Monday, March 19, 2007

Suhwheeeet!

The Sweet Sixteen is upon us. After a weekend of near upsets, the favorites are all on to the third round of the tournament. Ohio St. had the biggest scare of the weekend, with only a last second three pointer in regulation standing between them and elimination. A lot of teams that end up winning the tournament have a close call somewhere along the way. Think Maryland with a last second hail Mary 4 years ago, or Duke winning on a miracle last second shot against Kentucky (I refuse to mention the players name).

Wisconsin was the highest seed to get eliminated over the weekend and they fell prey to a team that forced tempo on them. I did say that Wisconsin would not have enough offense to overcome a team that forced them to play a high scoring game (it was probably the smartest thing I've said about this tournament). I also had no faith in Washington St., so their loss was not surprising. The seventh ranked UNLV Running Rebels now rank as the longest shot in the tournament. I'm not sure that I remember a tournament that has played so close to form in recent history. There will be no George Mason making a shambles of your brackets this year. In fact if you just picked all higher seeds to advance, you would have nine of the sweet sixteen still alive.

North Carolina survived a tough challenge from Michigan St. and it appears that Hansborough has regained his form. They will face USC in the next round who upset everyone's sleeper pick Texas. Texas featured the best player in the tournament in Kevin Durant. It's too bad that he's out before the entire nation got to experience his brilliance. He'll definitely be in the NBA next year. I'm sure that he has gone to his last class in Austin. Georgetown apparently caught a break and will face Vanderbilt in the next round. At this point though, I wouldn't say that anyone has an easy road. I think that every team left in the tournament has a legitimate chance to win it all.

I'm really just amazed that the teams that I picked to be in the final four are all still alive. Usually by this time, I'm down to one team. Texas A&M survived the toughest 2nd round game against Louisville in what amounted to a home game for the Cardinals. The committee should make it so that only #1 seeds have that kind of advantage. I'm frankly shocked that A&M survived. A&M should have a similar advantage in their next game which is going to be played in San Antonio. Anyway, I'm glad to say that after the first weekend, I'm still clinging to my predictions. I know it's all going to fall apart starting on Thursday, but for one weekend at least, I'm in my glory.

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