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The Final Four: Open Thread/Running Commentary

or "Let's all sit around and sulk over the fact UNC is not playing tonight" Thread. My guide to the least of all evils is not actually my thoughts on who will win tonight. I think UCLA exacts revenge on Florida for the loss in the tournament a year ago. Undoubtedly it will be ugly as UCLA games are prone ugliness and well, Joakim Noah will be shown on camera. The early game(read: the game CBS thinks fewer people will watch) pits two true seven footer for the first time in quite awhile(thanks NBA age limit!) This is also a battle between to teams who are here only because some time in the past two weeks they played a team who could not close the deal(yes it still hurts.) I like the Hoyas here because I think they have the better coach and I also think their offense is difficult to defend.

So feel free to drop comments, snide remarks, and rambling soliloquys of woe because last Sunday stills stings.

6:07 PM: National Semifinal #1: Georgetown vs Ohio State

6:24 PM:OSU 14 Gtown 7. I think Ohio State may be a better team without Oden on the floor. They are definitely a different team, prone to run more and more perimeter oriented. Granted they only lost two games without Oden in the lineup but it is interesting to note that in the NCAA Tournament when you get referees who have not seen your team all year he has been called for more fouls.

6:34 PM: OSU 15 Gtown 14. Talk about letting them play. They have called a total of four fouls so far and two of them on Oden. Seems like they are eating the whistle on a lot of things that could be fouls.

7:24 PM: OSU 38 Gtown 36. [UNNAMED ANALYST] has mentioned North Carolina about five times so far. I know both these teams played UNC and the Hoyas beat them last week but it seems to be all he can talk about.

7:38 PM: OSU 50 Gtown 44. Wow. Get four fouls on Hibbert and then get control of the game. Kinda wish we had thought of that. Gtown has to settle for threes with Hibbert out and wouldn't you know that Jeff Green decides to have an off game after he plays UNC.

7:40 PM: Listening to [UNNAMED ANALYST] I have concluded he thinks a majority of fouls committed are cheap fouls.

7:42 PM: How is that not a charge on Oden? Green was in position and Oden made contact with him. Interesting call to say the least. I think John Thompson III has to bring Hibbert back if they go down eight here.

7:50 PM: OSU 56 Gtown 52. Oden picks up his fourth with 2:36 left. Looks like the Hoyas are trying to make another run after being down eight.

8:08 PM: OSU 67 Gtown 60 Final. Well heck, UNC could have shown up and given OSU a better game than that. I honestly think UNC could have played OSU in a game like the one earlier in Chapel Hill. The Hoyas simply did not have what they had last week.

8:46 PM: National Semifinal #2: UCLA vs Florida

8:53 PM: The refs in the Final Four must have a different standard for a charge than I am accustomed to seeing.

8:57 PM: They have played four minutes and the score is UCLA 4 Florida 2. This is really going to be an ugly game despite what UCLA fans have told me in the past, if this is the future of college basketball, please gouge my eyes out now. As for Florida I noticed Lee Humprey is off from the perimeter. Since he has take a total of 43 shots inside the three point line, if he is not hitting then he is worthless offensively. Plus, I know from some experience in past UNC Final Four appearances you will die a quick death with marginal perimeter shooting.

9:03 PM: Wow. I have seen this movie Florida is in before and it was 1991, 1997, and 1998 except it was UNC. It took Florida almost eight minutes to score from the floor. The Gators' only saving grace here is that UCLA's offense is, shall we say, lacking.

9:11 PM: Florida has not taken a shot inside the three point line in over eight minutes. Affalo has three fouls which may be crucial for UCLA.

9:13 PM: [UNNAMED ANALYST]: "UCLA is in trouble now, they have a team on the floor that has to look long and hard for points." How is this different from normal? It is under 10 minutes to go in the half and the score is 9-8 in favor of Florida. You cannot make up how atrocious this game is offensively speaking.

9:16 PM: Okay, not only do we have a horrid offensive game in progress but Florida took a timeout with 9:37 left, UCLA then takes a timeout with 8:51 left, and when the clock goes under 8 minutes CBS will take a timeout.

9:19 PM: I think the over-under for total points in this half is about 40 and I would take the under.

9:22 PM: UCLA, which is not the best offensive team on the planet, is doing without it's best offensive player and it somehow in the lead.

9:25 PM: I will say this as these two are trying to pick up the offensive pace, the one thing you can say about ACC teams that reach the Final Four is they tend to be very productive on the offensive end. I will be interested to see the ratings on both of these games as compared to last season and 2005. These four teams obviously are very good but not ratings magnets nor are they very entertaining.

9:28 PM: Florida now up eight and UCLA seems to be having as much trouble hitting layups as Kansas did last week.

9:31 PM: Why does the blimp provide aerial coverage of an indoor event?

9:32 PM: The VPI fan with Coke ritual is funny because he must have royally screwed it up over the past few weeks.

9:33 PM: There is the first John Wooden reference. I am assuming he is not here since he has not been interviewed yet.

9:34 PM: How in the name of everything Carolina blue is UCLA a #2 seed and in the Final Four but not have more than two legitimate offensive options. Brewer is shredding UCLA right now.

9:37 PM: Okay, Joakim Noah rips his shirt tail out in protest to a foul call which was actually a push off by him. The refs obviously are very patient because I would have given him a technical foul for that.

9:40 PM: Actually I would have to recuse myself from officiating Florida games because I would give Noah a technical just on principle.

9:41 PM: Florida 29 UCLA 23 at halftime. Ben Howland obviously does not subscribe to Roy's timeout theory since he only has two left at halftime. When you consider UCLA has no offense at this point Florida should be up by more. The reason they are not is because Corey Brewer has been most of the offense for the Gators and they also committed 10 turnovers.

10:03 PM: Something tells me UCLA is going to have to hit some threes to win this game and what do you know they just did. Florida by four.

10:05 PM: Ben Howland has called more timeouts in the first 23 minutes of this game than Roy did all tournament.

10:09 PM: UCLA has to be embarrassed by this. They get their clocks cleaned last year in the title game and now with a chance to exact revenge they are allowing the same thing to happen again. As much as it pains me to say it, at least Duke showed up in 1991 against UNLV after getting beat by 30 the season before.

10:15 PM: UCLA is toast.

10:16 PM: Jim Nantz: "UCLA in danger of getting so far behind they cannot come back" With their offense they could be six points behind and that would be the case. Seeing that they are now 16 down I'd say this one is over.

10:17 PM: UCLA uses it's last timeout with 13:50 left in the game. If that ever happens with Roy Williams I think we should have him committed because obviously he will have lost his mind.

10:19 PM: UCLA has no dignity.


10:26 PM: UCLA is going to have to put their 2007 recruting class in if these fouls continue.

10:27 PM: Billy Donovan told Jim Nantz that he has not talked to anyone about UK. However Billy's agent probably has not shut up talking to Kentucky.

10:29 PM: Florida by 18. UCLA should just stop now, I think that would be less humiliating than what is happening tonight. Florida steps up a year ago, slaps the Bruins around and steals their cookies. So how does UCLA respond when they get the Gators again? They don't as Florida has stepped up, slapped the Bruins around and is stealing the cookies and milk this time around.

10:41 PM: And somewhere the CBS execs are very close to taking their own lives. Two straight Final Fours which have included marginal games along with schools who are not generally known for national followings in the sport.

10:51 PM: Here's the problem. Florida throttled OSU with Oden back in December. I will grant that OSU was still meshing since Oden had just come back but is there any indication Florida is not going to win again? It is not like when UNC lost to Michigan in December, 1992 it was at buzzer on a tip-in. So when they met in the title game it was not like there wasn't precedent for those two being evenly matched. I think it will be up to Conley to make this one different.

10:55 PM: So the Florida players would have all taken off had one of them went. So if Joakim Noah had not been so interested in partying Florida might not be here now?

10:57 PM: Why on earth is UCLA prolonging this?  This game has been over for so long I really stopped paying attention.

10:58 PM: Affalo scored 17 points in the second half.  Not bad for someone who sat most of the first half.

10:59 PM: Well another lackluster national semifinal Saturday in the books.