In addition to my Monday recaps for CBS Local (the latest of which you can find here), I am now providing them with a weekly preview of five Saturday games. All of those can be found here, with the new week’s games added every Thursday. I immediately rewarded CBS by correctly picking the winner of two of the five games. I did say Louisville-Notre Dame figured to be a tight, low scoring game, a prediction that looked accurate when Louisville led 56-48 with 50 seconds left. Then one overtime became five, Saturday became Sunday, and it was 104-101 Notre Dame.
Some other thoughts from that memorable game:
- Call Eric Atkins, Notre Dame’s junior point guard, Mike Wallace, because he played 60 Minutes!
- Garrick Sherman scored 17 points on 7/10 shooting and added six rebounds. Sherman did not enter the game until overtime. He showed some nice post moves, but to counter Dick Vitale, who all but gave Sherman the Wooden Award while calling the game, I have to imagine his success was at least partly due to the fact that he had fresh legs while his opponents had logged major minutes.
- Speaking of Vitale, he needed a bathroom break after the third overtime. He returned before either team scored in the fourth overtime. Nice work.
- Louisville guard Russ Smith didn’t get the nickname Russdiculous for nothing. His play in overtime was comically bad, and in each overtime it was as if he tried to make up for his play in the previous period. It led to numerous ill-advised shots that drove Rick Pitino crazy.
- Speaking of Pitino, the difference between his demeanor and Mike Brey’s was night and day. Pitino was equal parts incredulous and furious, and rightfully so—his team had several chances to win the game. Brey, however, was all smiles in the huddles between the overtime periods, enjoying every extra minute of basketball.
- One of the referees scheduled to work the game couldn’t make it to South Bend because of the snowstorm, so a ref who had worked the Marquette-DePaul game earlier in the day drove from Milwaukee. As someone who spent his summers as a caddy, this is the equivalent of doing a second loop and the golfers deciding to play 30 holes.
I suspect many college basketball fans did what I did last Saturday, and bookended their day by watching Michigan-Wisconsin at noon and ND-Louisville at night. If so, you couldn’t ask for two crazier finishes.
Lastly, I’d like to mention Nerlens Noel, Kentucky’s star freshman, who tore his ACL last night. As the projected No. 1 pick in the draft, his injury was another reminder about how unfortunate the NBA’s age limit rule is for the players. I have more to say about this, but I’m still trying to gather my thoughts and come up with a solution. But my immediate point is that it’s unfair that Noel wasn’t allowed to declare for last year’s draft, straight out of high school. Granted, he should be able to return to full health and still get drafted and make his money.