Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sportz' NCAA Tournament Recap - Round of 32, Day 1

Just a quick recap of what I saw in my Sportz Room -- filled with TVs that I can watch all four games going on at the same time.

GAME OF THE DAY: Marquette vs Butler. Just a great game to watch.  Close with nice coaching and both teams just giving everything in this one.  Both teams made some great plays all game long, huge shots and we got a last second shot that was off the mark.

UPSET OF THE DAY: Wichita State over Gonzaga. Whenever a #1 seed goes down in the first weekend, that is an upset.  Even though Gonzaga was looked upon as a weak top seed, those teams should at least get to the Sweet 16.  Wichita not only played their patented defense on the Zags, they hit some great shots with a memorable flurry to end the game.

CONFERENCE OF THE DAY: Big Ten. The Big Ten keeps on moving on.  They are now 9-1 in this tournament with both Michigan and Michigan State blowing out their opponents on Saturday.  Not only that, but with Gonzaga going down, Ohio State is now looking at a West Region with just Arizona, Wichita State and the winner of an Ole Miss/LaSalle game waiting in Los Angeles ... provided that they dodge the upset bullet against Iowa State.

CONFERENCE WITH A BAD DAY: Atlantic 10. The A-10 was pitching a shutout until today.  All three schools that played on Friday lost.  Saint Louis (the regular season and tournament champ) were blown out of the gym by 12th-seeded Oregon.  VCU also were spanked in their game.  Butler lost a close one to Marquette.  Now only LaSalle and Temple remain, and Temple faces off against Indiana on Sunday.

DUD OF THE DAY: Michigan vs VCU. I was really excited about this matchup, but it really didn't go as planned.  That VCU pressure defense doesn't work as well when they face off against an opponent with guard play like Michigan.  The Wolverines just bowled over the Rams and coasted into the Sweet 16.

DOMINANT PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY: Michigan. Amazing performance by the Wolverines.

UNDERLYING STORYLINE OF THE DAY: Bad seeding. Not only were the people who were against Gonzaga getting a No. 1 seed a bit vindicated, but Oregon and Arizona showed that the Pac-12 was grossly underseeded when the brackets were announced a week ago.  More on Gonzaga below.


*Louisville is the 15th team since 1985 to have won its first two games by at least 25 points.  Only ONE of the previous 14 teams have gone on to win the National Championship (2005 North Carolina).

*Another amazing stat:  Wichita State is just the fifth #9 seed to reach the Sweet 16.

*With Louisville, Marquette and Oregon winning, bird mascots are now 10-0 in the tournament.  Kansas, Temple, Florida Gulf Coast and Creighton play on Sunday.

*Gonzaga got their respect ... then lost it.  These Zags, who have been "the Boise State of basketball", have continued to disappoint in the postseason.  Since their surprise appearance in the Elite 8 in 1999, the Zags haven't gotten back since.  They've had great teams, great players and favorable matchups but can't get it done.  Now they've had the #1 seed they've craved and were ousted before the first weekend was over.  They can't be trusted anymore.

*And that may be the underlying story for this entire weekend.  When the brackets were announced, many bought in to the Zags and had them in their Final Fours.  Others listened to the experts tell us how great New Mexico and Saint Louis were and watched them get upset.  We even bought into VCU who were just spanked by a Michigan team that struggled down the stretch.  Next year we will all probably stick to those power conference teams we are more familiar with (even though Wichita State is in the Sweet 16 as well as the SD State-Florida Gulf Coast winner).  This Sweet 16 will probably see 13 or 14 power conference schools in it. 

No comments: