I chose to start the second half thread with the sublime over the ridiculous. This blur of speed and agility is none other than newly minted Hall of Famer Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon. Thanks to Brooks for the attempt to capture a dream in pixels.
And now onto the ridiculous…
Yes, that happened. Yes, Bobby Knight will come over to your house and pose in your kid’s bar mitzvah photos for $10k.
Here’s the Brooks halftime update:
“Derrick Rose looks tired. Memphis doesn’t seem to be playing with any emotion. KU’s defense has been stifling, especially on Rose. ‘Hawks are bringing much more energy. With the fan breakdown, they’re taking advantage of a home court.
“Between the lame-o national anthems and halftime entertainment, I feel like I’m back calling minor league hockey somewhere in upstate NY.
“A Memphis fan next to me asked a KU fan what a Rock Chalk is. The KU fan had no idea, of course.”
Also, the Rock Chalk dancers shake it to Motley Crüe while the much hotter Memphis ladies move to Earth, Wind and Fire. Brooks and I split on the music choice, with Brooks falling on the side of the Crüe.
Finally, Dick Vitale got the biggest cheer of all the new Hall of Fame inductees. Pat Riley also got an introduction. By the way, the Heat lost tonight in Miami, 91-75. Miami is 1,386 miles from San Antonio by car.
20:00 And we’re off!
15:15 Kansas 39-38. Both punchers have had a chance to rub Vaseline on their faces, take a squirt of water, and receive a horse injection of amphetamines and they’re off to the races again. Roy Williams will have to sprint out to the court and carry KAAAAAAAAAUN! to the foul line at the end.
Unfortunately, the woman voter in the wheelchair in the Liberty Mutual commercial votes for Nader. What a waste.
Brooks update: Not a single hip-hop song to be heard anywhere within the NCAA’s reach all weekend. All-American Rejects, Kid Rock, Fall Out Boy… Rock Chalk Red State Rock!
12:00 Kansas 43-42. No interior defense for Memphis; no exterior offense for Kansas. I’ve seen less rubbin’ at Bristol. Billy Packer’s been engaging, insightful, and shown an affection for the game. It’s so great when the CBS medical staff finds the right medication mix by the end of each tournament.
8:00 Memphis 49-47. Calipari’s outcoaching Self. I would have taken that prop bet.
Robert Downey, Jr. plays a drunk with too much power and I couldn’t be happier. This speaks more about me than him.
5:00 Memphis 54-47. I have screamed after a Rose shot thrice now since the 9:00 mark. I can’t decide if he’s deep, long, or simply full of stamina.
57 56-49. The Hawk wants a T-shirt gun and five minutes alone with Derrick Rose.
Brooks update: The Memphis crowd can’t get up enough noise, between the crowd disparity, the cavernous nature of the place, and their lousy seats. Sounds like Kansas fans have a little more practice in fighting for the best seats in crappy arenas.
(The closest a Memphis fan can get to the court.)
2:12 Memphis 58-51. Mark this as the moment I decided to put Bill Self on my list. No one wants to watch 20 minutes of free throw shooting. You are on my list, sir. My LIST! (Did Jim Nantz just say “nine-point bulge”?
Brooks update: Everyone’s finally standing.
1:39 Memphis 60-56. Memphis is going long! I told you! You heard it here first. Long over Deep every time and twice on Mondays.
0:44 Memphis 62-60. Hack-a-Tiger working.
0:16Memphis 62-60. Wha… wha happa?
0:11 Memphis 62-60. Dozier gives Packer a chance to love grittiness. Everyone wins!
Sorry, Billy. It’s just throwing me off how good you’ve been tonight.
0:00 63-63. Dozier’s out. Rose is damaged and wilting. All hell has broken loose. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria.
(Game-tying shot reaction)
I’m sorry I ever said anything bad about you, tourney baby. You and me, baby… all the way.
5:00 Well, damn.
2:30 Kansas 69-63. Memphis is falling into the deep deep bench, tumbling like Kim Novak. They can’t block, can’t shoot, can’t rebound, and I think one of them has lost control of their bowels.
Wait, that’s me. Oops. Rookie liveblogging mistake.
1:00 Kansas 71-68. Still can’t block or shoot, but they’re getting more chances at screwing up both. The three saved Memphis all season long; why not tonight?
0:30 Kansas 73-68. An odd foul taken by Memphis and a complete inability to hit a shot and it’s…
0:28 … not done.
0:20 … done.
0:00 Kansas 75-68. The narrative finally worked for the elderly cognoscenti: free throws mattered. (Or could have. Anything could have, really.) Calipari will have a lot of ’splainin to do.
And Nantz ruins it with his usual damned catchphrases. “Rock Chalk Championship.” I hope you swallow a toad on the way to Augusta, Jim.
And The Superintendent is named Player of the Moment. Oh, Skinner will never hear the end of this.
And enjoy your One Shining Moment, boys and girls. That moment? Stephen Curry and/or his mom. Eyes on the prize, baby.
(Bill Self in the postgame interview on the Jumbotron - just what Illini fans didn’t want to see)
Final word from Brooks: Self a real class act after the game. Wouldn’t you have thought he’d be happier? Does he know something we don’t know?
And thank goodness coach Cal was right on the money with that free throw thing.
Anyway, it was a great final four here in San Antonio. We’ll have more tomorrow am … Thanks to Tuffy and Jason for doing great work. See ya from Austin, TX, tomorrow!