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NCAA Tournament, National Semifinals, Day 9 open thread
2008-04-05 09:00
by Bob Timmermann

I should be winging my way toward Kauai as this post is going up and I should be landing around the time the first game tips off.

At this point, the teams playing need no introductions. But I like to introduce them because it fills up space.

3:07 pm - #1 UCLA (West champion, 35-3) vs #1 Memphis (South champion, 37-1). If the Tigers win, they will set the Division I record for most wins in a season. Duke (1986 and 1999), UNLV (1987), and Illinois (2005) have all won 37. No Division II or III team has won more than 37 either. The women's teams for Tennessee and Connecticut won 39 games in 1998 and 2002, respectively.

UCLA is the leader in the clubhouse with 11 National Championships in men's basketball and 89 other NCAA titles. Memphis seeks its first NCAA championship of any kind.

UCLA and Memphis played each other in the 1973 Final and the 2006 Oakland regional final with the Bruins winning both times.

5:47 pm - #1 Kansas (Midwest champion, 35-3) vs #1 North Carolina (East champion, 36-2). This is another matchup oozing with basketball history. (Apply direct pressure.) The Tar Heels have won four national championships and the Jayhawks have won two.

These two teams first NCAA tournament meeting was in the 1957 final, which the Tar Heels won 54-53 in triple overtime. They met again in the 1991 semifinals and Kansas won that game 79-73, which kept us from having to watch a Duke-UNC final. The two met again in the 1993 semifinals and UNC won that game, 78-68 en route to a national championship (#3).

The championship game hasn't featured two #1 seeds since 2007. It's a been long wait. Other times, since seeding was instituted in 1979, were 1982 (North Carolina vs Georgetown), 1993 (North Carolina vs Michigan), 1999 (Connecticut vs Duke), and 2005 (North Carolina vs Illinois).

Here are the possible winners left in the Griddle's bracket picking contest.

If North Carolina wins, Sesame Chicken and Mike Meyer Sound tie. The latter didn't enter a tiebreaker score, so Sesame Chicken would win and get the first choice of prizes (either the Oregon State t-shirt or the Sayonara Home Run book). Both names would go on the sidebar.

If Kansas wins and beats Memphis in the final, Ham Fighter Nation wins (by 20 points!). If Kansas beats UCLA, Pomeroyanian wins by one point over Gauchos.

If Memphis wins, Bama Yankee wins regardless of the opponent in the final.

If UCLA wins and beats Kansas in the final, Steven Alpert wins. If UCLA wins and beats North Carolina in the final, Bison Power wins.

So there are eight possible permutations for the last three games and six possible winners (counting the tie for UNC as one).

And if I made any typos or factual errors or otherwise screwed up, you'll just have to live with it for a while.

Comments (107)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-04-05 09:39:58
1.   Bob Hendley
Boy you can go triple overtime and lose by one point, but when you lose you lose. The 1957 UNC - Kansas match-up featured Wilt the Stilt, but if you go to the wikipedia page for the Kansas Jayhawks his name is not even mentioned. They did find enough space, however, to include the name Raef LaFrentz.
2008-04-05 10:16:52
2.   Johnny Nucleo
Have a great trip.
2008-04-05 10:58:22
3.   Andrew Shimmin
If sitting around looking at water and rocks gets to be boring, head over to Leather Soul, and drop a week's pay/month's pay/your 401k on a pair of shoes. Or at least drool on some.

2008-04-05 11:02:20
4.   Bob Hendley
3 . They wear shoes over there?
2008-04-05 11:05:29
5.   Andrew Shimmin
I was surprised, too. It's possible they cater just to tourists who are going back to places where people wear shoes.
2008-04-05 11:11:32
6.   Bob Hendley
5 - When I was a kid there you didn't have to wear shoes to school, just an aloha shirt and shorts. I guess the selling point is that the tourist are running around either barefoot or in flip flops and enjoying it such that when the think about having to go back to the mainland and the confinement of shoes, they are willing to drop a bundle on making sure that those shoes are comfortable.
2008-04-05 11:22:11
7.   Daniel Zappala
Bob, have a great trip. If you made any mistakes in the above permutations I'll be shocked. Shocked!
2008-04-05 11:26:56
8.   Andrew Shimmin
Just for the record, it's not too late for all the non-Ham Fighter Nation people to resign, and cede the Griddle challenge to me. I won't hold your making me sweat against me. I declare a general amnesty for all who opposed me, if they surrender, now. Once the early game tips off, that deal will be off the table. So. Proceed accordingly.
2008-04-05 11:30:52
9.   Linkmeister
4 For the record, I wore shoes just last week. I had to give Mom a ride to the dentist.

'Course, I may not be the best example, since I work out of my house and thus have no officemates to consider.

2008-04-05 11:34:32
10.   Bob Hendley
The DT server got stuck just when we were all gearing up for an exciting debate about Dana Point.
2008-04-05 11:55:34
11.   Bob Hendley
11 - With no Bob there to provide background as regards Richard Henry Dana.
2008-04-05 14:55:19
12.   trainwreck
I got some Boddingtons and I am trying this beer called Train Wreck.

It is GO TIME! Let's go Bruins!

2008-04-05 15:31:55
13.   Andrew Shimmin
Nice hands, white guy who isn't Kevin Love.
2008-04-05 15:42:44
14.   Bob Hendley
Westbrook's kind game, too bad he is wearing the blue.
2008-04-05 15:44:42
15.   Bob Hendley
14 - "a"
2008-04-05 15:54:25
16.   Andrew Shimmin
How's doing color, and why does he hate Kevin Love?
2008-04-05 15:55:02
17.   Andrew Shimmin
Who is, not how's. The how is: badly.
2008-04-05 16:00:37
18.   Bob Hendley
Don't like being behind (so why am I a Bruin fan?), but given the play by us so far three points is a gift.
2008-04-05 16:01:06
19.   Andrew Shimmin
If Bob were here, he'd answer. And then have a pun, or boring historical anecdote. . .
2008-04-05 16:04:39
20.   Bob Hendley
I miss him already. But can't wait to see his new shoes.
2008-04-05 16:12:10
21.   Andrew Shimmin
It feels like he put us all on a train to go to a boarding school for deaf children.
2008-04-05 16:19:03
22.   Bob Timmermann
All right I've checked in. Just in time for the second half.
2008-04-05 16:20:23
23.   Bob Hendley
Uh oh, he's back. Shimmin broke it!
2008-04-05 16:23:24
24.   Indiana Jon
I've come to this site for help in rooting on UCLA in the second half. I don't like them, but them winning the next two games is worth $320 to me. Amazingly, I've even found myself cheering for them.
2008-04-05 16:24:36
25.   Bob Hendley
24 - Help is on the way.
2008-04-05 16:25:14
26.   Bob Timmermann
They'll need more help than that I fear.
2008-04-05 16:27:43
27.   Indiana Jon
26 It looks like all they need is faster, quicker, bigger players and they would be fine.
2008-04-05 16:27:55
28.   Bob Hendley
I don't like this turn of events.
2008-04-05 16:28:47
29.   Bob Hendley
27 - Well, we have Keith.
2008-04-05 16:31:46
30.   Bob Hendley
That was more like 5 seconds.
2008-04-05 16:36:23
31.   Bob Timmermann
Darren Collison making a statement for coming back for a fourth season.
2008-04-05 16:38:30
32.   Bob Hendley
Great, the announcers just announced that UCLA has now put Memphis in a position where they will have to pour it on.
2008-04-05 16:42:57
33.   Bob Timmermann
I think trainwreck will be a wreck soon.
2008-04-05 16:46:30
34.   Bob Timmermann
I believe Billy Packer is frustrated with UCLA's offense.
2008-04-05 16:50:44
35.   Bob Hendley
I have different announcers here in Mexico. I am grateful.
2008-04-05 16:51:41
36.   Bob Timmermann
Steven Alpert, Pomeroyanian, and Bison Power are on life support now.
2008-04-05 16:53:40
37.   Andrew Shimmin
Going to need a few more team rule violations for Kansas to hang with these guys. Anybody know a dealer in, um, where ever they're playing these games?

Also, it would help of the Hansborough fellow met with an unfortunate accident in the next few minutes.

2008-04-05 16:54:16
38.   Bob Hendley
Spoke too soon. The announcers just compared the Bruins to the Buffalo Bills.
2008-04-05 16:58:10
39.   Bob Timmermann
Unlike UNC which is appearing in its 18th Final Four and has just four wins.
2008-04-05 17:00:15
40.   D4P
What's Oregon's ratio of Final Fours to wins...?
2008-04-05 17:03:19
41.   Bob Timmermann
Oregon is perfect in the Final Four!

UConn is the only school with multiple championships with a perfect Final Four record I believe.

2008-04-05 17:05:25
42.   Bob Hendley
39 - We have higher standards.
2008-04-05 17:05:33
43.   D4P
Oregon is perfect in the Final Four!

I expect that streak to last a while.

2008-04-05 17:08:35
44.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA would have done better scoring more than 21 points in the half.
2008-04-05 17:10:21
45.   Bob Hendley
Its UCLA's fault for making Memphis pour it on.
2008-04-05 17:10:32
46.   D4P
I guess everyone will be rooting for the Tarheels on Monday...
2008-04-05 17:14:14
47.   Bob Timmermann
What if Kansas is playing?

UCLA was cursed by Bill Plaschke saying that they were superior to Memphis because of the coaches.

2008-04-05 17:16:23
48.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm going to be rooting for Kansas.

I'm going to be disappointed. Again.

2008-04-05 17:18:25
49.   Penarol1916
46. I didn't know that they reinstuted the 3rd place game.
2008-04-05 17:20:08
50.   D4P
I'm not sure any game has ever been reinstuted.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-04-05 17:20:45
51.   Bob Hendley
48 - Unless you are trying to fool the gods here, you can't be disappointed if you don't have any hope or expectations.
2008-04-05 17:23:10
52.   trainwreck
Evil wins.

Uggh, we are the Buffalo Bills.

2008-04-05 17:25:20
53.   Bob Hendley
Lost in baseball, lost in basketball, I now turn to Mexican soccer. Go Cruz Azul! (all my teams wear blue).
2008-04-05 17:25:39
54.   underdog
Ugh is right.

I'm not surprised, but I sure am disappointed.

Memphis is one heck of a basketball team though. 38 wins in one season. Wow.

Do you think this might mean Kevin Love sticks around for another season, or is he definitely a goner?

2008-04-05 17:26:21
55.   trainwreck
Goodbye to Lorenzo. He was a great player for us over the last four years and he has given a ton to this team.

Sadly, probably the end for Love and Collison. Even though they both said they wanted to win a championship.

2008-04-05 17:27:32
56.   Bob Hendley
I consider Forum purple, or whatever its called, to be close enough.
2008-04-05 17:33:55
57.   Bob Hendley
55 - Bye, bye, Love...I think imma gonna cryi.
2008-04-05 17:36:33
58.   trainwreck
This is extra depressing, because this will be our best opportunity to win in the next few years. Plus, we lost to the scum bag's team.

Great, now I have to root for UNC or Kansas. Baaaaaaaah.

2008-04-05 17:36:38
59.   D4P
Love shoulda gone to Oregon.
2008-04-05 17:37:50
60.   trainwreck
Should have offered him more of that Nike money.
2008-04-05 18:22:44
61.   D4P
Maybe the Tarheels and Bruins can arrange a pickup game for 3rd place.
2008-04-05 18:31:49
62.   Vishal
this is so awesome.
2008-04-05 18:32:29
63.   trainwreck
All hail, Andrew Shimmin!

At least, I picked Kansas over North Carolina, but this domination is prettttty pretttyy prettty surprising.

2008-04-05 18:38:07
64.   D4P
Hansborough shoulda gone to Oregon.
2008-04-05 18:39:18
65.   trainwreck
Phil Knight should have taken his Nike money.
2008-04-05 18:44:14
66.   D4P
Short Chris Young and Justin Upton are off to great starts this season.
2008-04-05 18:45:06
67.   D4P
In all those years I lived in Oregon, I was never given any Nike money.
2008-04-05 18:45:45
68.   trainwreck
Good thing I got both of them in the only league that I was actually present for my draft.

I also got BJ Upton. You can't lose when you got the Uptons together.

2008-04-05 18:48:17
69.   trainwreck
Hopefully, the UFC gives Fedor the Nike money.
2008-04-05 18:54:10
70.   D4P
Heh heh. Yeah, at first I was happy for him that he didn't give in to Dana, but now I want him to fight real fighters.
2008-04-05 18:55:05
71.   Bob Timmermann
Who kidnapped the Tar Heels and replaced with Mississippi Valley State?
2008-04-05 18:56:54
72.   trainwreck
The ACC is the greatest conference mankind has ever seen. UNC did this on purpose just to make a game of this.
2008-04-05 19:09:55
73.   D4P
Could it beeeeee.......Satan?
2008-04-05 19:13:07
74.   trainwreck
He was to busy helping John Calipari succeed.
2008-04-05 19:16:51
75.   D4P
You know it's your night when you shoot an airball and a teammate catches it and dunks it.
2008-04-05 19:18:49
76.   D4P
UNC has no interior defense. It's kinda pathetic. How'd they only lose 2 games this year?
2008-04-05 19:25:50
77.   Bob Timmermann
I think UNC's problem at the outset was panicking when they got down. They just started chucking up shots.

I still think 12 points is a lot to overcome at this point against a good team.

2008-04-05 19:26:55
78.   D4P
I still think 12 points is a lot to overcome at this point against a good team

Plus, they've already had to go on a huge run just to get it to 12. Kansas is bound to start playing better here soon.

2008-04-05 19:29:55
79.   trainwreck
Maybe Kansas should stop chucking up threes.
2008-04-05 19:31:58
80.   Bob Timmermann
Overcoming a 28-point deficit would be close to the alltime NCAA record. There have been a few 30+ point comebacks.
2008-04-05 19:32:06
81.   dianagramr
Bob .... since you have all the stats .... what's the biggest deficit overcome in a Final Four game?
2008-04-05 19:32:53
82.   Bob Timmermann
2008-04-05 19:32:56
83.   dianagramr
wow .... 8 seconds late on the question :-)
2008-04-05 19:36:55
84.   trainwreck
Maxwell Smart is rolling over in his grave.
2008-04-05 19:38:40
85.   D4P
Here comes Kansas's run.
2008-04-05 19:41:21
86.   D4P
UNC has had an inordinate number of shots bounce around the rim without going in.
2008-04-05 19:42:03
87.   Bob Timmermann
I think "Get Smart" could be good.
2008-04-05 19:42:21
88.   dianagramr
The rims just "sound" funny ...
2008-04-05 19:44:24
89.   D4P
Tyler Hansborough is like a good Mark Madsen.
2008-04-05 19:46:25
90.   Bob Timmermann
2008-04-05 19:47:33
91.   dianagramr
I'm trying to think of who Hansborough reminds me of (playing-wise) .... Danny Ferry?
2008-04-05 19:49:03
92.   D4P
Hansborough and I were once at Jamba Juice getting smoothies at the same time.
2008-04-05 19:49:43
93.   D4P
I think Kansas can get a layup any time they want.
2008-04-05 19:51:31
94.   Bob Timmermann
The standard answer is to compare all players to Andrew Bogut.
2008-04-05 19:52:18
95.   dianagramr
what's with hoisting the 3s by Carolina ....
2008-04-05 19:54:12
96.   dianagramr
I don't think Kansas/Memphis is the final CBS wants ...
2008-04-05 19:54:38
97.   D4P
I'd rather they hoist 3s than have Hansborough go 1 on 5.
2008-04-05 19:59:45
98.   dianagramr
They could get the margin back up to 28!
2008-04-05 20:01:52
99.   Bob Timmermann
It will be a Ham Fighter Nation (Kansas) vs Bama Yankee (Memphis) final.
2008-04-05 20:04:35
100.   D4P
Then I guess we gotta root for Memphis.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-04-05 20:04:37
101.   Indiana Jon
Looks like it comes down to Ham Fighter Nation against Bama Yankee.
2008-04-05 20:06:54
102.   Indiana Jon
and if I would have refreshed, I would have known that sooner!
2008-04-05 20:07:27
103.   Indiana Jon
Who is Bama Yankee?
2008-04-05 20:08:42
104.   Bob Timmermann
Bama Yankee is a regular on Bronx Banter.
2008-04-05 20:09:18
105.   Indiana Jon
104 Then I'm for Kansas.
2008-04-06 07:40:49
106.   Marty
I can't believe I'm sixth.
2008-04-07 06:56:28
107.   Bama Yankee
105 Hey, Bronx Banter posters are people too...(well, mostly).

I started reading The Griddle last year during the NCAA Tourney (I finished second in the contest last year). You guys have a great blog (Bob does a great job and you guys are very funny).

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