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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Chicago Sports.com - If only Calipari had been as Self-aware as the other guy

Chicago Sports.com - If only Calipari had been as Self-aware as the other guy
By Steve Rosenbloom

If only Calipari had been as Self-aware as the other guy
I hate it that Bill Self, who slithered out of Champaign for Lawrence, won the NCAA Championship, but congratulations to him. And what good luck that Self was facing a coach who didn't know when to, I don't know, actually coach.

Memphis' John Calipari said his team tried to foul with less than 10 seconds remaining but Sherron Collins ran away from them. Well, no. That's not what his team tried to do. I mean, was he watching then end of regulation? Because the guy checking Collins clearly raised his hands with four seconds left to show the referees he didn't mean to make contact. And Calipari's failure -- or refusal -- to call a timeout to make sure his players knew to foul and his failure to call a timeout after Mario Chalmers fired a shot into eternity was bad coaching, as well.

And now Self might slither out of Kansas for Oklahoma State. You'd think not -- not after finally winning a championship -- but he never shot down the idea that he'd listen to how high Okie State's money stacks. Only a snake would find a way to soil a perfect moment.

Memphis made one basket in last 7:12 of the NCAA Championship game and missed four free throws in that time. The Tigers missed seven of 16 free throws after halftime. Make one, and you win a title. Miss that many, and you'll hear about it or think about it everyday forever. The most basic part of basketball -- the free throw -- and the thing that dogged the Tigers all season got them, the thing that Calipari tried to downplay all season killed them. Missed free throws. Yeesh.

Most underrated moment in Memphis' choking away a nine-point lead with 2:12 to go was Joey Dorsey's stupid foul 30 feet from the basket that got Memphis' best rebounder disqualified.

Has Derrick Rose scored in overtime yet?

Missed free throws. Yeesh.

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