2 Cents on the Final Four
I had the privilege and honor to be in the building for the Final Four on Saturday. It's taken me a little while to get my thoughts in order about the happenings but with the championship tipping off tonight, here goes.
Kudos to Virginia for having a player that could knock down three free throws to get into the championship game. Was there a foul on that three point shot? Unfortunately, yes. Was there a double dribble before that shot or foul happened? Also, yes. Can't go back and change that sequence. So while it frustrates me to no end because as an unattached viewer the last thing I wanted was Texas Tech versus Virginia tonight it is what it is.
My ire over that foul being called though comes down to this, the refs let them play for all of 39 minutes, 59.5 seconds. I get that the final foul was a player safety related rule. No disputing the need for that sort of rule but THEY WEREN'T CALLING IT THAT WAY ALL GAME!! And as all fans should, I hate when officials directly impact outcomes of games!
There's no easy fix to make to avoiding that sort of finish again. I'm not going to call for more replay. I want else. The dumb play stoppages ruin the flow far too often already. But if there is a fix it may be through the institution of the AAF's "Sky Judge." Have a dedicated person above the fray who can see everything and if necessary make calls. There are enough well experienced officials in every league to make it work, I'm just not sure the organizations will swallow their pride and take something from one that was so quickly debunked.
As for game 2, I had a hard time locking in on it. I was so thrown off by the ending of the first game that it wasn't until Matt Mooney started putting on his show that I was able to enjoy the game and the atmosphere again.
Speaking of that, I've since learned that this was the first Final Four to include the sale of alcohol. I truly hope that it's a one and done. Or at least that the NCAA would find a better way to have libations available. It, more than anything else, kept people in the concourses constantly, which subsequently helped keep me in my seat. A dude to my left that had the attention span of a current high school student at best, went the other way on it. The guy got up to leave like every two minutes - and of course he was in the middle of the row! Just an idiot. He even tried to break one of the seats in the row in front of us. An Eagles level dude, for sure.
But despite all that, I'm beyond glad that I made the drive down! The Fan Fest was more fun than I thought it would be. Nicollet Mall was well done on the street and to a lesser extent in the sky way. And the building was hopping from well beyond the first tip to Chris Beard leaving the court. If you get a chance to take in a Final Four, do it!!!