Saturday, December 3, 2011

Vanderbilt is just painful to watch

I don't like The Office. Never have, never will.

That awkward brand of comedy just doesn't resonate with me. I want something to make me laugh, not squirm in my seat and say to myself "Aww man, c'mon. Why would you? No, just don't. What the hell is wrong with you?"

I'm almost to that point with Vanderbilt basketball.

They just keep inventing ways to blow a game.

On Friday night against at Louisville, the Commodores blew two late leads to the Cardinals in their 62-60 overtime losses. With eight minutes left in the game, Vandy held a 43-34 lead on Louisville. That lead seemed much bigger than nine points, as Louisville could not find any kind of rhythm offensively. The Cardinals had managed just nine points in the first 12 minutes of the second half and hadn't scored a point in over five minutes as they turned the ball over and forced up tough, contested threes.

But Chane Behanan hit back-to-back jumpers and Gorgui Dieng followed that up with a dunk, and while Vandy answered with a three from Brad Tinsley and a free throw from Lance Goulbourne, Russ Smith and Kyle Kuric hit jumpers while Behanan followed that up with a dunk to cap a 13-4 run that tied the game at 47 with two minutes left.

Eventually the two teams would end up going to overtime as they traded free throws. And in the extra frame, John Jenkins knocked down a three and drew a foul and hit both free throws, giving Vandy a 55-50 lead midway through the overtime period. But Behanan scored an and-one and hit two free throws surrounding a pair Goulbourne free throws, and Kuric followed that up with a three from deep in the corner to give Louisville the lead. Three Vandy free throws and a jumper from Kuric would tie the game at 60 with 12.2 seconds left, setting up this play from Peyton Siva:

Another close, agonizing loss for Vanderbilt.

After blowing a double-digit second half lead against Xavier on Monday, the Commodores missed another golden opportunity to land a big-time win, this one coming on the road against a top ten team and a Big East contender.

Frankly, none of this is surprising, but it is disappointing. This group won two close games at the Legend's Classic, and some -- me -- thought that there was a chance it could turn around Vanderbilt's fortunes. Obviously, that hasn't happened. I've written plenty about the reasons for this over the past few weeks, so I'm not going to get into it again.

But at this point, I don't even want to watch Vandy play a tough game.

Its painful.

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