Earlier today, my esteemed colleagues Charles Rich and Michael David Smith labeled Memphis's vicious blowout of Texas as yet another boring game in a string of second-weekend snoozers. Now, I like a close game as much as anyone else does, but I fail to see what is so boring about the most athletic team in the country playing at the height of their powers against another Top 10 team.
When Memphis is on, they're quite simply awesome to watch. Their superb athleticism at every position creates countless alley-oops, blocks, and transition opportunities. Derrick Rose, a certain Top 3 pick in June's NBA Draft, dominated DJ Augustin, a player most experts call the best point guard in the country. The Tigers used their insane quickness to make one of the quickest, steadiest backcourts in the country look out of control and outclassed. From my point of view, these accomplishments are rarer and more noteworthy than a tight finish. No matter the score, Memphis will always make a few plays that make your draw drop.
Exciting endings are obviously great and memorable, but they often come at the end of mediocre games. For instance, it's hard to argue that either Kansas or Davidson looked particularly stellar in today's admittedly exciting second game. As cool as it was to see the Wildcats nearly nip the Jayhawks, I have to admit that I had more fun watching Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts dismantle the Longhorns.
In the end, this preference comes down to whether or not we want memorable moments or strong play out of the tournament. When it's at its best, these things work together perfectly. Sometimes, though, you only get one. When that's the case, I'll always take one of the most talented teams in the country playing their best basketball against a strong opponent.