Chris Broussard: ‘I think Michigan is looking like a team that can win the championship’

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Chris Broussard and Jason McIntyre join Jason Whitlock and Doug Gottlieb to discuss which Elite 8 teams have been most impressive.

- For my money, Kansas State's win over Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats was the most impressive thing we saw last night. And I say that because I thought the officiating was so atrocious. The officiating dominated the game. Three Kansas State players, two Kansas State starters, fouled out of the game. You know, I thought the officiating was leaned towards Kentucky but I just thought the officiating had way too much influence over the game.

And then when you add in that K-State's best player was limited to just eight minutes, Dean Wade, that he could barely play. And somehow they figured out a way to hold off Kentucky and win that game. Again, I'm not saying K-State's going any further. I'm not saying K-State is a threat to win the national title. But for my money, last night, they were the most impressive team.

- Oh, I don't think there's any doubt, especially people who are familiar with K-State and their more hate in the love-hate with Bruce Weber, right? They've never been happy with having Bruce Weber as their coach since Frank Martin left, and, of course, Bob Huggins got that program up and running. And to do it without Dean Wade, and Xavier Sneed being in foul trouble those last eight minutes, and Barry Brown not shooting the ball well.

But to me, that was a statement about you have kids that second year, third year, fourth year at K-State. Ball's on the floor, they got the 50-50 balls. They made the plays down the stretch. They followed the assignments, as opposed to Kentucky.

I actually think Calipari did a pretty good job with the talent he had. There's this assumption that, well, he's just rolling out there six, seven lottery picks. There's probably two players to be selected in this year's NBA draft, maybe three if Hamidou Diallo goes to the pros. Because they can't shoot. And if you can't shoot--

- Issue.

- --and you don't have skill, it doesn't matter how athletic you are, or how good you look in an AAU game. Last night was about skill. Michigan had more skill than Texas A&M. Kansas State had more skill. Loyola had more skill. It's about basketball changing from length, quickness, athleticism. You need all those things, but you also need skill to knock down shots.

- Now, I'm with you. And that's why-- Kentucky's athletic, talented, doesn't really-- don't really know how to play together these freshmen. Like you said, some of them probably have their eyes on the NBA, so they weren't going the extra mile like Kansas State did. But I think Michigan was the most impressive. I mean, they actually bludgeoned a team that trampled the second seed North Carolina a week before.

They shot 62% from the floor. They hit 14 threes. They only turned it over seven times. I think Michigan is looking like a team that could win the championship.

- That's two separate arguments. I agree with you there. I did come away saying, oh, Michigan is the team that could win the title. But for last night, K-State--

- Are you wearing a Chris Webber jersey under that? I just want to check. I know you're tight with Michigan.

- Guys, I'm sorry. I-- Kansas State was. Impressive I'm going Loyola. OK.

Think about Loyola's path. They were the best story coming out of the first weekend. I know UMBC was big, but Loyola was, you know, nobody had ever heard of them. You got Sister Jean, more popular than any player left in the tournament.

Imagine that pressure, the spotlight on you. The Today Show's talking about Loyola. The late night shows are talking about Loyola, and everybody's rallying around them. They open the game down 20-8. Oh, Nevada's going to run away with it.

And Nevada came back, eventually Loyola, it goes down to the end. For the third time in three games, they hit a game winning shot in the last 15 seconds. To me, I'm waiting for Loyola to fold. I thought that was impressive.

- Here's why I disagree with you. Nevada's got a very short bench and rotation. Eventually, that's going to catch up with you.

- It did.

- And I felt like that's what caught up to them at the end. I do think it's very impressive. And Loyola's a great story if you're into the Sister Jean movement.

[LAUGHS]

But--

- Well, your mom loves that. I know she's talking to you about it.

- People love that. And I get it. It's a cute little story. But again, beating a shorthanded Nevada team that no one really knew much about and had already overachieved, as opposed to Kansas State, Kentucky, Coach Cal, the one and done system, and again, an officiating crew that called 51 fouls.

- Wait.

- It was awful.

- Did Kansas State win or did Kentucky miss 15 free throws, seemingly everyone at the end of the game, to kind of choke that away?

- Yes. But part of that is the inherent problem with Kentucky all year is they just didn't recruit enough shooting. To me-- and look, the Michigan thing, a lot of it is really about mismatches.

You know, if you're at Michigan, they spread you out, they put their big guy at the top of the key, and everybody else is spread out. That's really hard for Texas A&M playing essentially three big guys. So some of it was mismatches.

But a lot of it is in how, for a long time, assistant coaches have evaluated players. And they go into a gym and they sit there and they go, I want that guy. He's long, he's athletic, he can guard, he can move. We're going to make him into something.

And whereas Michigan and John Beilein, they're not picking off the top of the deck the way they used to-- the way they used to recruit at Michigan. Now, they got to get student athletes to get in school and get them to get better. And how about this? You know, you got Charles Matthews, who had 18 for Michigan.

You know, he played at Kentucky last year. You know, he averaged a point and a half at Kentucky, right? So it's we take you, and we put you in a skill based system where we share the basketball and open up the floor, and look at how much better you are, how much more we can get out of your talent.

- You just made a good case for Michigan.

- Yeah. Your switching your sides. Come on, flip-flopper.

- And I also think--

- Part of it is, like, look, I think Bruce Weber is one of these really good coaches that people are just insane about. You know, we judge teams, and their success, and their failure based upon the last game of the year, instead of, hey, you're in Manhattan, Kansas and you're competitive every year, and you're not cheating, your kids are graduating, like that's what it's supposed to be about.

- Well, I was just going to say is all the foul calls disrupted the flow of the game. There really was no flow. And that would have favored the type of players that Kentucky have-- athletic, long-- down the road.

- It's funny, because I think the intent of calling it tight is so that there's more movement, so that, you know, the more athletic teams win. But it actually had the opposite of the intended effect.

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