If that wasn’t the craziest weekend in the history of the NCAAs, I’d like to know what was. In the opening 32 games, there were three upsets. I picked two of the upsets correctly, but lost three games overall in the first round. Not a bad way to set up your bracket. Now, sitting here on Sunday night, I have one Final Four team left. Tear up your brackets! Two number one seeds gone! Two number two seeds gone! Two seeded teams lose on the same court in four hours on Saturday! And Roy Williams isn’t involved! Amazing, amazing Saturday and Sunday. I’m obviously personally pleased with the results, but my bracket is a shambles and my draft team is in the shitter as well.
Some other thoughts from days two through four:
Who invented the groin pull? I hate that guy!
I thought something incredibly fortuitous had happened on Thursday when I was able to see every game CBS carried. I accidentally found four channels on our cable lineup that were each carrying a different CBS feed. I wasn’t going to say anything, lest I jinx it and lose the feed before the KU game Friday. But I later found out that our local CBS affiliate is providing coverage of every game to Direct TV and digital cable households. Incredibly, insanely sweet. And my wife is a saint for putting up with me. What’s it all mean? Well, Thursday and Friday I was able to watch any of the four games that were in progress at any given time throughout the day. Friday night, after eating dinner, we sat down on our couch about 7:15. I literally didn’t move until almost 11:00. I didn’t even know that I hadn’t moved in that long. I was too busy trying to make sure I wasn’t missing something in the NCAA games or the Pacers-Kings game. Saturday, I watched a full ten hours of basketball. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m not sure if this was just some Indy thing or what, but bless the people down at WISH TV. I take back all the bad things I said about you when I got UConn-Syracuse instead of KU-MU two weeks ago.
The one big complaint I have about CBS’ coverage was what they did during the Nevada-Gonzaga game. 2:00 left in the second half, Gonzaga on the ropes. Greg Gumbel breaks in and says, “Gonzaga’s in trouble, let’s send you to Raleigh and the Wake Forest – Manhattan game.” What?!?! There were 14:00 left in that game and you’re breaking away from a tournament favorite’s last gasp? About a minute later they abruptly switched back to the Nevada upset. Poor.
Crap. Texas suddenly has a solid shot of playing in two weeks. I still say they’re the most overrated team in the tournament. I think, like Kentucky, their luck is going to catch up with them.
I guess the Big 8+4 wasn’t really down after all.
Who is this Bob Wenzel guy and why is he doing games? I know he was an assistant at Duke, but that was before Duke became the modern juggernaut they are now. Wenzel is the epitome of a crappy analyst who has done minimal homework. Two hours of clichés, piss pour analysis, and obvious statements. Worse, he overreacts to every momentum swing. According to him, KU was unbeatable midway through the first half against Pacific. Five minutes later, Pacific had all but iced the upset. How about some consistency and letting the game play out? Why is this guy doing games instead of Jon Sundvold? Why isn’t Doug Gottlieb, who actually breaks things down and goes out on the occasional limb sitting somewhere other than the ESPN studios?
My favorite Wenzelism was “repetitive jumping”. I hope this enters the broader sports lexicon. “We chose DJ Howard with the number one pick because of his defensive knowledge, offensive ability, and repetitive jumping aptitude.”
Has anyone else seen these commercials for the Guns n’ Roses greatest hits package? The announcer claims that GnR was the #1 band in the world for two decades. What two decades? Did it just seem like two decades if you were really into heroin at the time? By my count, they broke in 1988 and were still hanging around in the fall of 1991 when Nirvana blew up the music world. Four years. Not two decades. I guess this makes GnR the Manny Mota of the music world?
Bo Ryan of Wisconsin might be my new, least favorite coach replacing Bob Huggins. Ryan is just a jackass. Every time I saw his ugly mug on the screen this weekend, he was unloading inappropriate language on the refs. Most of the calls that caused his outburst were border line controversial. Nothing worth blowing a gasket over. The guy got the best draw in the tournament and he feels the need to act like a drunken sailor all weekend. Take your sorry ass back to Mad-town, you bastard. (Memo to self: next year, when watching hoops with my little girl next to me on the couch, cover her eyes anytime Bo Ryan is on the screen.)
Is there anything better than Cincinnati players throwing heavy smack towards Illinois before their match-up then getting boat raced out of their near-home court? Beautiful.
If a team with Guillaume Yango had beaten KU, I think I would have quit the game. Who knew a Frenchie would start the game 9-10 from the field in a 12 vs. 4 round of 32 game?
I think the week leading up to the Sweet 16 is my favorite week of the tournament. There’s a day of downtime before the media focuses on the four sites. If your team is still playing, you have 4-5 days to think about the possibilities. “We’re only two wins away from the Final Four, and then who knows what happens!” The Sweet 16 is the barometer, even for great programs. Get that far year after year, and everyone knows you’re a great team who plays well at the right times. The first weekend is about the all you can eat buffet of 48 games in four days. The Sweet 16 is the main course at a high dollar restaurant. You can actually sit back and enjoy the entire experience without sensory overload.
God bless Dick Vitale. Last night he was screaming about Kentucky fans being able to buy tickets for San Antonio after Providence lost. Now he’s firmly, and unashamedly on the Kansas bandwagon. He has so little short term memory it’s ridiculous.