Friday, March 25, 2016
#1 Virginia vs. #4 Iowa State So many games in this tournament have just been huge blowouts right from the very start and never really had much suspense. Virginia scored 29 points in the first ten minutes. That used to be a nice total for them for the entire first half. One way to close a big lead is to start bombing 3s and make a few. That's what Iowa State did mostly thanks to Niang. Malcolm Brogdan is a fine player but I would take Niang over him any day. That fourth foul on Niang was total bullshit. Just a tiny bump. He wasn't even denying him the spot, he was total in retreat. An Iowa State cheerleader got drilled in the face by a kicked ball. She went down on her side and they had to stop the game and escort her to the locker room. She seemed ok, poor thing was even trying to shake her pom-poms as she walked off. But tears were coming down her cheeks. Huge win for Virginia. Two straight disappointing second round exits in a row and now they are in the Elite 8 with a great chance to make the Final Four. #6 Notre Dame vs. #7 Wisconsin If we're looking for a team to suffer a letdown or keep the momentum going after a dramatic win, I'm not such which team to pick. Both teams used dramatic in the last round to win at the last second. These two teams scored fewer points combined that Virginia did in the first half. Ethan Happ is the cousins of Blue Jays pitcher JA Happ. Let's remember that the Badgers started this season with Bo Ryan as their head coach before he abruptly resigned in December. Ryan says he wanted to resign in June, but assistant coach Greg Gard, whom he wanted to bequeath the job, was not able to take over because his father was gravely ill. Gard's father died in October and Gard was promoted to head coach after Ryan's resignation. But a lot of people are now suggesting Ryan was forced out, or chose to quit as word of his extra-marital affair became public. Both teams really turned it up in the second half, making some shots and scoring some points. What a finish! The Irish looked dead after Vitto Brown nailed that 3. But Nigel Hayes got stripped, so did Bronson Koenig and that's how it ends. Amazing, two steals in 20 seconds by Demetrius Jackson. #1 North Carolina vs. #5 Indiana They did a pregame feature on Yogi Ferrell's sisters. I guess those t-shirts paid off. I've said it before, and many others have as well: if Marcus Paige makes his 3s, North Carolina wins the whole thing. His fourth one tied him with Michael Jordan for 12th on North Carolina's all-time scoring list. Carolina just has too much size and too much talent. I expect them to win it all.