This Saturday was the NCAA Final Four. The games took place in San Antonio this year; pitting all of the top seeds against one another: UCLA against Memphis and Kansas taking on North Carolina. College hoops is always fun to watch this time of year, the fans are passionate, the players and coaches are intense, and even the cheerleaders are amped. The first game to start the day was UCLA Bruins against Memphis Tigers. Now, the Tigers are a physically intimidating team, they’re tall, aggressive, and have a good bench. The Bruins, on the other hand, are good on the boards and that goes a long way this late in the season. The game was pretty close throughout, but the Tigers pulled away in second half with a big run that resulted in Kevin Love getting dunked on by Douglas Adams.
To add insult to injury, Memphis’ Joey Dorsey points and laughs. That in combination of being incapable of containing Memphis’ playmakers, UCLA’s morale took a dive and Memphis came out on top 78-63.
The second game of the evening was way more one-sided, to the point of me tuning away during the first half. The Kansas Jayhawks completely schooled North Carolina from the start, their biggest lead being 40-12. When tuned back in after halftime, the Tar Heels looked poised to fight back, with a big rally from their top guys to get back in striking distance. Kansas, for a period was dumbfounded, after getting comfortable in their giant lead that now disappeared; it was a game again.
The next several minutes of play was both a dogfight and a track meet. Each team running up the court and driving in for two points. Eventually North Carolina started to run out of steam and wasn’t able to sink a basket for nearly five minutes. That was the break Kansas needed to close the deal at 84-66. The athleticism of college athletes has always impressed me.