Everyone who reads these rants knows where I was and what I was doing from about noon yesterday until a little past midnight. And, I will be in the same place doing the same thing today between noon and midnight. Naturally, I took notes about the sixteen games that were on my TV as I went bouncing around to see part of them all. And those notes/comments will form the basis of today’s rant.
- Maryland 67 W. Virginia 65: Both teams played “sloppy” for the first half and the officials in this game seem to have decided not to call traveling violations as part of their Lenten fasting.
- Furman 68 Virginia 67: I understand that Virginia emphasizes defense and ball control, but can’t they find and recruit just one player who can hit an open jump shot more than about 25% of the time and still play defense?
- Missouri 76 Utah St. 55: The Aggies got here on the strength of their 3-point shooting and then proceeded to miss their first fourteen 3-point shots in the game.
- Kansas 96 Howard 68: Howard plays a run-and-gun style; so does Kansas. But Kansas is so much more talented. Also, Kansas runs back on defense much better than Howard gets back on defense.
- Alabama 96 Texas A&M Corpus-Christi 75: It was clear in the first five minutes or so who would win this game but it was marginally interesting to see the terrible shot selections by Corpus-Christi.
- San Diego St. 63 Charleston 57: Like Virginia, San Diego St. lives by its defense; once again, can’t they find at least one solid offensive player – – specifically a ball-handler/distributor – – who can also play defense? These teams combined to go 9 for 40 on 3-point attempts.
- Princeton 59 Arizona 55: Arizona clearly has the better athletes; Princeton is clearly better skilled/coached in fundamental basketball and at controlling the pace of play in a game.
[Aside: Earlier this week, I said that if Princeton and Missouri both advanced, we would have a Tigers vs Tigers match in Round 2. That will happen on Saturday.]
- Arkansas 73 Illinois 63: I just could not get excited/involved in this game; neither team was interesting. My comment for the game was merely, “Meh!”
- Auburn 83 Iowa 75: Another mediocre game with another middling SEC team beating a middling Big-10 team. Ho-hum…
- Duke 74 Oral Roberts 51: Made this note with 11:20 to play in the 1st half:
- “This is not your 12/5 upset game for this year.”
- This game points out the importance of strength of schedule – – in all sports not just college basketball. Oral Roberts was undefeated in conference; it lost 5 games all year and 4 of the 5 losses were to teams in the NCAA tournament; they averaged 84 points per game. And when faced with an ACC team they were outclassed.
- Northwestern 75 Boise St. 67: Northwestern is another defensive-focused team but they also have a couple of players who can score a bit at the offensive end of the court. Such players do exist…
- Texas 81 Colgate 61: Colgate very obviously suffered from a serious deficit in athleticism.
- Tennessee 58 Louisiana-Lafayette 55: The early parts of the game were uninteresting but fortunately, I noticed on the scoreboard at the top of the screen that Louisiana was closing a gap toward the end and I went back to see the end of a game that became interesting.
- Houston 63 N. Kentucky 52: This game was a lot closer that one should expect from a #1-seed versus a #-16 seed. Houston kept the game close by turning the ball over 17 times to a team that was not nearly as athletic as the Cougars.
- UCLA 86 UNC-Asheville 53: This game was a complete mismatch from start to finish.
- Penn St. 76 Texas A&M 59: Penn St. is not the most physically gifted team in the tournament but they play a style of basketball that can keep them in a game against almost anyone. The Aggies never figured out the Penn St. offense and the fact that Andrew Funk shot 8 for 10 from 3-point range sealed the deal.
[Aside: I know its cheesy but since this was an upset I did make a note that Penn St. guard, Jalen Pickett, “led the charge” for the Nittany Lions.]
[Another Aside: Earlier this week, I said that if Utah St. and Texas A&M were to meet in the Final Game this year, that would be Aggies versus Aggies action. Both versions of the Aggies lost yesterday. Hi ho!]
Finally the good folks at Coca Cola have paid the TV networks to have the play-by-play guys do a live-read in every game about Coke Zero Sugar asking if it the best Coke ever. So, let me close today with this entry from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:
“Coca-Cola: A soft drink whose makers are apparently morally obligated to dream up a new version of the same sugar, water and caffeine they have always sold every eight weeks until the end of time.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………