I’ve never heard of Rob Dauster. He’s apparently NBC’s college hoops blogger. Today, he wrote what I consider to be the worst blog post in the history of blog posts… and this comes from a guy who green-lit Jim’s Nicki Minaj conspiracy theory.
But since it was the first timeout called during the second half, it was extended into a TV timeout, sending the teams to their benches for 2:30 that would turn into close to a three-minute delay from whistle to whistle. When play resumed, it took Villanova’s Josh Hart 25 seconds to collect his own miss and score while getting fouled.
That meant that the clock had now ticked below the 16 minute mark, meaning that we were about to sit through another TV timeout. In the end, the amount of time that lapsed from the moment Woodard scored to the moment that Oklahoma was back in possession of the ball was nearly half of a normal halftime.
That’s one way eliminate momentum.
“That broke us,” Oklahoma’s Ryan Spangler said.
“Never recovered from that,” head coach Lon Kruger said. “Kind of snowballed downhill the rest of the way.”
? Yes, those are things that happened. The same way it was windy before I went to bed last night. The wind happened, and then I went to bed. That was the order of things. Did the wind send me to bed? No. Did I turn up the heat maybe just a little bit because of said wind, thus resulting in me getting tired more quickly? Maybe a little. But I was planning on going to bed anyway, the same way Villanova was going to THROTTLE THE EVER LIVING SHIT out of Oklahoma whether there were two or 10 TV timeouts. It wasn’t the stoppages that led to them shooting 71% and Hield not taking a shot in the final 13 minutes of the game (which is a mythical stat I will never understand).
But wait, there’s more!
The NCAA changed their television timeout rules during the offseason. In an effort to avoid TV timeouts on back-to-back whistles, they implemented a rule that any called timeout that occurred within 30 seconds of a scheduled TV timeout will turn into the TV timeout … unless it’s the first timeout of the second half.
And that rule absolutely impacted the outcome of a game in the Final Four. I’m not saying that Oklahoma would have won had they not had to deal with those two TV timeouts, but I find it hard to believe they would have wilted the way that they did.
Those five or six minutes of manufactured, revenue-generating ad space torpedoed Oklahoma’s comeback attempt.
Maybe we should take another look at that rule.
Oh my. Absurd.
Now, there’s certainly a story here about how a new NCAA rule played a role in one of the most (the most?) dominant stretches in Final Four history. But the takeaway is that it, maybe, allowed Villanova to regroup themselves. It had nothing to do with the outcome, and little, if anything, to do with the run. Villanova was going to make an adjustment and regroup whenever that first TV timeout occurred. Which they did. And what’s convenient is that Dauster forgot to mention that there were five total timeouts of varying lengths during Villanova’s 31-4 run. So somehow all of those stoppages didn’t slow Nova from leveling the Sooners’ land and having sweet, basketball sex on it.