Say Hi to the Bad Guys

03.29.10 8 years ago 56 Comments

Duke's Jon Scheyer

College basketball’s Decepticons are back. Duke is in the Final Four for the 11th time during Coach K‘s reign (and the first time since ’04), so if you’d been missing Krzyzewski’s scowl, the army of three-point bombers, the goofy big guys, the smug grins, the confident swagger, and Dick Vitale re-enacting an Extenze commercial with every TV cameo (“I’m bigger!”) you’re glad to see the program the rest of us love to hate back on the biggest stage … The Blue Devils trailed Baylor at halftime, as their turnovers led to transition buckets, and it looked like LaceDarius Dunn outside (22 pts) and Ekpe Udoh inside (18 pts, 10 rebs, 5 blks) might be able to carry the Bears to the win. But in the second half Duke dominated the glass — they had 22 offensive rebounds total and neutralized Baylor’s athletic front line with positioning and heart — and hit some huge threes down the stretch. The game-changing sequence came when Jon Scheyer (20 pts, 5 threes) hit a trey to tie it, Nolan Smith (29 pts, 4 threes) added a triple to give them the lead, then Scheyer hit another three to push the lead to six with 2:30 remaining. Lance Thomas‘ follow dunk and-one was basically the dagger, then an unconscionable technical called on Baylor’s Quincy Acy ended whatever miracle the Bears might have had saved up … Great moment late in the game when Brian Zoubek fouled out, and before leaving, screamed at everybody in the huddle to finish the win. Then Zoubek walked right up to whichever Plumlee brother was going to replace him and screamed at him too. Tell ’em why you mad, Zoobs! … Headed to his sixth Final Four in the last 12 years, don’t we have to put Tom Izzo in the discussion as one of the greatest college coaches of all-time? Don’t we have to start considering Michigan State as a powerhouse program on-par with Duke and UNC and Kansas? … The Spartans were tied up with Tennessee at the three-minute mark before Durrell Summers (21 pts, 4 threes) hit the go-ahead triple. The Vols cut the lead to one, and with 11 seconds left, Scotty Hopson was fouled taking a jumper. Usually a terrible free-throw shooter, Hopson briefly channeled Rumeal Robinson and calmly sank the first one to tie. He missed the second, however, and State’s Draymond Green found Raymar Morgan (13 pt, 10 rebs) with a great pass underneath that forced Tennessee to foul … With 1.8 on the clock, Morgan made the first, then Izzo had him miss the second on purpose. J.P. Prince threw up a halfcourt heave, but it fell way short. Prince will be thinking of that shot every day he’s in the weight room this summer … Butler coach Brad Stevens should already be devising press schemes to make Korie Lucious have to beat them. Lucious has been clutch, hitting the game-winner against Maryland and the dagger against Northern Iowa, but he struggled big-time yesterday, and Izzo had to take him out on defensive possessions down the stretch. With Kalin Lucas out, Butler should try to rattle the sophomore PG who’s never had this big of a role under lights this bright … Impressive collection of goons this weekend. Michigan State’s Austin Thornton picked up four fouls in like two minutes against Tennessee; Baylor’s Josh Lomers fouled out in less than 10 minutes against Duke; and West Virginia has The Turkish Hammer ready to break somebody’s cheekbone on command …

D-Wade (photo. Jeffery Salter)

After Chris Bosh went baseline on Joel Anthony and stole a piece of his soul with a nasty reverse dunk, the Raptors were up 15 on the Heat late in the third quarter. From that point on, Dwyane Wade scored 16 of his 32 points and Udonis Haslem scored 11 of his 23 to lead the Miami comeback. Haslem’s hook shot tied it up with 1:30 to go in the fourth, then Carlos Arroyo scored Miami’s last eight points, mostly on free throws. Toronto was down three with 1.4 ticks left, but Antoine Wright for some reason threw a long pass that wouldn’t have gotten them a three-point attempt anyway, which D-Wade intercepted. Flash then told us all about it while wearing a bathrobe during his post-game interview with NBA TV … Is anybody in the League on fire more than Manu Ginobili right now? He was hitting some crazy shots on Boston, including a one-hand three-point banker to beat the third-quarter buzzer. Manu finished with 28 points and 7 assists in a Spurs rout. He also snuffed out a Kevin Garnett dunk attempt at the rim … Brandon Roy (20 pts) was also hitting H-O-R-S-E shots on the Thunder, like a plus-one bank shot from 20 feet out fading to his left, and a ridiculous fadeaway off-glass to end the third quarter … Good to see B-Roy and Kevin Durant (29 pts) guarding each other down the stretch. That’s how it should be. Roy hit the go-ahead free throws with 3:30 left, and in the final seconds, Durant had a look at a game-tying three but it fell short … Other stat lines from Sunday: LeBron went for 34 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals in Cleveland’s win over Sacramento, while Beno Udrih had a triple-double (18 pts, 10 rebs, 15 asts) in the loss; Josh Smith had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead Atlanta past Indiana; Reggie Williams scored 25 in G-State’s win over the Clippers; Amar’e dumped 30 points and 17 boards on the Wolves, while Kevin Love had 23 and 22 in the loss; Derrick Rose posted 21 points and 9 assists in Chicago’s win at Detroit; Brandon Jennings had 29 points, 8 dimes and 4 steals in Milwaukee’s overtime in over Memphis; and after Vince Carter went down a couple minutes into the first quarter with a toe injury, J.J. Redick dropped 23 points, 7 boards and 8 dimes off the bench as Orlando beat Denver … Strangest tweet of the weekend, courtesy the Grizzlies’ Marcus Williams: “My butt smells like the rim of a mustard bottle right now…oh well im not trippin.” Not sure how to respond to that … We’re out like LaceDarius …

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