Monday, March 18, 2013

Forecast: Fugly

Check out the quote in this article:

“We have had games where we’ve held teams to 40, 50 points,” Irish forward Pat Connaughton said. “I think that’s what we want to do in order to come out with this win.”

In other words, ND would prefer to the final score look like a halftime total for a typical ISU game.

That's everything wrong with college basketball.

I expect the game to be painful to watch. Lots of fouls, ND mugging ISU at every opportunity, and as a result, clean open looks will be hard to find. It's tough to get open when the defender is holding your arm.

The good news is that if ISU can get a ~10 point lead, ND will have to do things they don't like. Advantage: ISU. Score early, score often. First team to 60 probably wins.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Best and Worst

Iowa State's win in Morgantown had the two extremes of Cyclone basketball. The first half was brilliant- free flow on offense, solid defense, a 44-20 halftime lead. But the second half had a 16 minute stretch that was horrid- 14 turnovers, bad rushed shots, and giving up 54 (!) points.

But the Cyclones made enough shots down the stretch to pull out the win, and finish 3-6 on the road. Not great but respectable.

Watching that game confirms that in the B12 and NCAA tourneys ISU can beat anyone- and can lose to anyone, too. Fasten your seat belts.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Ticket: Punched Take II

Now they are really in. A win in Morgantown and a few in KC will go a long way towards improving on a 12 seed.  The Cyclones found themselves in the same situation last year- win in KC and avoid the dreaded 8/9 game. They failed. Learn from the past.

The win over Okie State was exhibit A of how much better the Cyclones do when they simply hustle and play with energy. The game got tight when it turned into Afternoon At The Y midway through the second half. Quick shots, lazy D, the whole bit.

The examples of success and failure are pretty stark.