Saturday, March 26, 2011

NCAA Tournament Thoughts: Sweet 16 Friday

We had some great games last night and this slate doesn't look promising. Two mismatches (UNC-Marquette and Kansas-Richmond) then you have the Cinderella matchup (Florida State vs. VCU). Ohio State vs Kentucky is definitely the marquee matchup of the evening.

I wrote the above paragraph earlier this afternoon and things have gone just according to my suspicion.

Marquette was actually leading 10-8 at one point. Then trailing 38-15 at halftime, that's a 30-5 extended run. They had a drought of about 9 minutes during which time they missed 14 shots and called timeouts. 3 timeouts in between points scored. Buzz Williams could call 100 timeouts and it's not going to help. His team is missing 2/3 of their shots and turning it over every time they throw an entry pass.

You'd think with Marquette's strength of schedule and 5 wins against top 50 teams, they wouldn't be completely overwhelmed like this.

You can sort of understand it with Richmond. They haven't seen a team like Kansas all season.

Craig Sager provided some good information about a pre-game scuffle between Richmond and Kansas, but it's hard to take a guy seriously when he's wearing a lavender sports coat.

I wish Richmond had put up that much of a fight during the game. Their fans were going nuts when they got hot and cut the lead to 39-22. Down 17 points in the first half and you are cheering. I guess if you and four friends go to a basketball game dressed as Spidermen you might as well go nuts and hope to get on TV.

It's fun to root for upsets but this is often the result. Cinderella's coach turns back into a pumpkin and she gets demolished by a better team. Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

I'm surprised I did not get an e-mail from TON during the Syracuse-Marquette game comparing Junior Cadougan to Street Fighter's Hadouken.

This is when having the games on two separate channels really pays off. You can watch two games at a time, in four minute increments, with the help of halftime.

I like VCU and Florida State, both teams are tough and good on defense, but you can tell they just aren't good enough on offense to compete with the top teams. Whoever wins this game is going to be a sacrificial lamb for Kansas.

I think Crayola should make a special box of crayons with college teams' colors. I would prefer Kentucky Blue to Carolina Blue. But I would color everything with Syracuse Orange.

Every year in the NCAA tournament there are big guys who overachieve, come out early and never make it in the NBA. Patrick O'Bryant from Bradley a few years ago is one that comes to mind. I sort of like this guy Josh Harrellson on Kentucky. He has size (6-10, 275) but he also has some quickness and some offensive post moves. Did you see how hard he threw the ball of Sullinger as he was falling out of bounds? I think he could actually be a decent NBA center in this day and age when they are so few true centers.

Clark Kellogg is a great announcer. Jim Nantz is a terrible one. Their styles don't mesh. Nantz was much better being the sweet gay guy to Billy Packer's old grump.

In the first half Florida State attempted 43 field goals compared to only 23 for VCU. But Florida State made only one more. The extra attempts coming on offensive rebounds, 13 of them, compared to 2 for VCU.

I can't find verification if VCU's Darius Theus is related to Reggie, which must mean he isn't.

I like the way Ohio State passes the ball, on the break and in the half court. They don't let Sullinger become a ball-stopper.

Beautiful final minute of the Ohio State - Kentucky game. First off, I loved the move by Liggins. Don't shoot a 3, don't run full speed into someone hoping to draw a foul, drive hard, stop, get your man moving and bank it off the glass. In many other circumstances that would have been a game-winner.

If not for John Diebler's ONIONS! That also could have been a memorable shot in history and things gone differently from there.

And then Brandon Knight with the real game-winner, a beautiful shot to end a fantastic game.

There have been so many empty seats at all these regions. And not just for the second game, early in the first. If you're a Kansas fan why don't you stick around for this Florida State-VCU game?

Chris Singleton -- ONIONS!

Rough final possession of regulation for Florida State. Throw up anything please.

What a beautiful inbounds pass by Rodriguez to win the game. Give Smart credit but he didn't draw that up. They were just running off a bunch of screens and an FSU player fell asleep and Rodriguez squeezed it between two guys. A thing of beauty.

But I still don't know how to explain VCU's run. Weak competition? Were they really motivated this much by the doubters? All I know is, if they had played this well during the regular season no one would have doubted their worthiness.

Billie loves Shaka Smart. If there were an all-name team, he would coach it. He makes Brad Stevens look old.

I now have zero Final Four teams left.

Reissberg is furious because now only 7 conferences are represented in the Elite Eight. Kentucky and Florida both come from the SEC. Had Ohio State won, it would have been 8 different conferences, something we don't think has happened since the brackets expanded to 64 teams.

But at the very least after two early evening stinkers we got two great games late in the night, and I stayed up for them both.

One leftover from Thursday's games: BYU's athletic director is Tom Holmoe. Say that out loud. Say it again. Billie lost his shit when he heard someone say it on TV. He swore the reporter said "Tom Homo."


Deron R. Pope said...

After Kentucky knocked off this overrated Ohio State team, this year became the first time since the 2000 tournament that only one number 1 seed made it to the Elite Eight. It has happened only twice since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. By the way, Jared Sullinger is way overrated and has been exposed.

ton said...

Paul too funny with that Cadougan comment. I hadn't thought about it at the time. Perhaps if one of the commentators pronounced it Ca-dOOOOOOgan.