Blog Entry

Huggy Bear Gets His Final Four

Posted on: March 27, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2010 4:42 pm
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MATT JONES



Going into the East Regional Final, all the talk was about one thing:  The Kentucky Wildcats.  And why not?  Kentucky has four, possibly five, first round picks in this year's NBA Draft, the coach that causes controversy everywhere he goes and a fanbase that is unrivaled in America.  Add in the fact that the school hasnt been to the Final Four since 1998, and it is no wonder that every story on nearly every site (we dont read newspapers at One Blogging Moment ), was about the Cats.

That isnt how it will be today.  West Virginia gave Bob Huggins his long-awaited second Final Four , beating the Cats 73-66 in a victory that showcased everything that makes Bob Huggins one of the top-tier coaches in college basketball.  Huggins thoroughly outcoached his friend John Calipari by coming at him with a 1-3-1 defense that cut off penetration from UK's guards, made it nearly impossible for Demarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson to get looks on the block and set up three point bricks from Kentucky that could have built a second Carrier Dome. Kentucky missed its first TWENTY three-point attempts, and with a statistic like that, nothing else really matters.

For Huggins, the win was like nearly everything he does...bizarrely unconventional.  The man who paces the sidelines in a track suit saw his team take a two-point lead into the half even though it had scored 28 points without making one two-point basket.  Yes you read that correctly.  In the first half, West Virginia made eight three-pointers and four free throws and that is it.  Yet Huggins' team had the lead due to their control over the glass and stingy defense.  The Mountaineers then broke down Calipari's attacking defense in the second half, saw De'sean Butler finally get good open looks, and always found a wide-open layup anytime the Cats threatened to make it close.

After the game, Huggins had his same dour expression on his face and was asked if he felt any excitement at getting to his first Final Four since 1991 2.  His face did not change as he said, "yes, cant you tell?"  While it might not show outwardly, the pride Huggins must have in taking his alma mater to the Final Four for the first time since Jerry West roamed the sidelines must be immense.  It is sometimes easy to forget what Huggins has done in college and there are very few coaches who create more strong feelings, both positive and negative than Huggy Bear.  But everywhere he has gone, two things remain consistent:  (1) His players love him and (2) he wins.  This year both have been true in abundance and the forgotten team of the East Regional is now heading to the Final Four as potentially the best team left in the field.

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Category: NCAAB
Tags: East
 
Comments

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: April 3, 2010 4:41 pm
 

Huggy Bear Gets His Final Four

Idiot.......I try to pay you toothless hillbillies a compliment and all you can do is gloat. The facts are WVU is a fluke, yes you beat us last week but if we play you guys 20 times we win 16 of them.We simply couldn't shoot.....it happens sometimes.........Just shut up and enjoy the moment a$$hole, you'll be watching a Michigan State - Duke final just like the rest of us.



Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: March 29, 2010 10:01 pm
 

Huggy Bear Gets His Final Four

Huggins and the Big BEast showed Kentucky and Cheatin' Coach Cal what tough Big East Basketball is all about.  Kentucky plays in the ever-so-soft SEZ while WVU had to battle and claw every night against top 10 competition in the Big Beast.  It made them tough and Final Four material. Nice job coach Huggins!  Make the Big East proud!  And let the "One'n'Done University" go back to Lexington  and keep waiting for that return to the Final Four that's escaped them for over a decade now . .  What's it been Kentucky, 13 years and counting????  GO WVU!!!! 



Since: Oct 12, 2009
Posted on: March 29, 2010 8:35 pm
 

16 will get you 20.

I wonder if Huggy Bear was out at the local high school keg parties, gettin' loose with some sophmores, you know how he rolls. When in doubt, go all out Huggy Bear. Ssssssnapin' off crisp hundos for the underclasswomen at Huggy High. Sssssnapin' 'em off. 16 will get you 20 Mo.



Since: Feb 27, 2009
Posted on: March 29, 2010 3:30 am
 

Huggy Bear Gets His Final Four

Once again, Capipari gets outcoached when the stakes are the highest! I witnessed it first hand in the 2008 championship game when Memphis lost a 9 point lead in the last few minutes of the gameagainst Kansas. There's no doubt Calipari is probably the best recruiter in college basketball. But in a big game, when the stakes are high, give me Huggins, Izzo, or several other coaches calling the shots on the bench! 



Since: Mar 28, 2010
Posted on: March 29, 2010 1:44 am
 

Huggy Bear Gets His Final Four

Nope Duke Wins!



Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: March 28, 2010 9:52 pm
 

The Best In The Game

Huggins is the best in the game right now. Only Rick Pitino comes close as a strategist, and the ability to break down the X-O's. Is Huggs smarter than other guys? Perhaps. He was a Magna Cum Laude MBA. But that's not it. It's his priorities and theories on the game itself that separate him from the pack. He is a defense and rebounding first coach, which makes him different than 95% of the other coaches out there. His system isn't for everybody. Flamboyant, And1 Tour guys who can score but can't play defense need not apply. Huggs seeks out big, strong, hard nosed, lunch pail types who are gritty. While it would certainly be nice to have someone who could light it up, Huggs will always go for working class player. No coach plays tougher defense. Nobody. Mizzou talks about 40 minutes of hell. The real forty minutes of hell in NCAA basketball is playing WVU. WVU and Duke will play this Saturday. The last time they met was just two years ago in the NCAA Tourney. WVU beat Duke up and sent them home. That WVU team wasn't even in the same universe as this one. They weren't nearly as physical or tough. Will WVU beat Duke? Who knows? At this point, any team can win. Will WVU out hustle Duke, play more physical, and dominate them on the glass. Absolutely. Will it be enough to win? We'll have to wait and see. 



Since: Nov 17, 2008
Posted on: March 28, 2010 9:30 pm
 

Huggy Bear Gets His Final Four

just because he reached the final four with WVU dont mean he would or could have with CINCY



Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: March 28, 2010 6:39 pm
 

Huggy Bear Gets His Final Four

This one was tough.....we certainly expected to win, but hats off to WVU. They outplayed us, out coached us, and out worked us. All this with a key PG on the bench. We had the team of the decade in terms of raw talent, but in the end we simply could not shoot. I attribute much of that to WVU, they are indeed a team that "grinds it out".....just like it's coach, a blue collar team that gets it done the hard way.....nothing pretty, just tough unyielding defense.

It'll take a while to get over this one. For what it's worth, I'm rooting for WVU in Indy.



Since: Mar 28, 2010
Posted on: March 28, 2010 2:12 am
 

Huggy Bear Gets His Final Four

And for the haters from UC that thought we were better off without you I would like to add a big ol' "Choke on it"- yeah u reacher and Big10Todd



Since: Mar 28, 2010
Posted on: March 28, 2010 2:10 am
 

Huggy Bear Gets His Final Four

As a Cincinnati native who supported Huggs and felt anger over the way his departure was handled- I have to say Great Job coach. You have a strong following here and we want to see you take it all. Good Luck!


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