Sunday, March 20, 2005

Uh, yeah . . . I picked that

OK, I said a lot of the top 4 seeds were stiffs, but I certainly didn't think UConn would fall with a HUGE thud against NCSU. Yeesh. The Big East was more competitive playing amongst itself than it has been in the Tourney and the worst of it is that three of the Big East's four losses were against mid-majors or below.

I've watched sizeable parts of all the games except the UConn flop and some quick hits:

(1) Florida is missing something in general. Villanova lost one of its best players midway through the first half and Florida only challenged twice early in the second half before a Villanova run buried the Gators. This is the fifth-straight year that Florida has lost to a lower seed before the Sweet 16 and Villanova was the best of those five teams: a #11 in 2001 (UF = #3), a #12 in 2002 (first round honk), a #7 in 2003 (UF=#2), and a #12 again last year. Those 2001 and 2003 losses were thumpings.

(2) Why doesn't every other team concentrate on teaching its guards to pull-up and pop off the dribble to the extent that Duke does? This has been a feature of every Duke team since Krzyzewski has been there: their guards and wing-forwards can take their man on the bounce, stop, and hit a mid-range jumper. Epitome of this: Grant Hill. Duke does more with the bounce than any team in college hoops.

(3) Louisville looked good against Ga. Tech. I thought that would be a danger game for my bracket when the Jackets smacked GWU, but Pitino's team did what BC and Syracuse couldn't: respond to being "underseeded" by reaching the Sweet 16 decisively.

(4) Oklahoma State has to be worried about getting such a tough game from So. Illinois in Oklahoma City -- having to scratch out a close win and giving up 75 points in a semi-home game before a regional semifinal match-up against high-scoring Arizona.

My boys are out, but I'm putting that March Madness satellite package to good use!

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