Saturday, March 18, 2006

NCAA Tournament - Day 2 Post Mortem

I usually start off the tournament with a great first day, followed by a crappy second day. This year I started it with a mediocre first day, followed by an absolutely pathetic second day. But the night did end on a happy note. Let's get to it.

What went right:

Not much, really, but....
  • WVU over Southern Illinois
  • Texas over Penn
  • Memphis over Oral Roberts
  • Bucknell over Arkansas
  • Pitt over Kent State
  • UConn over Albany
  • North Carolina over Murray State
  • Villanova over Monmouth
  • Arizona over Wisconsin
  • Georgetown over Northern Iowa
  • Ohio State over Davidson
What went wrong:
  • Northwestern State over Iowa: The bracket has officially been blown up. I gambled on Iowa, figuring that they had senior leadership, a talented core of players, and no one else would pick them for the final four. So if they got there, I would look pretty golden. But they choked. Hard. Brunner missess a free throw, they fail to sell out for a rebound, and they watch a final desperation heave fall through the twine. Game over. Career over. My bracket...over.
  • NC State over Cal: Yep, had them in the sweet sixteen. Way to not show up, Bears. Way to be the only Pac 10 team to lose in the first round.
  • Kentucky over UAB: Should have seen this one coming. It was too popular a pick.
  • George Mason over Michigan State: Sparty has a knack for either going deep or going home. Last year I picked them to go deep and it paid off. This year, they screwed me.
  • Bradley over Kansas: Let me just say that again, because it sounds so nice. Bradley over Kansas. Doesn't it just have a great ring to it? Try it one more time...Bradley over Kansas. So, how long until people start realizing that Bill Self can't coach in the tournament? He's had impressive collections of talent for the last five years, and all he has to show for it is an elite 8 loss to Arizona (in a game where the Illini really got fucked). Sure, he's got the one Tulsa run, but even a blind squirrel..... It's just...I can't describe how great it feels to see Kansas lose.
On tap today, the Illini meet Washington in what should be the day's most anticipated matchups. Said it before, but I'll say it again. It's all going to come down to officiating. Let them play, and the Illini advance. Call it tight and Washington wins it at the line, while Brian Randle spends a lot of time in his warmups. UCLA meets Alabama in a game that the Bruins should win. They're deeper and tougher than Alabama, although the Tide is very athletic. The Bruin backcourt can be turnover prone at times, and if the Tide can jump into passing lanes and create turnovers, it could be a rough night for the Bruins.

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