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Final Four Chat
2006-04-01 13:50
by Jon Weisman

All Saturday college basketball chat should go in this thread.

George Mason vs. Florida, 3:07 p.m.

LSU vs. UCLA, approximately 5:47 p.m.

Baseball chat can be found in this thread.

Comments (61)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-01 14:12:12
1.   Linkmeister
If GMU wins and UCLA wins, the championship game score might be about 43-42.
2006-04-01 14:20:32
2.   Bob Timmermann
George Mason, one of four visiting schools to score 100 points at Pauley.

The other three are UC Irvine, Arizona and Cal.

Cal has done it twice.

2006-04-01 14:30:20
3.   overkill94
I've been watching the CBS pre-game stuff since about noon and I think all they said about UCLA is that Hollins is a little banged up from practice.

Why don't they do a piece about the short Asian walk-on who gets cheered like heck when he gets to play in blow-outs?

2006-04-01 14:31:31
4.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think Kelvin Kim has been dressing for the NCAA tournament. He didn't for the Pac-10 tournament. I believe there is a limit for the postseason about how many players can suit up.
2006-04-01 14:32:49
5.   the OZ
I'm just checking in to say GO BRUINS.

To kick up some UCLA mojo, I'm posting a link to a video showing some of my classmates leading an 8-clap atop the Great Wall of China earlier this week.

2006-04-01 14:41:27
6.   overkill94
4 Damn, missed opportunity on that one.

So when they interviewed Jim Calhoun, Tom Izzo, and Roy Williams, two picked Florida to win it all and the other picked LSU. The host picked Florida as well. Is there anything to be said for being the highest seed left in the tourney?

2006-04-01 14:51:57
7.   Bob Timmermann
Skip Bayless of ESPN thinks UCLA is going to win!

That's it. The Bruins are doomed!

Remember that Billy Donovan is a coaching genius.

2006-04-01 15:02:24
8.   sanchez101
7. When I saw that I thought the same thing, has Skip ever had a reasonable opinion? More importantly, why would anyone take someone named "skip" seriously? Is there anyway we can get him to predict the Giants or Padres to win the division?
2006-04-01 15:39:47
9.   Bob Timmermann
All I have access to is a Florida radio broadcast and it does seem like a George Mason crowd.
2006-04-01 15:55:55
10.   Linkmeister
9 I read somewhere that since Mason doesn't have a lot of rich alumni who fund the program they handed out a lot of tickets to students (what a concept!) and had a caravan of buses from NoVa to Indianapolis.
2006-04-01 15:57:41
11.   Borchard504
Mason can win this. They've been so close to the lead - Florida is only ahead because of their 3's and GMU turnovers. It's definitely possible for the green team to win.
2006-04-01 15:59:39
12.   Borchard504
OZ (5) - good stuff :) This final four is wide open. The Bruins have a great chance.
2006-04-01 16:06:08
13.   Bob Timmermann
Most famous George Mason alum:

Chris Widger!

2006-04-01 16:24:01
14.   Bob Timmermann
Did somebody from Fairfax, Virginia order a pumpkin?
2006-04-01 17:00:00
15.   sanchez101
I thought this would happen to George Mason, they got too much press in the last 7-8 days. Is almost like a team can only take so much hype before it crushes them. The hype machine surrounding George Mason reached critical mass a couple days ago, I couldnt even root for them.
2006-04-01 17:01:55
16.   Bob Timmermann
They're faring better than Penn did against Michigan State in 1979.
2006-04-01 17:06:51
17.   sanchez101
there's something to hang your hat on
2006-04-01 17:08:32
18.   sanchez101
Can they start the LSU-UCLA game early?
2006-04-01 17:09:59
19.   Bob Timmermann
They should start the LSU-UCLA game around 6:20 in my opinion.

That's when I get home from work.

2006-04-01 17:15:09
20.   Bob Timmermann
Penn lost to Michigan State 101-67 in the Final Four in 1979. I believe that's the largest margin of victory in the Final Four.

UCLA beat Houston by 32 in 1969 in the semis. UNLV beat Duke by 30 in 1990 in the championship game.

2006-04-01 17:43:37
21.   natepurcell
to bruin fans: is affalo going to declare for the draft this year?
2006-04-01 17:48:05
22.   Bob Timmermann
I believe NBA scouts don't think anybody on UCLA would be drafted.
2006-04-01 17:59:51
23.   Bob Timmermann
Reads like it's a wild, high-scoring affair.
2006-04-01 18:20:12
24.   Uncle Miltie
Just turned on the game. What has gone on so far? UCLA needs to get Tyrus Thomas in foul trouble if they want to win this game.

to bruin fans: is affalo going to declare for the draft this year?
I think he'll stay another year, unless they win the National Championship.

I believe NBA scouts don't think anybody on UCLA would be drafted.
Where did you hear this Bob? If Farmar and Afflalo stay in college one more year, they are projected to be mid lottery picks, especially Afflalo. I think Afflalo is going to be a really excellent pro because he does everything well. I love the way he plays defense.

2006-04-01 18:26:37
25.   natepurcell
i would think farmar has a future in the nba. he was a 5 star recruit coming out and i only assume he has gotten better.

he kind of reminds me of bibby.

2006-04-01 18:37:47
26.   Bob Timmermann

I picked up the part about the NBA prospects of UCLA from somebody on ESPN. But there's a high signal to noise ratio there.

2006-04-01 18:42:07
27.   Uncle Miltie
nate- I'm a lot higher on Afflalo than Farmar. Farmar is an average defender, very turnover prone, and is an inconsistent shooter. That said, he's an excellent passer and tends to do well at the end of games (he's "clutch"). Afflalo on the other hand, is a complete player. He has the potential to be an elite defender, has excellent mid range game, a smooth jumpshot, NBA 3 point range, and is an above average rebounder for a SG. I'm also really high on Luc Richard. The guy is an absolute beast on the boards. He has excellent quickness and moves his feet very well. He still has a ways to go before he's ready for the NBA, though. He needs to expand the range on his jumpshot to at least 20 feet. Darren Collison also has NBA potential. He's an excellent defender, who's very quick. He reminds me of Speedy Claxton.
2006-04-01 18:43:49
28.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think though that any Bruin would be a big star in the NBA right now. They all would do well with some seasoning.
2006-04-01 18:45:28
29.   Bob Timmermann
Janou Rubin is playing in the first half. What next? Michael Fey?
2006-04-01 18:46:20
30.   Uncle Miltie
I agree with that, but Afflalo is pretty polished. I think he could start on a couple of the worst teams in the NBA right now.
2006-04-01 19:04:05
31.   Sam DC
2006-04-01 19:04:26
32.   Bob Timmermann
We're here. We're just bored.
2006-04-01 19:17:59
33.   Uncle Miltie
The ESPN guys were right. UCLA is so "boring"
2006-04-01 19:20:13
34.   Sam DC
Just home from a going-away party for a friend where a bunch of fairfax, VA townies were alternating between wallowing in GMU's loss and mocking GMU as "a parking lot" with no business in the NCAA tournament (and bad cheerleaders). It was odd.

Here's a question I was asked that I couldn't really answer. What made John Wooden so geat -- better recruiter than anyone else, better teacher, or better game coach? I wasn't too conscious of the Wooden era as it unfolded, but I am skeptical of the "better recruiter" notion. UCLA had plenty of great players, but so did lots of programs. I think of him as a great teacher of the game and a great forger of teams. But I'll admit I don't really know.


2006-04-01 19:21:50
35.   Sam DC
I will say that I'm pleased because I was holding forth at the party about how UCLA was not just a one-dimensional defensive team.
2006-04-01 19:23:58
36.   Bob Timmermann
Wooden was a tremendous recruiter and a tremendous practice coach and teacher.

He didn't care too much about the game while it was going on. He usually had such good talent that he just let the team go. He abhorred calling the first timeout.

In two of UCLA's biggest losses in 1974, the loss to Notre Dame that snapped the 88-game winning streak and the double OT loss to NC State, Wooden pretty much sat on his hands while UCLA frittered away big leads.

2006-04-01 19:27:23
37.   Sam DC
So, does LSU never rebound, or is that just for tonight?
2006-04-01 19:27:34
38.   Bob Timmermann
Herb Sendek is leaving NC State to coach the only Pac-10 team that's never played in the Final Four.
2006-04-01 19:29:32
39.   Sam DC
They have aerial coverage by State Farm of a basketball game in a domed arena?
2006-04-01 19:30:40
40.   Bob Timmermann
Thomas and Davis average 18 rebounds a game for LSU.
2006-04-01 19:32:43
41.   Sam DC
2006-04-01 19:32:46
42.   Uncle Miltie
Afflalo just showed off some of his great midrange game with that pump fake.
2006-04-01 19:35:39
43.   Bob Timmermann
Thomas and Davis COMBINE for an average of 18 rebounds a game that is.

I left out a qualifier there.

2006-04-01 19:45:13
44.   Sam DC
UCLA's gone quite cool.
2006-04-01 19:47:33
45.   Bob Timmermann
But will UCLA still be a betting underdog for the final?
2006-04-01 19:51:13
46.   Faramond
3 --- I think it's time for that short Asian walk-on to come in

4 --- oh he can't ... well Howland should have forseen this blowout would happen before the tournament and dressed his players accordingly ... I want my quasi-Rudy moment!

2006-04-01 19:51:31
47.   Uncle Miltie
UCLA's gone quite cool.
They're just trying to run out the clock
2006-04-01 20:01:08
48.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA always has periods where they necver seem to score. But they still play the good defense, so it's usually not an issue.
2006-04-01 20:05:41
49.   Bob Timmermann
Michael Fey sighting!
2006-04-01 20:09:05
50.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA needs to play more teams called the Tigers. The last two Tigers they've held to 45 points.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-01 20:14:50
51.   Suffering Bruin
I think I need a new name.
2006-04-01 20:43:54
52.   Daniel Zappala
Congrats to UCLA and all Bruin fans. Great season so far. One more to go.
2006-04-01 20:55:20
53.   Bob Timmermann
Florida has opened up as an early 1.5 point favorite for Monday night.

But UCLA is going for the trifecta among Florida schools in championship games. They already have wins over Jacksonville and Florida State. UCLA has also beaten Miami in a first round game.

2006-04-01 21:30:05
54.   Jon Weisman
As Howland said after the game, it really seemed to make a difference that so many guys got experience through all the injuries this year. Too bad that formula didn't work for the '05 Dodgers.

The funniest moment of the game was at halftime, when they interviewed the LSU coach following UCLA's dominant first half. He talked about LSU needing to convert their layup and free throw opportunities - if they had, they'd have had 30 points, he said (and only been down 9). Not to read too much into a CBS interview, but he spoke like someone who just seemed like he had no clue about anything he could do to really change the outcome of the game.

2006-04-01 21:32:43
55.   Bob Timmermann
I forgot UCLA's win over Florida International. They are 4-0 against Florida. They are 6-0 against Kansas.

Schools from North Carolina, Indiana, Michigan, and Utah cause problems.

Duke, Indiana, and BYU have beaten UCLA twice in the NCAA tournament.

2006-04-01 21:40:10
56.   godvls
38 - Hey, go easy on my Devils! The NC State fans are ecstatic that Sendek is leaving. He'll be a step up for us, but basketball is a hard sell in Tempe. We're a baseball school.
2006-04-01 21:54:07
57.   Bob Timmermann
Actually I was trying to impress upon people how successful the Pac-10 has been overall in basketball.

Five different teams have won championships: UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Arizona, and Oregon.

Washington State lost in a final.

Oregon State, USC, and Washington have all made the Final Four.

2006-04-01 22:09:54
58.   Xeifrank
Wasn't online during the game, but have a few comments.

1. UCLA = Please keep underrating the Bruins MSM.

2. How in the heck did LSU beat Duke?

3. Big Baby = overrated. He will be a terrible pro. Sure the guy is big and has some skills, but it doesn't really look like he has any muscle. He's more winchelled than he is chisled.

4. I have UCLA winning the tournament in my Yahoo brackets.

5. Good luck monday night. I will be glued to the TV while the Dodgers will be rained out.

vr, Xei

2006-04-01 22:14:31
59.   Bob Timmermann
Right now on

Bye bye baby
ULCA holds Tigers' Davis in check in Final Four

How soon before they change it?

2006-04-02 00:39:30
60.   Chris H
The current speculation is that Farmar is going to declare for the draft after this season. Apparently, he feels that his game "translates" better to the NBA game than the college game. Fortunately, current speculation is that he will take his name out of the draft unless he is guaranteed to be a first round pick (which seems like a bit of a long shot at this point). There hasn't been the same speculation about Afflalo. His biggest weakness is his athleticism (which is good, but not elite) and that isn't going to change. I don't think that anyone would be surprised if he declared for the draft if UCLA does indeed win the NCAA championship on Monday though. It seems unlikely that Afflalo would keep his name in the draft unless, like Farmar, he was guaranteed to be a first round selection. The only other guy you could speculate about leaving early is Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and that isn't going to happen. First of all, leaving school would not fly with his family (he has said that his father expects him to maintain a 6.0 GPA!). More importantly no one is going to draft him to play power forward in the NBA. His superior instincts and athleticism mask that he is only 6'7" and 220lbs. He projects to be a small forward in the NBA and before he could realistically be drafted he has to develop a consistent outside game.

Wooden was a tremendous recruiter, but surprisingly he spent very little time recruiting. This is in contrast to the priority that recruiting is for coaches today. Wooden didn't recruit every elite talent. He only recruited the ones that he believed were a good match for his system and coaching style. He also strongly believed that the players that fit his system would naturally seek him out (perhaps wandering around asking the Rand-esque question "Who is John Wooden?"). In fact, Lew Alcindor and his coach first contacted Wooden about playing at UCLA and not the other way around.

When Wooden was interested in a player he would send a survey to the player's coach and several coaches who had coached against the player. Wooden would evaluate the surveys and decide whether the player was a good fit for UCLA. Interestingly, he very rarely saw a player live. That is particularly true for players outside of the Los Angeles area. One of Wooden's greatest resources was former players. They would tip him off to players that he should be interested in. This worked well since they had a unique insight into which players would thrive under the demanding Wooden.

2006-04-02 03:47:09
61.   overkill94
Wow, what a dominating game. I had a feeling that UCLA matched up better against LSU than the experts were giving them credit for, but I never expected the game to be so lopsided.

Honestly, I don't see any way Florida can keep up in Monday's game. UCLA has shown time and time again that they can shut down any offense, and I don't think Florida's defense is good enough to win this championship. Their only chance is if Humphreys can somehow run free and hit at least 8 3's.


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