Saturday, March 17, 2007
Kansas 107, Niagara 67
History would not be made on this night.
There would be no upset, not even a scare.
The eyes of a nation would not be focused on the United Center late in the second half.
In truth, it was just your basic 1 v. 16 (mis)matchup as the (much)taller and (far more)talented Kansas Jayhawks steamrolled the Purple Eagles in a game that was no longer in doubt after about the midway point of the first half. Kansas was not only the better club, but it looked and played the part of a power conference club that had been eliminated in the first round the past two years running by a 13 and a 14 seed and sure as hell wasn't gonna have that happen again.
The score was tied at 12 then the Jayhawks opened that up to a ten point, then twenty point lead prior to halftime and the urge to switch to another game was on.
I caught a glimpse of Danny Manning on the bench for the Jayhawks. Apparently he's serving in an assistant coach's role or something. Perhaps that's an omen for Kansas as he led, no wait, carried the Jayhawks on his back to the NCAA title in 1988. You just may see them do it this spring in Atlanta.
Niagara has nothing to bow their heads about regardless as they've come a long way from the difficulties of the early season with all of the suspensions to come back and play in the Big Dance. They've become the premier Big 4 program in recent years and well deserved.
For being such a knowledgeable hoops analyst, did Billy Packer spend more than thirty seconds looking at the scouting report for Niagara? Packer constantly harped on the notion that the Purple Eagles should play a slowdown game to beat Kansas. Maybe so, but Billy was probably clueless to the fact that the up tempo style of play is how Niagara does things. That's inexcusable for being CBS's top analyst and shows a lack of preparation that I'd expect from a Billy Jo Hobert before Packer.
Heh, heh, another reason not to like Packer....