We love college basketball. We love the month of March. We love gambling on college basketball in the month of March. Because of all of this love, we decided we’d spend most of March Madness giving you all a running list of all the things we noticed from our couches.
Fair warning, I’m only watching No. 12 seeded Iowa vs. No. 13 seeded Illinois. There is too much good college basketball on to put myself through Rutgers and Minnesota. Sorry, not sorry.
- Michael Rapaport just voiced the intro to the Big Ten Tournament. Yes, THE Michael Rapaport. The guy that got fired from Barstool Sports, ramped up his New York accent to get those of us poor souls that are tuning into this shit storm jacked up for “THA BIG TEN IN THE GAHDEN, BABAY!”. Was Spike not available? The Big Ten had to settle on a guy that has resorted to tweeting about steroid use in fake fights and boning Dave Portnoy? I’m stunned. How did this slip through the cracks? When was this taped? It’s inexcusable either way.
- Under 16-minute timeout and we have a 6-5 ball game. Care to know where we are in terms of the quality of basketball? Before cutting to the break, one of the announcers throws the fans (who are rubbing their eyes in boredom) a bone with, “It’s been a fast paced game, but low scoring”. We’re having fun?
- Iowa has five turnovers in nine possessions. I just checked Tankathon to see where they were in the NBA Tank rankings. Couldn’t find them.
- Tyler Cook just threw down a dunk with so much authority, Big Ten spokesperson Michael Rapaport is probably wondering if he’s on ‘roids:
— Cody Hills (@chillsvds) February 28, 2018
- “It’s been a foul fest early on,”. Well thats one way to put it, you know, with both teams reaching the double bonus with over six minutes left to play in the half. New York… meet #BigTenRefs. #BigTenRefs… meet New York. I think you’ll love each other.
- FOUL UPDATE – #BigTenRefs have now called 21-fouls in 15-minutes of play. Twenty-freaking-one. I watch a ton of college hoops. I’ve also met with guys like Rick Boyages, who is the Assistant Commissioner of the Big Ten. I understand that being an official is hard. But season after season, these guys seem to get worse and worse. And that’s doubled when the lights are turned on bright. This game may be borderline unwatchable because of who’s playing, but not letting these dudes duke it out is making it ten times worse.
- This game suckssssss.
35-31, Iowa at the half
- Brad Underwood just got a technical called against him for openly complaining about the six fouls that have been called against the Illini to open the half. Brad Underwood responded to the technical by aggressively clapping for like two minutes straight while sneering at Bo Boroski. Bo Boroski was too afraid to do anything else. This is where we are right now… thought things do look to be picking up a little. Let’s see if they let the kids play and make this thing somewhat exciting.
- UPDATE: Fran McCaffery is now sternly speaking to Boroski. He has to be getting heated about Jordan Bohannon getting bullied around on the offensive end. It’s only a matter of time until McCaffery gets a “T”. Only a matter of time.
- I’ll give it to Illinois. There were no less than five different moments when they could’ve rolled over and packed it in. But they kept fighting. A big part of that has to be because of Underwood. He refuses to let these kids hang their head low when faced with diversity. Maybe the product wasn’t great this year, but you have to like his style/brand of coaching. Now if he can just start getting those Chicago boys to stay home…
- A few things about this game that I think are important: With a little over 11-minutes left in the game, there have been 33-fouls called and 23-turnovers. I suppose a 40/30 game is to be expected between the 13 and 12 seeded teams in the Big Ten.
- Kipper Nichols, who has 25-points, just got charged with his fourth foul with 9:59 left in the game after a strong drive to the rack for Cook. Not only was he subbed out, but after Cook missed the And-1 opportunity, Ahmad Wagner secured the rebound and kicked it out to Bohannon who nails a long three. About the Illini rolling over… we may be there.
- Tyler Cook’s name has been buzzing about Twitter and message boards the last day or so. Apparently there is a rumor out there that he’s transferring to Mizzou. While I don’t know the actual validity of this, what I do know (outside of that rumor being utter trash) is that he’s one day going to be a first round draft pick. In just one off season, he’s seemingly doubled his strength, developed the ability to finish in traffic, upgraded his handles to where he can take slower Big Ten bigs off the dribble and added an aggressiveness that was missing in the past. I can’t wait to see what else he can add to his game going into his junior year.
- Kipper Nichols is apparently Reggier Miller. He’s also got a fun name to say out loud. Go ahead, try it.
96-87, Iowa. Five days. Five games. One ticket to March Madness.