The game I am most looking forward to today is St. Joe’s/Texas Tech. This game is a battle between overacheivers and underacheivers, the little guys vs. the big guys. The unheralded coach vs. the pompous jerk. The kids that aren’t on TV vs. the kids that are. You get the idea.
It’s no secret I am less than objective in this one. I adopted the Hawks early in the year (along with Georgia Tech and Air Force) and have followed them closely. It really bugs me that they are perceived as the underdog in this one, and moreover perceived as a long shot to make the Final 4, or even the Elite 8. It bugs me that Billy Packer decided to trash them on national TV in their finest moment as a basketball program. And he was just the first. Lately everybody with a microphone has piled on – although in a much less confrontational manner than Packer did. But few are predicting a Hawks victory.
My emotions aside, a lot is being made of the Hawks’ lack of rebounding, and even I have made an issue of this before. But let’s do some real analysis here…Texas Tech – like SJU – has been out-rebounded on the year! Have you heard that from anybody? From everything I have heard from the likes of (fill in the name of any analyst on ESPN), you’d think the Red Raiders are going to own the boards in this game. Considering the disparity in the competition each team has faced, Texas Tech probably is a better rebounding team than St. Joe’s, but the disparity isn’t all that significant. And furthermore, the Red Raiders 3rd leading rebounder Robert Tomaszek has a broken foot and apparently isn’t going to play.
While I am talking about ESPN, I’d like to make a suggestion to the network – get Dickie V and Digger off of the set and replace them with Doug Gottlieb! That guy is a superb analyst and has been doing a great job the last couple of days on ESPNEWS.