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Four NCAA teams you should not root for on Friday

Mar 16, 2012, 10:01 AM EDT

spt-120315-virginia AP

With day one in the books, we’re really nowhere near our quota for drama  for the first first/second round of the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully there’s plenty more to come with an excellent Friday that sets us up for a fantastic slate of games on Sunday.

For that to happen, though, we’re going to need to get rid of the riff-raft.

Ugly, low-possession basketball is pervading the sport. So to limit our chances of seeing this type of play as the tournament goes on, let’s collectively root against some teams that play sometimes un-watchable basketball.

If you like fun, and teams that know how to keep a basketball game moving at an acceptable pace, then you’re going to want to the following four teams eliminated today.

  • Virginia –  Not only are the Cavaliers boring (second in the country in defensive points-per-possession and points -per-game) but they are the one true hurdle preventing Missouri and Florida – ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in KenPom.com’s adjusted offense efficiency – from squaring off against one another in the third-round of the NCAA Tournament. That would be fun to watch. No, actually it would be absolutely awesome to watch. With scoring slowing declining year-over-year in college hoops, fans deserve to be treated to what will likely be a high scoring, guard oriented game. Tony Bennett’s club had a nice season, an overachieving season, but they’re just not cool enough to keep partying at this dance. We don’t need a team that can hold a Drexel to just 35-points marching on into the weekend.
  • Alabama – As part of an up-and-down season, the Crimson Tide reached the 70-point mark only once in their last 12 games. That was against Arkansas, so it shouldn’t even really count. Offensive-minded fans don’t want to see this team advance, because not only would it mean that the win came over Creighton, it would mean that Doug McDermott probably had a bad game. Even worse, it would prevent us from Doug McDermott play again until November, and that’s simply not unfair. We need more than just one game of Doug McDermott.  The local media isn’t glossing over Alabama’s offensive inferences, but for some reason players aren’t that concerned, and head coach Anthony Grant says the team’s game against the BlueJays is about playing to strengths. I appreciate the positive thinking, but sometimes you gotta be able to keep up on the offensive end and the Crimson Tide have had problems doing just that.
  • South Florida – Whether or not you think this team deserved an NCAA Tournament berth, they’re a really nice story, but boy are they excruciating to watch. The Bulls breed more boring basketball than I know what to do with, and their fans have every right to call me out for that statement. Why? Well their approach works, as Stan Heath has gotten this program to their first tourney appearance in 20 years because of sound defense and a we-don’t-care-who-scores offense.  The third slowest team in the country, and ranked 326th in scoring, the Bulls don’t try and score more points than their opponent, they try to get their opponent to score less points than them. I wish this team the best, but will happily look for a different game when they’re on the tube.
  • Notre Dame – If my reaction to Notre Dame’s approach to basketball was a movable GIF, it would be this. Xavier may have slipped a bit in the rootabiltiy index as part of the fallout from the Crosstown Brawl but, ugh, do you really want the prodding Fighting Irish to advance?  Not only would we  be subjected to their gimmick offense for another game, but it would likely be against Duke! These are like the two most hated athletic programs in the country. The pretentiousness would be billowing out of our flat-screens! I’m already nauseous thinking about it. Oh man somebody get me a cool towel to damp my face.

Follow Nick Fasulo on Twitter @billyedelinSBN

  1. drunkenjunk - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    screw you, ROLL TIDE.

  2. stevemrose - Mar 16, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Nick, Nick, Nick. If I wanted to watch run-and-gun, I’d turn on the NBA. Playing solid ball, even if some think it’s boring, is solid ball. I would guess you are too young to remember the MOST BORING GAMES EVER- UNC four-corners “offense;” Ha- offense- what a joke. And no one wished UNC out of any games AND Dean Smith got lauded for this playmaking to keep team ahead.

    All depends on which teams you are rooting for- yes, the Missouri-FL game COULD be fun with all the offense and no defense, but if UVA makes it happen, more power to them.

  3. pack93z - Mar 16, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    What a bunch of nonsense.. playing good defense can be just as if not more entertaining that watching teams light up the score board.

    Don’t like defense.. simply catch an NBA game nightly.. there sure isn’t much defense.. heck much teamwork to be found there.

    And I picked 3 of the 4 to win at least a game this tourney.

  4. longtallsam - Mar 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    I is truly amazing that someone the is supposedly qualified to write about college basketball, thinks that the only way to have an entertaining game is for both teams to run up and down the court and not play defense. You probably also think watching guys hanging on the rim after dunking is the ultimate excitement!

    Give me a game with a good mix of offense and defense. A game with scores in the 60s can be just as entertaining as one in the 90s.

  5. longtallsam - Mar 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    I thought this was going to be an article about teams to dislike, because of recruiting violations or players or coaches that are jerks! Come on Nick, can’t you do better than this??

    • critter69 - Mar 16, 2012 at 10:58 PM

      No, Nick can’t. He thinks a basketball team has to score, score, score, score, and then score some more. Nick probably was a fan of UNLV when they averaged in the 90s, and LSU when in the mid-late 1980s, they scored in the 80s. And neither of those schools won the NCAA tourney.

      I’m sure he’d be bored with the University of Wisconsin method – averaging in the 50s, but WINNING (267 wins vs. 100 losses, or more than 24 wins/season against just over 9 losses).

      Back in 1969, a high school team in Indiana scored 10 total points in one game, and won it. In fact, neither team had more than 5 points entering the 4th quarter. And yet, it was an exciting game, even if the team I was rooting for lost. I’m sure Nick would have said the game was B-O-R-I-N-G, though all the fans in attendence and hearing the game on the radio didn’t think so.

      Nick – if you want to watch a basketball game with no defense, watch the NBA why don’t you? For most of us, we prefer a very good team, showing BOTH good offense and good defense, and scoring average really doesn’t matter that much.

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