Monday, April 1, 2013

Sportz' NCAA Tournament Recap - Elite 8

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

GAME OF THE DAY ROUND: Wichita State vs Ohio State. Pretty simple, really.  The other three games ended as blowouts, this one actually became a blowout before the Buckeyes made a furious comeback to make it a close one late.  When it looked as if the Shockers would break, they didn't.  A huge three and key free throws late sealed the unlikely berth into the Final Four.

UPSET OF THE DAY ROUND: Wichita State vs Ohio State. Who had Wichita in the Final Four?  Pretty much no one.  Seeing the other schools there isn't a shock, but the Shockers joining them is extremely unexpected.

CONFERENCE OF THE DAY ROUND: Big East. Half of the Final Four is from the soon to be demolished Big East with Louisville as the favorite to cut down the nets.  Second place in this category is the ACC, who will house both the Ville (2014) and Syracuse (in July) very soon.

CONFERENCE WITH A BAD DAY ROUND: Big Ten. I can't really say there was a league that had a noticeably bad round, but I'll go with the Big Ten just because they really "underperformed" in the tournament, I guess.  Indiana was the preseason favorite and didn't get out of the Sweet 16.  Wisconsin was upset in the first round.  Minnesota actually won a game and then fired Tubby Smith.  Michigan State didn't make as deep a run as we've grown to expect.  And Ohio State were down 20 to Wichita with a Final Four spot on the line.  You can go through many conferences and have similiar breakdowns, but the Big Ten was THE league this year and got just Michigan into the Final Four.

DUD OF THE DAY ROUND: Michigan vs Florida. This game was, to me, the 2nd most anticipated game of the round (behind L'ville-Duke).  But Michigan made this game a snoozer early and easily chomped the Gators.

DOMINANT PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY ROUND: Michigan. Again, they just nailed Florida.  This Florida squad was making their 3rd straight Elite 8 appearance yet just looked lost against a hot Michigan team.

UNDERLYING STORYLINE OF THE DAY ROUND: Kevin Ware. This will be the underlying story of the tournament.  Ware's broken leg in the first half of Louisville's win over Duke was one of the most horrific and gruesome sports injuries I have seen.  And I am a Redskins fan who remembers Joe Theismann's broke leg when it happened.  Many things jump out at me over this.  The shock of his teammates.  The silence in the arena.  The class of the Duke team.  The love of Rick Pitino and that Cardinals team.  The reaction all across the country and the sports community.


*This has been a wild tournament, but it hasn't been a good one.

*Respect to CBS for not showing the replay of the Kevin Ware injury beyond the initial two that caught what actually happened.

*Yes, Charles Barkley only knows the college basketball he was briefed on.  He's an NBA guy and that's fine.  But I don't mind Charles being there as he does bring some comic relief at times as well as bluntly stating things that others gloss over.  The NCAA just isn't used to that. 

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