Monday, March 19, 2007

Ahhh... That was better.

For everything the opening round was not (exciting mainly) the second round was. Saturday had three overtime games, one of which was double overtime. Sunday had larger point spreads but still some solid games overall. The only way the second round was any better is if VCU completes the comeback with a win over Pitt on Saturday night. That and Florida knocks off Purdue by 60 but you don't always get what you want right? My issues with the CBS coverage continued though as with good games comes more mishandling. My Final Four is still intact though I'm not doing well overall. That's alright though as the games have been exciting over the past few days and that's all you can really ask for. Some other thoughts:

-The Greg Oden no-call highlighted the early games on Saturday. While on one hand I wish they would have called the Flagrant foul at the same time I do not like the Officials deciding games. But at some point the refs have to quit swallowing their whistles no mater what happens. They did, however, have no issue calling the last second foul in the Pitt-VCU game. (I found this interesting as I watched UNC get one call after another against Michigan State.) Levance Fields choked away those last second free throws but it didn't matter as Pitt won in OT.

-But is starting to shoot better and I can see them knocking off the Gators. The Gators would have to shoot poorly again and continue to play as if they're going to win regardless of effort. Watching Florida play is mind boggling to me as the talent is certainly there. This switch flipping is going to backfire on them sooner, rather than later as I see a possibility they miss the Final Four. You heard it here first though folks, Florida will not repeat as National Champions.

-CBS' brilliant coverage of the Vanderbilt-Washington State game still has me confused. This game went to double overtime yet I was not allowed watch but the end of regulation, OT 1 and then the majority of the second OT. I only got to watch the second OT because BC-G'town had ended.

-The Aggies have got to be excited about next year even without Acie Law. Dominique Kirk and Joseph Jones will be a formidable combo next season and they should still be a top-10 caliber team. How about Kirk on Saturday though? He knocked down one shot after another in route to a career high 21 points in the biggest game of his life. He played all 40 minutes of the game yet never really looked tired. Law was great but Kirk was the difference in the Aggies win over Louisville.

-UNC and UCLA both closed Saturday impressively by letting two teams they should beat easily hang around. UCLA probably looked worse as they let Indiana make a 16-3 run to tie the game with one minute left. The Bruins held on but how do you let this happen? Looked like they were just coasting to the finish line and I, for one, wish it would have cost them. In UNC"s case MSU was just out manned or they would have probably sprung the upset of the weekend. I said Neitzel would need forty and I was right as 40 for him would have sent the game to overtime at least. Did anyone else think it was wrong that Drew's dad made him do everything with his off-hand when he was 5 for a future basketball career? Borderline child abuse I'd say.

-I don't know if Southern Illinois can beat Kansas but I very impressed with their win over Virgina Tech. Maybe it's a good thing Illinois choked away the win in round 1 as the Illinois-SIU game could have been a brutal watch. Kansas probably has too many weapons but I'll be rooting for the Salukis.

-It's hard not to like UNLV after watching them blow a sizable lead against Wisconsin but still comeback and win. They never panicked and I think it's safe to say Lon Krueger will be coaching at a Big 6 school by next season.

-USC's Tim Floyd deserves an Oscar for his game plan against Texas. He took DJ Augustin out of the game eliminating Durant's sidekick and completely negating Durant's 30 points. Their was never any doubt USC was going to win that game. I wasn't shocked they won but I was very surprised how dominating they were. I won't be surprise din the least if they knock off the Tar Heels this weekend.

-Tennessee can actually win even when Lofton has an off night which has to be encouraging for the Vols. Lofton was 4-16 from the field on Sunday (though he still had 20) yet his team still came back from a halftime deficit to knock off the Cavs. Sean Singletary's 4-14 outing certainly helped though. The Vols re-match with Ohio State should be a good one as OSU won by 2 in Columbus earlier this year.

-Ohio State may actually be better without Greg Oden. Remember they gave UNC all they could handle before Oden returned from injury earlier this season. After Oden fouled out they definitely played better. I think it has more to do with the fact that Conley is better when he's the first option. Rather than them being a better team without the big man.

-The ACC (UNC) and Big Ten (Ohio State) have got to be disappointed as they each have one team remaining while the Pac-10 (Oregon, UCLA, and USC) and SEC (Florida, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee) each have three. I thought the ACC was over hyped all year and I'd say this proves that. I still have no idea how the Big Ten got 6 bids in the first place. They showed decently in the opening round and I think MSU, Purdue and Indiana will all be even better going forward. Wisconsin was disappointing but it was expected by nearly everyone after the Butch injury. I felt like regardless of who won the GT-UNLV game they'd beat Wisco and that's exactly what happened.
-The best game of the Sweet 16 should be the Memphis-Texas A&M game on Thursday evening. I anticipate a similar contest to the Memphis-UCLA game last year. A slow it down defensive team against a run n' gun team usually results in quality viewing.

That's it for me today. I'll be back tomorrow with some linkage and at some point before Thursday I'll make my Sweet 16 picks.


twins15 said...

Things definitely got better in round 2... I'm looking forward to the OSU/Tennessee game this weekend... Chism could pull Oden out from under the basket and create matchup problems. Should be interesting.

Sami Ghazi said...

Agreed that Florida won't repeat. It's too hard to get through that single-elimination pressure cooker two years in a row. They might be the most talented team, but somebody else is going to be hungrier and beat them.

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