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Philosophical Differences: Play it safe? Go for the win?

Some of us just go about things differently.

When it comes to women, some of you all like to go mingle with the ladies who are in line with your perceived "pay grade" if you know what I mean. Why? Because its safe, because you know you're success rate might be higher, and because you might be...just might be...afraid of failure. Its cool though, it makes it easier for grown folks to come out here and talk to these women who might intimidate some of these regular fellas out here in these streets. Yes, you might not have the success you want all the time, but how can you truly win if you never go for the gusto?

You can't.

Flash forward to Saturday night. Arizona versus UConn in the Elite Eight. One game left to get to the Final Four. Arizona's down two with under ten seconds to go, and now you've got a decision to make. Do you play it safe...or do you go for the win?

So when Arizona worked the ball to Derrick Williams at the top of the key with about nine seconds left, he quickly calculated in his head what he had to do. He didn’t want to drive and shoot the ball with maybe only four or five seconds left, not having time for a rebound. He rose up for a 3-pointer. Side of the rim. Kyle Fogg corralled the rebound and kicked it to Arizona senior Jamelle Horne. Horne had launched a 3-point attempt from the right angle with about three seconds left. UConn star guard Kemba Walker watched in fear. This was it. Make or miss. Win or lose. Final Four on the line for both teams. With the ball in the air, Walker shouted, "Game time!" The shot looked good. Horne said later it felt good.

It wasn’t good. UConn goes to the Final Four. Arizona goes home.

Within about 10-15 minutes my Facebook timeline, Twitter timeline, and text messages started going off.

"Losers that dont make 3's go home, you can win if you go into OT..."

"That was a bad shot by Williams and Horne, go in there and get a layup..."

"they could have won it in OT...a win is a win...whether its OT or regulation. Now they gotta watch the game at home...lol"

"Arizona's out here looking like Florida man..."

(This game and this commentary made me go into a tirade of epic proportions, scroll all the way to the bottom and check it out if you have some free time.)

Most of the outcries that came against the decision of Arizona's Williams and Horne were that Arizona had been struggling from three all game, and that Williams had been doing damage down low. I can't fault anyone for bringing up those two points. However, let's be real about the situation. Derrick Williams finished with 20 points. The man did struggle from three (1-of-6) but also didn't have a great shooting night (5-of-13) and scored most of his points (9-of-12) at the line. For those of you that wanted Derrick Williams to part the Red Sea and call himself Moses and get to the rim and maybe draw a foul...let me ask you all a question.

Have you been watching this tournament? Have you ever watched coll...no just basketball in general?

Clearly, you haven't. Why in the hell would you risk putting the game in the officials hands? The likelihood that the referee would call a foul with just 4-5 seconds left is as risky as it is stupid. Why put yourself in that situation when you can control the situation? Arizona coach Sean Miller did what he had to; he put the ball in his best player's hands. The man shoots over 60% from three, put a killer jab step on the big man in front of him, and then he rises and fires with nine seconds left. He misses.

If Williams doesn't take that shot early, they have no chance to get a rebound to get another shot up or at the very least, foul. Arizona's Kyle Fogg got the rebound, took two steps towards the rim and saw Jamelle Horne chilling in the corner for a wide-open three. The same three in almost the same spot that Horne hit to tie the game at 63 just a minute earlier. If Horne doesn't hit that earlier three, then Arizona has no chance to even get that open look for three at the end of the game. Horne rises and fires for the win, for the opportunity to go home. No need to go to overtime and potentially win or lose the game.

When you have the opportunity right in front of you to go talk to a fine woman, you just go over there and look her in the eyes, whisper some sweet nothings in her ear, and make something happen. You don't have enough time to think about it, hope three things break right, go buy drinks, wait for R. Kelly to come on, and for rose petals to fall from the sky. Nah man, go over there and talk to that woman, period. Going for the win in basketball is no different. Arizona got two good looks, and they missed them both. As Kenny would say, "They came in there with 16 in the clip and went down with nothing left in the chamber."

What more can you really ask for? Nothing.


P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!


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