Thursday, March 18, 2010

First Day of March Madness

Busy watching the tournament since I got home from work, so this won't be a long post. But I paid a lot more attention to the season than I normally do, and spent a long time on Sunday and Monday checking over matchups. So far in the early games, I am 6-1 in one bracket, 5-2 in the other ((had BYU and Florida winning in the different ones, and that game went to double OT; and the one loss was really hard to take; I knew Robert Morris could beat Villanova, and had them winning in both, but they lost a late lead and then the game in overtime), although it looks like Butler is going to easily beat UTEP. But I saw a lot of Vanderbilt and Villanova this year, and they are both the type of team that play to their opposition's level, which is dangerous in the tournament. Murray State shows up every game and won 30 of them, and Robert Morris plays very good defense, which I know frustrates the hell out of Villanova. I also knew Old Dominion, which has been touted as a tourney team all year and made no missteps, was better than Notre Dame, who wasn't even in the tournament picture a few weeks ago; when a team gets better when their star player isn't in the lineup, it's a pretty good sign that the "star" is the issue, and Harangody stunk up the court today. I suspected Baylor wasn't all that, but I looked at Sam Houston State and saw a team that can't be in the top 200 in the country; if Arkansas Pine-Bluff played SHS ten times, they'd win nine. Baylor should go down next round; Old Dominion is much more consistent than them, and Baylor just isn't that good. I really think the winner of the entire bracket was going to come out of the Richmond/St. Mary's contest, and I chose correctly in the end; St. Mary's is very good and has been all year, whereas Richmond peaked a little early. I think St. Mary's is going to handle Villanova easily.
Anyhow, the later games are about to start. Two very live 11 seeds are Washington (Marquette won five games in overtime and two others in the last seconds; while they lost some close ones, too, that tells me that they've been lucky. Washington hasn't played half-bad, is playing the best it has all season, and is tourney-tested) and San Diego State (Tennessee is another team that plays to its level of opposition, and SDSU has done well in a tough league all year). And one low seed with no chance is Ohio U.; they tried to give away the MAC championship game but failed, but also failed to impress). Let the games begin.

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