Put Your Lighters Up

25 Mar

by Chris McCoy

Down goes Duke! Down goes Duke! Down goes Duke!

My bracket is officially shot. Perfect timing though – when you’re at the club this weekend, pour out a little for the bracket. Now please join me in a moment of silence…

Download Moment of Silence by Chris McCoy

Yeah I’m silly… I know, but that’s why you read my stuff ;).

What’s even more wild about all of this is that I was having a conversation about Duke with RJP CEO, Karim Dixon, right after the tip off of the BYU-Florida game. I had just finished writing my Elite 8 Pick ‘Em where I picked Duke to win this game, but something just didn’t feel right. There’s something you should know about me – I’m loyal to my friends and my picks… I refuse to flip flop. My bracket has Duke winning; so despite my ill feelings I just wouldn’t switch (FYI: This is the reason I didn’t go undefeated on my picks in the NFL Playoffs, I picked Baltimore to win the Super Bowl during the preseason – Before there was an RJP to even be held accountable for that pick – and I stuck with them, even though I said that Pittsburgh would win that game… By the way that was the only game I got wrong all playoffs :D).

During that convo with Karim, I told him that I picked Duke to win it all because of the addition of Kyrie Irving, but they were having chemistry issues adjusting to his addition back into the line up. In the first game they played Hampton, and while I love my 7 Cities HBCU, they were clearly over matched, and Irving led the team in scoring, while playing less minutes than all of the starters. So the Michigan game is one I had circled on my calendar, and as far as I was concerned, it might as well have been Irving v. Michigan because the entire time Irving was on the court he was pretty much the only player I watched. I watched him playing very passively next to Nolan Smith, I saw him refusing to drive in situations where he would have done so last fall. I saw him passing to seemingly just get the ball out of his hands because he was unsure of when to defer to others.

Williams had his way with the Blue Devils

Nolan Smith’s productivity shot way up in Irving’s absence – he can pretty much thank Kyrie for the Player of the Year considerations, as all of his numbers shot up in his absence… the Blue Devils needed senior leadership, and Smith provided that. With Irving back, though, Smith’s productivity declined, averaging just 13.7 ppg and 3.7 apg, both well under his season averages of 20.6 ppg and 5.1 apg and even well under his averages with Irving in the line up last fall: 17.8 ppg and 5 apg.

I told Karim that I hoped they had a great week of practice where they rekindled the chemistry, or else they could get shocked this weekend. I really didn’t think it was going to be in the ‘Zona game though, but I knew it was possible. I didn’t even write about the game in my Pick ‘Em piece, as I didn’t want to sound contradictory. Hey, but props to Derrick Williams! He played like a MAN, and just shot up his NBA Draft stock. His 25 first half points kept the Wildcats in the game. He finished with 32 points 13 rebounds on 11-17 shooting with 5 threes in 35 minutes. So as we morn the loss of my bracket, let’s celebrate the reemergence of one of the great programs in all of basketball – the Arizona Wildcats.

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One Response to “Put Your Lighters Up”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Road to the Final Four Pick ‘Em « RUN JUMP PASS - March 26, 2011

    […] I went 5-3 (.625) on my Elite 8 picks, missing on Ohio State, which I’ve been routing against the entire tourney because everyone else thought they were the superior team in the tournament – something I just did not agree with – (I wanted my Tar Heels to be the ones to knock them out though)… Florida State – they LOST that game versus VCU winning it, but I’ll never roll with a Florida team over a VA team ever again… okay maybe an exaggeration… and Duke, but we’ve already been over that loss. […]

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