NCAA Tourney Reax – 2nd and 3rd Rounds

First off, I gotta apologize about the UFC 128 liveblog. I lost the wifi connection at the bar during the first round of Schaub/Cro Cop and it never came back. At some point, I’ll try and catch a replay somewhere and finish that up. Also, we’ve been kinda quiet since Thursday and that’s because we were busy reveling in the awesome that is the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the NCAA Tournament. So there’s plenty to talk about here and I know we’ll get into all of it in depth Wednesday night on the BangCast (TJ should be able to join us this week, so the show won’t hum as bad) but here’s a few notes I’ve got.

  • First, whose bracket isn’t pretty well screwed by now? At a certain point, I gave up rooting for my teams and just going for all the upsets. At a certain point, the anarchy is far more fun and everyone loves a George Mason. 
  • That being said, you’ve also gotta love the lower seeds representing in the Sweet 16. A quarter of the teams left are a double-digit seed. Only the West fell into line with no upsets. 
  • The amount of games that went down to the last second was also pretty amazing. It started with Matt Howard’s tip-in in the first game of the 2nd round to knock off ODU and by the time the weekend was over, eleven more games would come down to the wire. We’ll talk about the Pitt/Butler finish on the show, but it was great. 
  • The darling of the 2011 tournament is Kenneth Faried and the Morehead State Eagles. It was a block all the way and again, we all love to see David triumph over Goliath. And you’ve got to give it to Rick Pitino for two things. First, being the best dressed in the Atlanta studio, and second being a big man and taking it while they replayed the final play in his upset loss and then talking about the game right then and there. 
  • I feel I owe Wolverine Nation an apology. Before the Big 10 tournament I said, multiple times and in multiple venues, that I didn’t feel that they deserved an at-large bid even though many writer had them in. They played their way in with a win in Indy over Illinois, played close with Ohio State, then put the finishing blow into Bruce Pearl’s tenure at Tennessee with the worst 8-9 beatdown in tournament history. Then they came within an eyelash of upsetting Duke Sunday. So from a Buckeye to the Michigan, I apologize for doubting your basketball team, you horrible bastards. Wait until November you fucks.
  • Who’da thought the Big East would fold their tent so soon? Of 11 teams that got in, only UConn and Marquette (who saw them getting hot?) remain. Four of them dropped out in the 2nd round, only Villanova wasn’t an upset. And I think we all kinda saw Nova falling, coming in having lost 10 of their last 15. Come to think of it, both of the Big East teams that advanced to the Sweet 16 did so over other Big East teams. Meanwhile the ACC, which many people wrote off as weakened, has got the most teams still alive in the tourney. The ACC has 3 teams still playing, the Big 10, SEC, Big East and Mountain West all have 2 and the PAC-10, Atlantic 10, Horizon League, CAA and Big 12 have only one representative still playing. That’s surprising to me, with five strong teams heading into the Tournament.

More on all of this Wednesday night, stay right here for the 20th edition of the BangCast. We’re almost at six months old. Plus, I know we mentioned that our brackets are done. If you don’t believe us, you’ll find our brackets here, here and here. However, you’ll note that I’ve got the most points still left on the board and my final four still intact for now. But we’re gonna try again, because we can. So coming tomorrow, we’ll have our picks for the Sweet 16 and beyond. And that will count as our NCAA Tournament competition, cuz you know we loves our competitions.

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