Monday, March 27, 2017
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 all games going on at the same time.
GAME OF THE DAY: North Carolina vs Kentucky. Two blue bloods. Both worthy of not only getting to the Final Four but winning a national championship. The Tar Heels owned the first half but Kentucky kept it close enough. In the second half, Kentucky took the game over and let by five late. But just as they did last week, Carolina went on a 12-0 run to take back the lead. Malik Monk did everything he could to get Kentucky back ... including hitting that three to tie the game 73-73. But Theo Pinson ran down the court, tossed it to Luke Maye and he hit one of the biggest shots in the tournament.
UPSET OF THE DAY: Oregon vs Kansas. Through three rounds, Kansas looked like the best team of the tournament and the favorite to cut down the nets. But then their shots just wouldn't fall against Oregon and the ones that looked good were blocked by Bell. Kansas against goes home early while Oregon heads to their first Final Four since the first Final Four.
CONFERENCE OF THE DAY: West Coast. The ACC, SEC and Pac 12 have had teams in the Final Four before. But it has been 60 years since the WCC has gotten to the party. Congrats to that league.
CONFERENCE WITH A BAD DAY: SEC. Yeah, that is a bit harsh since the SEC has had a very solid ... albeit unexpectedly so ... tournament. But, in the Elite 8 both Kentucky and Florida (the conference's two top teams) went down before the final weekend. Still, nothing to hang their head over.
DUD OF THE DAY: Gonzaga vs Xavier. Look, Xavier barely made it into the tournament after a bad ending to the regular season. Their magic just ran out against a very, very, very good Gonzaga team. I was hoping that they'd be able to perform at a high level again but it just wasn't in the cards.
DOMINANT PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY: Gonzaga. Fellow No. 1 seed North Carolina won on a shot in the final second while No. 1 Kansas was beaten by Oregon. The Zags looked really good against the Musketeers.
UNDERLYING STORYLINE OF THE DAY: First timers. Funny that North Carolina made it to their record 20th Final Four the same season that Gonzaga and South Carolina are making their first Final Four appearances and Oregon is making their first one since 1939 (which there wasn't technically a Final Four).
New blood. It's nice.