March Madness: ALWAYS Have a Plan “B” (Oklahoma!)

hield-buddyBuddy Hield averages 29 points a game. He single handedly carried his team on his back through their bracket en route to the Final Four in Houston. And Oklahoma was supposed to give Villanova a run, or at least a game, IF Buddy and his buddies could hit their three pointers. Not! It didn’t happen. In fact, the unthinkable happened; Oklahoma got blown out of the gym, losing 95-51. Unbelievable.

The Sooners didn’t just lose, they were creamed and crushed, slaughtered and massacred, trounced and pounced right out of the Final Four. It was their worst loss of the season and the worst margin of defeat in Final Four history. Hield, who won several national player of the year awards, finished with nine points. Nine points. He came into the game shooting 46.5 percent from 3-point range, but finished 4 for 12 from the field, including 1 of 8 from beyond the arc.

Hield, who became the Big 12’s all-time leading scorer in the game, said Villanova was ”one of the best teams I’ve ever played in college.” Hield had more to say: ”Just credit them for what they were doing. They made it tough on me throwing multiple bodies at me,” said Hield, who had six points against West Virginia, the only other time this season he was held below 10 points. ”They just played terrific tonight.”

So, for Villanova, they had a game plan. Several Wildcats get credit for their great defense against Hield, as Nova used multiple players to chase Hield all over the court. They limited his shots by not allowing much separation when he didn’t have the ball and smothered him even more when he did. ”We were just loading into him,” Mikal Bridges said. ”We just tried our best to limit his touches and load to him when he had the ball.”

So, since the Oklahoma Plan “A” did not work, what was the backup plan? What was their Plan “B?” There wasn’t one. That’s right; they had NO contingency plan. No options for unlikely exigencies or unforeseen eventualities. What if Buddy had a bad game? What if the team had a cold shooting night? What if Oklahoma couldn’t make a shot or buy a basket and Villanova couldn’t miss? You guessed it? That’s exactly what happened.

My dad taught me to “plan for the worst and hope for the best.” He taught me that everything won’t go your way. And anything can happen. Nothing is for certain. At least not in sports. And in life, life happens. So you need to plan for what might happen. And that’s why you need more margins in your life. You need margins on your term paper and margin in your bank account and margin in your commute to work and margin in your marriage. You just do.

So here’s to Villanova and North Carolina; they play in the National Championship game tonight. So each team certainly has a game, plan. Let’s just hope that if each team’s Plan “A” doesn’t work, that they have a Plan “B” in their hip pocket.

What If Our Best Athletes Played Football?

From http://www.writersandhunters.com
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The US Men’s team came up short but they fought hard against a better team. That’s all we can ask for as a country. Maximum effort and no excuses. If we were to be honest here, our squad just isn’t World class yet. Outside of Tim Howard, who the commentators on ESPN said “doesn’t deserve to be on the losing side”, our team isn’t quite on the level as the 8 remaining countries.

Most kids in the US start out playing soccer and for countless reasons end up drifting into more popular sports like American Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Hockey. Other great competitors include Track and Field, Golf, and Tennis.

Until Soccer becomes a more mainstream and lucrative career path here in the US, I’m not sure if our talent pool will be able to match the rest of the World.

I mean, if you looking at our current roster, quite a few players didn’t even grow up stateside. We’re essentially putting Europe’s B squad out onto the field and hoping for miracles to happen. That’s not a sustainable game plan. The US will eventually need to develop better prospects as Baseball Teams do in their Farm Systems.

Our best Athletes in the US aren’t playing soccer. Until we as a country put out best foot forward, we’ll continue to squeeze into the round of 16 and “hope for the best.”

Observations and criticisms aside, I’m proud of what the US Team was able to accomplish this year and I look forward to what’s in store down the road.-DKH