Thursday, March 27, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
MSU-Tigers great game
I am not going to say that I am 100 percent pleased with how the first and second rounds panned out last weekend but being the eternal optimist, I do consider myself fortunate that I only lost one of my predictions.
And while I haven’t had time to review and pick apart the Davidson/Georgetown game, it is hard to digest how the Hoyas could have lost. Not taking anything away from Davidson (after all, the Wildcats did get past Gonzaga in the first round), but they were a 10 seed and Georgetown was a two. And this is how the tournament is structured.
There were a couple of other upsets in the first round, but not of the same magnitude. Western Kentucky 12) knocked off Drake (5) and Villanova (12) over Clemson (5). Others could be honorably mentioned, but the ratings were not that wide.
The best game in the first round had to be between Duke and Belmont. That Belmont crew has really toughened up lately. It was an “edge of the seater” from the first horn. We tend to favor tradition regardless of personal choices. And Duke is just one of those programs from which one expects the most. And even when it is against a fave, it saddens the sense of tradition when the franchise loses. The steam had really left the Blue Devils when they were eliminated by the West Virginia Mountaineers (7).
There were so many great games in the first two rounds, the subsequent ones are going to have a hard time measuring up.
I ran into Donnal Ash last Wednesday and he stated the game he would love to see most would be a match-up between the Bulldogs of Mississippi State (8) and the Tigers (1) of Memphis. Throughout the day, everyone with whom I spoke about the playoffs voiced the same sentiment. I am not sure if Donnal knew just how prophetic his desires would become.
Indubitably, this was the best contest in the second round, if not for the entire tournament. The Tigers being one of my picks, I have to go with them, but this had to be their greatest test this season. This was a real battle with plenty of cannons on each side.
Each time the Tigers appeared to be on the verge of putting the Bullies away, they came growling back. The SEC side of me was a little disappointed they lost. They were the fifth SEC team to be bounced. Of the six which entered, only the Tennessee Volunteers (2) are left to face Louisville (3) in the “Sweet 16.”
Thus far we have seen only three “clock-busters” and two of those are attributable to the Tar Heels (1) of North Carolina; the other ones goes to Western Kentucky. Only one coach has been ejected. (However, his team won anyway).
Yours truly is not going to replace Georgetown with another pick, rather I think the time would be better served seeking a free throw shooting coach for the Memphis Tigers.
Talk about an Achilles heel.
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