Sunday, March 19, 2017
Sportz' NCAA Tournament Recap - Second Round, 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: Purdue vs Iowa State. From start to finish, this game was intense. Purdue did get a huge lead going but the Cyclones fought back to make this one of the best back and forth games in the tournament. And ... boy ... that Biggie Swanigan.
UPSET OF THE DAY: Wisconsin vs Villanova. Sure, Wisconsin wasn't a typical No. 8 seed but Villanova was the defending champ and the top overall seed. Most people had the Wildcats at least to the Sweet 16 if not the Elite 8. So to see them not playing past the first weekend is quite shocking.
CONFERENCE OF THE DAY: Big Ten. Just look at the teams who won above. The conference has been so maligned this season that to see at least two in the Sweet 16 ... including arguably their two best teams ... is gratifying. Wisconsin took down the biggest dawg on the block while Purdue earned a ton of respect. Even Northwestern's controversial loss to Gonzaga was valiant.
CONFERENCE WITH A BAD DAY: ACC. One day after Miami gets blown out, we see Florida State and Virginia look like they didn't even belong on the same court as Xavier or Florida, respectively. Virginia had been struggling and faced a higher seed ... but to score just 39 points? And Florida State was never in their game with Xavier.
DUD OF THE DAY: Florida vs Virginia. Usually the No. 4 vs No. 5 game is competitive. Not this one. Virginia looked absolutely horrible and reverted back to a few weeks ago when they just couldn't score.
DOMINANT PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY: Xavier. Who are these guys? Remember that Xavier couldn't beat anyone not named DePaul for, like, a month. Now they just spank No. 3 Florida State. In Orlando, no less.
UNDERLYING STORYLINE OF THE DAY: Bad calls. Humans make mistakes and referees are humans. Still, with all the replay at our disposal nowadays (I mean, refs have gone to the monitor to see exactly how many seconds were remaining in North Carolina's 39-point win over Texas Southern) you'd think they could verify an obvious goal tending. That missed call along with the technical foul called on Northwestern coach Doug Collins really stole the good feeling from their game with Gonzaga. It also robbed us of what could have been a great finish to possibly see another No. 1 seed go down.