Spend enough time around sports — like, putting in the Malcolm Gladwell hours kind of enough time around sports — and very little in this world can leave you speechless.
But since “I got nothin’, man” wouldn’t fly with the editorial staff, I have to make sense .. .of this:
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 29, 2019
As an NBA guy, I know from flopping. I have watched the Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart flop like a fish out of water. I have seen Smart go down like he’d been shot. I have seen him take flying leaps that would be enough to draw a yellow card for flopping even in the flop-for-all world of European club soccer …
But that absolute lunacy from Ehab Amin of the Oregon Ducks in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday? Where he stood forehead-to-forehead with Virginia’s Mamadi Diakite and then went down as if shot?
Sorry, guys, I got nothin’.
The refs didn’t seem to know what to make of it either.
At the point of contact, the official gave Diakite a technical, perhaps under the impression that Diakite had headbutted Amin and knocked him off his feet.
But after the replay, the officials decided to make it a double technical: one on Diakite for leading with his forehead to get into an argument with Amin, the other to Amin for one of the most insane flops in sports history, one that goes beyond Marcus Smart and into Jordan Peele territory:
Virginia ultimately beat Oregon 53-49, eliminating the 12th-seeded Ducks from the tournament in a March that has been short on madness in the upset sense.
Oregon was the only team in the Sweet 16 seeded lower than fifth; in fact, Auburn was the only other team seeded lower than fourth. Fourteen of the 16 teams were the favorites in their particular part of the bracket.
And the Ducks got there in part because the lowest seed to pull off an upset in the first round was their round-of-32 opponent, 13th-seeded UC Irvine.
So if you can’t have excitement in terms of upsets and Cinderellas, you need to have your fun somehow in this world.
But that flop from Amin? C’mon, man. I know the NCAA is committed to amateurism in its student-athletes, but that’s not the kind of amateurish they had in mind.
Go to a summer camp with Marcus Smart and learn how to flop right.
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