Thursday, March 24, 2011

Welcome to Bracketville---Sweet Sixteen, Day One Edition

If you seriously think you can ace your bracket due to nothing more than your college basketball acumen, the Tournament will humble you in short order. The good news---it’s the best tasting humble pie ever. Savor the moments.

As much as I detest the 9:45 tip-off time for the Duke/Arizona game, the great news is that Vern Lundquist and Bill Raftery will be the announcers. The pathetic Nantz/Kellogg combo will be inflicted upon the viewers watching the pairings in Newark---UNC, Marquette, Ohio State and Kentucky.

The city of Richmond has as many teams left in the NCAA Tournament as the Big East does.

If Kansas gets to the Final Four, they will do so without playing a team seeded above a nine.

Six of the seven Florida players who scored in last season’s Tournament game vs. BYU return for this year’s Sweet Sixteen match.

The VCU/Florida State match-up in the Sweet Sixteen is the first meeting of a #10 vs. #11 seed since 1997.

This is the first time that Florida and Florida State have reached the Sweet Sixteen in the same Tournament.

Pitt and Notre Dame are the only one and two seeds not in the Sweet Sixteen.

Since 1979 the Big East has five titles…the ACC has ten.

With BYU and San Diego State, the Mountain West has a pair of teams in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in the conference’s 12-year history.

Jacob Pullen had 58% of Kansas State’s point in their loss to Wisconsin.

In his last four games, BYU’s Jimmer Fredette is averaging 37 points.

Duke is 6-4 in one-point games in the NCAA Tournament…Kansas 4-6.

The two Big East teams standing, Marquette finished #11 in the conference and UConn struggled down the stretch and wound up at #9.

The ACC is 7-1 so far…Mountain West is 4-1…Big Ten is 7-5.

The longest active streak of Sweet Sixteen appearances belongs to Duke at three. Butler, Kentucky and Ohio State are working on two-peats.

Kemba Walker is averaging 25.9 ppg since the start of the Big East Tournament.

In the West Regional, the participating teams have 22 Final Four appearances between them---Duke 15, Arizona has four and UConn with three.

The Big Ten has had the best post-season performance in the past five years. It is the only conference to create more upsets than it has surrendered. Six of their teams were upset, but they were on the winning side of nine upsets. In the same five years the Big East is 19-21, while the ACC is 14-14

UConn won seven games in eleven nights, and looks like they have plenty of gas in the tank. Kemba’s smile is holding up as well as his legs.

Nine of the Sweet Sixteen were ranked in the preseason AP poll. Absent were Wisconsin, FSU, Richmond, UConn, Arizona, VCU and Marquette.

The Ohio State/Kentucky game features two freshmen point guards.

Seven of the Sweet Sixteen won their conference tournaments…five others made it to the title game.

Three of the eight games feature the predicted seedings…#1 OSU vs. #4 Kentucky; #2 San Diego State vs. #3 UConn and #2 Florida vs. #3 BYU.

Kentucky is on an eight game winning streak and has at least two future first-round picks.

Duke has never failed to make the Sweet Sixteen after winning an ACC Championship…they are 18 for 18. Their three ACC Tournament losses in the past 12 years have all been in overtime.

Michigan doesn't have a senior on the roster and could have one of the better backcourts in the country with Darius Morris and Tim Hardaway Jr. next season.

Pop Quiz: What teams comprise the Final Four of the College Basketball Inviational (CBI)?---Boise State, Oregon, University of Central Florida and Creighton.

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