Anyone hoping for upsets in the first half of the Sweet 16 on Thursday came away disappointed, as the top two seeds in the West and South regions all dominated their games to advance to the Elite 8 on Saturday night. Oregon and Oklahoma will play, followed by Kansas v. Villanova. I'm expecting these games to be far more interesting than the game to get there was.
Really, the only thing of interest from Thursday's games came after the evening's final matchup between Oregon and Duke ended. As the final seconds of the game were ticking away, Oregon's Dillon Brooks fired up (and made) a deep 3 with Oregon already up 11 points. Depending on where you fall in the hoops decorum debate, this was either a non-event or wildly insulting. Apparently, Coach K falls in the latter half. In case you missed it, here's the shot.
In what should really be a non-controversy, the most notorious tripper in college hoops,
Grayson Allen Ted Cruz Jr., first rejected a sporting hug/dap from Dillon Brooks as is usually custom between foes at the end of the game. Ted Cruz Jr. of course rejected this display of sportsmanship. No shocker there.
What's really driven this non-controversy to the forefront is that Coach K allegedly said something, we'll call it mild chastisement, to Brooks about that last shot in the handshake line after the game.
Dillon Brooks said Coach K told him in handshake line, "I'm too good of a player to be showing off at the end." Brooks: "He's right."— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) March 25, 2016
Showing off? Really? In the now controversial possession, the shot clock was going to expire before the game clock would, so Brooks could have either held on to the ball and incurred a shot clock violation, only to prolong the inevitable, or fire up a #StephCurryRange shot before the expiration of the shot clock. That it went in should be of no consequence.
This isn't comparable to the situation earlier in the year when Bill Self went off on his own player (Brennan Greene) for dunking at the end of a Kansas-Kansas St. game, since the Jayhawks could have dribbled that game out, and Greene went for a windmill dunk instead. That was a "dick move," if I may borrow Bill Self's parlance. Dillon Brooks shot was not.
Anywho, in the post-game press conference, Coach K denied making any such statement to Dillon Brooks, instead claiming he simply told Brooks that he was a great player.
Did Coach K lecture Oregon's Dillon Brooks on sportsmanship? The two have very different stories.https://t.co/u2vU2VeumZ— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) March 25, 2016
That's odd. Brooks would have no reason to fabricate his account of the earlier exchange. I think what happened was that Coach K probably realized it was a bad look to be imparting valuable life lessons on other coaches kids, when he's got Ted "the notorious tripper" Cruz Jr. in his own house, so he started back-tracking. Either way, it was really poor form from Coach K. Let the kids have fun, man!
In the above video, Dillon Brooks clearly seems to be apologizing or saying "my bad" to Coach K in the handshake line, so who do we really believe here? What do you all think?