March Madness Morning After: North Carolina Strokes, Wisconsin Chokes, And Coach K K-onvolutes The Truth
North Carolina's three-point shooting, Wisconsin's late-game collapse, and Coach K's ongoing HandshakeGate highlight our daily NCAA Tournament roundup.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
This feature is part of VICE Sports' March Madness coverage.
With the 2016 NCAA Tournament's Sweet Sixteen in the books, let's look back at the night that was.
When North Carolina hits its three-pointers, it's unbeatable
North Carolina is playing like one of the best teams in the country, with eight straight wins, including victories against NCAA Tournament teams Virginia, Indiana, Duke, Syracuse and Notre Dame. And all of that is despite having a terrible three-point shooting attack.
The Tar Heels came into their game against Indiana ranked No. 307 in the country in three-point percentage; perhaps unsurprisingly, they just don't take many shots from beyond the arc, ranking No. 340 in three-pointers attempted. But against Indiana, UNC bombed away, and it worked.
The Tar Heels hit their first seven three-pointers, and 11 overall, to score a whopping 101 points against a very good Indiana squad in the Sweet Sixteen. UNC is already one of the best teams in the country at hitting two-point jumpers. If the Tar Heels can keep expanding their range in the tournament, they will be unstoppable.
Why have replay if you aren't going to use it?
In theory, college basketball has replay available to review calls. But in practice, the sport doesn't use replay to its full advantage.
Officials must have "indisputable video evidence" to overturn calls on the court, meaning officials are taught to defer to the call on the court even if they're 99 percent sure that call is wrong. But why should you be forced to stick with a call that you're almost certain is wrong when you now have better information?
There's no good answer.
This misuse of replay was almost very costly in the Syracuse-Gonzaga game. After Syracuse's Trevor Cooney stole an inbounds pass, a ref with no angle to make the call determined that Cooney was out of bounds.
A replay review showed—very clearly—that Cooney was not out of bounds:
"The picture I saw, it looked like he was in bounds, so I don't know," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said after the game. "I don't know if they had access to that picture or not."
They did have access to that picture, but for some reason, it still wasn't enough. Changing the burden of proof to less than is needed in a murder trial should be the first item on the rules committee's agenda this summer.
Tweet of the day
Notre Dame fan (!) Chris Christie has an innovative (?) way to eat M&Ms—good to see that candy traffic on the bridge between bag and mouth is flowing smoothly:
It's the ACC's world
There are four teams left on the right side of the bracket, and every single one of them is from the ACC. That means there will be two teams from the conference in the Final Four, and one in the National Championship game.
Moreover, Sunday's Elite Eight games will be an all-ACC infomercial. No. 1 Virginia will face No. 10 Syracuse, and No. 1 North Carolina will face No. 6 Notre Dame.
More like "No Wisconsin" (in the Elite Eight)
It might not be Northern Iowa-level, but Wisconsin's collapse against Notre Dame was something to behold. The Badgers led, 56-55 with 19 seconds left, but dropped the ball—literally—to give Notre Dame an easy layup to take the lead:
That was bad enough, but then Wisconsin did it again. Bronson Koenig had a chance to hit a three to tie the game—like he did in the previous round—but he dribbled right into Notre Dame's Demetrius Jackson, who stole the ball and hit the game-clinching free throws:
That's a brutal way to go out. And it leads us to this ...
Quote of the day
"The Irish don't lose on Good Friday or Easter Sunday. Can I get an amen?"
- Notre Dame coach Mike Brey
Coach K lied about lecturing an Oregon player
On Thursday, American hero Dillon Brooks made a deep garbage-time three and then saluted to the crowd, because there was time left on the clock and that's how basketball is played. However, Brooks claimed that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski got mad and lectured him about #class:
Krzyzewski denied saying anything like that to Brooks:
But actually, he did say that. CBS released the audio:
Lecturing a player about #class in a situation like this is dumb. Lecturing them and then lying about it is all kinds of dumb. Funny! But dumb.
Iowa State supporters do not like referees. Cyclones athletic director Jamie Pollard once got fined $25,000 for claiming there was a Big 12 officiating conspiracy against ISU. Another time, Pollard got ejected from a high school basketball game for yelling at the refs.
Elsewhere, an Iowa State fan once tried to charge Kansas coach Bill Self after he got mad at some calls—don't shoot the messenger!—and former football coach Paul Rhoads has gone off on the officials before.
ISU fans love to boo the refs at Hilton Coliseum, and with a good geographic draw, they were out in force in Chicago. As expected, there was booing. And lots of it. By my on-site count, Iowa State fans booed calls on 18 separate occasions in the Cyclones' 84-71 loss to Virginia. That's almost once every two minutes!
Hats off to you, Cyclones fans. May your righteous wrath someday rid this Earth of referees.
VICE Sports Tom Crean Memorial Coach Photo of the Day
As always: you're welcome, America.
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