The first half of Sunday’s Michigan-Louisville game was a barn burner. Louisville’s Deng Adel had a couple highlights, including when he annihilated a basketball with a thunder dunk. Near the end of the first half, Adel made back-to-back threes to extend Louisville’s lead, and it was so exciting, Ryan McMahon fell out of his seat and a coach angrily ran up to yank him off the ground.
I don’t care if it was intentional or not, the guilty party must be brought to justice.
Thankfully, Verne is a pro’s pro who played through the pain and even made light of the incident during the West Virginia-Notre Dame broadcast.
This was a team that probably wouldn’t have even made the field of 68 if it had lost its first game in the Big East tournament. Now it’s rolling into the Sweet 16 after an 11-point win over sixth-seeded Maryland, and a 25-point drubbing of third-seeded Florida State. Teams that make deep runs in March typically have star guards who are playing their best basketball of the season, and that’s the case with the Musketeers and Trevon Bluiett.
On paper, Notre Dame seemed like the worst possible second-round matchup for West Virginia. The Mountaineers win games by using their trademark pressure to feed off of opponents’ mistakes. The Fighting Irish don’t make many mistakes. They entered Saturday’s game ranking second in the nation in fewest turnovers per game, and were leading the nation in both assist-to-turnover ratio and team free-throw percentage.
Somehow, the Mountaineers still forced a team with that makeup to play right into their hands. West Virginia forced Notre Dame into 14 turnovers (six above their season average), and held them to 10-of-28 shooting from beyond the arc, and to 40.7 percent overall from the field as a team.