Thursday, March 17, 2011

NCAA Tournament Thoughts: Late Thursday

We knew we had to get some blowouts. Florida over UCSB by 28. UConn over Bucknell by 29.

Not sure what to think of Florida. There is always a 2 seed going out in round 2. I still think it could be them but most times (to my recollection) the first round is a harbinger. Remember Villanova squeaking by Robert Morris last year then losing to St. Mary's?

And I'm really starting to think this whole 5 games in 5 days for UConn is overrated. I certainly don't think fatigue will be a factor. They've had 5 days rest already. And by the time they get to next week it'll be 2 games in 12 days. If there's anything at all working against them it's that their human and it's just hard to put up peak performance 11 times in a row (9 needed to get to the Final Four).

But I can't prove Kemba Walker is human. 18 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds.

Bucknell's token jew Bryan Cohen scored 6 points and had 4 rebounds.

It is so much fun to watch Jimmer Freddette play. He did a little bit of volume shooting in this one (32 points on 24 shots) and got a lot of free throws because Wofford's coach thought his team could outscore BYU by 10 points in the final 54 seconds.

I was wrong about Belmont. I was wrong about their press. It slowed Wisconsin at first but after about 10 minutes in the first half Wisconsin had no problems. Belmont wasn't aggressive on defense, they couldn't score on offense and Wisconsin got hot.

Both teams shot 22 3-points, Belmont made 6, Wisconsin made 12. That was the difference.

I love Michigan State Coach Tom "H to the" Izzo, but his team was not ready to play. They got their doors blown off from the opening tip. By a UCLA team that isn't very good. Izzo's tournament resume is undeniable, but he's had a couple stinkers.

But they almost pulled off one of the most amazing comebacks in tournament history. With 8 minutes and 36 seconds left UCLA led 64-41. From that point on UCLA made 8 turnovers and missed 10 free throws. At the same time Michigan State made 7 3-pointers to cut the lead to 77-76. After a free throw the Spartans had one more chance but Kalin Lucas traveled.

At this point I'm still convinced UCLA will beat Florida.

Tough loss for St. John's. They didn't play any defense and got blown out. I don't think DJ Kennedy would have made a difference. It was a nice season and good to see that program rebound but they are have so many senionrs (9 I believe) that they will take a step back. And if you go backwards in the Big East you could go 4 and 14 in conference.

Cincinnati was a popular 6 seed upset pick but they withstood Missouri's pace and managed to get a big lead in the first half which they never relinquished.

Kansas State got a tough draw with a pretty good Utah State team and they almost blew it (Frank Martin's head almost exploded) but I still like this team to beat Wisconsin and maybe even upset Pitt.

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