By Zach Borg
Panther men’s basketball choked at Bradley today. I know that’s about as harsh as it gets, but there is no other way I can really think of to explain UNI’s 78-67 loss. Bradley is the worst team in the Valley, entering at 0-6. UNI led by 12 at halftime and as many as 15 in the second half. They were outscored 50-23 over the final 16 minutes. Yes it’s tough to play on the road, but in context of this game, that’s ridiculous.
After a strong non-conference run that left them with a high RPI, I remember thinking that the only way the Panthers wouldn’t get an at-large bid to the Big Dance is if they did a faceplant in conference play. Check. Since losing their last non-conference game to Ohio this team has lost it’s mojo, going just 3-4 in league play. Unless they win every game they have left or (the more likely option) make an Arch Madness run, they’re tourney hopes were shot dead today. Maybe they can make a Valley run, after all, nobody saw their current struggles coming.
The reality is starting to set in that Iowa may not get ANY men’s or women’s teams into the Big Dance. Kind of strange because I think, at least on the men’s side, it’s been a more exciting year with Iowa and Iowa State playing better basketball. Right now our only hopes are probably the ISU men figuring out how to shoot a free throw and closing games out or the UNI women.
Break up the Drake Bulldogs. Mark Phelps and Co. picked up their third straight win, by 17, over Illinois State.
|The Sequel Was Not As Good As The Original|
Last week some of the Packers who played on the 2008 team that lost in the NFC Championship game to the Giants at Lambeau talked and tweeted about how anxious they were to play the Giants again with revenge in mind. Whoops. At least in 08 it was a game.
You do have to feel for Joe Philbin who coached the game despite the tragic death of his son earlier in the week. I’m sure it has (or will be) brought up that this might have distracted them. Who knows. It did seem to have an effect on the players too when you heard them talk during the week. But I also think the Giants really are this good right now.
Pass happy offenses dominated the league this season. But when it came playoff time two of the most prolific in the league, Green Bay and New Orleans, were done in by great defensive teams. Defense STILL wins championships.
So we have Ravens-Patriots and Giants-49ers in the title games next week. I’d like to pick Baltimore with that defense, but I just don’t trust Joe Flacco. The Giants are the hottest team right now in the playoffs. I think we’re getting a Super Bowl 42 rematch-Giants vs. Patriots.
|The Bromance In Full Bloom|
Hassel is on vacation in Mexico with Dave Zawilinski and their wives (I commend Mrs. H and Mrs. Z for being able to handle the sheer bromance as well). Despite being in a place where the weather is warm and there are plenty of beaches, they’re inside watching TV and tweeting about the Giants-Packers game. Does that seem a little weird? Then again, weird and Hassel go together like peanut butter and jelly.
In all fairness-Dave is a big Giants fan (and probably had money on the game), while Chris is a Bears fan who hates everything Packer. Memo to Hassel-yes the Pack lost, but your Bears still have as many Super Bowl titles as my Chiefs. The ring count in Chicago ain’t changing anytime soon.