Quite docile, actually. So far, we've seen few upsets and few exciting games. Of the 16 games played Thursday, a grand total of 4 had a lower seed win. Three of those four can't even be called upsets because one was a 9 seed over an 8 (A&M beating BYU), and two were 10 over 7 seeds (Maryland thumping Cal and Michigan squeezing by Clemson). Since the tournament went to the current 64 team format in 1985, an 8 has beaten a 9 only 46% of the time and a 7 has beaten a 10 just 62%. The lower seed winning in those two matchups aren't upsets, they're coin flips. And my coin wasn't working very well, as I missed on all three of those (the Maryland one I can't believe. Not that they won, but that I didn't pick it. How could I miss that one?!?) as well as LSU over Butler (another 8 vs 9), and UCLA escaping with their lives 65-64 over 11 seed VCU. If you had UCLA going any further than Saturday, I'd be worried. They looked awful, and their worst best player, Darren Collison, looked awful for the fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament, yet they let him hog the ball and take all the shots. Brilliant.
The games so far today were at least more exciting, especially the Kansas/NDSU matchup in Minneapolis, yet it's resulted in a grand total of zero upsets. My Utah St over Marquette upset special of the day missed by one measly point, and NDSU gave Kansas a scare, but the Jayhawks held on to win. At least that's what I heard since the fine folks at CBS moved us to Oklahoma St/Tennessee for almost the entire second half!?!?!? I don't pretend to be the smartest person in the world, but how the hell does that make any sense? Yep, the Bison were down a few possessions for most of that second half, but they weren't getting blown out and were in it until the end, yet instead of getting that one, we got a close game between an 8 and 9 seeds. In the first round, does ANYBODY really care about the 8/9 games, except for the fans of the teams involved? I'd much rather watch a close game where an actual upset is possible (NDSU over Kansas definitely counts) instead of a close game between 8/9's in which, as I stated earlier, the 9 seed actually wins more of. Just a bad, bad effort by CBS on that one.
Other thoughts as the day rolls along...
...As bad as I've done so far in my bracket, I still have all of my sweet 16 teams alive. Famous last words...
...I have Memphis playing in the National Final, and they could not have looked worse yesterday. I really hope they were just playing down to the level of their competition...
...My two favorite teams- and I know I'm only supposed to have one- Washington and Gonzaga both looked really solid yesterday. I thought the Huskies, who won the Pac 10 regular season, received a really unfair matchup by drawing SEC tournament champ Mississippi State. Turned out to be nothing to worry about, as the Dawgs thumped the Bulldogs 71-58 in a game that was never really in doubt. Good thing I picked Purdue to beat Washington tomorrow. Dang it! Gonzaga struggled in the first half against Akron (Hey did you know these teams are called the Zips and Zags? The Zips and Zags! Isn't that great? Isn't that funny? Isn't that hilarious? I was mildly amused the first time I heard it and just got more and more annoyed the next 9000 times it was pointed out this week) and then just abused Akron in the second half. It was impressive to watch as they did anything they wanted. My heart wanted Gonzaga over UNC in the sweet 16, but my head went with the Heels. I just hope we get that matchup next weekend.
...They run the same six commercials for the tournament, and hey, the nice folks at Exxon oil (you know, the same Exxon Oil who last year had the largest profits of any company in the history of our planet) want you to know today's gas has 95% less emmissions than it did in 1970. Great. It's still gas, which ruins the ozone, and it still makes us dependent on foreign oil. Let us know when you develop something to run our cars that's not, you know, made of gasoline.
...Jer had the line of the night: "Watching Gopher basketball is like watching Gopher football. The defense isn't as good as advertised, and the offense can't score." I laughed until I realized I was crying. They could not buy a bucket in the second half, and really couldn't stop Texas from scoring. Other than that they looked pretty good.
...As my buddy Kyle pointed out today, while watching the NDSU/Kansas game (at least the parts CBS actually let us watch) it was hard not to think the Gophers really could have used native Minnesotans Cole Aldrich of Kansas or Ben Woodside of NDSU (or most of the guys on NDSU's roster for that matter. 8 of them are from Minnesota). It's not Tubby's fault, but still.
...Other exciting things from yesterday were...um...well...yeah how about today's games? NDSU/Kansas, Marquette/Utah St, and Tennessee/Oklahoma St all went down to the wire, and so far the second games are all close, so we'll see how the 2nd halves go.
...If you're wondering whether beer or iced tea went better with my lunch-breakfast today of bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns, the answer is a resounding yes!
...For the record, I have Wake, Michigan State, UConn, Memphis, UNC, Oklahoma, Pitt, and Nova in the Elite 8, Memphis over Wake and Pitt over UNC in the Final Four, and Pitt beating Memphis for the National Title. Sorry I didn't get that out sooner so you'd know who not to pick. Enjoy the March Mildness everybody.
Gleeman and The Geek #337: Wild Card Postgame Show
8 months ago