Sunday, March 22, 2015

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: Notre Dame vs Butler. A battle of the Hoosier state was as good as it gets.  The Irish and Bulldogs went back and forth and needed overtime to determine the winner.  Big defensive plays and huge shots late made this game exciting and the fact Irish coach Mike Brey revealed his lost his mother earlier in the day makes it more touching.

UPSET OF THE DAY: NC State over Villanova. The Wolfpack are on a roll.  Two days after a wild comeback to beat LSU, NC State knocked off a No. 1 seed.  NC State had control all game long and held off every comeback attempt by the Wildcats.  The East Region looks to be wide open now.

CONFERENCE OF THE DAY: ACC. The ACC won three more games today, making them 9-0 so far in the tournament.  NC State made Villanova the first No. 1 seed to fall and Notre Dame played with toughness to oust Butler.  Add in North Carolina's fast-paced win over Arkansas and the ACC is dominating this tournament.  By the way, the ACC women's teams are currently 8-0 in their NCAA tournament ... making the league 17-0 right now.  Duke, Virginia and Louisville play today.

CONFERENCE WITH A BAD DAY: Big East. The Big East has taken a beating over the last two days.  Butler, Georgetown and Villanova all lost today (Xavier did win).  Nova became the first No. 1 seed to be knocked out and G'town gave up a big lead to Utah and couldn't recover.  Add that in to St. John's and Providence's loss a day earlier and the Big East has just one team remaining.  

DUD OF THE DAY: UCLA vs UAB. Both teams had stunning upsets in the Round of 64, but UAB just couldn't hang with UCLA and were promptly eliminated.  UCLA, controversial for not only getting in the tournament but beating SMU on a much-discussed goaltending call, will be in the Sweet 16.

DOMINANT PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY: Kentucky. They may not win pretty, but they took Cincinnati's aggressive and slow down style and made it work for them.

UNDERLYING STORYLINE OF THE DAY: ACC. The league already has three of the spots in the Sweet 16 with Duke, Virginia and Louisville (all the higher seed) attempting to join them.  The league is undefeated and it will be interesting to see how deep these schools can go.

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