We’re a little behind (as usual), but just a few quick thoughts about the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament (i.e. four of the best days in sports).
- How many years will it be before a 16 seed makes history? I think within 5. UNC-Asheville played the game of their lives and was one step (literally) away from knocking off Syracuse. It was heart-breaking to see a small mistake like that cost the Bulldogs their shot at history. Oh yeah, that and the utterly horrible out-of-bounds call that should have given them back the ball at the end of the game. Orange head coach was rather flippant after the game when a reporter asked a question about Syracuse getting lucky. He blew the question off, saying it had nothing to do with luck. I beg to differ. Syracuse was lucky the referee on the base line liked them. As much as they want to blow it off, this is a different team without Fab Melo and when/if they make it to the Elite 8 and have to deal with a serious inside threat like Jared Sullenger, the Orange will be in serious trouble.
- Kentucky is doing what we thought Kentucky would do: blow teams away. With only one real obstacle left in their way (Michigan State), their trip to the National Title Game seems like a foregone conclusion right now.
- I hate that all the sports media has been talking about for the last week regarding Cincinnati and Xavier is the brawl. I think both teams have more than redeemed them selves after an ugly scene earlier this season and Yancy Gates is the poster child for second chances. He’s probably a second round pick this June and I hope he’s able to parlay that into a successful professional career. Hopefully, we’ll be able to look back in a few years and point out this past December as a turning point in the young man’s life.
- So many things have already been written about Lehigh and Norfolk State, including the generally repulsive headline (Norfolk-in way!). I’ll just say this: This is why we love March Madness. It’s moments like these that have endured this tournament to the public and bracket be damned, do I love a good underdog story.
- How good can North Carolina be without Kendall Marshall? They may have to find out against Ohio. Now most people are very ready to write off the thirteen seeded Bobcats, but Marshall isn’t the only ailing Tar Heel. John Henson is still not 100% after missing 3 games with a sprained left wrist. Could a few injuries be the fire that fuels an Ohio upset? Well, realistically, probably not. DJ Cooper can, and probably will, put the team on his back again and try. However, UNC is still a very, very talented team with a deep bench. As much as I really want to see a MAC team make a run to the Elite 8, I am not planning on putting any money on the Bobcats. Rest assured though, I will be rooting for the Bobcats.
- Marquette is now officially my pick to be the surprise team to get to New Orleans. Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom are one of the best inside-outside duos in the country and we’re just now seeing how good they can be.
Still so much basketball to take in this week and we will try to be back on the air at some point this week. We are still navigating the difficulties of doing a live internet show instead our normal prerecorded goodness. Stay tuned for details and pancake recipes.