Has Anyone Checked on Gus Johnson This Morning?

In the event you had to be a grown up and go to bed at a reasonable hour last night, you've probably heard that you missed a pretty good game. In case you didn't hear ... ↵
↵
↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵
↵
↵My favorite Gus Johnson-ism of the night had to be "he's in shape!" at about the 1:50 mark in the video above, presumably referring to the fact that Jacob Pullen was still running around screens to free himself up after all those minutes he'd logged. While my bracket likes the fact that K-State won that game, it would've been interesting to see two former members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference go against each other for a Final Four spot. ↵

↵It was, hands down, the best game of the tournament thus far. I'd have no problem taking it over last year's best tournament game, which most would probably agree came in the Elite Eight between Villanova and Pittsburgh. Going back even further, was it better than the Memphis-Kansas title game in 2008? I have a hard time moving a Sweet Sixteen game past a championship game. ↵

↵

↵Before jumping to the other games, a few words need to be said about the bizarre sequence that took place to end regulation in this one. ↵

↵

↵When a team leads by three points with less than 10 seconds or so remaining, the decision to foul is often brought up by TV crews and pundits. Do you risk what happened to Memphis in 2008, allowing Mario Chalmers to sink his legendary 3-pointer? Do you foul knowing that sinking a 3-pointer is probably easier than making a free throw, intentionally missing one, getting a rebound and scoring? Clearly, Kansas State had a plan. Denis Clemente attempted to wrap up Terrell Holloway with five seconds or so remaining as he crossed half court, and well before he'd started his shot. Instead, that foul wasn't whistled, allowing Holloway to get into a shooting motion where he was eventually fouled by K-State's Chris Merrieweather. ↵

↵

↵A few things: ↵

↵

↵-- Yes, the refs blew it. They should've absolutely whistled the foul Clemente was trying to give on Holloway. He did everything you can probably do short of actually being whistled for an intentional foul. The mistake is particularly inexcusable given the fact that an official was right on top of the play. I'm not sure what else K-State can do in that situation. Should Frank Martin or Clemente have alerted the official that's what they were going to do? ↵

↵

↵-- No, this is not an indictment on the strategy of fouling when leading by three points. If it is, what would you call all the times a player has hit a three, forced overtime and had his team win the game? I'm not saying this is the first time this has happened when trying to carry out this strategy, but I am saying it's the first I can think of off the top of my head. Some coaches might trot it out as anecdotal evidence as to why they won't do it in the future, but to toss this strategy aside based on one blown call is like saying a football coach is dumping the forward pass because his QB tossed an interception. ↵

↵

↵But back to the other game in Salt Lake City. (The games in Syracuse, at times, were setting basketball back by decades, so I'll just go ahead and remind you that Kentucky and West Virginia play on Saturday and leave it at that.) On any other night, Butler's win against Syracuse would've been the game of the night, but today it's a relative afterthought. In case your brain had to clear out real estate for those Xavier-Kansas State overtimes, here are the highlights: ↵

↵
↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵
↵
↵Syracuse was sloppy, and Butler got enough bounces late to win. Butler's strong first half was erased within the first seven minutes of the second half and that was pretty much your game. ↵

↵If Butler can find its way past Kansas State, which has probably been the tournament's most impressive team to this point, it will be the culmination of almost a decade and a half of ridiculously high-level hoops from a school outside of the BCS conferences. Butler has won at least 20 games in 12 of its last 14 seasons under the guidance of four different coaches. With 31 wins, the Bulldogs are at 30 or better for the second time in three seasons under coach Brad Stevens. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.