Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sportz' NCAA Tournament Recap - Round of 64, Day 2

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: Stephen F Austin vs VCU. One of the better tournament games I have watched in a long time.  Not only was it fast paced, but there were wild momentum swings.  The four point play by SFA to tie the game at the end of regulation was out of this world.  The clutch plays in overtime, the emotion of the arena ... it was awesome.

UPSET OF THE DAY: Mercer over Duke. This might be the biggest tournament upset I've ever laid eyes on.  I know statistically it isn't, but the fact that this Duke team had loads of talent and were playing in Raleigh makes it all the more insane.  Atlantic Sun has quite a thing going after Florida Gulf Coast won a couple of games in last year's tourney and now Mercer (who will leave the A-Sun for the SoCon after this season) is carrying the Cinderella flag.

CONFERENCE OF THE DAY: SEC. The much maligned hoops conference is the only league with multiple bids that has yet to have a team eliminated.  Yes, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee are a combined 4-0 in the Madness and all three won pretty handily this round.  All three have a legit shot at reaching the Sweet 16, though Kentucky will have to defeat undefeated Wichita State to do so.

CONFERENCE WITH A BAD DAY: Atlantic 10. VCU should have beaten SF Austin, but a horrible foul that led to a four point play at the end of regulation forced overtime ... which they lost.  UMass, who I thought was seeded waaaay to high, was completely demolished by a Tennessee team that barely made it into the dance.

DUD OF THE DAY: Gonzaga vs Oklahoma State. This just wasn't a good game to watch at all.  It started pretty good and it was competitive even though the Zags seemed to always have distance from Okie State.  But, due to the officials, the game was a bear to watch.  There were 61 fouls called ... seven off the record set in 1956 and the most since 1979.  There was no flow to the game and absolutely no excitement, unless watching free throw practice is exciting.

DOMINANT PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY: Tennessee. Wichita State was pretty impressive, but they did so against a 19-loss team.  Tennessee just pummeled UMass and moves on to play surprising Mercer in the Round of 32.  Their athleticism just dominated the Minutemen and now makes the Vols a favorite to make the Sweet 16 and they could even make a Final Four run.

UNDERLYING STORYLINE OF THE DAY: Overtime. Yesterday, there were four games that went into overtime ... a tournament record.  On the second day of the round, one more game went to an extra period.  That one was that awesome SF Austin-VCU game.  


*Ohio, Texas and North Carolina started with four schools in the tournament.  Ohio (Dayton) and North Carolina (UNC) only have one left each.  Texas (Texas, Baylor, SF Austin) still has three

*Conference Count:
4-ACC (Virginia, Syracuse, North Carolina, Pitt)
4-Big 12 (Kansas, Iowa State, Texas, Baylor)
3-Big Ten (Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin)
3-SEC (Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee)
3-Pac 12 (Arizona, UCLA, Oregon)
3-American (Louisville, UConn, Memphis)

2-Big East (Villanova, Creighton)
2-Atlantic 10 (Saint Louis, Dayton)
1-Missouri Valley, Atlantic Sun, Mountain West, Ivy, WCC, Southland, Summit

*Overtime count is now at SIX.  The record is seven in 1995 and 1997.

*While you were watching the tournament, Marquette head coach Buzz Williams took the same job at Virginia Tech.

*North Dakota State gave the state of North Dakota their first ever NCAA Tournament history victory.

*Three of the four No. 12 seeds advanced to the third round.  If NC State had been able to hit free throws to hold their 16 point lead, all 12-seeds would have advanced.

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