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Peaking at the right time

Posted Monday, February 25, 2008, at 3:26 PM

With the NCAA basketball tournaments just around the corner, what are your thoughts about some very strong teams peaking too early or just at the right time?

I'm a big believer in peaking at the right time.

The pitfalls are there for many teams, such as the Southeastern Conference teams. A hard regular season is followed by a tough SEC Tournament and then right into the NCAAs.

How should a coach keep a team focused and peaking rather than going stale?

Each year a few smaller programs send a few top contenders packing. Is it a case of those smaller programs being overlooked by top contenders already looking beyond them in the brackets?

And, of course, a decent team, large or small, that is a big underdog and has nothing to lose can be dangerous.

Allow me to switch sports for a recent incident. The New York Giants won the Super Bowl by peaking at the right time while the Patriots seemed to peak late in regular season.

What are your thoughts on college conference basketball tournaments at the close of regular season?

They bring in big bucks and in some cases help a team going nowhere suddenly earn a spot in the big dance.

Do conference tournaments play a role in some teams peaking at the wrong time?

Showing most recent comments first
[Show in chronological order instead]

Me to mindyg!! Go MSU!!!! Go Barry!!

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 2:33 PM

MSU is at the top of the west in the SEC. I have been rooting for MSU for the past 2 years since Barry started playing with them. I watched him all 4 years in high school and he is a wonderful young man and a great athlete. I hope MSU can keep their steady pace and make it to the finals

-- Posted by mindyg on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 1:50 PM

I think that teams who are already in the NCAA tournament tend to "pace" themselves through their conference tournament. A loss in the conference tournament for these teams doesn't mean too much if they have a high regular season RPI and win their regular season conference championship prior to their conference tournament.

I believe that the schools that have played very tough regular season schedules, have avoided injuries and have good depth are more likely to advance further in the NCAA tournament than most. Also, teams that play a relentless style of defense are more likely to advance.

Reading to last two paragraphs, one would think I am writing about Tennessee, and I am for the most part. However, I do believe that those are the key ingredients, and Tennessee is one team that possesses them.

-- Posted by volfanatic on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 11:34 AM

I don't really keep up...but how is Mississippi State with our hometown boy doing?

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 10:34 AM

Go Vanderbilt!!

I think UT is one of those teams that will go down earlier than expected in the NCAA tournament. Yes, they beat Memphis but Memphis really doesnt play a tough conference and their undefeated record at the time was somewhat bloated. I also think Indiana will go down early just because of all the turmoil the program is experiencing right now.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 7:13 AM

Any of the biggies you expect to go out early, darrick_04?

-- Posted by bomelson on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 10:49 PM

You weren't asking me, Bo, but I think UCLA will go out earlier than expected. I think, as usual the Pac-10 is over-hyped.

-- Posted by tgreader on Tue, Feb 26, 2008, at 6:49 AM

Any of the biggies you expect to go out early, darrick_04?

-- Posted by bomelson on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 10:49 PM

Lol, I know what you meant. I still like UT.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 6:14 PM

Darrick, I'm not referring to UT here.

The Vols seem to be on track.

Just teams in general. Look out for teams that play offense like Tarzan and defense like Jane.

Do you you tired of seeing players who make a field goal (isn't that the purpose) and running around thumping their chests, proclaiming themselves number one and going through a variety of antics before getting their butts into the defensive mode?

That's what I mean by Tarzan and Jane.

-- Posted by bomelson on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 4:28 PM

UT all the way

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 3:34 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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