Presidential 21 Tourney: Round 3 Results
As the tournament hits its crescendo, don't hesitate to look back and get your analysis on. Or to read FD's latest on Gil's injury and Josh Howard.
(1)Harry Truman 21, (1)FDR 15
Truman outlasts ex-teammate/mentor FDR in marathon slugfest
Much ink has been spilled about the fact that Franklin Roosevelt was a mentor to former teammate Harry Truman, who had received no formal basketball coaching before joining the team; in truth, the two were never very close, and one could sense the tension between them on the court today. Smoking for the first time since he’s been here, Roosevelt played clinching a cigarette holder in his teeth and twice burned Truman’s arm while contesting his former teammates’ shots. As usual, Truman’s outside shot was money, but Roosevelt kept the game close. Every time Truman knocked down a clutch shot with a hand in his face, Roosevelt would counter by swishing, banking, or rattling home buckets on hard drives to the hoop.
Free throw shooting was the only major issue for each player. Due to missed opportunities from the charity stripe, Roosevelt went back to 11 three times and Truman went twice. As the two traded scores and momentum shifted with every possession, they started to engage in some friendly jawing, which hinted that their relationship was, in fact, amicable. Truman ended the protracted contest by taking the ball down to a few feet inside the left baseline and kissing a mid range shot off the glass. Truman now has date with Lyndon Johnson to determine who will represent the Democrats in the finals.
(1)LBJ 21, (1)Bill Clinton 17
LBJ triumphs, Clinton goes down in embarrassing, sloppy affair
In the Tournament’s ugliest game to date, Lyndon Johnson outlasted Bill Clinton 21 to 17. Rumor has it that Johnson and Clinton attended the same raucous gathering last night and that both were out until dawn. This rumor has yet to be substantiated, but if true, it would explain why both arrived smelling of booze and cigar smoke (among other things) and why both played as if wading through molasses. Clinton and Johnson were visibly winded from the start, grabbing their shorts and rarely wandering out of the lane on D. There were turnovers galore and too many bad shots to count. The listlessness of Johnson and Clinton made for a thoroughly unmemorable game.
The lone spark came when Johnson accidentally tipped in a Clinton miss when going for a rebound. For 5 minutes the two Democrats argued passionately about whether the hoop counted for Clinton. The opponents’ arguing styles could not be more different: Johnson dealt in bluster and profanity; Clinton made his case with careful reasoning. Johnson’s body language was aggressive and threatening; Clinton’s signaled curiosity and sympathy. Their shared sense of humor, however, is what led both men to agree to shoot for it (Johnson ended up winning the possession). Even though he came out on top, Johnson must right himself and return to his earlier tournament form if he wants to survive the next round against Harry Truman, whose huge win over FDR catapulted him into the Democratic final.
(1)Abraham Lincoln 21, (3)Pat Buchanan 7
Lincoln continues to improve, impress in big win over Buchanan
Today, Pat Buchanan ran into a runaway freight train named Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was a defensive beast, getting a piece of just about everything Buchanan put up. When Buchanan countered by shooting fadeaways, Lincoln still got his fingertips on the ball. When Lincoln had possession, he was quite relaxed. He handled the ball with confidence, attacked the rim, and dropped a few 15 footers on the way. Lincoln also notched his first dunks of the tourney in this game. The first was a straight-legged one-hander that put Lincoln up 7-0; the second came with Lincoln up 16 to 3: after Buchanan stripped him twice down low, Lincoln recovered the ball and unleashed a thunderous two-handed slam, pulling up on the rim then smacking the backboard with both hands before landing.
Although Lincoln has looked excellent in his last two games, he has yet to face top-notch competition. That will change next round when he takes on a revitalized Ronald Reagan, who blew out George Bush in the day’s other Republican contest.
(1)Ronald Reagan 21, (2)George W. Bush 5
Reagan routs Bush, will meet Lincoln in Republican final
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, Ronald Reagan was preparing to go home after being outplayed by Richard Nixon; 24 hours later, he is in position to reach the finals. Of course, this drastic turn of events was made possible by Nixon’s alleged illegal videotaping of Reagan’s practices and first round game. As a result of this alleged transgression, Nixon was DQed and forced to forfeit his win over Reagan. In any case, Reagan made the most of his second chance, putting on a clinic in his matchup with George W. Bush. Reagan’s renewed sense of vigor was palpable; he regularly tugged at his shorts and smacked the ground as he defended Bush on the wing. Reagan kept up the intensity on offense as well, going directly at Bush and scoring largely on easy layups, runners, and short jumpers in the paint.
As in his two previous games, Bush demonstrated a single-minded devotion to his crossover, which, one again, simply did not work. Bush seemed to be merely going through the motions. The once supremely confident Bush looked like a broken player even before there were any points on the board. Reagan will now advance to play Abe Lincoln for the Republican crown and the chance to play for the overall title.