How “Mad” exactly is March Madness at this point? Well, SuperSoakers bearing the “M” logo go on sale at all Michigan locations starting on Tuesday!!!
“Say Hello To My Little Friend!!!”
- The “weakest” conference in the tourney (per all the pundits that make these statements based on December Non-Conference results) stated that the B1G was WAY DOWN this season and would be lucky to get a team out of the first weekend. The B1G sits tied with 3 Teams in the Sweet 16. And if not for an egregious no call on what was clearly basket interference or goal tending (which ever), Northwestern potentially has a shot at shocking the world and making the Sweet 16 in its first appearance in the Dance…
- The Pac 12, which only got 4 teams into the dance, was 1 close loss away from having all 4 of those teams in the Sweet 16. On top of that, Enfield’s USC team WON 2 Games and almost beat Baylor in what would have been another play-in seed reaching the Sweet 16…
- The SEC which was supposed to be Kentucky and everybody else, has 3 teams moving on to the Sweet 16 in Kentucky, Florida, and South Carolina, who, in the SEC tournament lost to the worst Alabama team in history and somehow found a way to beat the mighty Duke Blue Devils in Greeneville, essentially a home game for the dookie faithful.
- How bad was the officiating? If you’ve been paying attention, it was pretty bad. In the games I watched (pretty much all of them), officiating may have played an outcome in up to THREE GAMES down the stretch. That’s a lot….
- Two (2) 7-Seeds defeated over rated ACC 2-Seeds to reach the Sweet 16: Michigan and South Carolina. JB stated earlier in the week that he believed South Carolina was the physically “Toughest” team Michigan had faced all season.
- Coach Rick Pitino, ever so gracious, commented that Louisville “Beat Themselves” in the final minutes in the loss to Michigan. Well, Ricky, as someone that’s watched your team all season, it seems to this observer that you “Beat Yourselves” a lot. And your guys often checked out of games for minutes at a time. I frankly believed that Louisville didn’t deserve the 2-Seed in the first place. Perhaps if you were seeded lower you could have beaten someone else??? Maybe next season…
- The Seeding in general has proven to be a mess. Virginia lost in the 2nd round in the most Virginia way possible (only scored 39 points!!!) and Florida State, a team that many considered “Built for the NCAA Tourney” lost by 30+ in the 2nd round. This again is the mighty ACC. Okie State would have been a Sweet 16 team if they hadn’t drawn the “Team of Destiny” Wolverines. I’m not sure what the committee can do based on data, but clearly, even when one conference is having a “down year”, there needs to be a better distribution of higher and lower seeding for all conferences.
- Perhaps the ACC overachieved all season and is simply under-achieving now or does this conference really suck and are we all just being duped in the regular season? Probably a little of both? I need to remember that which is why I’m writing all of this down!!!!
- The Big Least only has two teams left: Xavier and Butler, both teams a lot of people thought would be gone by now. Will this be another season where 1 Beast team survives the remaining 15 and cuts down the nets?
Emotions get pretty jacked up in the tourney and I know certain coaches say things after a loss. Pitino, Izzo and Wright all had some rather “Rude” things to say in their post game interviews. To that I say: coaches should take a little extra time to calm down before making themselves look like asses….
As a Michigan Fan, I didn’t get nearly enough Louisville tears yesterday as Michigan defeated the Cardinals. I got a few, but would have enjoyed a whole lot more. We got a lot of nice shots of Duke tears, which, however you pick your bracket, is always nice.
Speaking of Brackets: It would seem that the more you know, the more you’re cursed in picking brackets. Had I just picked a bracket where the teams I hate come up against “tough competition”, I might be looking a lot better right now. Domers, Dookies, Louisville, and others all lost. Yeah, I might have one or two teams losing that are still in there, but this was a bad season to go with the ACC.
Let’s dissect each one with some reasoning and reflection on what we possibly could have done better.
EAST – Chaos…..If you got all 4 teams in the East Bracket correct, you’re either 1. Extremely talented in reading between the lines and ignoring all the pundit BS that’s out there. 2. You’re EXTREMELY talented in ignoring recent games and statistics and like to “ignore the odds” or 3. You’re just picking teams because you like pretty colors. Wiscy over Nova should have been a pick I considered much more strongly than I did. Lots of seniors and extreme discipline. Wiscy as an 8-Seed in any other region (especially Kansas and Gonzaga) and they’re in my Sweet 16. South Carolina, however, requires you to be a crystal ball gazer…OR you just won’t pick Duke out of the first weekend. And based on a majority of Coach K’s results, this is quickly becoming a decent strategy….
WEST – Minor chaos with an “extremely weak end of season” Xavier turning their game up a notch to beat FSU. After reviewing Xavier, I didn’t even have them beating Maryland…..
MIDWEST – Some are claiming that Michigan’s inexplicable win over Louisville (who, BTW, was 12-0 as a 2-Seed all time), was the upset of the day. Little did they know about what was about to happen in the East, but clearly, over-seeded Louisville didn’t live up to expectations and played 30-35 minutes of good basketball. Then they did what Louisville does…Fell into a coma and tried to compensate for that lack of offense with full-court pressure and close to fouling defense that is more or less the Pitino Signature, “Well, I can’t beat these guys so I’ll try to smother them….” With respect to Purdue beating Iowa State (not a popular pick), Swanigan again showed that the POY in the B1G can accomplish a lot. But Painter is going to need more than Caleb going up against Kansas or it’s Sparty disaster all over again.
South – UNC was nearly an upset victim, but this is the chalkiest bracket left. If you were going to give me a chance to re-pick what’s left, I think I’d leave everything just about the way it is.
However, after everything is said and done, I will say that everyone that made the Sweet 16 is pretty deserving and earned it on the court. Louisville didn’t “Lose”; Michigan earned it. As did the Gamecocks and everyone else who’s still dancing. Winning two in March means a lot more than winning 10 in a row in the regular season.
More on Michigan: If you’ve been reading me all along, you know there’s things I like in Tourney teams: Point Guard Play, Low fouls, OFFENSE that is adjustable and will take whatever the other guy is giving, and an ability to Play Defense, but defense ain’t everything. Michigan has all of that and they are peaking at the right time. Anyone who says Michigan’s Beilein shouldn’t or can’t be uttered in the same breath as Izzo (hell, I’ll even say Williams, Krzyzewski, and Calipari in that sentence), you’re nuts. He gets more out of less and gets way more out of them at the end of the season than anybody. And isn’t “building your way towards March” the way good coaches make good things happen this time of year? Letting teams find themselves…losing tough games in order to regroup and come together with a focused goal in mind? I’ll take Beilein any day…
When I look at who’s left, right now, there’s only about 4 teams that scare me: Kansas, and I’m Sorry, Sparty, but you guys made Kansas look REALLY GOOD. You have to play defense at some point. Arizona should manage business in the West. UCLA, just cause I know they can play crappy for a half and suddenly light you up for 5-7 minutes and leave you standing around scratching your nutsack wondering, “Wha’ happn’d??” And maybe, just maybe, Wiscy. I think they have what it takes to get by South Carolina. But at this point, every Sweet 16 team is thinking, why not us? Even Vegas has the Wolverines (now) in the middle of the pack (18-1) with the current odds to win the Title.
And this guy was smart enough to throw some serious scratch down on Michigan to win the entire thing!!!
Regardless, I can’t remember (well, okay, 2013) when I’ve had this much fun watching Michigan Hoops! Enjoy the ride cause it can end any time!!!