Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Welcome to Bracketville 7.0

Welcome to Bracketville, population 14

Didjaknow: T. Boone Pickens donated #165 million to the Oklahoma State athletic department.

Kudos: To University of Tennessee’s Women’s Basketball coach Pat Summit on being the first coach (men’s or women’s) to win 100 games in NCAA Tournament competition.

Rave: CBS is not going to inject celebrities into their NCAA Tournament coverage as do Fox and ESPN (in their coverage of major sports). “It is not our philosophy,” said CBS Programmer Mike Aresco. What a refreshing attitude.

Read all about it: The “Morning Brief” in the sports section of the L.A. Time is must reading for Jay Bilas.

Just the facts: Many are wringing their hands over the second round exit for Duke. Teams need true NBA first round picks to play in the Final Four…or at least money players. Duke has not had money players since Battier, Boozer, Jason Williams and Mike Dunleavey. Chris Duhon to a lesser degree. To wit: in 10 NCAA Tournament games, Duke senior and captain DeMarcus Nelson has scored 40 points.

This will make you say wow: In Coach K’s 28 years at Duke, he has had eight seasons without an All American. In those seasons---0 ACC Titles, 0 Sweet Sixteens, 0 Final Fours, 0 Championships.
In the 20 other seasons---10 ACC Titles, 17 Sweet Sixteens, 10 Final Fours, 3 NCAA Championships.

Won/loss: So far the Big East is 10-5 thru two rounds---the Pac-10 is 6-3. The ACC and SEC have one team remaining.

Seedings: Butler (seven seed) was 29-3 in the regular season---and pushed Tennessee (two seed) into overtime. If Butler had gotten the seed it deserved, it would still be playing in the Sweet 16.

Stats: Since February 1, Georgetown failed to score more than 70 points in 11 out of 15 games.

Rave: Curtis Shaw’s ejection of Stanford coach, Trent Johnson was an unfortunate turn of events. The coach showed an immense amount of class, dignity and personal responsibility in the post game interview…something seldom seen in this PC, spin cycle world. Good for him.

Factoids: In high school, UCLA’s Darren Collinson weighed 142 pounds. His teammate, Russell Westbrook, could not dunk as a high school junior.

Rave: One of the great things about March is that it is nothing like college football. Games are decided by players…not computers or polls. San Diego gets to play Connecticut and Davidson gets to play Georgetown.

Playing to win: One reason for Davidson’s wonderful comeback was Georgetown’s decision to “play not to lose.” The wide differential in turnovers had quite a bit to do with it as well.
Not to mention great coaching and a preconference schedule that taught the team a bunch.

Quote: “This is the NCAA tournament. If you don’t have fun out there, there’s something wrong with you.” ---Davidson point guard Jason Richards.

The X factor: Xavier has six guys who average double figure scoring.

Totally useless factoid: Since 1990, only 12 of the 72 Final Four teams have been private schools. Take out Duke and the number shrinks to five. No non-denominational private school without a color in its nickname has won the NCAA Tournament.

Useless factoid: Before they became the “orange,” the original colors for Syracuse were rose pink and pea green.

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