Saturday, December 10, 2005

Morrison saves the day

Today the big news in college basketball was the heavily anticipated game between No. 1 Duke vs. No. 2 Texas. Well, after Duke beat the Longhorns by 438 points, the day was destined for let down.

But the "Battle in Seattle" salvaged it.

The matchup between No. 9 Gonzaga and Oklahoma State was one for the ages. Played at Key Arena in Seattle - which was anything but a neutral court -- this was an Instant Classic.

OK State had the lead for much of the game. Gonzaga took a one-point advantage with a minute left. OK State scored to go ahead. Gonzage had an easy layup, but it was blocked! The Cowboys missed the front end of a one-and-one, and then Spanish Pornstar double and consensus All-American Adam Morrison hit a miracle three-pointer that kissed of the glass.

It was one of the best games I've seen, well, since the UW Huskies beat the Zags last week.

This was truly a gem. Clutch shots, big scoring runs, costly turnovers. Key Arena was far more loud than it was for any Sonics' game. But then again you can hear a pin drop at any NBA game. (But we'll save that for another column).

The "Battle in Seattle" was one of those games that no team deserved to lose. Especially the way that Eddie Sutton's club went down. A tear-your-heart-out-and-feed-it-to-the-wolves kind of loss. But the youthful team showed poise, and if not for Morrison's miraculous shot, they would have won.

Bill Raftery, who was the commentator for the game, was screaming with excitement that Morrison was the best player in college basketball -- constantly comparing the moustache-wearing star to thee Larry Bird. On a day like this, coming off a 43-point masterpiece last week in Seattle (against Washington), Morrison, on the brink of a second-straight loss, looked immortal.

For how hard of a time I have rooting for Morrison and Gonzaga, it's hard not to agree with Raftery that he is, hands down, the best player in college hoops this season.

But here are some others worth discussing:

J.J. Redick, Duke (career-high 41 points vs. Texas)
Shelden Williams, Duke
Daniel Gibson, Texas
Rudy Gay, UCONN
Maurice Ager, Michigan State

In other news: NASA has confirmed that the Houston Texans do, in fact, have a problem.

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