Saturday, March 05, 2005

Go Heels

After spending the latter half of this week in shitty Springfield, Illinois, attending a psychologist conference, I'm spending the rest of this weekend at my parents' house here in Missouri. Simply, Springfield sucks ass. For those of you familiar with the state of North Carolina, Springfield reminds me of Greensboro or Winston-Salem, except worse. Anyway, I don't have work until Tuesday, so I'll spend tomorrow watching some college basketball with my dad.

First up will be shitty Missouri versus overrated Kansas. During his first few seasons at Mizzou, I gave Quin Snyder the benefit of the doubt, but there's only so much I can take. He should've been canned after the whole NCAA infractions debacle, which was just extremely embarassing to the university. But he's proven time and again that he's arguably the worst coach in college basketball. He needs to stop trying to be a "motivator" like Coach K and go observe some practices around the country and learn how to teach some real basketball. He'd be a good assistant coach who's in charge of recruiting, like he was at Duke, but he's a shitty head coach. Anyway, I hope they beat Kansas, who play such an ugly brand of basketball I can't stand them even more than when Roy was there.

Speaking of Roy Williams, the second game of the afternoon is the one I'm looking forward to the most. Carolina versus Duke (or Dook). First, I should say that the years I spent in Chapel Hill has made me a true blue Carolina fan. I've become such a fan that if Mizzou played UNC, I would be torn up inside, instead of automatically rooting for Mizzou. This didn't happen necessarily because I lived in Chapel Hill, but it happened gradually as I read more and more about Dean Smith and how much I respect him as a coach and as a person. The program really does do things the right way, much moreso than how the media portrays Duke as the model program (even though they're not as dirty as some diehard Carolina fans may think). I just have so much respect for the Carolina program that I can't help but think that sooner or later they may overtake Mizzou as my number one team. Presently, they're tied.

I still kind of can't stand Roy, however, and it really has nothing to do with Kay U. I don't like the way he always carries himself in a "woe is me" sort of way, always seeking sympathy from the world with his melodramatic musings. (Examples include: "There's no bigger Carolina fan than me" after he turned down UNC in 2000 to "there's no bigger Kansas fan than me" that he'll say now.) I also don't think he's the saint he and the media portary him to be. I think I'd like him a lot better if he didn't try so hard to make himself look like the the most innocent person ever. But the bottom line is that he's one of the best coaches and recruiters in the country, and I'm sure he'll lead Carolina to at least one championship before his career is over, quite possibly this year. So, despite some of the negative feelings I have about the guy, I'll take him on my side. I'd defintely take him anyday over that sleazy coach down at Dook.

I cannot fucking stand Coach K and his stupid ass assistants, especially that brown-nosing pipsqueak Wojo. I respect K for his accomplishments at Duke, and I think he deserves to be recognized as one of the two best coaches in ACC history with Dean Smith. But the thing that separates K from Smith is that Coach K emphasizes winning at all costs, and his motivational skills are probably as good as any coach in history. Dean Smith, on the other hand, emphasized playing the right way, with winning as the probable outcome should his team play smart and the right way. He knew how to teach all that, and thus his players carried those skills to successful NBA careers and former assistant coaches to successful head coaching gigs. Now, look at K's former assistant coaches. Snyder has been ripping off the University of Missouri with his NBA Jam style of coaching for years, and Amaker hasn't done shit with Michigan either. They're both identical in playing some infuriatingly, stupid-ass basketball. Look for Wojo to follow in their footsteps. (I'm not quite as sure with Chris Collins since his father Doug is known as someone who truly understand the X's and O's and fundamentals of the game.)

Anyway, with Coach K's motivational skills (and Roy's history of getting outcoached in big games from Norm Stewart to Lute Olson to now Coach K), Duke definitely has a chance to steal this game in Chapel Hill, especially with Rashad McCants not expected to play. However, I think Raymond Felton will have a huge game especially with that embarassing last play in the game in Durham a few weeks ago. J.J. Redick will shoot something like 6 for 24, and Shavlik Randolph will foul out in 7 minutes with 2 points and 2 rebounds. Sean May and Marvin Williams will also have big games. My prediction: Carolina 89, Duke 70. As for the MU-KU game, I predict: KU 62, MU 52.

And if you happen to watch the game, look for my friend Tim (below on the left), who'll be wearing his UNC Mexican wrestling mask at the game.
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