Friday, March 20, 2015

Tournament Thoughts - Late Thursday

That battle of Pennsylvania never materialized. Villanova took it to Lafayette. And they looked good doing it. But those of us who have Nova exiting early shouldn't panic. Plenty of teams dominated in round 1, and lost in round 2.

Note: Until they got to 96 teams I will not call the playing games the first round. I'm becoming an old fart. Or I resist shill marketing. You make up your own mind.

Utah is coached by Larry Krystowiak, one of The Concierge's favorite players.

Basil Smotherman definitely leading the all-name team so far this tournament.

Octavius Ellis ejected for Cincinnati. Deservedly so. Brutal cheapshot forearm under the chin of AJ Hammons.

Purdue picked a good time to get hot from 3. Started 1-18, hit 3 of next 4.

But once again no such thing as momentum. Quick basket for Cincy, a turnover on a ball batted off the fingertips and reversed on review, then a hard take to the basket for an and-1. But you have to just get out of the way there. A 2-point lead and the ball with 39 seconds left is pretty strong. Can't risk fouling, especially because the shot could miss.

No whistles at the end of this game. But I like the no call. I don't like rewarding an offensive player for running recklessly into a defender.

Damn that was an exciting shot. Buzzer off, shot up, rolling around the rim. It actually took long enough to process all that. Another overtime game.

Exciting overtime considering no one could make a shot, lent itself to some up and down action though. In games this close those little things that happen throughout the course of the game, the missed free throws, the bad passes, the defensive lapses, determine the winner and loser.

I really enjoy watching the Ivy League teams play. The always give a solid effort. And they usually keep it close through ball movement and good outside shooting.

I really enjoy Andrew Catalon as an announcer. He does the Olympic curling but is getting more high profile assignments.

Wow, what a finish. North Carolina just made the plays to hold off Harvard. A great game though, both teams played well and made plays instead of some other games that stayed close because of ineptitude.

Ty Charles of Stephen F Austin made Mrs. Poop's All-Hair team.

She also likes their neon shoes.

Valiant effort by Stephen F. Austin but good job by Utah to hold them off.

If I were friends with Thomas Walkup I would call him 5th floor.

Average height of Kentucky starters: 6'9"
Average height of Hampton starters: 6'3"

They look like men vs. boys out there.

Chase picked NC State to the make the Final Four because their red S looks like Syracuse's orange one. I actually changed his bracket and put Providence in the Final Four instead. He's going to be so happy in the morning.

Great comeback attempt by NC State. They fell in love with the 3 just a little too much but LSU absolutely handed the game to them by missing 6 free throws in a row. This is the distinction I make between a great game and a close, exciting one. This was not a good game, poorly played, miscues galore, but a thrilling finish.

I guarantee LSU's players will be thinking about that one for a while.

Ok, now on to Wofford, one my of 2 12 over 5 picks this year. They just look like a spunky underdog. And they seem to have quite a bit of support in Jacksonville. That is only about 5 hours from campus. And if you're a Wofford alum you probably don't get a better chance to see your team in the tournament.

Great exchange, Qualls throws down a monster dunk to give Arkansas a 1-point lead. Before he can even mean mug for the cameras, Wofford nails a 3 to retake the lead. Dunks, no matter how loud, ferocious or spectacular are still only worth 2 points.

The only reason Wofford did not pull off that upset is because they shot too may 3s, and missed the last 6 they took in the game. They needed to try to get the ball to the basket especially those possessions where they had a 1 or 2 or 3 point lead. And that last possession they basically held for a 3 to tie. I know Arkansas played good D on them, but they should have tried to get a bucket and foul.

Georgetown has a guy named Mikael Hopkins. I feel like I have mentioned this before. But it doesn't seem I did.

A great first day of games with some monumental upsets, two overtime games, and 5 games deciding by exactly 1 point, a new single day tournament record.

Days like this are the reason I love the Big Dance. Even though I can't pick a bracket for shit.

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