We lost to a team that was probably a little more talented than us, definitely longer than us, and very well coached.
I’m not sure if it was talent or scheme, but one way or the other they consistently found a way to get the ball on the elbow and slash to the rim. It seemed their guy with the ball was usually 2-3 inches taller than whoever we had defending them, which led to too many virtually uncontested layups…of which they probably hit 90%.
We didn’t get nearly as many close in shots, but the ones we got were almost all contested and we probably (I don’t have hard stats) hit around 30-40% of them.
Their length manifested itself in a large advantage on the boards.
They didn’t take many threes, but hit a good percentage of them, particularly after starting off 0-4. They hit their first 2 three’s in the last 90 seconds of the first half, which hurt.
I have NO idea why Lykes decided to jack up a shot with 10-11 seconds left in the first half. I could see taking a shot at 5 seconds, giving us a chance for a put-back. When they rebounded, it led to their buzzer beating 3 to end the half.
I do not think we got a raw deal from the referees. Sure, they missed some…but in the overall picture, officials/calls didn’t affect the outcome, IMO.
If you’d have told me that we were hitting 40% of our threes and shooting 45% overall at the half, I would have thought we would be ahead. But that was based on our defensive metrics over the last several games. When your opponent is shooting over 50% from the field AND the three point line, you are generally in trouble.
Of course, I’m disappointed - but not dismayed. This was a very good season and the future is bright. I will now hope that St. Peters or Villanova wins, because I can’t root for anyone else left.
Duke’s length and strong shooting made for a tough night. More often than not our starting five was more athletic than the other team, unfortunately Duke appeared our athletic equal and was superior to our shooting and ability to finish at the rim. I believe this team came very close to getting the max out of its abilities. Great season both by the players and the coaches.
Great post, Keith. This team. which includes all the players and coaches got their best out of this group of guys.
I agree with all of this. Good post.
Duke found their stroke. Shot 70% in 2nd half of their game prior against Ttech.
That’s true, but I’d just put it like this…they found their confidence. Not unlike what we did after 3 straight SEC losses. It’s amazing how a team can transform and change their trajectory simply by believing in themselves and their teammates.
That Duke team last night didn’t look anything like the Blue Devils I watched 2 or 3 times during the regular season. They always had the talent, and the coaching. But now, they have the confidence in themselves.
well, well said. I saw that we have the lowest team shooting % of any Elite 8 team…Ever, or at least since they expanded the field, was that 1978?
anyway, I could not agree more, that these players and coaches got the MAX out of each other.
for example-Duke had 6 McD AA’s, I believe, and they scored I think all their points. we have zero McD AA’s…for a few more months.
Great posts, Wizard. Very incisive, I agree 100%, and in addition to seeing every Arkansas game televised, being in Chapel Hill where practically all of UNC’s and Duke’s games are televised, I saw UNC’s #1 rival a lot.
This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.