I hate you, Vanderbilt

It's bad enough that Vanderbilt sent my Cougs packing in the second round of the Tournament. But to choke away a huge chance knock off Georgetown and get me back in every bracket pool that I'm in because of poor shooting and poor defense?

That hacks me off.

Much was made of Jeff Green's effort in the immediate aftermath of his game-winning shot against the Commodores -- Billy Packer was absolutely gushing -- and I'm not going to take anything away from Green, who made an acrobatic shot.

But putting the fact that Green obviously traveled aside -- and it was EXTREMELY obvious -- the more glaring breakdown happened on the defensive double team that was supposed to keep Green from getting a clean look at the hoop.

When you see the replay on SportsCenter tonight look for this: Shan Foster was the primary defender on Green, and he poked the ball away with about eight seconds to go. Instead of maintaining his defensive posture, help defender Ross Neltner hesitated for just a split second, trying to decide whether to go for the loose ball. It put him ever so slightly out of position (as you see from the photo above) and gave Green just the crack he needed to get the shot off with a look at the basket that I think -- when you look at it from the camera under the basket -- was better than most people realize.

And don't get me started on how a team facing WSU can shoot 50 percent in a half from the field and 3-point range, then go ice cold against a Georgetown team that played down the stretch without Roy Hibbert!

Ugh. I'm so irritated right now.

Other thoughts ...

You know, Joakim Noah gets all the pub when it comes to Florida thanks to his performance in last year's Tournament, his famous father, the hair, the chest pounding, etc. But if I'm a team at the top of next year's NBA Draft, there's no way I take Noah before I take his teammate Al Horford. That guy is an absolute beast -- his coach's word, not mine. He is agile, strong and has a nice face-up game when he needs it. He reminds me a lot of Elton Brand, except taller, which makes him a better defender. Did you see that block he had of that driving Butler player (sorry, can't remember his name) at the end of the game? Unbelievably athletic. That guy is going to be a freak in the NBA. For all the talk about Noah's motor, it was Horford's return from an ankle injury that really got Florday going this year.

By the way, how cool did Florda look in that game? Every time I looked up, I kept wondering how Butler was so close. Yet I never felt like Florida was going to lose. They just have that championship feel going. It's going to take a very special effort from a talented team to dethrone the Gators.
That's about it for now. I'll be back later tonight to break down the state of the Bracket Challenge, as well as offer observations on the late games.

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