Before I say a few words about the finale, I want to thank Dan for letting spew a bit of venom and write some often amateurish thought. I follow every team in the country, so I can not possibly have as much knowledge as other contributors. Hopefully, I occasionally stumbled upon something that resonated. The way I taught myself to handicap was to determine the strength of teams by how their games played out. The more the game has changed, the less passion I have. College basketball was amazing. There are still bits of wonder, but it is mostly evil and corrupt. This is why I root hard for Tony Shaver. He knows basketball. He puts the kids above all. He teaches. He is positive. I am sad that they again will not make the tournament. So with a heavy heart, I give you some final thought. Again, I hope there was some joy found. Thanks to all who read.
When you are a strong academic school that still cares more about school than basketball, you are not likely to have great success on the court. William and Mary plays a cerebral game. Their offense is top notch. Even against a pressing UNCW, they only had 12 turnovers. Even with one of their best players, Daniel Dixon, not fully recovered from flu, they shot the ball extremely well. Their problem was defense. Tough academics and great athletes do not normally go hand in hand. William and Mary just could not athletically guard UNCW. That and every time they did defend well, UNCW would hit a tough one at the end of the shot clock. At one point William and Mary went to a 1-3-1 zone and it bothered UNCW. They made a little run and now with the shot clock at 1 Ingram hit one from way way out, 3 points for the Seahawks. UNCW shot over 70% in the 2nd half. They played a terrific game. They deservedly move on.
College of Charleston was in another slugfest with Towson. Close late Towson missed 4 straight free throws, Charleston hit some shots and got away late to win 63-54.
During the year, UNCW impressively won in Charleston before Charleston won the rematch in Wilmington. My power ratings have UNCW the best Colonial team in many years. I have them 5 better than last year and may have them underrated. C of C also has their best team in years. UNCW will be about a 4-5 point favorite. I do believe Earl Grant is the better coach. He will make sure this game is played in the half court. The 30 second clock hurts that, of course, was the reason it was put in, to make sure there is never another Cinderella, to make sure the money gets to the right places. UNCW shot the lights out Sunday against a defensively challenged Wm and Mary. That will not be the case today. If they come back to earth, and shots will be tougher, an upset is very possible. I do not think we have seen the best of College of Charleston. Even with the game at their pace, they will obviously need to play a near perfect game to win. With Earl Grant at the helm, that is very possible.
College of Charleston 60, UNCW 58