Friday, March 17, 2006

Day Two Recap

Yesterday's gimmick seemed to work pretty well, so we'll do that again. Here are the 16 games, ranked in order of MY preference, with an accompanying sentence of insight (I use that word loosely).

1. Northwestern State with the win of the opening round, coming back from a 17-point deficit with 8:30 to go and winning on a fadeway heave from three as time expired.

2. North Carolina should thank their lucky stars for two things: A) The fact that they have Tyler Hansbrough (24 points, 9 boards), who carried them to victory, and B) The fact that Murray State lost its leading scorer eight minutes into the game, because without those two facts, it is the Racers moving on.

3. I've become a Bradley believer as the tenacious Braves outlast a very good Kansas team in a game that became a contest of which team could just avoid turning it over and at least take a field goal attemept.

4. UConn nearly suffered the worst defeat in the history of college basketball, but in the end, they managed to turn that into a positive, as there is no zero chance that they will be caught flat-footed in round two on Sunday.

5. Ohio State dodges a huge upset as Davidson did everything but get a good game from its leading scorer, Brendan Winters (5-16 from the field) in a 70-62 loss.

6. Ronnie Brewer's stat line was okay (14-5-5 with 2 steals), but he did not do enough to prevent Bucknell from riding incredible three-point shooting (11-21) to their second straight opening round win.

7. Georgetown advances by beating Northern Iowa, but more importantly, produced one of the best gambling moments of the tournament when Ashanti Cook threw down an unnecessary dunk with 2 seconds left to cover the spread.

8. Memphis shoots 62% and knocks down 11 threes on their way to 94 points in an impressive offensive display against an underrated Oral Roberts team.

9. Arizona pulls off one of the biggest shockers of the tournament so far in that they hung 94 points (on 59% shooting) against the supposedly tough Wisconsin defense.

10. Penn gets the "good try" award for making Texas play their style of game and staying within striking distance throughout, but in the end, LaMarcus Aldridge made a big statement by scoring 19 points and carrying the Longhorns to victory.

11. The George Mason win over Michigan State was a pretty good game, but it was too depressing for me personally to put any higher than this (RIP former Director of CTU George Mason).

12. West Virginia makes a big statement by running their offense with ease (11 threes) against a very tough Salukis defense.

13. A rough game between NC State and Cal was decided by which team finally made a big shot, something Cameron Bennerman did twice in the final minute for a 58-52 win.

14. Pittsburgh joins Arizona as a "statement team" from Friday: the Panthers shot a school-record 67% from the field and saw big man Aaron Gray go 6-for-6 from the field on his way to 17 points, 13 boards, 4 blocks, and a probable first round selection in the NBA Draft.

15. Kentucky is going to need to play a lot better than they did in a 69-64 win over UAB to have any chance against a UConn that now looks destined to go on a torrid run through the Washington bracket.

16. Villanova wins an ugly - no, hideous - game against 16th-seeded Monmouth, but can take heart in the fantastic shooting of Allan Ray, who seems to have recovered fully from having his eye nearly removed from its socket.

1 comment:

Calvin said...

What team is due for the biggest drop off in the second round? An upset team like NW St.? A suprisingly hot shooting team like Arizona? I think Wichita State (who is suddenly UConn in the eyes of many) is going to suffer a big letdown.