The Basketblog

Celebrating the love of the Game.

NCAA Championship Tournament: Second Round

See? I told you this round would be better than the first. However, though it looked great compared to the first round, the second round was only an average round; we can still do better! The lowest seed left is still only UNLV’s seven, and there were still only five upsets (only two weren’t a 5 over 4). I’m sure you’re expecting exciting summaries of all the great games on Saturday, but sadly I only saw one of them. CBS had electrical trouble at their broadcasting tower and went out halfway through the Butler/Maryland game and stayed out the rest of the night. I’m currently looking into a lawsuit for causing me emotional anguish. I did see all the games on Sunday though and have comments. …

Did you see Greg Oden’s foul at the end of regulation in the Xavier game? How is that not a big controversy? It was clearly an intentional foul but was only called a common foul. Had it been called intentional, Xavier would have gotten two free throws and the ball with less than ten seconds to go. Instead they only got two free throws, missed the second, Ohio State hit a three to tie the game, and the rest is history. Am I the only one who suspects that would have been called intentional if anyone else on OSU had done it?

How many games were decided by big missed free throws down the stretch?
–Xavier could have beat Ohio State.
–Louisville and Texas A&M both had good shooters miss two free throws in the last 30 seconds.
–Washington State missed a free throw in the last minute of regulation and Vanderbilt missed three in the last minute of the second overtime which gave Washington State a chance to stay in it.
–Pittsburgh missed two free throws with two seconds left in regulation that would have kept them out of overtime.
–For an example of the opposite, Tennessee and Virginia combined hit the last 17 free throws of the game. If Tennessee had missed, they may have lost the game; if Virginia had missed, they would have been out of it before the last shot.

Maybe the Big Ten actually is what we thought they were. Ohio State is the only one to advance to the sweet 16 and was lucky to get there. Maybe that’s unfair to say though–Michigan State, Purdue, and Indiana all put up good fights against the three best teams in the tournament.

Thursday, my dad said the only game he wanted to watch that day would be Louisville vs. Texas A&M. Then he said that they’d probably all end up being good ones and Vanderbilt vs. Washington State would end up being the best game of the day. Good call.

Butler is the worst team left in the tournament. I consider both of their wins so far pretty big upsets.

You might as well put them into the Final Four: UCLA and Texas A&M. Both are playing their next two games in their home state against opponents that will be far from home. For the record, I picked both of them into the Final Four.

Congratulations to Kevin Durant’s teammates for ending the greatest individual season in college basketball history. Old man Abrams played well, but this team was just too young to go deep in the tournament. When Syracuse won, they had Kueth Duany starting and giving big minutes of leadership to their freshmen and sophomores. Winder, Texas’s only upperclassman that played only got 7.4 minutes per game and did not score in 16 games this year.

Southern Illinois has been dominant. There have only been two games this year where the whole way I felt the outcome was never in doubt: SIU vs. Virginia and Kansas vs. Kentucky. Kansas vs. Southern Illinois should be a great game between teams with contrasting styles. Defense should win though and we should see a game in the fifties between SIU and UCLA in the elite eight.

Mostly higher seeds are still left, so the next couple rounds should be great.


March 19, 2007 - Posted by | ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, CUSA, Horizon, MVC, MWC, NCAA, Pac-10, SEC | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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