End of NCAA Basketball Regular Season

March 12, 2013

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Basketball Post Season Musings

As we wind down the collegiate basketball season, there are a couple of big things to still play out. It is time to reflect on the win and loss record of your favorite team and look forward to post season tournaments, or other moves for your favorite squad…which might be a change of venue.

The high schoolers in my area have just wrapped up their state titles, and in Lincoln, Nebraska, that also brings an end to the Bob Devaney Sportscenter.

Smoke Em if you Got Em.

LIL' RED Nebraska Husker mascot

LIL’ RED

Affectionately called “The Bob” the Basketball arena is in fact a multi-use facility. It house the swimming and diving programs for the University of Nebraska, was home to some Olympians and NCAA titles for Gymnastics, and has one of the fastest and best indoor track facilities in the country.

These sports are not as mainstream for the fans, so it was also known as the basketball arena.

A little known fact is that the construction of the building was under a bunch of scrutiny from the get go. The building was built at a cost of under 14 million dollars (of course remember this was the early 70’s and that was a LOT more money then) Most all of the funding was provided by cigarette taxes in the State of Nebraska. Ironically the Devaney Center has always been a non-smoking facility.

Nebraska landscape 07-25-2012

Nebraska

The place was truly state of the art on the National level when it opened in 1976. Over the years the Bob hosted 3 different NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games ( in 1980-84 and 88) Many who had visited the Devaney Center did so after the heyday of Nebraska basketball, or as longtime fans call it….NeeBrasketball, after coach Danny Nee.

In 1986 Nee was hired to replace Moe Iba, the son of legendary basketball mind Henry “ Hank” Iba. Nee coached the Huskers from 1986 to 2000. In his tenure, Nebraska became a team to be reckoned with in the conference, as they went to 5 NCAA tournaments, and won the NIT tourney in 1996. There has not been as much success at Nebraska before or since the Nee years.

The crowds in those days, and even during the highlight of the Iba years often exceeded capacity by 1,000 or more. It was standing room only. The place was loud, and it was a great building to watch a game.

I should know, my dad has had season tickets since the place was built…and I have attended most every one of those 595 games over 37 years.

Bye Bye Birdie

Pope in Fatima

Introducing the new Big East commish

With the new Catholic 7 league…which will evidently use the Big East name, 7 schools DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, and Villanova have agreed to be in the new conference. There are a host of other schools that are hoping to be asked. Among those rumored to be are schools such as Butler, Xavier and, most likely, Creighton. It is also expected that Dayton and St. Louis would come into the party in 2014.

Suddenly my Blue Bird friends of a Creighton Feather talk about the Missouri Valley – , a conference they have been so proud of for so long, – as a second rate citizen. Sport talk radio in Omaha is already planning trips to the Big Apple, and is talking about the fantastic match ups on the basketball court.

This makes me realize how much Husker fans scorned the old Big XII, and how much they lauded the Big 10 when they were leaving just a couple of years ago. Of course the main difference is the Huskers were eating at the big kid’s table already.

Creighton has traditionally had some very good basketball teams over the years, and the Mo Valley is likely one of the more heralded mid-major conferences. But playing the likes of Evansville, Northern Iowa and Illinois State is a long way from playing Villanova, Georgetown, and Marquette night in and night out.

While you might enjoy seeing a much higher level of talent and athleticism coming to your arena 10 times a year, you also better forget the days of the 20 wins season. You won’t be rolling along as the league favorite any time soon with those teams on your league schedule.

Until Next time, get those pencils sharpened for Selection Sunday, and may your brackets be full of correct upset winners.

 

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Suh for Heisman

December 8, 2009

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A lot of water cooler talk around the offices this week after the games this past weekend.  Today, Johnny Goodman looks to find the truth about many of the issues in College football.

Fact- Alabama and Texas will play in the BCS Championship game

Truth- yep I can’t come up with another argument here.  These are the two most deserving teams and I have no beef with that

Fact:  Alabama beat Florida soundly

Truth:  Florida really isn’t that good.  Who have they beaten or dominated all year.  Heck I think the SEC is terribly overrated this year.  A lot of good teams yes, a lot of GREAT teams?  C’mon…no way…This conference gets more verbal blow than anything and it is totally unfounded this year.  Play a bowl game or better yet a nonconference road game outside of the southeast sometime.  What is your conference record the last 51 times you have left the southeast?  25-26.  Overrated!!!!

Fact:  Mack Brown was named Big XII 2009 AP Coach of the year

Truth:  Did you watch the Texas vs. Nebraska game?  Then tell me which team imposed their will and their style of play and was :01 away from pulling off the upset as a 15 point underdog.  Coach of the year?  This guy can’t coach at all.  If Tom Osborne would have had the talent Texas gets every year in their program the Huskers would have had about five more national titles during his tenure.  Mack Brown is a average coach in arguably the easiest place to land fantastic recruits.  Saturday night was just another example of that.  His total and complete mis-management of the game clock at the end of the game almost prevented his kicker from having a shot at the game winning kick and the Horns from a shot in the BCS title game.  This guy is the luckiest coach ever…but he isn’t even in the top three coaches in his own conference.  Frankly I am surprised that Texas fans are not piling on about this right now.  After they get wood-shedded by Alabama, maybe they will be.

Fact: Cincinnati deserves to be playing in the BCS game against Alabama

Truth – you gave up a forty spot to Pittsburgh?  The argument stops there.  The Panthers are not exactly an offensive juggernaut.  Brian Kelly likely is gone to Notre Dame, and bad coaching by Wannestadt might make it a certainty now.  The Bearcats are good, but top 3 in the county???….nope.

Fact:  The refs put back one second on the clock in the Big XII title game

Truth:  They did get this one right although I hate to admit it being a Husker fan.  If time expired it would have made LSU coaching buffoon moves at the end of the game a few weeks ago look like no big deal.  The Truth also is that the #3 team was lucky to escape and was dominated by a team with a far superior defense who unfortunately for them has an offense that would barely be effective in your kids Pop Warner league.

Fact:  This year is a toss-up for the Heisman Trophy

Truth – Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh should win the award but won’t.  Lets run down the top candidates here.  Tim Tebow – nope –  lost last game and cried on the sideline.  There is no crying in Football Timmy! – and had average statistical year, Colt McCoy, laid an egg in final game and last second (literally) gaffe almost cost team a shot at the title game.  Jimmy Clausen – hardly.  Mark Ingram – you can’t get pulled in the next to last game for being ineffective and win THIS award.  Toby Gerhart – I could see this as I think he has been most consistent – Suh –has been dominating in every big game for the Huskers defense which is very good.  He had 4.5 sacks and 12 tackles – 8 for losses – an numerous hurries in the Big XII title game.  Can you honestly say there is a better or more dominating player in the country this year?

Nebraska gets killed in NIT

March 19, 2009

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Come on Husker fans … have a sense of humor 🙂

The score you saw in the papers was New Mexico 83, Nebraska 71.

This was not, however, the actual score of the game. Some wealthy Nebraska alums quietly negotiated with the media (and the New Mexico coaches) and the media took the cash and reported a close score. All recordings of the event were destroyed.

In truth, Nebraska got absolutely smoked. If I told you the actual score, you’d tell me that it was physically impossible to lose by that many points. Much of the blame was placed on the shoulders of interim basketball coach Tom Osborne Jr. The mistakes in the game were countless, so we’ll break them down by category

Personnel issues
The Huskers were given repeated technical fouls for having too many players on the court. More often than not, Nebraska broke the huddle with eleven players.

The Huskers featured a center who was 6’8” and weighed 320 pounds. This is perhaps understandable, but the presence of two guards who tipped the scales at 300+ pounds was a bit unconventional. Coach Osborne explained: “Hey, you need big guys up front to protect the quarterback.” The result of this decision was a fast break that moved at a snail’s pace, as well as a complete inability to get back on defense.

Style of play too physical
The Huskers got in foul trouble early. This was due to what could be loosely described as moving picks. Coach Osborne was quite upset by these calls. “I could understand a few holding calls,” he sputtered “but since when are you not allow to block the opponent and push him downfield?”

Forgetting to dribble
The Huskers had a tendency to toss the basketball to their power forward and have him charge through the middle of the defense. Unfortunately, he forgot to dribble. Or, in the words of one upset Nebraska fan “you’re supposed to drop the ball on purpose? Why would you do that? That’s a fumble.”

Incomplete passes
The favorite play of the Huskers was a sixty foot toss down the court. Unfortunately, so of these passes were not caught on the fly, and the receivers would pick up the “incomplete pass” and toss it to the referee, thinking that the ball was dead.

Ignoring the basket
Nebraska seemed to be completely unaware of the basket for much of the game, instead preferring to move the ball out of bounds over the end line for a “touchdown”. This resulted in a few dozen turnovers during the course of the game.

On the rare occasion when the Huskers did pay attention to the basket, they attempted to make a field goal by kicking the ball from mid court. None of these attempts were successful.

This was an absolutely brutal game to watch. I would strongly suggest that Nebraska disband their basketball team to avoid a similar disgrace in the future.