Friday, March 18, 2016

Tournament Thoughts: Late Thursday

#3 Miami vs. #14 Buffalo

Miami vs. Buffalo, reminds me of the AFC East.

Miami point guard Angel Rodriguez played for Kansas State in 2012 as a freshman in the tournament against Syracuse.

Buffalo just would not quit. Blake Hamilton with a big 3. Ian Eagle made a "Hamilton" joke at one point. I feel like most of the country has no fuckin clue what he was talking about.

But Miami eventually shut it down and won easily.

#1 North Carolina vs #16 Florida Gulf Coast

Some fools said that if a 1 is ever going to lose to a 16, this could be the time. I didn't think it was possible but FGCU certainly held their own.

UNC just has too much talent, especially up front to get upset by a 16.

#5 Indiana vs. #12 Chattanooga

I love Yogi Ferrell as a player. A great distributor.

His sister isn't as enamored with him as I am.
Her shirt said "Yogi isn't famous, he's my annoying brother."

#3 Utah #14 Fresno State

This was my upset special of the first round. 12-5s are so common they no longer count.

I always love seeing Larry Krystowiak roaming the sidelines for Utah.

Huge sequence that referees may have blown costing Fresno St. two points. With the score 47-40 Utah's Brandon Taylor is dribbling, loses his footing. Fresno State has the ball in frontcourt for an easy layup. Right before they lay it in they blew the whistle for a flagrant on Taylor who had grabbed the leg of a Bulldog while flat on his back. I think they're supposed to let the play conclude in that case, not sure of that rule however. But instead of the basket, 2 shots and the ball, they just got 2 shots and they ball, and missed one free throw.

Utah started the game leading 31-16. Fresno State came back with a 32-16 spurt to take a one-point lead.

But then Utah sealed it with a 20-5 run.

#6 Arizona vs. #11 Wichita St.

Wichita State is the best defensive team in the country. They play stifling D and on offense they give the ball to VanVleet and he dribbles around until he finds an open 3-point shooter. That's their game.

Sean Miller completely soaked through his shirt. Does this happen every game? Or is it particularly hot in there?

Arizona goes scoreless for 10 minutes, but trails by "only" 10. Nails 2 3-pointers and gets right back in the game.

Sean Miller got a warning about staying in the coach's box. I have complained about this for years. A rule that is NEVER enforced.

A lot of times conventional wisdom is wrong, especially on these NCAA tournament upsets. But this one looked a little too obvious. Poor Arizona. They didn't get screwed though, just unlucky. I do think Wichita State deserve some preferential treatment because of early-season injuries, but they weren't terribly underseeded, maybe a line or two. The committee cannot consider the past success of a program when seeding. And should not.

But this is only the beginning, a lot of people have them going a lot further, beating Miami and then maybe Villanova or the winner of Iowa vs Temple.

#4 Kentucky vs. #13 Stony Brook

This is not the Kentucky team many people thought they were picking. Pedigree means nothing when the entire team leaves for the pros every year. Tyler Ulis and Skal Labissiere are fine players but they are not Anthony Davis or Karl-Anthony Towns.
I picked them for the Final Four as a UNC alternative on one bracket, but I am little confidence in that pick.

#8 USC vs. #9 Providence

I hope everyone remembers USC coach Andy Enfield from his incredible run in the tournament with Florida Gulf Coast.

And his wife, Amanda Marcum Enfield, the former Maxim model.

Lewis Johnson drinking beet juice, hilarious!

Every time Providence needed a basket Kris Dunn was there. But he got in foul trouble and wasn't prudent enough with his aggressiveness, picking up a 4th with 7 minutes to go. Bur he nailed at least 3 3s when they needed them.

Wow, what a finish! USC just couldn't put them away, missed free throws, failure to grab loose balls. And then how do you let a guy slip under like that? Amazing play drawn up by Ed Cooley.

We're going to hear a lot of excuses about this Seton Hall loss: the altitude, yes Whitehead was sucking wind but Gonzaga (and all the other teams in Denver) are dealing with it too
fatigue after winning the Big East tournament, mostly bullshit, every team plays conference tournaments. It was 5 days ago
officiating, probably the most relevant, because it was uneven at times and the big men Seton Hall needed to defense Sabonnis and Wiltjer were in constant foul trouble

If anything, Seton Hall believed these excuses and felt and looked defeated very early on in this game.

But most likely Seton Hall just played an excellent team that was a bad matchup for them and they had a bad night, especially Whitehead, at the wrong time.

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