Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Safety Dance

Ok, so that's probably a lame blog post title, but whatever. We're dancing.

Defying common sense, Marquette will have their name called on Selection Sunday.

Marquette has now won 20 games for the 5th straight season. MU took over sole possession of 5th place in the Big East. Think about that again for a second. A team that 99% of the country expected to see at the bottom of the Big East is two buzz beaters away from finishing in the top 4. Unreal.

During Louisville's run to cut it to 10, Rubie texted saying Buzz was doing an "awful" job coaching. Of course Rubie never texted when MU was up 46-23 saying he was doing a great job.

Just some quick hitters:

- Joe Fulce is coming around at the exact time they need him. MU's ability to extend a 5 point lead to a 10 point lead, with Butler and Hayward on the bench was nothing short of amazing.

- DJO's dunk at the end of the game was just filthy.

- MU's ability to shut down Samuels and keep him scoreless for the first 38 minute was the reason MU won.

- MU should be at worst a 7 or 8 seed in the NCAA's. Anything higher than a 8 is miscarriage of justice.

- I missed Buzz's dance at the end. Apparently he makes me look like Fred Astaire.

- Tim Higgins? Still sucks.

From the Louisville Courier: If it’s possible to undo a month’s worth of NCAA Tournament resume building, the University of Louisville men’s basketball team did it Tuesday night at Marquette.

Todd Rosiak: "Nobody thought we'd show up tonight, either," coach Buzz Williams said. "That's part of what gives me my edge, professionally and personally. That's how I live and how I coach. When we played South Florida they were the hottest team in the league, leading scorer in the country, and then when we beat them it was, 'You’ve got to beat a tournament team.'

The man who combs his hair with a brick: Among MU lore, you could file it between a pretty good Al McGuire season and a good Bob Dukiet season, as if either exists in the mind.

Rosiak has more here.

The guys from MUTV Sports have a great postgame report.

Our soon-to-be compadre at SB Nation, Card Chronicle has some hate issues.

UofL makes MU look really good.

Even a Badger fan has nice things to say about MU.

Postgame video of DJO

And the game highlights


Devil's Threesome said...

Good post - Admiral!

Rubes, Reid and I said it from the beginning of the year at the Haunted Hoops practice, DJO is a bad, bad, bad man!

klwillis45 said...

Proper English? Correct links? If only you discovered these things earlier, the DD might still be around. ;)

Nice win by MU, even nicer to watch the game on ESPNU-HD instead of the usual crap-o-vision.

Mr. Rumsfield's Brownies said...

Great win...much needed blow out and who better to beat? How about the defense? Double teams in the post and the guards getting in the passing lanes must of forced at least 5-8 turnovers by UofL big men.

Holy shit, contribution from the bench without the 6th man. Fulce, E-Will, Junior - welcome to Marquette basketball...we welcome you with open arms.

4 new starters vs. last year, no starters above 6'7....and 12 wins in the best conference in the country. Wins in 9 of 10 games, 4 straight in 9 days....F-ing awesome.

Rubie - do you still think Buzz is a horrible coach? If so, I'm curious as to what makes you think so?

Admiral Ackbar, S.J. said...

I also forgot to mention Minnesota getting killed by Michigan last night. That seals the fate of the Big Ten.

They're getting 5 seeds and that's it.

Rubie Q said...

Ahh, a Pile on Rubie Morning. I love it.

(1) I stand by my statement -- that 15-2 Louisville run was aided by some awful coaching by Buzz. For one, taking out Acker and Fulce was stupid; there was a flow to the game, and we lost it when those two went out. Then, after Louisville hit the back-to-back threes, you could sense the run coming -- and, at that point, Buzz needed to take a timeout, get Cadougan out, and let Mo do the Cordell Henry one-man press break. But he waited too long and gave the run some legs.

Now, did I say he coached a horrible game? Of course not. But for those three or four minutes, he was great. I apologize for not pointing out the obvious to AA, SJ.

(2) I've never said Buzz is a "horrible coach." I have raised questions about certain ASPECTS of his coaching. Again, this doesn't mean that I think he's worthless. I never have, and I don't now.

Can I enjoy the win now?

Mr. Rumsfield's Brownies said...

Rubes- wasn't meant to be an've been critical all season, I was simply asking if this game changed your opinion. Do you feel comfortable with Buzz going forward into the next few seasons?

yes - enjoy the win, we've had should enjoy at least one of them

Rubie Q said...

I will say this:

Louisville came out incredibly flat last night -- shockingly flat, for a team that's playing for its post-season life. For most of the second half, Pitino stayed crouched on the sidelines, giving his players the "I'm so sick of you fuckers" look.

One thing I will NEVER say about Buzz is that his teams come out flat and stay flat for the whole game. We've started slowly a couple times, but we've never mailed a game in. I appreciate that more than anything else.

EMoney said...

The last 3 road W's were thrilling and I enjoyed the hell out of them, but there's no greater feeling than stomping a Rick Pitino coached Louisville team....especially when Jerry Smith is on it!

There is so much that can be said about yesterday's game.....everyone played outstanding! The one thing that I would like to highlight is the defensive gameplan that Buzz put together, along with it's execution by the MU players of course. After playing roughly 48 hours earlier in New Jersey, on top of all of the traveling the team did the previous week, to implement and execute that with only 1 full day in between was impressive.

Extra kudos to the reserves for spelling Butler and Hayward in the first. Fulce is finally turning into the player that Buzz thought he would be, and EWill is enough confidence with each game that he can now at least be relied upon for a 3-5 minute stretch and not be a total liability.

3 Full days of until Senior Day versus our Catholic nemeses at Notre Dame. A win Saturday would cap off what might be one of MU's greatest runs during my entire career as an MU fan. Win 2 more and we might be looking at a 6 seed boys!

EMoney said...

Oh, and that picture of DJO's dunk is going on my laptop's background. The dunk was fabulous, but the fact that it was over Jerry Smith makes it extra special. If Jerry got rid of the stache, he might be able to jump six inches highter.

Devil's Threesome said...

I love how our team competes. It was the same way under Crean, always playing their butts off. I don't appreciate that enough, but when you see UL mail it in and Samuels sulk around the court, it makes you realize how special that effort is.

It astounds me that Jimmy & Zar both had arguably their worst games of the year and we beat UL by 21.

Some of the other pieces are coming into place for this team. Fulce is stepping up big time, Williams is at least a body off the bench, JC can spell Mo for a stretch. Certainly not a strong bench, but it's light years ahead of where it was just 3 weeks ago.

ND will be tough on Saturday, but the BC will be on fire - I can't wait. It will be tough to bid Zar adieu.

Rubie Q said...

While I'm appeasing Mr. R's need for relentless praise of Buzz:

The fact that Buzz has made Acker and Cubbie into competent players in the span of one season is nothing short of astounding.

I know I've said this before, but there were only a handful of Crean's players who showed marked improvement during their careers; Chapman, maybe, and Jerel come to mind.

In two seasons with Buzz, we've seen tremendous improvement in Wesley, Jimmy Clutch, Acker, Cubbie, and now Fulce. That's a big feather in the cap.

Rubie Q said...

How have we not talked about Higgins "violation" call on Hayward yet?

If you don't remember: 'Zar had the ball near half-court, a Louisville pest was slapping at 'Zar, so 32 swung his elbow to clear the airspace. Tweet, goes Higgins. Damn, says Rubie. That's his second foul.

Except ...

There wasn't a foul called. It was announced as a "violation," and the explanation Buzz got was that 'Zar was swinging his elbows BUT DIDN'T CONNECT, so Ol' Bulbous Nose couldn't call a foul.

Homer, Mac, and Buzz each said they'd never heard of that call before. I add my name to the list.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

I read a post on the "elbow violation". its a point of emphasis of the NCAA for guys throwing elbows to create space. if you throw an elbow and connect its a fould. If you throw an elbow to create space and miss and in the opinion of the ref it was intentional to some degree its a violation much like traveling. its the first time I recall seeing it this year but Higgins got it right.

Mr. Rumsfield's Brownies said...

Regarding the violation - I heard the post game show as well.

I found this from a goole search:

it is a violation if a player vigorously or excessively swings his elbows, even if there is no contact; it is a foul if contact is made, and an automatic ejection if that contact is above shoulder level

I'm not complaining - as that would have been a huge foul for Zar...but I've never seen or heard of that before.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

the biggest stat that stuck out to me was the free throw discrepency. 18-22 for MU vs 1-2. Normally when you see that sort of discrepency (ahem all games played in Madison) you'd think the refs were completely one sided. I'd say the refs had some calls that went against and for both teams. hell our 2 best players were taken out of the game because of the ref's whistles. rather, the attacking nature of the entire MU offensive scheme last night and the inability of the Ville zone to keep us out of the lane lead to the free throws variance. The ville looked much more comfortable with 4 guys at the 3 point line launching shots, rather than attacking the rim.

Mr. Rumsfield's Brownies said...

Did anyone get the Pre-Sale for MU Tourney tickets email? I'm thinking about marking down St. Louis for the Regionals and Indy for the Final 4 just in case....anyone else doing the same?

Rubie Q said...

Buzz's account of his discussion with Higgins was classic:

Buzz thought it was a foul, so he subbed Zar out. But then he was told it WASN'T a foul, so he put him back in. Higgins ran down the court and Buzz said: "What'd you whistle on 'Zar?" And Higgins said: "It was a violation." Buzz says: "I know what you called it; WHAT IS IT?"


Devil's Threesome said...

Mr. Brownies - I'm in for STL and Indy as well. Does it make sense for me to request 2 tickets for you and I? Then, I will contact the Blue & Gold office to tell them that I married an alum so I can get the 10 point priority bump. Work for you?

Mr. Rumsfield's Brownies said...

yes and yes ----I'm in.

Admiral Ackbar, S.J. said...

A friend sent this over via e-mail making a great point.

"After having some time to reflect even more on the game last night, the thing that really strikes me is how much this team has evolved over the season. At the beginning of the year, MU had ZERO margin for error. If one component of their game/team was off, then it seemed like they would almost certainly lose. Yesterday, they had 3 major issues (lazar in foul trouble/not scoring, jimmy in foul trouble/not scoring, and Buycks being completely out again/thin bench) and they still won decisively. It is a testament to Buzz that he's been able to transform the team to be so much more capable/stable."

Master Reid said...

This probably deserves its own post, but it's interesting to compare this team and this season with 2006. We said wishfully before the season when discussing best case scenarios, "Maybe it'll be just like '06: one senior superstar and a bunch of new guys that play better than we could've expected."

Well from where we're sitting now, that looks like pretty damn accurate assessment. But which one was more surprising? Which one was the better coaching job? Which one was the bigger overachiever? All very interesting questions, that I haven't the time to do any research on. But I guess we'll have plenty of time to discuss between now and our FIRST ROUND NCAA TOURNAMENT GAME!!! I like how that sounds.

Rubie Q said...

I agree, Reid. It does need to be its own post. Let's see how the game against ND shakes out, then we'll do the Tale of the Tape.

EMoney said...

Those at the game likely didn't see this, but after the game was over, Butler, Hayward, and DJO were emphatic about getting Buzz's attention and pointing out someone in the stands. The guys were high fiving this guy and Buzz went over to do the same. I couldn't quite figure out who this guy was. Was it DJO's dad? Well, the scoop board brought it up yesterday which eventually lead to a posting of this article from nbe. Check it out, it's interesting and is a great example of the kind of guy that Buzz is and what he is doing with our program.