Only in Las Vegas, where the win and loss column means absolutely nothing and the spread means literally everything.
There’s tons of cheering and rooting—and even yelling during free throws, hoping for a miss—but it’s all based on the line. The loudest cheers and sighs came during the Gonzaga and Duke finishes, which ended up pushing so none of the bettors won.
And oh yea, Blake Griffin got the loudest cheers when he was thrown to the ground.
March Madness in Vegas is really exciting and lived to the motto of “Survive and Advance.” The higher seeds fell behind or gave up leads and did what they had to in order to eventually win, while the middle-range games gave us thrills and upsets.
Second to actually going to the games, I’d come back to Vegas every year for opening weekend of the tournament.
On to the Los Angeles teams: the UCLA Bruins and the Lake Show.
It actually does feel like they both lost. I really don’t feel all that excited. Not to be a downer, but the Bruins really only delayed their inevitable and eventual loss and are making their trip home a slower and more painful one.
At the same time though, they live to see another day. The “us against the world” mentality will really be in effect against Villanova in Philadelphia on Saturday and I am excited and looking forward to how they play.
At this point they have nothing to lose and everyone, including me, will predict them to fall short.
I’ve also had this idea that the Bruins would be better if Jrue Holiday moved to the point and Darren Collison became the shooting guard. While Holiday missed a few layups and had a couple of poor jump shots, he did have six assists to Collison’s two and made some nice moves to the basket.
A season of Holiday driving and dishing to Collison may have provided a better late-game shot than Collison’s layups being swatted, twice. This is assuming Holiday had developed the discipline to know when to take it or dish it back out, but that’s just my take.
Most importantly, thank you Collison for finally stepping up to a late-game challenge. Flawless defense on the last play of the game!
And the Lakers were obviously supposed to beat the Warriors and did. There’s nothing new that really needs to be said about the Lakers that I haven’t already mentioned recently or isn't being said on SportsCenter right now.
The short version: the Lakers need to stay focused for 48 minutes and Sasha Vujacic, the Machine, needs to shoot like that every night. Now the seven-game road trip begins.
Back to the tables.