Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday, A Weekend Retrospective

dsThis is the last Sunday before Selection Sunday, the greatest day of the year. So, what did we learn this weekend? In case you weren't tuned in (which, come on, you really should have been) here is what the weekend had to offer:


Louisville 78 Syracuse 68 Louisville and Rick Pitino likely punched their ticket to the dance with this quality win. But, if you're looking for a knock on Syracuse, I wouldn't read too far into this one. They had a 1 seed locked before this game ever tipped, they already had the Big East title and they had already played their senior day at home. If I were a player for Syracuse, I would be wondering why this game was even necessary. Meanwhile, Louisville was desperate for this to even get a whiff of the NCAA Tourney. So, yes, Louisville won. But, Syracuse is still Final Four bound, at least in my mind.

Duke 82 North Carolina 50 Embarrassing. That's all you can really say for the Tar Heels, who are going to be watching March Madness from home this year, barring a wholly unexpected ACC tourney win. Duke is for real. Period. The addition of Zoubek in recent games has been a reason to take notice of the Blue Devils. This isn't the same Sweet 16 ceiling team of years' past. If you're waiting to see the proof, I understand. But you're missing out on an Elite 8 or better team.

West Virginia 68 Villanova 66 These teams have identical records, but if you're looking for a deep Big East Team that isn't Syracuse, take West Virginia. I will take strong inside play over a team of guards every time.

UTEP 52 UAB 50 UTEP is obviously in the dance, UAB is out. It's too bad, because I really liked UAB. They're out and UTEP is the better team. Depending on the matchups, don't be shy to pencil UTEP far.

Baylor 92 Texas 77 I believe that all of the Longhorns' problems stem from a lack of Pittman. Texas has a fever and the only prescription is more Pittman. In the loss to Baylor, he only got 4 points and Texas has really run out of time to figure it out. They've lost 8 of their last 14 and if you were holding out hope for them, as I was, it's time to let it go. Meanwhile, Baylor has won 9 of 11 and is a legitimate threat with Ekpe Udoh inside and Tweety Carter and LaceDarius Dunn on the perimeter.


Kentucky 74 Florida 66
Florida gave Kentucky a tough game, but they ultimately still have work to do to get in the tournament. Meanwhile, Kentucky proved that they were more than the sum of their freshman. While Demarcus Cousins was in foul trouble for most of the game, Patrick Patterson stept up on senior day and displayed just how many options the Wildcats have. Don't buy into the youth argument so many raise against Kentucky. If they lose in the tourney, it's because they got beat, not because this team doesn't know how to handle the pressure.

Northern Iowa 67 Wichita State 52 Bubble teams from the power 6 everywhere rejoice, the MVC only gets one bid, as the favorite Northern Iowa knocks off Wichita State. Northern Iowa is a great, deserving team that could go a few rounds. So is Wichita State. Such is the nature of the game, however, that a team like Arizona State will likely get the nod before Wichita State does. My vote would go to the Shockers, but I don't get a vote.

Michigan State 64 Michigan 48 If Derrick Nix plays more than 10 minutes and Raymar Morgan contributes, Michigan State wins. There are really a lot of intangibles that either line up, or don't, for the Spartans on any given night. But, if those two are contributing inside, everything finds a way to fall in line for the Spartans. If they can win the Big Ten Tourney, look for the Spartans to be a factor in the dance. If not, the Sweet 16 could be their ceiling.

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