Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm Not A Genius After All..

...and that's ok, because Davidson is going to the Elite Eight. Wisconsin is the first team I've picked to make a regional final that lost. Thanks to someone's YouTube post, we now have the Davidson fight song as part of this post.

This tournament has an owner, and it's Stephen Curry. The Davidson guard scored 33 points tonight as the Wildcats beat the stuffing out of Wisconsin, 73-56. The tiny North Carolina school awaits the winner of the game between Kansas and Villanova in Sunday's regional final. At this rate, former NBA guard Dell Curry is going to be known as Stephen's father.

Davidson is among the smallest of Division I schools, with 1700 undergraduate students. It is a highly selective school with a $41,000 yearly pricetag. Ouch. The school currently has a $428 million endowment. The school has paid for any desiring student to travel to Detroit to attend this weekend's games. I have a feeling the administrators were expecting one game in Motown, and not two.

Davidson is making the little guys proud.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Basketball Genius?

The science of predicting brackets is part skill and part luck. Not many people, including myself, predicted Davidson and Western Kentucky to make the Sweet 16. But, here they are.

However, teams like Xavier and Louisville are making me look like a genius. I picked both of them to advance to the round of 8 to play UCLA and North Carolina, respectively. And, both of them advanced. My Final Four of UNC, UCLA, Kansas, and Texas are still intact. And, I have them beating Louisville, Xavier, Wisconsin, and Memphis to get there. All of those teams are still alive.

I picked Florida to beat Ohio State in last year's national championship game. That was one of the more obvious picks in recent years. However, if lightning strikes twice, and UCLA beats North Carolina in the final, I'll stand on my head. Shades of Dick Vitale in 1987 when Austin Peay beat Illinois in the first round.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

64 to 16

The second round of the NCAA men's tournament produced some expected results, along with some surprises.

Late Saturday night, UCLA won a game it should have lost, coming back from a 10-point second half deficit to get past the Aggies of the Texas Agricultural & Mechanical College, 53-49. The Aggies led for most of the game, but went cold from the field in the second half, costing themselves the game. This bodes well for UCLA, who is bound to play much better next week in Phoenix.

On Sunday, the biggest upset had to be in Raleigh, where Davidson sent Georgetown home, 74-70. The Wildcats advance to the Sweet 16 in Detroit, where Wisconsin awaits.

The last 16 teams left standing:

East: This region held true to form. All four top seeds survived the first two rounds. In the next round, North Carolina plays Washington State, and Tennessee plays Louisville.

Midwest: This is another wild region. Top-seeded Kansas is still alive, and they play 12th-seeded Villanova. In the other half of this region, 3rd seeded Wisconsin plays tournament darling Davidson.

South: This region almost held to form, as 5th seeded Michigan State is the lowest seed remaining. The Spartans next play Memphis, narrow winners over Mississippi State. 2nd seeded Texas plays 3rd seeded Stanford.

West: This is the psycho region, and it was almost wrecked even more before UCLA came back on A&M. UCLA plays 12th seed Western Kentucky. 3rd seeded Xavier plays old friend Bob Huggins and West Virginia.

How did the conferences do? The following conferences have teams left:
Big East: 3 (Louisville, West Virginia, Villanova)
Pac 10: 3 (UCLA, Stanford, Washington State)
Big Ten: 2 (Wisconsin, Michigan State)
Big XII: 2 (Kansas, Texas)
ACC: 1 (North Carolina)
SEC: 1 (Tennessee)
Sun Belt: 1 (Western Kentucky)
Atlantic 10: 1 (Xavier)
Southern: 1 (Davidson)
Conference USA: 1 (Memphis)

More basketball later...