College Basketball, Kansas (Jayhawks), Shaka Smart, Sports Economics, Sports & Social commentary, Sports Commentary, VCU Rams

Ain’t No Turning Back ……………… Not Now !


Ain’t No Turning Back ……………… Not Now !

Oh what a tangled web we weave when one sets out to try and deceive . Well the berths are now set for the Final Four in the NCAA Men’s National Basketball Tournament and low and behold perhaps the biggest upset of the tournament took place when the lowly Virgina Commonwealth University (Rams ) took down the high and mighty Kansas Jayhawks . As of now about the only people smiling from all of this are those who had the Rams making the Final Four within their brackets and the odds-makers in Las Vegas.

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Slide show details for your perusal .

Now some might be asking how could this have all gone so wrong for the Jayhawks given their esteemed and well respected program ? But I look at it this way , when you play down or treat an opponent with a certain amount of contempt by not taking them seriously that’s when you tend to be at your most vulnerable and susceptible to a major upset. And most I do believe that was the case here on Sunday with this shocking turn of events and major upset. In all reality who would have viewed that an underdog such as Virginia Commonwealth would be even with a remote chance of taking down Bill Self’s team in what would appear to be with some relative ease. The Jayhawks simply struggled against a team that was stifling on defense and who pressured and harried this Kansas team in to several mistakes turning over the ball in the most inopportuned of moments. But if anything kudos has to be given to the Rams for their resolute defense and the stunning way with which they executed their offense throughout the game (71-61).

As it now stands we have no number one seeds left in the Final Four and with the teams getting ready to lay it all on the line I can’t think of a much better tournament that I’ve witnessed over the last decade as it relates to the NCAA Tournament ! An avid fan of the game at this juncture I for one would like to say that the teams now left vying for the national championship are most definitely deserving of their places amongst the quartet of teams . It has all come down to applying one’s self to the task rather than merely believing in the hype and print media and analysts’ statements being made as to who indeed was the best team in the country. We can all boast or lay claim as to whom we might believe that to be but at the end of the day if your team wasn’t even a part of the Final Four then you have absolutely nothing to be shouting about.

Now with the Final Four and championship title game to be played this upcoming weekend it has to be said that the fans of the game around the country will be riding high looking to see what unfolds next from collegiate basketball’s own answer to a suspenseful movie thriller . What we’ve evidenced since the tournament began couldn’t have been scripted better than any Hollywood script writer giving us a premise and I’d dare say so far as sequels go, one could say that what’s now on offer might just be the NCAA’s answer to that all. I for one certainly didn’t think that a mid major program such as VCU would even have a remote chance in the game but having seen the Butler Bulldogs pull of their own upset in knocking off the Florida Gators I shouldn’t have been at all surprised by this latest result. Major big power conference teams have simply fallen by the wayside in taking their opponents far too lightly , given the level of play in the earlier rounds by their opponents. And much like the idiocy we’ve all witnessed with regard to those teams’ demise , I can’t help but wonder what the NCAA’s Competition Committee might now be making of this all ?

For the broadcast outlets that brought us the game it’s now left to CBS Sports to take us down that final stretch run of college basketball’s biggest spectacle as we finally reach the culmination of the event by crowing a national champion. Sixty five teams originally set out on this noble quest and we’re now down to the Final Four and I can hope that the quartet of teams now left will be able to provide us with the type of suspense and drama that I think we have all witnessed in the earlier rounds of the competition. .

What might be even more surprising is how VCU’s young coach Shaka Smart has his team playing with so much confidence throughout much of this tournament . Kansas for their part just didn’t seem to be able to deal with the defensive resolve of the Spiders as they were harassed each time they were in possession of the ball. If anything you’d be hard pressed to consider which of the two teams in question was from a tier one conference and which was a from a mid level conference as we now seem intent describing many of the mid majors (conferences) nowadays. The divide between the two now seems to be more minute than it has ever been and most certainly the results witnessed in the tournament and over the last few years seems to validate that fact.

The hero for VCU in this game was Jamie Skeen leading all scorers with 26 points and in doing so he led with a great deal of authority with his teammates following en-suite . Eagerly supporting Skeen was Brandon Rozzell the team’s next highest scorer with 12 points but if anything this was more an all-round collective effort by the VCU Rams.

The Jayhawks for their part must be terribly disappointed with the outcome of the game but you can’t but feel how and why did it all go so badly wrong ? Clearly they misjudged the tenacity of VCU prior and during the game , so much so that when it came to the realization that they were in for the fight of their lives , it was all too little , too late as they were never seriously in with a chance of actually overcoming the deficit much less winning this game ! Not even with the contributions of the Morris brothers , Marcus and Markieff Morris did the Kansas Jayhawks seem to put up much of a threat as the duo combined for 33 of the Jayhawks ‘ 61 points’ total . The only other scorer on the team into double figures was Tyshawn Taylor with 14 points . Somewhat of a meager output all round considering the fact that this was team was built upon its offensive prowess , defensive capabilities and being able to switch gears as and when needed . But as I alluded to earlier, for much of the game the Jayhawks simply couldn’t find a consistent rhythm where they could actually get anything going with any semblance of regularity.

Now with the draw known as to who the final quartet of teams will be , it’ll be intriguing to see what awaits the fans of what I for one believe has been an exciting tournament in more ways than one. I certainly do believe that the NCAA Tournament is unlike any other as it provides suspense and thrills right throughout the longevity of the competition ! Not something that can actually be said of the somewhat idiotic BCS Bowl System that’s prescribed to the college football fans out there that this is the best way to decide on a national champion within the collegiate ranks of FBS (D1 Football). Anyone who’s of the belief that’s the best way of deciding on a national champion within the game of football obviously doesn’t see the overall big picture and that this is merely a facade and fraud that’s being perpetrated by the NCAA and BCS in conjunction with one another merely because of the billions of dolllars that comes their way by of a corporate sponsorships and the broadcast rights’ fees that are charged to the networks that cover the game.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As of now I for one am looking to see what unfolds over the final chapter of the tournament and to see after history being made with not one number ranked team being left within the Final Four . It’s going to be very interesting to see who will end up being crowned national champion this upcoming weekend between the quartet of U Conn , Kentucky , Butler and VCU . What thoughts if any do have you had on this year’s tournament and do you feel that the competitiveness of the games have been well worth watching ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this any other topic you see fit as it relates to NCAA Tournament . Thanks always for the continued support as it’s greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………………………..

http://tophatal.wordpress.com/

😉

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) In this photo provided by Virginia Commonwealth, VCU head coach Shaka Smart celebrates with his team after winning the Southwest regional final game against Kansas in the NCAA college basketball tournament Sunday, March 27, 2011, in San Antonio. VCU won 71-61 . AP Photo/Virginia Commonwealth, Scott K. Brown …….

(2) Virginia Commonwealth’s Bradford Burgess , bottom, shoots as Brady Morningstar , left, and Markieff Morris , top, during the second half at the Southwest regional final game in the NCAA college basketball tournament on Sunday, March 27, 2011, in San Antonio. VCU won 71-61. AP Photo/Eric Gay ……….

(3) Kansas’ Mario Little reacts in the locker room after his team lost 71-61 to Virginia Commonwealth at the Southwest regional final game in the NCAA college basketball tournament on Sunday, March 27, 2011, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Eric Gay ……

(4) Kansas head coach Bill Self reacts during a news conference after his team lost 71-61 to Virginia Commonwealth at the Southwest regional final game in the NCAA college basketball tournament on Sunday, March 27, 2011, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …………….

(5) Ed Nixon (50) of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams goes to the basket against the Kansas Jayhawks during the southwest regional final of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Alamodome on March 27, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images ……….

(6) (L-R) Marcus Morris (22) and Markieff Morris (21) of the Kansas Jayhawks look on during the southwest regional final of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams at the Alamodome on March 27, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ……..

(7) Virginia Commonwealth’s Jamie Skeen, left, drives the ball as Kansas’ Markieff Morris defends during the second half at the Southwest regional final game in the NCAA college basketball tournament on Sunday, March 27, 2011, in San Antonio. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …..

(8) Jamie Skeen (21) of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams goes to the basket against Marcus Morris (22) of the Kansas Jayhawks during the southwest regional final of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Alamodome on March 27, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …………

(9) Markieff Morris (21) of the Kansas Jayhawks talks to Jamie Skeen (21) of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the southwest regional final of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the Alamodome on March 27, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ………

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NCAA Results from Sunday’s game .

Kentucky vs North Carolina —- 76-69

Kansas Jayhawks — vs — VCU (Rams) —– 71-61

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Kanye West …………. feat’g ……. Rihanna …. & ….. Kid Cudi

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Bill Self, College Basketball, Ed O'Bannon, Kansas (Jayhawks), NCAA ............, NCAA President Mark Emmert, Oscar Robertson, Sports & Social commentary

Care To Tell Me What The NCAA Can Do Next To Make Themselves Look The Complete Ass ?


Care To Tell Me What The NCAA Can Do Next To Make Themselves Look The Complete Ass ?

Having lost both of his parents in the space of two years and now his maternal grandmother Kansas Jayhawks’ —– Thomas Robinson has been forced to take on the role of a parent in the care of his younger sibling , his nine year old sister. His grandmother was the child’s guardian and provided loving care and a home for the young girl .With no living immediate relative to take care of his younger sibling Robinson will now assume that control . Coach Bill Self , Robinson’s teammates and the University of Kansas will try to assist the player as best they can in making sure that this is a smooth transition for the Jayhawks’ player.

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One moment Robinson is riding on the crest of a wave on this Jayhawks’ basketball team the next moment he’s now taking the responsibilities of a young man who sought education and athletics as the next step in his career. Now he may well have to forgo that if he can’t find a means of looking after his sister’s well being. The NCAA rather idiotically has come out and made the statement that Robinson cannot accept any monetary gifts that would in any way assist him in his collegiate career even with his present predicament . Are those disingenuous and unemotional idiots really kidding ? How can they view the player’s situation as being one ordinary and one that’s not deserving of some latitude in this instance ? The college itself has set up an educational foundation that will indeed pay for the player’s sister future education and a trust fund has also been set up to take donations that will facilitate the care of the player’s sister.

The NCAA for its part has suggested they cannot change the rules even given this instance where Thomas Robinson finds himself in such an unenviable role being the guardian to his young sister. Personally while I understand the NCAA’s stance this is merely one more reason to my mind why it is that I find collegiate athletics’ highest governing body totally corrupt and completely lacking in common sense ! If ever there was a time to completely dismantle the organization now would be it and then replace with an institution that would be held more accountable and with even more transparency than it is said to show. We’re often told how concerned the institution is with the well being of the student athlete and how it governs collegiate athletics. But in reality the NCAA has simply become another multi billion dollar money making institution where in some cases its revenues derived is greater than that of some third world countries.

What might be even more unconscionable is the mere fact that while the NCAA has become the production line for the professional level of sports namely the NBA , NFL , NHL and MLB it goes without saying that riches that there are to be had is nothing compared to what those teams will continue to make in perpetuity off the names of the athletes associated with these sports. Even at the college level where now the NCAA is in the midst what is a civil suit of which Ed O’Bannon and recently NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson has added his name to, in charging that the NCAA has used their likeness in marketing and promoting the sport without there being reward to the players . And though one might argue that there isn’t any veracity to this argument because as such the athletes are amateurs the NCAA still profits greatly in the use of an athletes’ likeness even after they’ve turned professional and long after their college and professional careers are over . Please tell me in what other endeavor such a thing is allowed to happen and at the same time where players themselves aren’t allowed to profit from that specific practice ?

And while both sides aren’t willing to address the issue in public it has to be said that the thought of the NCAA and the power it now wields over the collegiate sports’ landscape is staggering and without merit. It’s rare that the body is challenged in any form and even rarer for the institution to actually suffer a defeat . It hasn’t happened at the judicial level in years and even within its own realm rarely has the NCAA been challenged by an educational establishment to the fact they can actually say they’ve won an outright victory. The incoming NCAA President Mark Emmert having taken over from the late Dr Myles Brand has essentially not changed how they operate and it has to be said it’s not been actually for the better.

I’d like to think that the NCAA can show compassion when needed but it appears that the institution is merely driven by its pursuit of money and not much else beyond that . And when greed has solely been your whole mantra to exist rather than that of the well being of the athletes and institution you preside over then the whatever befalls that body tends not to be a good on appearance or image alone. Is anyone really of the opinion that the NCAA has served the college athlete with any real distinction much less with any integrity for that matter ? Merely look at the NCAA’s actions recently and the fact that they can’t seems to show any impartiality as to the way it conducts its business and how they go about dealing with many of the issues they face with ever increasing regularity ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the NCAA’s stance concerning Thomas Robinson and do you feel that they ought to make some sort of change to cover such an instance ? Merely offer up your own thoughts as how you best feel that this particular situation can be dealt with ?

Picture and slide show details.

LAWRENCE, KS – January 29th 2011. (1) Brady Morningstar (12)of the Kansas Jayhawks is fouled as he passes to Markieff Morris (21) during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats on January 29, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …..

(2) Kansas forward Thomas Robinson (0) blows a kiss to the crowd after an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Kansas won the game 90-66 . AP Photo/Charlie Riedel ……..

(3) Marcus Morris (22) of the Kansas Jayhawks and teammates cheer from the bench during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats on January 29, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images ………..

(4) Kansas coach Bill Self questions a call during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas State in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …….

(5) Ranked #9 on the NBA’s list of all-time scorers Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson recently added his name to an ever increasing list of former college athletes charging that the NCAA has continued to use their likeness in a civil suit that seeks unspecified and punitive damages. No trial date hast been set for the trial for the trial to take place in the Federal Court System . Picture appears courtesy of Getty Images North America Inc/ Robert Moore …….

Alan aka tophatal …………..

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Sade ……….. “No Ordinary Love ”

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