I'm always amazed at how certain teams are stereotyped by the Dukie Vitales of the world. Isn't it obvious that there is much more coming into play in their descriptions of a team than what we actually see on the floor? Did that sentence confuse you? Yeah, me too. Sorry.
Let me try and break it down for you as simply as possible. According to Dickie, Digger, Jay, Clark, Jim Nantz and the rest of the babbling heads, if you are from a certain school then you have to have a certain type of team, year after year. To mention just a few:
Pitt: Always gritty, hard-nosed, tough, never-say-die. Just like the city. It's Steel Town, USA! They will do what it takes to win, including beating your girlfriend, stealing your dog and punching your mother in the temple. I'm sure this perception has absolutely nothing to do with all the tats and braids. Think Georgetown, circa 1985.
Villanova: See Pitt, just toss in a Cheese Steak reference. Or maybe mention Rocky.
UCLA/Gonzaga/USC/Zona/anybody from the west coast or warm climate: Great shooters, run 'n' gun, soft, can't D it up, probably dating a starlet and getting more ass than Doogie Howser. OK, bad reference. Let's use Timberlake. And even though the Bruin's coach came from Pitt and they're a grind it out sort of team, they're still not thought of as tough customers. Hey, you can't be a hard-ass if you have a nice tan and live in 72 degree weather. It's science.
Michigan State: Can't shoot, battlers, rebounding fools, from the Big 10. No way you're soft if your coach is a 5'-8" former football player who's shaped like a tree stump, has a hoarse voice and you have to walk to classes up there in all that cold weather.
Duke: Intelligent, well-rounded, wordly, pompous, slow, nerds. And oh yeah . . white. By the way, this perception happens to be reality. Disregard.
So that's that. Just some random musings thast popped into my head as I watched the Dukies getting beaten repeatedly off the dribble by the tough Philadelphians of Nova. Can Pitt ever have a finesse team? Will UCLA ever be described as gritty? Will Duke ever be called street-wise? Will Thad Matta ever play man-to-man again? Sorry, I strayed there for a second on that last one, but that's for another blog entirely.
By the way, since I picked Mizzou for the Final 4, so I'm sure Saturday will be the end of the road for them. Enjoy the weekend.