College Hoops-What Did You Expect”
We had 10 different teams ranked number 1-during the season in the college basketball polls. No clear cut favorite out there heading into the tourney. So why would you be surprised.
Now a bunch of highly seeded teams are gone as we took a 68-team field down to net weekend’s Sweet 16. Stunners, shockers, I told you so games too.
VIRGINIA…It’s like someone in the family died, when the top ranked Cavaliers fell in its first round game, the top team losing to a 16th seed. This has to be worse than UVA loss to Chaminade, an NAIA team, back in the Ralph Sampson era. UMBC, who, Maryland-Baltimore County, not the Maryland Terrapins, hit 12-3’s in the win. In NCAA history, the 16th seed had a record (0-135) vs top seeds. The mourning in Charlottesville won’t end any time soon.
MARYLAND-BALTIMORE COUNTY….A story book weekend for sure, the shocking win over the top seed in the tourney, and then scaring the daylights out of their next opponent, because the wheels came off the carriage. But as the twitter fans went wild on social media, we will remember UMBC…”U Might Be-Cindarella”. It was fun wasn’t it to see.
MICHIGAN STATE…Syracuse, re-emerging from NCAA sanctions, zone defensed Michigan State out of the tourney. Tom Izzo’s team fell apart, going (8-for-37) from the three point arc. Goodbye high ranking.
NORTH CAROLINA…Roy Williams has had lots of success in college basketball, never as bad a loss as he got this weekend, losing by a record 25-points, the worst all time beating a Williams team has ever suffered. Texas A&M saw to that beating.
CINCINNATI…Started like a house afire, a (10-0) burst to start. They burned to the ground by the end, going without a basket for (5:35) at the finish, in blowing a 22-point lead to Nevada.
XAVIER…Another top seed heading home with a loss, and out of the postseason. Up 12, the Muskies failed to play the full 40-minutes and lost.
WEST VIRGINIA….Bob Huggins plays a firehouse style of basketball, racing up and down the floor, on offense and defense. They smoked in-state partner Marshall in a blowout win. So much for Marshall telling everyone they deserve more respect in state and from people in Morgantown.
LOYOLA…Who? The Ramblers are going to the Sweet 16 after two upset wins the first weekend. The 95-year old nun, who travels with the team, is beloved by the players, and her prayers must be getting to the right Man.
ARIZONA…Life is not getting any easier for Wildcats coach Sean Miller. In the aftermath of the Adidas Slush fund mess, his Wildcats get taken out by Buffalo. He loses two of his top players, who announce for the draft, right after the loss. And the week the scandal broke, two top recruits deecommitted for other teams. And now a whole off season is ahead for the reeling Cats.
PURDUE…The Boilermakers are still alive, but they don’t have their 7’2 center Issac Haas any longer, gone with a fractured elbow.
GONAZAGA…Mark Few’s guys are still playing, and playing well. The guards are making a difference right now, with the limited size they have upfront.
NEVADA..Eric Muscleman’s team sure looks different right now than the team the Aztecs beat twice in a week a the end of the season. The bench is limited, the starters play lots of minutes, but the Wolfpack are headed to the Sweet 16 where they face Loyola next weekend.
UCLA…Steve Alford still has his job despite another painful post season loss. He does return solid starters, and adds more in recruiting. You wonder if the China syndrome had never happened, if they might still be playing.
DUKE-KANSAS….Two of the number one seeds are still there, but the Blue Devils have the best big men in the country, left in this tourney.