Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery are Out of Control

Last night was a fantastic night for college basketball. The Maui Invitational set the stage for a tremendous matchup between No. 7 Texas and No. 8 Notre Dame in the first game. If you didn't watch it, at least the end of it, you missed a hell of a show.

First off, I'd like to state that Luke Harangody is the ugliest human being alive. If you root for him, you should be shot. I mean, just look at the guy. He looks a little … slow. But I'll tell you what, the kid can ball. Even if it is extremely ugly to look at it, just like his face. I really hate Notre Dame more and more every day. I blame Charlie Weis.

Oh hey, how'd that Syracuse game work for you, Charlie? Yeah, fuck you!

But I digress. Notre Dame showed it is deserving of its high ranking, and Texas put up on heck of a fight. The Irish couldn't make any free throws, and A.J. Abrams took advantage. Abrams had been awful all game long, just not able to knock down his shot. But then, with time running out, he got hot. Real hot. And he brought Texas within 1.

Jay Bilas, who is about the only Dukie on earth I can stand, was going wild trying to figure out why Notre Dame wasn't fouling Abrams before he could shoot, seeing as ND had two fouls to give. It was an extremely logical question, and the only answer is that Mike Brey forgot to tell his team they had fouls to give. That oversight almost cost the Irish.

After Harangody missed two free throws that would have made it a 3-point game with 3 seconds left, Abrams launched a three-quarter court shot that came up just short. It looked good out of his hands, and honestly, everyone, including Abrams, thought it went in. But it didn't. Notre Dame escaped to move on to the final.

As entertaining as that game was, and trust me, it was very entertaining, the banter between Jay Bilas, Bill Raftery, Sean McDonough and Jimmy Dykes—and especially between Bilas and Raftery—was equally as entertaining.

Those two were having a great time, making fun of each other and arguing all game. It was a very fun broadcast.

And lucky for me, they were pulling double duty for the second game between North Carolina and Oregon.

Now, let me get this out of the way. I'm a UNC fan. I love virtually all the players who go there, and I love watching them on national television. But I have to say, even as a Tar Heels fan, the praise of Tyler Hansbrough is so over the top it's maddening. In the pregame, Bilas and Raftery were drooling all over him. I get it. He's the reigning National Player of the Year. He works hard. He's bright. He's a great teammate. Blah, blah, blah.

But man, do they love to drive that point home. "Look at his face!" "Look how intense he is!" And at one point, Raftery actually said, "How does Mark Gottfried (Alabama's coach) tell his guys they're going to get outworked by Tyler Hansbrough? They won't believe it until they see it." How about this? He won't tell them that, because that is the most insanely idiotic statement ever uttered. I know Hanbrough is relentless, but is he really going to work harder than the kids he's playing? That's an insult to those other kids. Plus, what coach on earth would say, "Well, no use in trying tonight, fellas, because Tyler's going to work harder than you." Bullshit. Get off the guy's jock for two seconds. Oh yeah, and does UNC even play Alabama? No.

Anyway, other than that, this crew is great. It's just the national media as a whole. Give the Tyler love a break. Just for a second. Thanks.

Now on to the "game." See, I put it in quotes because this wasn't a game at all. UNC dismantled Oregon, just like they have dismantled everyone up until this point.

And while Hansbrough was back out on the court and impressive (16 points, 12-14 from the line), two guys stood out above the rest: Danny Green and Ed Davis.

Danny Green is just a beast. He's my favorite player on this squad—Mr. Do It All. Last night, he was on fire in the first half, nailing three after three, and the man can block shots as well as anyone in the nation, despite being essentially a small forward. Some of his blocks where just ridiculous last night.

He finished with a game-high 21 points on 8 of 12 shooting, including 5 of 8 from three, and he added 8 boards, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Simply put, he was the best player on the floor. I love me some Danny Green.

And while Green is my favorite player and I have tons of love for Wayne Ellington, Ty Lawson and Deon Thompson, the freshman Ed Davis is quickly becoming my second favorite Tar Heel. With Tyler Zeller going down for the year, Davis was already going to be asked to see more minutes. And last night, Deon Thompson got himself in some foul trouble, meaning the frosh had to play more than usual.

Boy did he respond. Davis was all over the court, running like a gazelle, defending the rim and scoring consistently. He crashed the boards hard, pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds, and added a steal, a block and 11 points. He looked like a grizzled veteran out there, not a first-year college player. Ed Davis is no joke.

And neither are the Tar Heels. Essentially, they run the break better than most NBA teams, and with good reason—they have a roster full of NBA-caliber players. Between Thompson, Hansbrough and Davis up front, Green, Ellington, Lawson, Bobby Frasor, Larry Drew and Will Graves, they go nine deep, meaning they can run full speed the entire game. If their defense keeps up the way it has early on, this team will be tough for anyone to beat. And that's all without their top recruit, Tyler Zeller.

Basically, watch out for the Tar Heels. It should be a great game taking on the Irish in the final.

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