Friday, March 25, 2011

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

Tony continues to lead with Carl just a point behind. Eddie and Dale had the best days with 2-2 records. This round is worth three points per correct pick. As always, check my math.

No question who the better team was as Arizona just dismantled Duke in the second half, 93-77. Arizona started playing really good basketball about the time Duke started playing really bad basketball. For a program that prides itself on its defense, 77 points should be enough to insure a victory. It wasn’t even enough to keep Duke close. Everything that could go wrong down the stretch went wrong. Arizona outscored Duke 55-33 in the second half. It’s a sad way for Singler and Smith to end their marvelous careers.

Beginning in 2000 Duke has gone 3-7 in Sweet Sixteen games. With the exception of a 2003 loss to Kansas, Duke has been the higher seed in all the losses. Duke lost as a No. 1 seed in the Sweet 16 for the fifth time, three more than any other school.

They don’t print commemorative tee shirts at Duke for making the Sweet Sixteen.

Arizona got 11 offensive rebounds in the second half…Duke got two.

The two early games were most exciting. I had one the tube and one on the computer watching MMOD. For the majority of both games, a three-point lead was a lot.

UConn had just too much Kemba Walker. I ought to have known better than to bet against him.

The Huskies shot 50 percent from 3-point range (8-16), marking the fifth time this season the team shot 50 percent or better from 3. UConn has won all five of those games.

Jimmer Fredette needed a ton of shots to get his points, but he is an immense treat to watch. I gave him a standing ovation when he exited with 2:01 remaining. What a stunning player to watch…one that those of us in the East did not to see enough during his college career.

Florida played a strong all around game…they were hitting on all cylinders. Hard to believe this team lost four games to non-NCAA Tournament teams.

Alex Tyus led four Florida players in double figures with 19 points and also pulled down 17 rebounds, Kenny Boynton had 17 points, while Erving Walker and Chander Parsons each scored 16 for Florida.

The Gators earned their fourth trip to the Elite Eight since 2000.

Since 2001, just one team seeded lower than fifth reached the Final Four---George Mason (#11) in 2006. Since seeding began in 1979, just two double-digit seeds made the Sweet Sixteen---LSU in 1986 and George Mason.

A pleasure listening to Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery call the games. Unlike Clark Kellogg, they never get in the way of the game, they know the game and have moments of witty banter. They are both Runyonesque characters.

Duke is now 0-4 in NCAA Tournament games played on the West Coast and 0-2 in the Honda Center.

Neither Wisconsin nor Butler shot very well. Since both teams are demons on defense, that was to be expected. Butler's 7-point win equaled the combined margin of victory for its four previous games in the NCAA tournament.

The Bulldogs have now won 12 straight games overall. Wisconsin shot 30.4 percent from the field, its second worst shooting performance this season.

Wait until next season.

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