1. It's hard to start a game worse than the way we started it tonight... a foul on Ethan and fouling a 3-point shooter. My blood pressure was through the roof from 14 seconds into the game until the final buzzer.
2. You could hand out any number of MVP awards, but certainly Iverson would be near the top of the list. It's weird to say that he jump-started our offense during that lull in the first half, but he did. He did a great job of attacking all night and sorta just "hiding out" in positions where he could score. As great as he played he certainly has bad luck on two no footers. The first time he babies the ball and it bounces out, so later he tries to hammer it home and doesn't get the foul call. My opinion is to dunk it whenever you can... you either make the basket or get the call (or both) like 90% of the time. Tonight was just a touch of bad luck. Great game for him. His best as a Badger.
3. Koenig played great... duh. But the thing that worried me was at one point in the second half, he was like 7-12 from downtown, we were at like 1.7 ppp and were up by ONE FIGGIN POINT. I have no idea how we never relinquished the lead in the game. They just kept coming and we kept fighting them off. If you're a Hokie fan, some of the shots Koenig made would make you sick to your stomach. Against any other team, like 4 of them should have been daggers. But credit them for coming back each time.
4. With about 6 minutes to play, we had Showy fouled out and both BK and Happ on the bench. I said to myself, "if Nigel's ever going to be the man, it needs to happen right here." On the next couple of possessions he was as good as he's ever been. He demanded the ball and willed his way into scoring position. Of course it was wonderful to see him knock down those free throws.
5. Zach Leday has a very punchable face and loves to stare into the camera when he makes a big play. Since he likes to stare so much, he can stare at our game versus Villanova on Saturday.
6. A couple sequences where I almost lost it. (1) Koenig steps out of bounds (and CBS has no replay), then Tech immediately hits a 3-pointer (as CBS is using some shot camera angle from behind the basket). (2) Happ misses to free throws and we give up a 4-point play on the same play we gave one up on previously. At that point there was 14:32 left in the game and Tech had scored 20% of their points on two God-damned plays.
7. I thought Greg Gard missed an obvious opportunity for a timeout with about 6:00 to play in the first half. At that point we had gone about 2:00 without a hoop, BK looked gassed and we were WAY overdue for a media timeout. That was the possession that ended with Vitto pushing off on a drive, but I don't blame him for that. Our last few possessions had been ugly and we were dead tired. We still had the first half TO in his pocket, we should have used it.
8. Jordan Hill defends a screen-and-roll like an old grandma with an arthritic hip. I know he did just enough down the stretch to help us earn the win, but good God, FIGHT through the screen. They could have scored 100 points on that play.
9. The fact that Ferris, Schlundt and Ford don't even get to sit on the bench and have to sit in the stands is ludicrous. Just another idiotic NCAA rule. Farris has been in uniform every game this year. Not getting to be in uniform for the tourney suck. And by the way... does anyone know who the two "super fans" were sitting right behind the bench during the game. They were jumping up and diving around like they were in the game going for a loose ball.
10. Because of the way we played tonight, if the season ends on Saturday, I think I'll be OK with that, and I hope everyone else here has enough perspective to feel the same. Even with a loss, we basically learned that this team is somewhere between the 16th and 32nd best team in college basketball. This win was so satisfying because we did all the little things right that would normally screw us... make free throws, attack the double team, shoot the ball well outside, get contributions from the bench, etc. I know we're going to give Nova all they can handle, so let's see what happens. But as of tonight, I could not possibly be any happier with the way that win played out.