First, apologies for the lack of a liveblog last night. I was working for the man (every night and day, I might add) and was unable to get my liveblog on.
I considered doing one while watching a replay of the game, kind of like my version of Biff Tannen's take on blogging. But alas, I don't have a DVR and I couldn't find a rerun anywhere.
Still, I was able to keep track on gamecast and I watched the majority of it from across the room. Not that I needed to watch much of it anyway -- one can only watch Greg Monroe poo all over Hasheem Thabeet so many times. (Did he really hit a Wilt Chamberlain/Hakeem Olajuwon/PatrickEwing/Every center before 1993-esque hook shot over Thabeet?)
There's not too much you can really say about this one that Coach Cal hasn't already made a snide remark about already. As Meacham has already pointed out, matchup zones just have that way of completely shutting down UConn's offense. But it's OK, because the zone really came out of nowhere. No opponent had used it against them.
"We looked like we had never seen a matchup zone before," Coach Cal said. "We've played against nothing but matchup zone. That's 11 out of 12 games we've played against matchup zone. We looked like we had never seen one before. We had tremendous size advantage. One of our disadvantages tonight was our size."
The team played, and looked, flat. Jerome Dyson was 1-for-10 from the floor. Despite seven superficial blocks, Thabeet was a ghost again (with a whopping four points). And resident UConn janitor A.J. Price couldn't do enough to clean up another mess.
Obviously, the Huskies have problems they have to address. Coach Cal, in all his wisdom, knows this.
Some would lead you to believe this is some mega-colossal meltdown, but it's still December.
There's a reason no one cares about basketball before March: If your team is good enough to make it to the Dance, anything can happen. It's why March Madness is so awesome, and also why the regular season is kind of ho-hum.
But every where I look today, you'd think the season was over. Congrats to G-town and all, for it surely was an impressive performance, but it won't seal their bid for the NCAAs (even though they'll surely make it).
And maybe in the oddest news of this craziness over nothing, North Carolina fans are celebrating the UConn loss (hat tip to the Big Lead), mainly because they're crazy. Through some strange logic, they think a team being 11-1 as opposed to 12-0 gives UNC a better chance of winning a national title. You know, because it's important that if the Heels do go through the regular season unscathed, they'd be the only ones to do so. I think. I don't speak twang, so I'm not sure.
I don't know about you, North Carolina, but us Yankees shared our toys.
There's obviously some merit to a December game, especially one between two top 15 teams.
For UConn, that was the realization that they suck in certain ways. Most of which are curable, and will surely be corrected in a beatdown of Rutgers, the feel-good team, Saturday.
To sort of contradict myself a bit, I must say I am a bit worried about the big guy. He has certainly progressed offensively this year, and the defense is still there, but he's starting to become notorious for disappearing in big games, at least on the offensive end.
Now, no one expects Thabeet to drop 20 every night. He's not that player, and most likely never will be. But is it too much to ask for a solid 12ish against a good opponent? Apparently so.
Against Georgetown, Gonzaga, Pitt, Lousiville, West Virginia and Notre Dame the past two seasons -- the teams I deem to be UConn's best conference and non-conference opponents -- Thabeet has averaged just 6.1 points and has not reached double figures once. That's 10 games of offensive ineptitude.
To be fair, he did have 12 against Indiana the day after the Dyson-Wiggins suspensions, and all but two of those games came last season, but this what you call a pattern. And it didn't help that he continued that pattern in front of a horde of NBA scouts Monday.
Sure, UConn won a lot of games last year and pulled itself out of the gutter that was the 06-07 season, yada, yada. But most of those games last year came down to the end, and Price had to hit all the shots in the last five minutes and a late three to win it. They weren't dominating anyone out there.
And until Thabeet or Dyson (Really? 1-for-10?) or Kemba Walker gives him a Robin, things may not turn out as expected. Craig Austrie did it a bit last year, and as much as I love him for keeping his job despite being looked over every year, he may not have the talent to do it.
But like I said, there's two-plus months and 18 more games left. And even though the Tar Heels have a better starting five, the Huskies are the deepest team in the nation. Once Ater Marjok gets the OK, the Huskies' bench alone could compete in the Big East. Well, at least win the MAC.
So should we, the Storrs Nation, be scared?
Eh, maybe a bit.
But is this the end?
That's a resounding nope.