17 at one point. It really would have been hard for them to have a worse half.

They started playing better right away in the second half, but they didn't really make up any ground. They cut it to six at one point, but Gonzaga answered right back with a 4 point play. Any time the Bruins would make a run, Gonzaga would be able to answer back.

When Adam Morrison hit 2 free throws with 3:26 left, Gonzaga was up 71-62, and they looked to be in control of the game. They never scored again.

At that point, UCLA really picked things up, obviously, but especially on the defensive end. They pressured the heck out of the ballhandler, and they were all over Morrison everytime he got the ball. On misses, UCLA had some great box-outs. Offensively, they scored just enough. Here's what I thought about the last 3 1/2 minutes:

- First, how does the ref blow that call and not give Darren Collison continuation? I'm obviously a biased observer here, but this wasn't even debateable. Collison was clearly in the act of shooting. Just a really, really bad call, that thankfully didn't cost the Bruins.

- For fairness' sake, the refs should have added at least 0.5 seconds to the clock after the jump ball.

- That runner by Farmar on the baseline to cut it to 71-68 is a lot harder than it looks, trust me.

- I really think there were about 10 different times over the course of the game that I thought UCLA was toast. Gonzaga just played so well for 36 1/2 minutes, and UCLA was so bad for the first 20. I didn't know if they'd be able to make it up.

- I have no problem with a guy crying after a tough loss to end the season, but starting to cry on the court when there's still 2.6 seconds left and it's a 1 point game. Emotion is obviously a huge part of the game, but show at least a little restraint and wait until the game is over.

- Gus Johnson is awesome. And the best part is, we even got some good emotion from Len Elmore! Mark this date down on your calendars!

- This is probably embarrassing to admit, but I just felt physically drained after that game. It was like I played the game.

- If Gonzaga had gone back down and hit a game-winner after "The Prince" hit his layup, I think I may have had a heart attack. I would have gone from being really down the whole game to an unbelievable high, and then back down. I would have just sat down where I was for at least 10 minutes and just stared into space. Luckily though, it didn't have to come down to that!

Really, I don't know how to put it into words. Just an unbelievable game.

I'd be really interested in seeing your guys' reactions and thoughts about it, whether you had a rooting interest or not. Where does it rank among some of the games you've seen?

ESPN Recap
SI Recap

9 comments:

Ken said...

I felt the same way you did watching the game tonight. I could not believe it was really happening in the final seconds of the game. Go Bruins!

kampy said...

Congrats on your Bruins' victory last night. What a finish. And I couldn't agree with you more on Morrison - what a pathetic display. Redick cried too but at least he waited till he got off the court. This guy decided to splay himself at halfcourt, writhing like he had just been shot. Lame-o.

hardballheaven@blogspot.com

Benny said...

Amazing finish. I couldn't sleep for awhile because I was on such a rush.

That picture you have of Adam looks scary. Looks like he's anorexic in that picture.

HHMoore said...

I totally agree... could not believe he started crying when they STILL had a chance to win or tie the game. Very weak.

MrTim said...

Second favorite ending ever. The first being Gadzuric's pass and Billy Knight's 3 to beat USC at the last second a few years ago. Maybe that one feels different cause I was actually there...I mean, it wasn't a tourney game....but it was still to beat USC...

ImjudyB said...

As a longtime UCLA fan, and a student there when Wooden was coaching Lou Alcindor and company, there's a lot of standout games in my memory, but this one ranks up there with the best. The closest one I can think of was Tyus Edney's full court run and shoot to beat Missouri on the way to the Championship in '95 - that was awesome!

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