Friday, March 17, 2006

Day One Recap

With a glorious Thursday in the books it is time to take a quick look at the day's action. Feel free to drop any thoughts about the tourney, your own brackets, Billy Packer rants, or anything else you feel like mentioning.

I'm ranking the contests in order of how fun they were to watch and how good of a game it was, and offering one sentence on each game. Speed round!

1. Boston College got screwed by the tournament with a four seed, a 10 a.m. start time, and a trip to Salt Lake City, but they overcame all that and a tough Pacific team as they rode some clutch free throws by Craig Smith and a huge three from Jared Dudley to the type of victory that so often seems to be the precurser to a Final Four run.

2. The sensational play of Indiana point guard Earl Calloway (8-9 from the field, 18 points, 4 boards, 3 assists, and 6 steals) led a remarkable comeback by the Hoosiers, who managed to beat a San Diego State team that thoroughly outplayed them all night.

3. Nobody was happier than me to see GW get a victory despite having to play a valiant UNC-W team in what amounted to a road game, albeit a thrilling one.

4. Marquette looked like a team poised for a big tournament run, but despite a great performance from frosh point guard Dominic James, they are one-and-done thanks to downright absurd shooting from the Crimson Tide of Alabama, who were led by Jean Felix with an incredible 8 threes.

5. Oklahoma sucks (aplogies to Terrell Everett), so it was good to see the gritty UW-M Panthers do their thing behind Joah Tucker (24 points) and Boo Davis (26 and 6 with 3 steals) to the tune of an 82-74 "upset" victory that was anything but.

6. The crazy Chris Lofton turnaround J (ala MJ in the 2003 NBA All-Star Game) spares Tennessee from going down as the worst 2 seed of all time, as they barely beat a Winthrop team that shot 39% from the floor and 59% from the line.

7. LSU could be a force in this tournament as they played terrible basketball and still dominated a tough Iona team behind 22, 13 and 6 blocks from "Big Baby" Davis.

8. There must be some kind of power in the name Laws as Texas A&M's Acie Laws drew upon the power of past namesakes (I'm referring to little known Andre Laws of San Diego, who had some of the biggest shots I've ever seen during the 2003 West Coast Conference Tournament - an abscure reference, I know, but there is a great story attached to it) to post 23 points, 7 boards, and 5 dimes in leading the Aggies to the "uspet" over a tired and ragged Syracuse team.

9. Gonzaga should have lost once again but not for an extremely gutsy and weird (slamming the ball against his forehead over and over) performance by Adam Morrison, who dropped 35 while leading the Zags to a come-from-behind over an Xavier team that honestly felt like the better sqaud in this one.

10. I feel VERY good about calling Brandon Roy this year's Dwayne Wade as he sliced up the supposedly dangerous Aggies of Utah State by going 11-for-19 from the field on his way to 28 points with 5 dimes and 3 steals.

11. I also feel VERY good about calling Joakim Noah the next Antonio McDyess as he went out and blew minds by nearing a triple double (would have had it in a closer game) with 16 points, 8 boards, 7 assists, 5 blocks, and 3 steals ... get him on my fantasy team!

12. I think it is safe to say that Nevada needed more balance (not to mention defense) when you consider that they got 34 points from Marcelus Kemp (on 14-20 shooting) and another 24 from Nick Fazekas yet still got throttled by a Montana team that hung 87 points on 58% shooting.

13. Wichita State was so much better than Seton Hall that it almost became comical, and ultimately, led to only one thought ... suck it, Billy Packer!

14. The Illinois-Air Force game was so excruciating to watch (and I was stuck with it since I like in Chicago right now and my building can't support the Comcast On Demand tourney package - a rant for another day) that I watched NBA basketball and The OC instead (during March Madness!).

15. Duke won as expected but looked pretty brutal.

16. UCLA killed Belmont in the game that won the elusive "most boring game of the day" title.

There you have it. Let's all get a good night sleep and be back for another strong day tomorrow.


Matt said...

Don't you think your love affair with this Noah guys is getting out of hand?

Adam Hoff said...

Hey, what can I say? I am a sucker for players that bring it in March. Every year I leap on someone's bandwagon with arms outstretched and this year is no different. Besides, tell me I'm wrong about him. Did you see Noah play today? The Gators were struggling early and he completely changed the feel of the game with some massive blocked shots and a huge dunk off of a broken play. Not only that, but he really is the next McDyess. A few weeks ago, you didn't know who he was and by the time this tournament is over you are going to see him in Chad Ford's little mock draft machine, projected as a top five pick. I'm telling you.

Anonymous said...

What is this Laws story?

D. Wallace said...

Do you think the Shockers will be favored over Tennessee after their respective first round games? They should.

Adam Hoff said...

The Andre Laws story can be found here:

Adam Hoff said...

As for the Shockers, I think that game will probably feature a very tight line, either pick 'em or 1 point in either direction. I mean, how does Tennessee inspire confidence at this point? The irony is that they will probably play great and knock off a quality Wichita State team because teams that are "proven" to be terrible and undeserving of their seeds, yet still survive, often go on to spoil things for everyone else. Now that the Vols have withstood the expected challenge from Winthrop, I could see them catching fire and winning a few more games. I hope note though, because they just aren't that good. (And I didn't pick them.)