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CARDINALS WERE GALLANT, BUT …



Gallant, Louisville’s run to the last eight was tribute to overachievement.

Says here, Chris Jones’s exit was pivotal. UofL was a better team because Rick Pitino’s options expanded, his bench men sat up straighter, paid attention better, each expected to play and play well and did.

And so, the oddity in the final moments of the Cardinals’ season.

During time-out and last possession sequences against Michigan State, Montrezl Harrell seemed 1. worn out (put-back shot was short); 2. disgusted being a screener; 3. tuned out when Pitino end-game options involved Wayne Blackshear or Terry Rozier, not All-American Harrell.

COACH OF YEAR

Damaged Cred Dept. The U.S. Basketball Writers Association tried to have it both ways the other day.

Choosing Virginia’s popular and charismatic Tony Bennett as college coach of the year was to reward popular and charismatic.

Snub for John Calipari was petty and political nonsense, but it does elevate conversation on preserving a semblance of college basketball as NOT a one-stopshop to the NBA (Calipari), but IS a pre-job time of life to be savored and reminder: “You’re a college dude one time.”

Calipari is college basketball’s coach of the year. 38-0 says so, right? Wrong. Proof is: Having achieved the most with the most (talent). Any other choice, including Bennett, makes the award a popularity contest.

COACH CAROUSEL

Final Four aside, most entertaining department in college hoops this time of year is the athletic department when heads roll. Best and worst …

BEST. “You’re fired” notice to Donnie Tyndall at Tennessee. Caught cheating at Morehead State (two years’ probation in 2010), then Southern Mississippi, Tyndall won’t be back any time soon.

And so it goes.



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