Of all that numbers that are of some significance during this cockamamie college hoops season in which stats have seemed less relevant than usual, that’s the one that stands out to me.
In early December, in a made for TV, made for the Pearl Harbor commemoration tilt, the Oklahoma Sooners reenacted the kamikazee bombing from WWII, the victims of which aerial attack were that day. a seemingly hapless Villanova Wildcat squad.
The Cheesesteaks fired up thirty something treys, hit but a handful, and came out on the short end of the final score by . . . 23 points.
The teams met again on the final Saturday of the season in a cavernous football stadium for a right to contest the national championship. The 44 point turnaround smackdown suffered by the Sooners made that December beatdown look like a slap on the wrist.
In a way, that December slaughter in Honolulu made a Nova W inevitable last night. Not that anybody could have possibly seen Oklahoma’s crack up coming.
The Sooners, emboldened by that early W over a legit national contenda, relied too much too often all season on the long ball. Obviously, it worked most of the time. For some reason, their foes didn’t thwart that left foot jab step of Buddy Hield and he and his mates reigned treys on their heads.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats, who learned from the less than a handful of the thirtysomething threes they netted in that early encounter, realized how crucial it would be to become more well rounded.
Last night, we saw how that played out.
A 67 point turnaround. That has to be a record, right?
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TBS continued to honor the 50th anniversary remembrance of Texas Western’s title over Kentucky during the pre-game telecast yesterday.
They interviewed David Lattin, whose last name we now know after all these years is pronounce Leah-teen, not Leah-tin. His most stunning revelation, at least to me, about that now iconic victory is this. Not a single reporter came into the Texas Western locker room after the game to interview any of the victorious Miners.
He also confirmed my memory of that weekend, which is that there wasn’t really any media buzz about the black lineup vs. white lineup.
* * * * *
North Carolina dispatched Syracuse in a manner even more inevitable than the first semi-final.
The Tar Heels were the much better team last night as they’ve been the much better team all season and as they were the two previous times the teams played.
I fell asleep during the second half.
A scintillating tilt Monday night would be nice.
— Seedy K