Recovering From A Clockwork Orange Saturday

Revised 2/28 12:15 pm

Yesterday was a great day for Orange. (Unless, of course, your team’s color is burnt orange, as in Hook ‘Em Horns. Texas continued its freefall, which may have been the biggest upset on a day when the b-ball Gods shined their light on all matters orange.)

So this morning , I’m feeling like Alex in “A Clockwork Orange,” after a night of the old ultraviolent: We were all feeling a bit shagged and fagged and fashed, it being a night of no small expenditure.

Tennessee won. Okie State won. Syracuse won. Had to be the greatest day for the orange industry since Anita Bryant retired as spokesperson.

Notre Dame won at Georgetown. The Tar Heels, American’s most underachieving squad, beat Wake. I trust investigations will reveal that the winning ballers on both squads drank some Florida or California sunshine for breakfast. Had to be.

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Not sure if it signifies anything at all, but the one image from the UK game I can’t get out of my head is the look on John Wall’s face in the huddle after he was called for a charge late in yesterday’s L.

It was a combination of cockiness, disbelief that the call had gone against him, bewilderment, confusion that he hadn’t completed the play and more. Not sure what the “more” was, but I’ll check with my psychologist and get back to you.

Like I said, it may signify nothing at all. But, for whatever reason it resonates.

Bottom line is that UK showed it has fight. It came back from a 19 point deficit to tie the ball game with 2:00 to play. That the Vols ran off 9 straight thereafter to seal the deal is nothing to be ashamed of. A loss to a Top 20 conference rival on the road at the end of February should not be the cause of anguish.

Now those shooting stats are another matter. This was the biggest Wildcat meltdown from the field since that Final Four disaster against Georgetown. And that’s what will stick in the Big Blue Nation’s craw. Will a clunker like this undermine the Cats on their quest for another national title?

Legit question, that one.

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Found it interesting what Coach Cal said the SEC title meant to UK: “Nothing.”

Bruce Pearl’s post-game press conference was also fascinating. Essentially, he made a case for himself as a good coach, and what he’s done at Tennessee. The undercurrent of needing to prove himself — and herald it — was palpable.

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Unlike UK, top-ranked Kansas never made a real run at T. Boone Pickens University. The Cowboys darted out from the start and kept Rock Chalk Jayhawk measured the entire way.

That said, Kansas’ loss, like UK’s, is nothing to fret about.

My guess is the Jayhawks will have the overall #1 seed in the NCAAs. And UK will surely join them on the top line.

* * * * *

The least impressive performance of the day was Villanova’s offense. It was like watching some undisciplined high school team where the guy who brought the ball into the front court immediately jacked up a shot. Kind of stunning actually.

I understand that Jim Boeheim’s zone D is as good as it gets. But you still have to try to move the ball around a bit. ‘Nova launched 28 treys and only made a quarter of them. Not as bad as Bluegrass Wildcats 2/22, but still nothing to be proud of.

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I’m always mesmerized when teams get better after losing their big stars. Notre Dame simply is better without Luke Harangody than with him. Period. And, if they can continue to play the same wide open game if and when he returns, they could easily win the BEast tournament. Big if though.

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The most impressive W of the day may have been New Mexico’s at Brigham Young. The Cougs don’t lose many at home. And, maybe just maybe, that Steve Alford guy really can coach. The Lobos, now sporting a rather glossy 23-3 record are the big question mark in college hoops. As in, how good are they? Well, yesterday, they beat a Top 15 conference rival on its home court. Big.

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I’ve never been a fan of headbands. As we all know, the only guy who ever sported one with any panache whatsoever was Slick Watts. But LeBron wears one. Soooooo, a lot of other guys do too. Pity.

Including a lot of Volunteers. But nobody wears his with the same elan as Wayne Chism. That halo look is so geeky and silly looking that it’s growing on me.

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The most intriguing Sunday matchup is not U of L/ UConn, nor Boilermakers vs. Sparty, but Team USA versus Team Canada in the Olympic hockey gold medal game. National pride north of the border is on the line. The Eagles beat the Maple Leafs in a preliminary round. Canadian anguish ensued. If they do it again, it would be psychological disaster.

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The Courier-Journal’s special section on Freedom Hall was sure fun to read. My only objection is that Bradley’s Chet Walker didn’t make the All-Opponent team. And — here’s the tease — you can read why in my story coming up in LEO’s print edition and online Wednesday. It will be the eccentric look at the U of L era in Freedom Hall.

Be sure to check it out.

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Two weeks to Selection Sunday.

– Seedy K

One Comment

  1. fred
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    In reading the story about Freedom Hall in the CJ, I was searching for statistics on crowd size. Seems the record was the 20,000 + for UConn a few years back. OK. The press guide says capacity is 18,865. OK. Then how did we AVERAGE 19,397 last year? Just what is the seating capacity/sellout line for Freedom Hall?

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