Conference tourney week is in full swing and college hoops fans should be in throes of ecstasy right now. We have been treated to buzzer beaters, upsets, officiating debacles, and tremendous individual performances. Basically, it’s been a perfect prologue to the Big Dance.
New York products Kemba Walker (Bronx, NY) & Jimmer “The Chaste One” Fredette (Glenns Falls, NY) have been performing at a high level all season and both may be candidates for Player of the Year. They also have both put on outstanding individual performances in their respective conference tourneys.
Two days ago, in the quarter finals, Kemba poured in 24 points, including the buzzer-beating, ankle-breaking, crossover, stepback, game winning jump shot. That shot was an instant classic. Kemba followed that up by helping his Huskies to down Syracuse in another classic Big East battle that went to overtime. In a 76-71 conquest, Kemba put up 33 points, 12 boards, 5 dimes, and 6 steals, leading his squad into the unlikely conference final matchup against Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals. The Garden should be rocking for this one. Look for Kemba to go off once again. This guy is big-time. I have my doubts about him making it on the next level, but there is no question that he is going to be a MAJOR factor in the Big Dance.
Meanwhile, out in the Mountain West, Jimmer Fredette went BERSERK last night in leading his BYU Cougars to revenge against their regular-season arch nemesis. The Virgin put up 52…yes, 52, in a grudge match against the team, New Mexico, that was responsible for 2 of the Cougars 3 losses on the season. Jimmer shot 22-37 from the field, including 7-14 from downtown. It was dominance at its most entertaining. The kid absolutely took over. Like his counterpart Kemba, I have trouble imagining Jimmer’s game translating to the next level, but he will undoubtably be one of the biggest draws of the whole Dance and every game he plays in will be must see TV.
-by Max Joice