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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