Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Hey, I'm famous!

Posted by: Jim Souhan under Gophers coaches, Tubby Smith Updated: March 19, 2010 - 4:41 PM

So, as you know, my column for the Thursday paper chided the Gophers for taking the ``no respect'' tack at the end of a season in which they underachieved, and challenged them to avoid all that silly underdog talk when they got to Bradley Center.

My point: When you have the higher-paid coach and play in the tougher conference and beat better teams, you have no right to claim to be underdogs.

So Xavier whips the Gophers on Friday afternoon, and in the postgame press conference, the Xavier coach - I believe his name is Whiny McBaldwimp - thanks me for inspiring his players.

Here's my response:

You're welcome. I know that you don't have the force of personality of coaching chops to inspire your players by talking to them about, you know, playing in the NCAA tournament in front of millions of fans, trying to bring glory to your school and perhaps even improving your fugure career options. Nope, you need a guy writing about your opponent to rally your players.

Obviously, they don't listen to you, or you might have been able to inspire them by asking them to win one for you, the first-year, overmatched coach. So you needed a newspaper columnist to do your job for you.

I will expect you to send me your paycheck for the week for handling your job for you. I hope there's a columnist in PIttsburgh who can help you this weekend. More likely, Jamie Dixon, a real coach who actually motivates his players all by himself, will eat you alive. Maybe some day you'll be big-time enough to do your own work.

Can you imagine Bill Self or Roy Williams winning an NCAA tournament game and giving credit to a newspaper guy? And I thought Xavier was a Division I school.

Ok, enough about poseurs.

My favorite moments of the day at Bradley Center:

-Oakland coach Greg Kampe, watching one of his big men get hammered inside, didn't cry for a foul. He told the kid: ``This is a man's game. Be strong.''

-Wisconsin fans roaring throughout Bradley Center when the Badgers came back against Wofford. Even though Pitt was playing Oakland in Bradley Center, and the Wisconsin game was available only on TVs in the corridors.

-Xavier's Jordan Crawford is a big-time player. The Gophers threw all kinds of players and looks at him, and he still had his way, getting into the lane whenever he wanted and killing Minnesota with second-half threes.

By the way, Ralph Sampson has got to start playing like a 7-footer. He had plenty of chances to take over the game in the first half, but he shied away from the basket and failed to finish. He shoots as if he expects to miss and hopes he'll get a lucky bounce. He'll need to dramatically improve if the Gophers are going to return to the tournament next year.

Also: Devoe Joseph had a nice run, but the Gophers need Al Nolen back. They need a point guard who's stronger with the ball, will run the offense and can generate defensive pressure.

-As I point out in my Saturday column, I thought the Gophers looked remarkably confused for much of the game. They could barely run an offense and they got beat on way too many backdoor cuts. Isn't Tubby supposed to be a defensive guru?

-My prediction: Smith will leave Minnesota within the next 15 months.

I'll be on am-1500 with Joe Anderson at 6:05. We have a loaded show for Sunday Sports Talk, 10-noon on am-1500 on Sunday, right after the Ron Gardenhire Show at 9:30.

You can follow me on Twitter at SouhanStrib.




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