Friday, March 08, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville--Duke at UNC Edition

Just when you thought this season could not get any more unpredictable…Wednesday happens. The night was crazy. Six ranked teams lost. Buzzers were beaten. Streaks were ended. Senior nights were ruined.
The more games I watch, the more I read, the more I talk about the season---the less I know. Who could ask for more? What a lot of fun to fool yourself every day of the week.
I cannot wait to see everyone’s brackets this season. They ought to be a wild assortment. Da Doo Ron Ron!
The Mountain West is ranked at # 1 in the RPI.
Villanova was actually a slight Vegas favorite at home vs. Georgetown…and they pulled it off.
Iowa State is incredibly tough at home. Still, somewhat surprising that they knocked off Oklahoma State.
In beautiful Coral Gables, Miami lost the third in their last four games…at home…with a double-digit second half lead…against Georgia Tech…yes, that Georgia Tech. Gack! Miami needs to put a picture of Reggie Johnson on Dade County milk cartons. Georgia Tech! Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot.
Heading west, UCLA {co-leader in the Pac-12} loses at last place Washington State for the first time in two decades--- by double-digits. Heavens to Murgatroyd!
Saint Louis was ambushed at Xavier. Saint Louis was as hot as any team recently, and is now tied for first in the Atlantic 10 with VCU {both at 12-3}. La Salle at 11-4 is just a game behind.
Some sanity prevailed on Wednesday. Florida held Vandy to 40 points…winning by 26. This just the second or third time this season that Florida had all of its scholarship players available. Not all are at 100%, but they are getting healthy---and just could be at their healthiest when tournament time arrives.
Kansas State has won six in a row…as has North Carolina. Remember when UNC was in dire straits just a month ago. Now they are third in the ACC.
Providence has won seven of their last eight…Temple has victories in eight of their last nine.
Michigan’s Trey Burke is tied for the scoring lead in Big 10 play…he also leads the conference in assists---a full 2.2 per game ahead of second place {Purdue’s Ronnie Johnson}. Burke took 14 free throws and just three three-pointers in the victory over Purdue.
“Threes at home…frees on the road.” Words to live by.
Bad loss for Virginia at Florida State. That could prohibit UVA from making the tournament. I admired their late comeback from eleven down. It was an impressive run…but they never should have been in that position, especially to FSU. Oy vey!
Michael Snaer did it again… a layup, plus one…this time with 4.4 seconds remaining…that’s four times this season and six in past two years, if you’re scoring at home.
Michigan State had lost three in a row, and desperately needed a good performance against a quality opponent when Wisconsin showed up. At times, MSU was on fire offensively…looking really impressive. They looked great on defense all night long. Full disclosure: I am officially tired of trying to figure out the Big-10.
Duke’s victory on Senior Night vs. Virginia Tech gave the Blue Devils an undefeated home season, the third time in four seasons that Duke has not lost at home.
Duke has been in seven games that were within one possession with under three minutes to go---winnning six.
During the Coach K era, Duke has swept North Carolina six times…UNC has nine sweeps.
Three times Duke has pulled off three-game sweeps…UNC has yet to get the hat trick.
Duke and Carolina have never met in the NCAA Tournament.
UNC did beat Duke in the 1971 NIT semis.
Both the men and women had perfect records in Cameron this season.
Sophomore center Elizabeth Williams has at least one block in each of the 63 she has played for the Duke women.
Each of Indiana’s four losses has been by five or fewer points.
New Mexico is 12-1 in games decided by seven or fewer points or in OT. There are no seniors in the starting lineup for the Lobos.
Not so fast: UNC’s P.J. Hairston is averaging 17.6 ppg since being placed in the starting lineup.
One more thing: Duke has beaten the spread 16 times this season.

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