- A reliable source has told me that Kutztown will be unable to host the NCAA regionals. Why? Because they have committed their gymnasium to an appearance by Barbara Walters at the university's Decision Maker's Forum. What this means is that even if the Golden Bears beat Gannon tonight and earn the Atlantic Region's #1 seed, the host team will be the #2 seed, which win or lose, will probably be the Golden Knights. Don't celebrate yet; Va. Union could still move into the #2 spot if GU loses. Two non-basketball questions here. Since when is Barbara Walters a decision-maker? And why would the world-famous Bobwa want to go to Kutztown? I can picture the conversation on the set of The View. "Barbara -- where are you jet-setting to this weekend? Chicago, L.A., or London?" "Better! I'm going to Kutztown, Pennsylvania. It's lovely there this time of year!"
- The other thing I wanted to get off my chest is that Cheyney was the most inept offensive playoff basketball team I've ever seen. I've had the good fortune to travel to the GLIAC playoffs and NCAA Division II tournament over the past few years, so I've seen a ton of playoff teams. I have no idea how the Wolves scored 85 points in their PSAC Quarterfinal against West Chester. Everything they did against Gannon was off the dribble and didn't appear to be a set play. They attempted some on-ball screens, but when Gannon briefly defended it, Cheyney stopped attacking. Instead of a pick-and-roll, it as a pick-and-whoa! Gannon's defense was excellent, but nobody forces you to not run plays or to jack up bad shots with 15 seconds on the shot clock.
Whoo-hoo! Gannon's in the PSAC Finals! The great thing is that they did it in the face of adversity. Pierre Howard could only play half the game because of foul trouble. Kyle Goldcamp had an off night finishing around the basket, namely because he was being beaten by Wolves defenders all night. The Knights also overcame some early big-game jitters before their 30-6 run essentially put the game out of reach. Gannon didn't play its best game of the season (they were much sharper against Edinboro Tuesday), but still came away with a convincing win.
One of the painful cliches you hear this time of year -- besides "on the bubble" and "stepping up" -- is "defense wins championships." Let's hope that's the case tonight. Kutztown is the #1 offense in the PSAC (#9 in all of D-II play) while Gannon is statistically the best in the league and #4 in the nation. If you see Kutztown's leading scorers Stephen Dennis and Dave Ben show any frustration in the first half tonight, that will be a very good sign for the Knights. If they're confident and comfortable, then I won't be.