Saturday, March 03, 2007

A major conference championship game

Well, not technically. However, the game between Kansas and Texas did decide the number one seed in next week's Big 12 Tournament, making it a defacto Big 12 title game.

Basically, a couple of incredibly efficient offensive halves were played, one by each team (Texas in the first, Kansas in the second). So naturally, the team that played the best defense when they were on offensively won the game. And that happened to be Kansas, who came out with a sense of purpose in the second to erase a 12-point halftime deficit quicker than it took three field goals to be made in the Michigan St.-Wisconsin game (I'm not kidding).

The incredible Kevin Durant had 20 by the eight-minute break in the first half, but was shut down in the second half much like he was in the second half of the Texas-Villanova game. The should-be national player of the year went down later in the half with an a rolled ankle and was not the same after coming back noticeably injured, but was not being able to do a whole lot before the injury.

Look, I'm not going to blame Rick Barnes for not setting up a bunch of iso plays for Durant, but I will blame the team's youth. The common thread in both this game and the Villanova game was that Durant was taken out of his rhythm when the opponent got their offensive game moved into the next gear. Texas' young players got rattled defensively in each game and that carried over to the offensive end. Even Durant, as great as he is, doesn't move as much without the ball when the other team is on a game-changing run. That's an extremely minor complaint about Durant's game, however, which is just about as complete as any 18-year old's game has ever been.

Also, be prepared to hear that this injury will really damage Texas, but Durant will be fine on the ankle after a couple days of rest.

1 comment:

MUD said...

One point to be made is the depth of Kansas's bench and the overall effect that has on any opponent. KU played a superb game in the first half, only to be out shot from the 3 point line. Any team that shoots 50% for both halves usually wins. Texas hit 11 of 14 from the 3 point line in the first half but when their legs wore out and lost their spring their shooting fell down and the hawks won overall. Mr Durant is almost one of the most complete ball players I have seen. I hope he moves on to the eventual millions of dollars in the NBA (and damn soon) How can K-State be 4th in the big 12 and listed as a bubble team? KU just it's 1900th game and has won the league championship in 50 of the last 100 seasons. Bill Self just won his 99th game in his last 4 seasons. Want to bet on how many more he will have after this season ends? Love your blog site. MUD