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Final Four Breakdown (Hour 3)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
March 27, 2023 9:31 pm

Final Four Breakdown (Hour 3)

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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March 27, 2023 9:31 pm

News Brief l Seth Greenberg, former college basketball head coach l Final Four breakdown


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Get a wedding suit as unique as you with Indochino. Go to and use code PODCAST to get 10% off any purchase of $3.99 or more. That's I-N-D-O-C-H-I-N-O dot com promo code PODCAST. Our number three of our radio program, that's right, it is the Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. Let's update you on the biggest stories in the world of sports with some audio. Let's get to the news brief. Time for your daily news brief.

We get you caught up on the rumors, reports and reconnaissance from the day in sports. Say what you want about Lamar Jackson's approach in trying to get a new contract, whether he should hire an agent or not. He had a really strategic move today where all the media is gathered. NFL owners, NFL GMs, NFL coaches, they're all speaking. Oh, John Harbaugh is going to sit down? Yeah, even though I told the Ravens on March 2nd that I'm requesting a trade, they'll know that will eventually become public because he's available right now. The Ravens could match the offer, but no team has really talked. Let's just wait a few weeks until John Harbaugh sits down at a round table and I'll publish some tweets that I made a request to the Ravens on March 2nd.

So we'll play some of the audio of Harbaugh reacting to that in real time in just a second. But Hickey, like through this process, the Ravens know this news is eventually going to come out. I wonder if they were surprised that the news came out today. Because not that it's out of sight, out of mind, but when you get that request from Lamar on March 2nd and it hasn't come out yet, and that's one, two, three, you're moving on to almost four weeks since you made that request. You probably have to not forget that he requested because you always know, but maybe you're like, oh, this isn't going to come out since it hasn't been reported yet, even though it was kind of being sat on for three, four weeks. Do you think they were caught off guard today that it came out today?

No, I think the Ravens are no dummies. I think they realized, all right, after like maybe... I don't know about that. It came out on the 2nd or he made the request on the 2nd. So it doesn't come out that day.

It doesn't come out the next day. I think you got to realize, okay, well, he's waiting for a certain point for this to come out. And again, they know what's on the calendar. They know every meeting member is going to be at these owners meetings. And I think they were kind of braced for it because John Harbaugh took it, I'll say, well in stride, having a break literally within seconds of him starting talking. And then you just get a barrage of Lamar questions. He seemed like he was kind of waiting for it. Let's hear John Harbaugh. He responds to Lamar Jackson's tweet requesting a trade. I haven't seen the tweet. It's an ongoing process.

I'm following it very closely, just like everybody else is here and looking forward to a resolution. I'm excited, thinking about Lamar all the time, thinking about him as our quarterback. We're building our offense around that idea and I'm just looking forward to getting back to football and I'm confident that's going to happen. He sounds annoyed. He sounds like there's no place he'd rather be than where he is right now. That's what it sounds like to me with John Harbaugh. Well, if you think about it, I mean, we know at least Eric Takasta and Steve Basciotti don't value Lamar the way he wants to be valued. I have no idea if John Harbaugh is on their side or on Lamar's side, but he is now like, again, as a head coach, you would want a quarterback of Lamar stature on your team. I think Harbaugh genuinely believes in Lamar, but is probably frustrated with how this has gone now for the last two years. And now he has to be the one to answer the questions, even though he's not the one directly being the reason why Lamar is asking for a trade. Yeah, I'll take his contract, though, to answer those questions. I have no problem doing that. John Harbaugh has asked if he expects Lamar Jackson to be a Raven for Week 1.

I do. You know, you've got to plan for all the contingencies for sure, but I'm pretty fired up about Lamar Jackson. I mean, Lamar Jackson is a great player. John Harbaugh isn't concerned about Lamar Jackson's trade request. It's going to work itself out. You know, it's like, believe me, if we're playing football next year and Lamar Jackson's the quarterback, we're all going to be happy. You know, and he's going to be fired up to play, and he's going to be happy to be out there playing, too, and that's how it works. Like I said, it's a fluid kind of a thing.

There's no periods on any of this. Play the first four seconds of that one more time. It's going to work itself out. You know, it's like, believe me, if we're playing football next year and Lamar Jackson's the quarterback, we're all going to be happy. You know, and he's going to be fired up to play. What's the big word that you hear there?

If. Yep. Now, I don't want to read too much into something, but Harbaugh pretty much made himself sound like today for the most of these quotes that you read, that all Lamar's going to be, you know, his expectations, Lamar's the quarterback, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. When would be a little bit reassuring there, even though I think this relationship is fractured beyond repair anyway. John Harbaugh says the ratings of Lamar Jackson have built up a ton of goodwill between each other.

This is big time pro sports at the highest level and contracts are important and they matter to both sides. The thing that I love about the situation, I believe, is that in the end you've got good people, you know, working together. I mean, we've been with Lamar.

Oh boy. You know, I've been with Lamar as a coach and players and coaches and all of us in the organization have been together for, what, five years now. You know, we've been through some crazy things, some amazing moments, some tough moments, challenges, ups and downs together. You know, we've hugged in the locker room after wins. We've hugged in the locker room after losses. You know, those are things that last forever.

Those relationships never change. So this is part of it. You know, this is part of the story that's being written and everybody's writing the story, but I just appreciate that it's been handled with class. Lamar's handled it with class. Lamar's under contract and that's the guy I'm, of course, that's the guy I want to see be our quarterback.

You know, that's my guy. Whenever you start talking about how good everyone is in terms of the characteristics they possess as a human being, that's when you know that you've really gone in full desperation mode, that he doesn't even actually think Lamar's going to be playing next year. He wants Lamar to be back. I do believe when he says, oh, that's my guy. But I don't think John Harbaugh is a dummy where unless the demands get lowered and if they do get lowered, maybe they can match it, right?

That's a different conversation. But I think at one point, if you're Lamar, your preference would be to play elsewhere. And I know we already see the trade requested. But if, let's say, you get a lower offer or an offer that is not what you wanted from a different team and then the Ravens go, oh, yeah, we're going to match that. I don't think Lamar is thrilled because he thinks that team knows him better than anyone and should be probably paying him what Lamar thinks he's actually worth. So I think this is just a disaster all around. And it's probably best for both parties to just move on at this point.

John Harbaugh says he's had a ton of contact with Lamar this offseason. You know, it's a unique situation right now, I would say. It's different than most years. This is a contract situation. So that's probably just a little different than other years. Not as much.

So I'm looking forward to getting back to the normal way of doing things. And John Harbaugh on if there's a deadline when the Ravens want to know if they will keep or trade Lamar. Well, you certainly need to know on the day of the first game, you know.

And you need to do an 1130 before 1 o'clock game because you got to put the names in. So that's like, I know that's kind of a silly answer, but there is no, like, real hard, fast date. That one is tough because he can't really make a deadline because it's out of his control. A team, if they wanted to, now I don't think they would, can wait until they make that offer to Lamar. For the Ravens, you would hope everyone gets their offer in now so that you can go into the draft with the picks. Or you could at least plan the rest of your offseason. So the Ravens want this resolved as soon as possible.

But Hickey, we've been talking about this for a while. I don't think the first offer is going to happen until after the draft. I think you need a few dominoes to fall first before we find out how many teams are actually going to be seriously interested in Lamar Jackson.

Because you're trying to negotiate that price down. You could then go to Lamar and say, yeah, we know the Ravens can match it, but whatever you want, no one else has jumped at that yet. So this is what we're going to offer you.

You take it or leave it. I could see even, like, leading into the draft a few days before having details ironed out. And let's say if you're a team, you want to draft a quarterback, things not going your way. In draft, boom, here's a trade. But until, you know, we're just about, I think, exactly a month away from the draft. I think it's April 27th is the first round.

So a month from today. At least three weeks, I would say, of silence before we get any sort of inkling of another team being interested. Well, I think the talk leading into the draft will be all Lamar, Lamar, Lamar, Lamar. And you'll get some Schefter report. You'll get some Tom Pelissero or Ian Rappaport report. But I don't think you will have a signed agreement by the draft that at least then goes back to the Ravens.

They have the option to match it or not. I guess I'll say in terms of secrecy is if you go back to last year at the draft when the Ravens traded Hollywood Brown. That seemingly was done for, like, not well before the draft, but a good amount of time before the draft.

And it did not get leaked out. So the Ravens do have, for the most part, they want things to stay quiet. Omar Jackson and Hollywood Brown are two different players of interest.

Yeah, I don't think it's comparable. But, I mean, if you hold a trade down for weeks silent in this day and age, I'm impressed. I think they could try to do it again.

And again, in draft, have things go down. No one actually really cares about Marquise Hollywood Brown. It's a receiver who's not a number one wide receiver. Is it news?

Sure. But it's not like, oh my goodness gracious. I'm talking about a guy that is a quarterback and is, outside of Rogers, the biggest story of the offseason. Well, it'd be more people talking from the Ravens' side or the Cardinals' side. Like, that's how the leaks come out. So, like, my point is everyone on the Ravens' side knew this deal was done for weeks and didn't say a word.

There are plenty of leaks that come out that shouldn't come out, but people always have big mouths that can't keep their mouth shut. Yeah, I don't think we can compare anything to the past when it comes to this one. Robert Salas says the Jets don't have to be in a rush to trade for Aaron Rodgers. There's great rapport with the coordinator. There's really no, there's no urgency. You know, the quarterback is, if he understands the system, if the quarterback knows it, you know, it's just a matter of just refining skills and doing all that stuff, you know.

So there's no, there's no hurry on right now. This is the most bizarre thing I think I've ever seen in the NFL hickey, when it comes to a trade. We know that the Packers are going to send Rodgers to the Jets, and we know the Jets are going to trade for Aaron Rodgers. But I don't know when we'll get the answer on what the actual trade compensation package is. Mark Murphy already talked about Rodgers the past 10 weeks ago. And then, Gudekunz basically made it clear today, Rodgers never returned any phone calls this offseason. And the Jets are already talking about Rodgers. So it's weird, like I've never seen a deal done, but a deal actually not be done yet.

You know what the outcome is going to be, but you don't know how you're going to get there. And eventually they get to be a second-round pick. I think the Packers will win out. I think they'll win the staring contest. That's what this is, right?

Oh, I don't think so. Jets have, what, I don't know, a first-round pick, or the Packers want a first-round pick. Jets are saying, here's a two, and whoever, you know, blinks first loses. I did read something today that Gudekunz even said, I have not heard the audio yet, but I did see it. It was from Michael David Smith at Pro Football Talk. Brian Gudekunz has been talking and said Packers won't necessarily get a first-round pick for Aaron Rodgers.

Man, what are we waiting on? Packers General Manager Brian Gudekunz said, Knowledge in a conversation reported today that the Packers won't necessarily get a first-round pick from the Jets in the Rodgers trade, according to Tom Pellicero, the NFL Network. Man, that means a third team has evolved.

What do you mean? Well, they said they won't necessarily get a first-round pick from the Jets. You think Rodgers is going somewhere else? No, I'm saying if you've got a third team involved, another player goes somewhere else.

Not happy. That team sends a first-round pick to the Packers. Jets get Aaron Rodgers.

Let me just tell you how this is going to go down. I think the conversation right now is, it's a second-round pick. How could we put conditions on it? How do we agree to the conditions of making it eventually a first-round pick? And then we won't necessarily get a first-round pick. It's him saying, well, X, Y, and Z, or just one of the three have to happen for us to get that first.

But I really do believe that'll be a two, and then there'll be conditions to possibly make it a one. Robert Salah on if the Jets are interested in Roedel Beckham Jr. ACLs nowadays, those are easily fixable. But he's been a fantastic receiver in this league. Everything you hear about him, he's a phenomenal person.

But you're always going to look over, turn over every stone, cross your T's, dot your I's. Let's be real what that is. Rodgers now the GM, so Rodgers wants a double. We'll find a way to make it happen.

Let's just get to two more. John Lynch discusses who is QB one right now for the Niners. Brock has earned the right with the way he played, that he's probably the leader in the clubhouse at that. You know, I'll let Kyle make those kind of decisions. But I know when we talk, I think Brock's probably earned that right to be the guy if we were to line up. He'd probably take that first snap. Which is kind of crazy with all that they gave up to go get Trey Lance.

Geez. Makes me think that Trey Lance is just not in a good spot right now. Jim Lara Nega on if getting Miami to the Final Four feels any different than when he took George Mason to the Final Four.

It's the same exhilaration. Just the jubilant attitude, the effort because you just love when your players accomplish a goal they set out before the season. I just feel great for Lara Nega. And I hope he wins it all.

That's the team that I'm rooting for. We'll see how they can find a way to take down UConn and that's going to be really tough. But I would love to see Lara Nega go get a championship and go farther than what he did at George Mason. Which that's probably the highlight of his life in coaching. You go with a national championship.

Man. Right now he's already a Hall of Famer. That would just enhance the legacy. Seth Greenberg joins us next. Alrighty we continue this is the Zach Gelb show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. The Final Four is set. FAU. The Owls out of Florida Atlantic going up against San Diego State. You also have UConn taking on Miami. And now joining us to chat all things March Madness is a man that was a head coach at Long Beach State. South Florida and Virginia Tech. Now you can see his face all over your television for college basketball coverage on ESPN.

And that of course is the coach in Seth Greenberg. Coach I appreciate the time. How you been?

Imagine what's going on man. You're a big shot. I'm just honored to be asked. Well I appreciate you coming on and what a crazy last two weeks of college basketball coach. Let me start you off with Creighton San Diego State. The foul call at the end. How would you process that if you were still on the sidelines and let's say you were on the Creighton side of things?

I'm not having anybody's experience. I don't know. I mean look I mean it was a hard call.

I mean here's my thing Zach. Was it a foul? Probably was a foul. You know a hand on the hip. Was it a foul in relation to how the game was officiated for 39 minutes and 58 seconds? No it wasn't. There were dozens of drives where guys tried to go straight life in a basket and guys rode them out and it wasn't a foul.

That's a hand on the hip. That's just what it is. You know one thing I told a bunch of officials today. They got a bunch of text messages last night.

And they said something interesting. They said sometimes you don't have to officiate absolutes. Time and score situation.

Overtime is your friend. Look a foul was redefined in that game. There were 22 fouls in that game.

The fewest of the whole weekend. There were 17 free throw shots. That foul finally put San Diego State in the bonus. I'm not taking this away from San Diego State because I love their team. I love Batch. I love how hard they play.

I love how they compete. But you can't. It's like almost I'm going to do a baseball analogy. You have a strike zone for 8 innings and 9th inning.

All of a sudden it tricks. Can't happen. I'm in 100% agreement with you. Because you're right. With the way that that game was officiated. It seemed totally different at the end than what it was for the entirety of the game.

I look back at it. You know you used baseball analogy. I used a football analogy.

The Super Bowl this year. Could you make the case it was holding? Could you make the case it was a foul? Yes. But through the first 58 minutes of that Super Bowl this year. That wasn't being called to hold at the end with James Bradbury. Yeah.

And that's exactly it. All coaches want down deep is consistency. Now look I thought Mack handled that thing great. I thought Carl Prender handled it great.

And rightfully so. Paying respect to the team that won. It was a hard-fought game.

Two good teams. In the end San Diego State imposed an identity on the game. That's just really what happened.

And that was the difference in the game. Talking to Seth Greenberg. You talked about how much you like Dutch at San Diego State. Brian Dutcher. We know what Steve Fisher started and what he did continue there.

And now they're in the Final Four. What makes him such a good coach? Guys play for him. He knows exactly who he is. He's comfortable in his own skin. There's a standard of how they play there. He recruits to it.

He's not afraid to go into the portal and get guys that have to buy in. But playing hard is never an option. It's a constant. And then they've gotten better offensively. They're very simple offensively. But does a really good job of attacking certain matchups.

Which I thought he did a good job of yesterday. And you can see this team has great trust. Seth Greenberg here with us. For Jim Larronego and what he accomplished at George Mason. Taking them to a Final Four. It's nearly impossible other than winning a championship. To top what he did all those years ago. But I feel like nationally, Larronego, everyone remembers him from George Mason. But what he's done with Miami is unbelievable. And coach, getting him to a Final Four I think makes him now a lock.

To be in the Hall of Fame one day. Yeah I think 100% Zach. I totally agree with you. You know what he's done is he empowers.

He doesn't enable. He gives him a lot of freedom offensively. That people think defensively. And look, that guy John Lewis isn't a bad guy to have in your back pocket either. Let's be honest. But his ability to coach. And his ability to get guys to believe in each other. And trust each other. And respect each other. Maybe the best in the country.

And have fun doing it. Like here's the thing Zach. Think about this Final Four. No McDonalds or Americans. No one and none. Only one real freshman is having an impact on the team. And that's Donovan Kleen.

Alright. Every team has an impact transfer. Whether it's Tristan Newton. Whether it's Vladislav Golden. Whether it's Packin or O'Mear. Or whether it's you know tomorrow.

Or any number of semi or state transfers. That's the economy of college basketball today. Do you think this Final Four. And my answer to this question is yes. It's good for college basketball.

I hear some people saying today. When you have San Diego State, FAU, Miami, and UConn. That isn't good for the sport. Well it's good for a year.

I'm not sure it's good every year. I do think we're going to see teams get older. And I think the portal impacts that.

I also think we're going to see teams like FAU. That quite honestly. They probably ended up getting some guys that fell through the cracks.

Because people were living in the portal. And they were able to develop players. So look last year we had Duke, Carolina, Kansas and going over.

Couldn't get any more blooming. So you know what? This year maybe it's feeding. Maybe it's match ups.

Maybe it's a lot of things. I think it's good for the game. It's good for the intrigue. It's going to be the all time lowest rated semifinal game probably in a long time. But you know we've seen it before. We've seen Butler and VCU. We've seen Loyola.

We've seen George Mason. We just haven't seen the number of non-blue bloods. Now UCOT is a blue blood.

So people. There is a blue blood in the Final Four. Since 99, four national championships.

That's a blue blood. Seth Greenberg here with us. When you get back to that Texas-Miami game. What stood out to you in that second half once Texas had that big lead? And why they weren't able to hold onto it at the end. And then Miami made that dominant statement towards the final two minutes.

It sounds silly Zach. But when Norchend O'Mear went out Miami went small. And when they went small they become more disruptive defensively. And when they went small they created some matchups. When they went small Wong had the ball in a better attacking position with more guys that could make a shot on the floor.

And then obviously you bring back O'Mear in and that guy just gobbles up every rebound. And then I thought that Texas lost their identity. They lost themselves. Gave them 50 points in the second half. That's not Texas basketball. Texas basketball is getting stops.

They lost their way in terms of being who they are and how they win. And then I thought that the patience, the presence, the poise of Jim Lara Naga. And the way he leads enabled it to happen. Rodney Terry did a really good job with Texas this year in tough circumstances. Replacing Chris Beard today. He gets that five-year deal from Texas. What is the long-term vision in your mind of Texas basketball with Coach Terry now? I think he did a great job. I'm really happy for him. Head coach at two different places.

Loved Texas. Came back. Left the head coaching job.

Approved a recruiter. An experienced head coach. Not going to be easy.

They're going to be roadblocks and detours. That's just the way it is. But I'm happy for him. It's a good message. Because he took over a very difficult situation with a group of players that loved their form of coach.

And had a great culture. Now he's got to maintain the culture and I think he will because he lives the culture. Seth Greenberg here with us. If you're Jim Lara Naga at Miami, what do you emphasize to your basketball team before they get ready to play UConn? Because coach, every game that UConn's played, they've just gone on one mega run in one half.

Whether it's the second or the first, doesn't matter. They've been able to find the way this tourney. Yeah, they're average-witted by 22%. They're shooting 42% from the three-point line. They're dominating the glass.

They've got the best maybe inside player left in the tournament. Sonogo, the best jump shooter. The best blend player in Caravan. And the most difficult to prepare for in Andre Jackson because he does stuff you can't really prepare for. Jim's not reinventing himself.

You're not reinventing yourself. Alright? You're going to spread him out. The matchup of the whole semifinals is Jordan Miller and Andre Jackson.

One thing about Connecticut, they actually have a matchup on Jordan Miller. Own the tempo. Spread him out.

Be in gaps. Deny Jordan Hawkins to basketball. And everyone else play straight up.

And then basically run on opportunity. But if not, you've got to move the ball and move people. Because you're not going to just high ball screen the depth. Although they'll put Sonogo in a bunch of ball screens. You're not going to high spread ball screen to depth this Connecticut team.

But be yourself. Man, you've got shot makers on that court. You've got a tough dude in Ruga Poplar that has the ability to really, really make it hard for a Jordan Hawkins coming off those screens with size and athleticism. And you've got resilience.

So we're not reinventing ourselves. You know, we've played great teams. We'll impose our identity on the game with our toughness, our maturity, our physicality and our shot making. Do you think the winner of UConn Miami will end up winning the national championship? Yeah, I do. I do. I mean, it's easy to say now, but I do.

You know, I just think that I think UConn is playing at a level now. They could have it. They could pick a bad.

They'd have a bad day. Okay. But you look at top 10 offensive defensive efficiency. You look at the number of different guys that can make a play. You look at 14 feet of post guy. You look at their offensive rebounding ability. You look at the ability to run and play ahead of the defense. They're going to be a really hard team to beat. So you lean UConn right now over Miami, but how much do you think?

Oh, I'm not big on lines. I'd probably say five. Which would be a close game. The way that UConn has played in this thorny coach.

Yeah, you're right, because you're obviously winning by 22 points a game. You know, Jordan Hawkins can't disappear in the first half, and I don't think he won't. I just think that Andre Jackson is the most under talked about, as well as Caravan, as well as their bench. Joey California knocking down jumpers. I think he always got a role with his toughness. Clingan obviously has a role, you know, with the ability to play behind Shinogo and give him a guy that runs the court and protects the rim and just really plays winning basketball.

Danny's done a great job because he hasn't been seduced by having to play like everyone else. It would be easy to try and be seduced by playing a bunch of spread ball screens, playing four out. No, they move Shinogo all over the court. They run Hawkins from one side to the other.

They reverse the basketball. They're not seduced by having to fit in playing like everyone else, and that's the thing I'm really impressed with. When you play to your strengths, that's the most important thing. Seth Greenberg, when you look at the story of FAU and what Dusty May has done, what stands out about this story of the Owls out of FAU the most to you? Well, he did a great job evaluating.

Number one, he got them to trust him and love each other and believe in each other and respect each other. He is playing a system that fits his personnel. Vladislav Golden is a difference maker, as is I think it's Rosado the other big, and they play without fear. They expect to be there. They've won 31. Four games?

How many games have they won? When you win that many games, you're walking out there and you're thinking you are the baddest blank on the court. Those dudes expect to win, and I love how even if they're struggling, they know in their minds, hey, it's just a matter of time. And that's Dusty and basically filling them with confidence.

So, look, they play hard to sell. The one thing people don't realize is what a good rebounding team they are. They rebound out of quickness and how relentless they are defensively. They are really disruptive defensive teams.

They've got a little bit of that VCU in them. Will he be a rock star? Dusty May? Everyone's been impressed by him. Everyone's been impressed by him. But will he be a rock star when he gets that big job? Yeah, look, he's a very, very good coach. He's a really good guy. He's got a great presence about him.

He reminds me a lot of Mike White. A rock star, there's so many things that, you know, look, I mean, here's the deal. There's so many things out of your control. What's your NIL situation? What's your admissions situation? What's your university's commitment?

Can you keep your local players home? I mean, there's so many things that go into it, but what he's done and the way he's carried himself, he's been terrific. So impressive. You know what's surprising to me, and I know that you don't have, right, the level blue bloods that we did last year, but these last two weeks, coach, I think have been the most entertaining two weeks that I've ever seen in the NCAA tournament. That's why I'm surprised a little bit that some people are down on this final four just with how good the last two weeks has been.

Yeah, you take Connecticut out and it's been ridiculous because Connecticut just does, you know, bum rush guys. Here's the deal. You know how you'll figure it out on Saturday at whatever, six o'clock when the first game pitch, what's the rating going to be? Because the casual fan, you, me, basketball junkies all over loving it.

Will the casual fan turn it on? And you don't think the answer to that is yes. I don't know.

I don't live in that world. That's what basketball coach talk about. Seth Greenberg. Appreciate the time as always. Good to catch up with you. All right, man. You're the best.

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You can think of O'Reilly Auto Parts where your car care needs get guaranteed low prices and excellent customer service from the professional parts people at O'Reilly Auto Parts. Just to recap the four Elite Eight games that we saw this weekend, let's start with Creighton and San Diego State. So the end of the game hickey reminded me a lot like the Super Bowl from this year, where for like the first 58 minutes of the Super Bowl, there were not a lot of penalties.

There were not a lot of flags. And not that the officials were necessarily letting them get away with egregious things, but the ticky tack calls were not being made. And then at the end of the game, there was an extremely ticky tack call that was made. And that was the holding on James Bradbury up against Juju Smith-Schuster. Where when you look at it, can you say that's holding? Absolutely.

You could say it's holding. But with the way that the game was officiated through the previous 58 minutes, would they have called that with maybe two and a half minutes to go in the first half? Well, not by the way that the game was being officiated. And that's the same way that I felt about the ending of the Creighton-San Diego State game, where the foul that was called, can you say it's a foul?

Absolutely. And it's not just because I don't like to see the game end that way. Like if it was an egregious foul, of course, call it. If they were calling that all throughout the game, call it. But Seth Greenberg made a great point, and he's spot on. All we want is consistency from the officials.

I know that it can't always be consistent, but I want it to be as closest to consistent as possible. And I thought Jay Will made a great point today on first take. I believe it was Jay Will, where he said throughout the game, or like early on in the game, if you get told by the officials, hey, take your hands off and you can't do that, that sets a tone for the game. And when a certain tone was set for 38, 39 minutes of this game, where there were very few fouls being called, and things like that weren't getting called, and it was a physical game. Like you watch Creighton-San Diego State, that was a physical basketball game. At times it looked sloppy, but it was physical. And for that to get called then, it just didn't seem like it fit the way that it was being officiated in. It was off the consistency that we saw through pretty much the first 39 minutes of basketball. So can you tell me it's a foul? Absolutely. You could say it's a foul, but if you would have showed me that play with the rest of the game and said, Zach, do you think this was called? I would have said no.

And I know, right? You could say, but a foul is a foul, you got to call it. But it wasn't getting called like that throughout the majority of the game. So Hickey, that's just the way that I felt about it.

I don't know your thoughts about it, so I'll let you get an opportunity at this. But it reminded me, I thought it mirrored the ending of the Super Bowl with the way the Super Bowl was officiated. And then with the way that that game was officiated for the majority of the game, it was like the same thing where that was the one outlier, where it was inconsistent with the way that the rest of the game was called. Look, a foul is a foul, you're going up for a shot and you have an elbow in your side and you fall down.

These kids are insane athletes, you don't just fall down after me trying to jump to make a runner there. I think he was pushed, I think the foul is the right call, I don't care if there's one minute into the game or there's 1.2 seconds left. I think it actually takes a lot of stones for the referees to call that there. But it wasn't getting called like that throughout the game. It was a foul though. Just like you bring about the Super Bowl, it's the same thing, the hold was obvious. It was obvious, you cannot call that. We're complaining that if a flag or a foul is not made- I wouldn't say it's obvious. And the referees swallowed the whistle, I thought both were the right call. Okay, we're both gonna agree, I guess, to disagree on this. But I think when you officiate something one way and you let a lot get away for something that I thought was minor at the end, where yeah, by rules and a foul, sure, I understand that.

I'm not debating that. But with the way that it was officiated throughout the majority of the game, I don't think that that is something that looked like a foul with the way that it was getting called throughout the duration of the game. Miami and Texas, by the way, what's the bigger story in your opinion from yesterday? Is Larranaga getting to his second Final Four, or is it Texas just crumbling, where it seemed at times, and I know basketball is a game of runs, but it seemed like throughout the majority of that game, and I thought Miami, let me remind you, I bet Miami yesterday. So I thought Miami was gonna win the game outright, I bet Miami yesterday. Through the majority of that game, I did not feel good about it, I was not expecting Miami to come back, because that game was turning out to be a battle of three-point shots against two-point shots, and Texas was hitting them early. Now, the second half, different story, but when they're up like 13 points, Hickey, or whatever it was in the second half, I wasn't feeling like Miami was coming back. I was just hoping since I had Miami plus three and a half, that they'd make a little bit of a run and then lose by two. But they just took over in that game, and it was kinda stunning with how good Texas has been all throughout the tournament, that Texas, with that many points that were spotted to them with the lead that they built, was not able to finish that game. That to me, as much as I love Larranaga, and I do think the story of this Final Four, when you start this Final Four, is Miami and is Larranaga, even though UConn looks like a more dominant team, even though FAU is, it's crazy that they're here, San Diego State, no one thought they would be here. And maybe that is a story like, is this good for college basketball? I'm fine with it.

But from an individual storyline standpoint, I think the story of Larranaga is at the top of the list for me. And I was stunned yesterday with how dominant Texas looked that they weren't able to find a way to seal the deal. Yeah, the main story for me is Texas collapsing. Because Miami didn't change their offensive approach, even the way they played the game, the entirety. It's not like they started changing up how they go on offense and shooting more threes, or change up their defense now to go to a zone or a full-court press. They played the same basketball from the opening tip to the final whistle. What changed was Texas now, all of a sudden, missing all the shots they're hitting for the first 75% of the game, and then not changing how they go about their offense. Like you mentioned before about the fouls and the opposite of how it was a physical, not a lot of whistles in San Diego State, Creighton, every whistle, any time you breathe on someone at parts of that game yesterday, there was a whistle, there was a foul, both teams on the double bonus very early on in the second half. So you were getting the benefit of the whistle, the referees are calling a tight game, yet Texas, when they're missing shot after shot after shot, they said, oh, let's take jumpers, more jumpers.

We're not going to go to what we know, we're not going to try to get out of a slump again and get on the free throw line, we're going to keep doing what we do. And they could not hit water from a boat for the last eight, nine minutes of the game. It was kind of stunning, like, how that was dominated by, and I know Miami is a heck of a team. And Larry Nagus said it on this show before the start of the tournament, and I said, this is the best team you've ever coached. And he said, if we're healthy, like, we know we could beat anybody. And their health was a big concern heading into this tournament. But when they're down by double digits, just, I know that's one thing to get into the game, but then take control of the game, it looked like Texas was by miles and miles and miles away the better team.

And in a snap of a finger, it changed, and how quickly it changed, it was crazy. And UConn, right, is obviously the hottest team in the tournament. Up until about 10 minutes left in that second half, I would argue Texas was like the second hottest team. And we're talking about, wow, that's going to be a great game.

And then the wheels fell off. So Saturday, I'm at a wedding, and this goes into Gonzaga and UConn. Someone shows me the score of the wedding, at the wedding, and it was like, I think it was like 30 to 29 at one point. Not that much time elapsed, and the next thing you knew, Hickey, it was a 30-point game. If that shows anything about this UConn team, that story, I don't know what else does. Because UConn in this tourney, outside of that one game where they came out of the gate in the first half against, was it Arkansas, I believe? Iona. And they're losing at halftime.

No, no, no, no, no. When they just dominated, I think it was the Arkansas game where they just dominated in the first half. For most of these games with UConn, it's been close in the first half, and they've just been going on these tears in the second half. Either way, if it's the first half, second half, there's just one half where they're so much better than the other team. And in this game, it was crazy just how quickly that turned as well. But they're an avalanche.

That's what they are. They are an absolute avalanche. But man, it was crazy how quickly that game turned, where you thought for a second like, this is going to be a classic, and the next thing you know, it's like, okay, just get this game over with. Not taking anything away from UConn, but also helps when Gonzaga could not, I mean, they were, they're missing lamps. Like open light, like it helps, again, they were knocking out every shot in the second half and they could not miss. And for how hot they were, that's how ice cold Gonzaga was on the other end. That's how it turned from a close game to a 30 point blow in the span of like five minutes.

You caught in this tourney. They were down by two to Iona in the first half, then they outscored Iona in the second half, 50 to 24. Against St. Mary's, they were up by one at halftime, then outscored St. Mary's in the second half, 39 to 25. Against Arkansas, they just destroyed him in the first half, 46 to 29, the game was over. And then up against Gonzaga at halftime, it was 39 to 32. But then in the second half, it was 43 to 22. And then obviously, just the story of FAU, just to quickly get an FAU Kansas State, it's just a tremendous story. You have a team, I only have three losses on the season. But with how they almost lost the game against Memphis, to now being in the final four, when everyone, including yours truly, was talking about Marquise Noel and Keontae Johnson at Kansas State and Jerome Tang, they won that game in FAU. And now they're two wins. I thought it was wild after the sweet 16 when the coach said, we're three wins away from winning a championship. Now they're two wins away from winning a championship, which is what a wild two weeks has been in the NCAA tournament.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-01 08:25:33 / 2023-04-01 08:45:08 / 20

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