Friday, March 19, 2010

Welcome to Bracketville, Population 9

Does Not Get Any Better Than This!

Syracuse will open its NCAA tournament run without Arinze Onuaku in today’s game vs Vermont.

This season Duke has shot the ball 2,045 times…seventh most in Division I. Quite remarkable considering, they play at the 158th-fastest pace. Shows the high value of offensive rebounds.

Duke is ranked at # 4 in fewest points allowed per possession…mainly due to how effectively they shut down opponent’s three-point attempts and makes.

Watching your bracket vaporize is one of the most humbling things in life. Brackets are so democratic…they grade you on a strict curve…no pass/fail in the brackets.

Truism: Bubble teams earned that distinction for a reason. They all had their chances.

Pittsburgh, Texas and Texas A&M are the only teams in Tournament that have won a game at the dance the last four years in a row.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Why does CBS not show the shot clock for the entire 35 seconds? ESPN does a far better job on graphics.

What a terrific Thursday. Half the games went down to the final possession. It could never be this good with 96 teams!

Seven lower-seeded teams won games Thursday, including five double-digits seeds, the most on the opening day of the tournament since 1991.

Vandy busted many brackets. Reminds me of my pick last year taking Wake Forest to the Final Four. And, this year Wake beats Texas…go figure. Dino wins his first post-season game. No one had Wake, by the way.

Sam Houston sure gave Baylor all they wanted, especially in the first half.

Lehigh did not cave in to Kansas. The Jayhawks won in a most business-like manner. The matchup with Northern Iowa will be a good scrap.

Raise your hand if you even considered Robert Morris staying with Villanova in regulation. Even more amazing as Robert Morris had two players foul out and two others with four fouls.

BYU’s Jimmer Fredette was even better than advertised. Michael Loyd Jr. was simply unconscious…a dazzling performance.

Only Thom Schuyler had the Ohio upset. Hell, I didn’t even know their nickname. Georgetown certainly lived up to their “inconsistent” reputation.

Washington’s
Quincy Pondexter made the game-winning shot (with 1.7 seconds on the clock. no less) after a four-point first half…that’s clutch and believing in yourself.

Butler’s second half against UTEP should be a DVD instructional video. Overwhelming! They’ll give the Syracuse/Gonzaga winner (if they both get by their first round opponents) more than they want if that Sweet Sixteen match takes place.

St. Mary’s shocked me. Knowing next to nothing about them, I was hugely impressed. Villanova had better bring their A++ game on Saturday. Five Australians on one team…now that’s recruiting outside the box.

Big East went 1-3. That’s what you’d expect from the ACC. However, the Big East is still the only conference to place three teams in the Final Four

The last second Northern Iowa and Washington wins were high drama.

Rave: All games available at
www.ncaa.com with maybe a ten-second delay. Lets you follow at least two games. The “boss button” is a hoot…takes you to Dilbert spreadsheet. Check it out.

After all the thrills, hard play and highlights, it was tough seeing Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody go so quietly in the night. He played his heart out four years and will graduate.

Dexter Pittman and Damion James from Texas---I sure expected more from them before they opt for the NBA. What dismal performances.

Almost lost in all the overtimes, buzzer beaters and improbable endings was Kentucky’s dominating performance. 45.5% from the three-point line…8 threes from Bledsoe, 22 points from Patterson, Wall’s 17 points and 11 assists. The bench got 74 minutes, so you can’t say Kentucky tried to rub it in.

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