Loading…
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Wednesday, 3/24/2004

Play by Taylor twins says it all for Big Dance

Tinker to Evers to Chance.

Now there s a combination.

Taylor to Taylor isn t so bad, either.

If any one play defines this year s NCAA tournament, it was the clever steal and instinctive no-look pass from Ronell Taylor to Donell Taylor - the Taylor twins - resulting in a fast-break dunk during the back-and-forth second-half of Alabama-Birmingham s second-round shocker over Kentucky.

Unless you were in Anarctica on Sunday, you ve been inundated with television replays and expert commentary about a play you ve probably never seen before and are unlikely to witness again.

It was a play that defies description.

Not only did Ronell disrupt a Kentucky offensive surge by snatching a pass, he displayed incredible courage and trust when, with his back to the other end of the court, he tossed the ball with two hands over his head without so much as looking at Donell, who could easily be confused with Ronell, the two look so much alike.

Donell caught the pass in stride. His emphatic dunk illuminated UAB s 76-75 upset that propelled the Blazers to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 22 years.

Taylor to Taylor - an unheralded pair of college juniors who have been teammates since high school - was one of those special NCAA tournament snap-shot moments.

Like Bryce Drew s buzzer-beater that lifted Valparaiso over Mississippi six years ago, the image lasts forever. Or until the next improbable occurs.

Contrary to some media image-makers, the beauty of the tournament isn t watching another team from a power conference bully its way to the championship.

We all know the team with the most toys usually wins.

Without the UABs, Nevadas, Xaviers and Saint Joseph s receiving their slice of the tournament pie, there s no chance for real parity in college basketball.

Besides, no one appreciates the sun if it shines all the time.

CBS commentator Billy Packer wasn t wrong to criticize Saint Joseph s for receiving a No. 1 seed.

Packer is entitled to his opinion. He s an authority on the college game. He just went about it the wrong way. His argument is flawed because he made it personal.

Packer said Saint Joseph s faced inferior competition. The Hawks suffered their only loss to Xavier - the same Xavier which whipped Louisville and Mississippi State to join Saint Joseph s, UAB and Nevada in the Sweet 16.

Saint Joseph s played a tougher schedule than Stanford, another No. 1 seed. Packer didn t make a public nuisance of himself when Stanford received a top seed or after it was eliminated in the second round, nor does he figure to lambaste Kentucky, Florida, or Maryland for making early exits.

Imagine Packer s reaction if Saint Joseph s had been upset by Texas Tech in the second round. Overrated Hawks wouldn t be the half of it.

Packer, who played basketball at Wake Forest, appears to have a bias toward non-BCS schools. Four of the final 16 teams fit that description.

If Packer was king of the world, UAB probably doesn t get invited to the tournament.

No UAB means no Taylor to Taylor, and no snap-shot moment.

Don t buy what Packer is selling.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.