Butler advanced to its second straight Final Four with a 74-71 overtime win over Florida in the Elite Eight in a thrilling game that involved Gus Johnson. It was pretty much exactly what any college hoops fan could have expected. That is, except for one thing: Reggie Miller was involved.
NBA fans have been killing Miller for his announcing for years, and now, college basketball fans know what we mean. Miller was doing his typical shtick, screaming at the top of his lungs, interrupting his partners and saying completely non-sensical things. I'd say more, but here's how others described it:
Bruce Arthur: "Pairing Gus Johnson with Reggie Miller is like pairing the Mona Lisa with an orange can of paint."
Andy Glockner: "Some needs to slap absolute value marks on either side of Reggie Miller so he can have a positive impact on this broadcast."
The worst part, though, was that Miller's broadcast partner, Len Elmore, was clearly trying his hardest to bite his tongue on the air. Below the jump, here are the four most awkward Elmore/Miller interactions.
4. Foul Vernon Macklin?
Macklin was having the game of his life, but the Gators' big man shoots just 44 percent from the line. That led to the following exchange:
LEN ELMORE: That presents a problem for Billy Donovan. You got a 46 percent free-throw shooter who in fact is your team's leading scorer today. Down the stretch, if it comes down to free throws in the end, are you going to go offense/defense?"
REGGIE MILLER : Well, I ask you, do you Hack-A-Mack?
LEN: Well, that's my point.
Good. Glad we got that cleared up.
3. Foul Vernon Macklin, Part II
A couple minutes later, Billy Donovan actually decided to follow Elmore's advice and take Macklin out of the game so Butler wouldn't foul him. Suddenly, here's Miller disagreeing with the decision.
MILLER: Now, I don't agree with Billy Donovan taking Vernon Macklin out, because you're going to be getting the basketball at the offensive end.
ELMORE: That's where they're going to foul him if he gets his hands on the ball.
MILLER: 24 points, Vernon Macklin has.
ELMORE: I know, but I think Billy now recognizes that was an opportunity for Butler to foul and they didn't. He knows now that they will again if he gets his hands on the ball. Rely on your other offensive players to hold the fort.
2. Three shots for Shelvin Mack?
At the end of the game, Shelvin Mack sort of went into his shooting motion from 80 feet away when he knew Florida would foul him. This led to Miller imploring that Mack deserved three free throws for his "shot attempt."
MILLER: Why isn't this three shots? (Repeats himself, louder). WHY ISN'T THIS THREE SHOTS?
ELMORE: (laughing) Because.
MILLER (interrupting): Tell me why?
ELMORE: Because he didn't get the ball up in the act of shooting until after he was fouled. (Waits a beat, as Gus Johnson talks). Very simple.
1. So much for fundamentally-sound post defense
Here was my favorite one. With just under five minutes to go in the game, Butler's Andrew Smith picked up an offensive foul hooking Alex Tyus in the post. Miller evidently felt it was a bad call. Elmore didn't, and neither backed down.
ELMORE: These are the kinds of fouls that drive a coach nuts. (Replay shows). You got good position right here, now watch him put his hand around his back right here ...
MILLER (interrupting): Oh, come on.
ELMORE: You can't do it.
MILLER: Come on.
ELMORE: You can't do it. You got to call what you see.
MILLER: Come on now Len.
ELMORE: You sit down, spread out, put him on your back. You don't need to reach around like that.
MILLER: That's not a hook. That's him getting position
ELMORE: But that's him putting his hand behind a guy's back.
GUS JOHNSON (interrupting): According to John Adams, a foul is a foul. You call what you see.
ELMORE (repeating): You call what you see.
REGGIE (a few seconds later): Let these kids play. Let them play. Let them decide.
ELMORE: Let them play fundamentally-sound though. That's not fundamentally sound.