I went to the North Carolina vs. Oklahoma basketball game yesterday. I decided to go only the day before (the game was here in Memphis) -- good old TicketMaster. Sure I could have watched it on television, but games like this are more exciting in person.
You can also see things in person that you don't notice on TV. Carolina's defense was terrific. Also, they had a game plan. Each time Blake Griffin touched the ball, he was immediately double-teamed. He's a good passer, so he hit open players, but Oklahoma shot poorly (two for 19 from three-point range).
Probably the most amazing thing about the game is that Carolina's two best players (Hansbrough and Lawson) had nothing-special games, yet they won easily. They have depth and their other players stepped up -- they pretty much dismantled Oklahoma.
As I neared the FedEx Forum, I saw several sweat shirts that said "Poplar Bluff Mules." What the heck is that? Hansbrough was the 2008 College Player of the Year and he is from Poplar Bluff MO and it's only 150 miles away. He obviously had a big rooting section.
You know how sometimes you see a good college player, and then he is nothing special in the NBA or doesn't even make the roster of whatever team drafts him? Griffin is not one of those. He's so strong, yet has great hands and a nice touch. He plays hard. When his team was down 19 late in the game, he deflected a pass, then dived on the floor to try and get it before it went out of bounds. He keeps cool under pressure -- so cool, so efficient that they call him the terminator. I've heard and read that he shows no emotion, but his coach took him out with less than a minute to go (to let the subs get a chance to play), and he sat on the bench with a towel over his face. He hated to lose and took it hard.
Early in the second half, I kept expecting Oklahoma to make a run. Instead, the two teams traded baskets. With around 11 minutes left in the game, North Carolina began its run out to a 22 point lead and Oklahoma didn't have an answer.
Congratulations to Oklahoma on a sensational season. Special congrats to uber-stud, Blake Griffin. Good luck to the Tar Heels next week in Detroit. I'm not discounting the other three teams, but it's North Carolina's tournament to lose.
The scene (below) just after the national anthem:
The game tipped off shortly after 4 p.m.:
Below, North Carolina fans (in blue) watch their favorite team run its offense:
Blake Griffin (below) makes one of his 23 points:
Oklahoma Coach Jeff Capel (below) looks for an answer:
The North Carolina cheerleaders pay homage to their Tar Heels:
Oklahoma cheerleaders say anything you can do, we can do better:
I have presets on my point-and-shoot and one of them was sports. When you click on sports, it has three more choices: sports, sports spectator and sports composite. I had no clue what the differences were, but I tried the composite and it gave me this image (click to enlarge to see what it is):
When I got home, I looked up sports composite and found this:
Sport Composite mode takes 16 images in two seconds, and arranges them in a four-by-four array, much like Multi-Shot 16 mode.
Yes, Carolina won the game, and there was one thing left to do: