Sunday, March 17, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville---It's Selection Sunday Edition


I have watched countless hours of college basketball and read incalculable articles throughout the season---but, in my mind, the preeminent quote occurred late last night. “Don’t play the clock. Play basketball,” came from Bill Walton. Oh how I wish a few coaches would buy in.
The ACC, Big 10, SEC and Atlantic-10 have their conference championship game on Selection Sunday.
Much as I relish the opportunity to watch college basketball, I’m not a fan of this scheduling.
I think it puts those teams playing on Sunday at a disadvantage---especially if they play in the Thursday/Saturday rounds.
I’d like to see those eight teams guaranteed a Friday/Sunday schedule.
Plus, the winners get no time to celebrate.
Louisville and Kansas sure looked Final Four ready to me. Helluva comeback for the Cardinals.
Louisville has 14 victories away from home…Kansas has a dozen Top-50 wins.
Should Miami win the ACC Tournament this afternoon, the Canes would set another record. They would be the first non-North Carolina team in the 59 years of the ACC Tournament to win the ACC regular season outright and the tournament.
In losing unceremoniously to an average Maryland team, Duke displayed their fatal flaws for all to see. The Blue Devils cannot rebound---Maryland was +10 on the night.
All season long Tournament bound teams have consistently outrebounded Duke: Minnesota +3, VCU +7, Louisville +5, Ohio State +3, Temple +1, Davidson +1, UVA +11, Miami +8 and +13. Oy vey!
Duke has a -1.0 rebound margin---that is #220 out of 345 teams. That number includes the creampuff games played to start the season.
Duke seems to raise the white flag when the opponents have adults in the paint.
No matter the record, no matter the stats, to me, Duke still looks like the classic #3 or #4-seed ready to be upset.
Duke shot 16% from three---Duke’s worst 3-point shooting game since 1989.
In the second halves of the three Big 12 Tournament games, Kansas shot 64% (52 of 81) and was 15 of 22 from the arc.
Albany shoots 73.5% from the line and 36.5% from the three.
In the MEAC Championship Final North Carolina A&T held off Morgan State despite scoring only four points in the last 3:57. But, then, Morgan State scored only three.
Akron has one of the best 2-point percentage defenses in the country. The Zips hold opponents to 42% shooting inside the 3-point line, one of the 10 best rates in the nation.
New Mexico State is ranked in the top 20 nationally in fewest fouls committed per game…top 15 in blocked shots. They are #3 in the nation in free-throw rate, and they get almost a quarter of their points off foul shots.
Pacific shoots 39.1% from behind the arc---13th in the country. Interestingly, no one on the team attempted more than 83 3-pointers -- yet there are four players who made at least 40 percent of them.
Montana hits 77% of its foul shots…#7 in the country…getting nearly 23 percent of their points from the foul line.
Not so fast: All five starters for New Mexico are expected to return next season.
One more thing: You might be bored by the way Wisconsin plays, but they win a lot. Don’t let boring break your bracket.

You made it to the end -- celebrate by watching some basketball.

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