Okay. I've had some time to calm down and reflect on yesterday's basketball happenings. I couldn't be happier for George Mason. And there's no team I'd rather see go out early than the University of North Carolina. They've been eulogized all morning on TV and radio as a team that was expected to have a hard season who rose to the occasion to achieve well beyond their and so on and so on and so on. Good for them. Better for George Mason.
NC State gets no eulogy from the sports media. We were there. We were hanging with Texas. After being blown out of the water in the opening minutes, we hit a run and brought it back close. But how?
With Gavin Grant and Cam Bennerman doing something unheard of in NC State basketball. They got their points two at a time instead of just heaving up ill-advised 3-point shots. Heck, Courtney Fells got in on the 2-points at a time game plan. It was working. Going to the basket was working. Had Sendek actually changed his gameplan in an effort to win a game?
Then suddenly, inexplicably, Bennerman and Grant are on the bench watching Evtimov and Atsur chuck the basketball at the hoop from section H again. And this, friends, is why many of the Wolfpack faithful are tired of the Herb Sendek years. Sure, it's nice to make the NCAA's 5 years in a row. But it's not nice to see the team constantly wilt when faced with a team that can be described as "good at basketball." It's also not too nice to be piling up some embarrassing losses each season as well.
NC State was shooting over 50% in the first half, mostly on the back of the "actually taking the ball to the hoop" stategy which was promptly abandoned. Want to know why the game wasn't even close? 3-for-22 from the three point line. A basketball coach might have told his players to knock it off. But Herb isn't a basketball coach. Herb's a nice guy. And nice guys let Evtimov stay on the court because he's a senoir. Nice guys don't care if you're making bad decisions. Nice guys don't care that you're not really that good at basketball. Nice guys don't care if you might be doing too much on an injured body. Nice guys only care that you're a senior.
Nice guys lose by 21 points.