Mike Tobey popped a three. Evan Nolte posterized a dude. I officially don't know anymore.
We know Tobey can do that, of course; he hit three of them last year, out of five. We probably should've known Nolte can dunk; he is, after all, six foot eight. That said, some of these guys have a green light to take that shot. Tobey....Tobey does not. He had two options: make it, or get strangled by Tony Bennett.
He made it, because everything else had gone right so why not that too? Swapped scoring roles weren't the only odd happenstance of the night; UVA also shot .812 on free-throws while being able to hack Memphis with near impunity because their free throws were less than half-likely to go in.
One of UVA's three missed free throws was a Joe Harris deal that made me nervous. Harris's form looked awful and the ball weakly clanked off the front iron. Not unlike most attempted shots in the first half of the Coastal game. "Tight," I said to myself. "Nervous." Still feeling the stage a little bit? Progress is realizing "it's just hoops" sooner than in the previous game.
That realization was the end of the line for Memphis, accelerated by missed layups (many but not all of which were contested) and hideous shot selection in a misguided attempt to speed up the game. I said this could be a terrible matchup for someone one way or the other, and we got our answer, I'd say, round about the time Chris Crawford couldn't be bothered to take two steps closer to the three-point line and launched from somewhere around the scorer's table. This of course didn't work. Whoever was guarding Crawford saw no need to close out, because, why? Forcing crappy shots is the whole point; if you're willing to work that hard for an even crappier one, UVA won't argue.
So check another "not since" box. 52 fanbases are thanking their teams for a great season this week. We'll be putting that on hold for now. Next up: if someone would kindly remind our team - at every possible opportunity - that the whole world thinks Michigan State is going to win the title, that would be helpful. As someone who watched MSU twice fail to beat Michigan's bad defense, I'm less convinced of that.