Thursday, March 24, 2011
Behind The Scoreboard
Exciting contests in tournament
Time and teams march on in “March Madness and Mayhem.”
There have been some dynamite contests and a couple which could be termed “no contest.”
The field was narrowed to 32 by the time the last shot was fired on Saturday night. And remember the field was increased to 68 this season. That meant that there were four “play-in” games. This is mentioned for the simple fact that one of those expansion entries (Virginia Commonwealth-VCU) made it to the second round. VCU (listed as an 11 seed) bounced USC (also an 11 seed) on Wednesday and then came the first shock of the playoffs, when they bumped number six Georgetown on Friday. Their gauntlet running was far from over because they had to play number three Purdue on Sunday.
Thus far there has been only one clock-buster, North Carolina over Long Island University (102-87). I admit that I don’t know a lot about LIU but I have loads of respect for the way in which they played one of the giants of the industry. This was a number 15 versus a number two.
Also there was a casualty among the number ones, Pittsburgh was waylaid by the Butler Bulldogs. The score was by a single digit (71-70). This had to be one of the more exciting games of the playoffs. If the Butler name jumps right out at you, it is probably because the Bulldogs lost to Duke last season in the championship game.
The area bleeds for the Tigers of Memphis. They gave the Wildcats of Arizona all that they bargained for. I am sure that there is little need to point out the fact that in close games it is usually the missed free throws, muffed PATS or field goals, or easy putts in golf.
The other exciting contest was Temple and San Diego. The Owls just didn’t have a hoot left in the second overtime.
All of you SEC watchers can be proud of the entries who moved on to “Sweet 16,” number two seed Florida and number four seed Kentucky.
If you found it a little hard to play “bracketology” ( Barack-etology, if you are the “First Baller”), it is perhaps that the games were carried on about six or seven different venues.
It will be much easier when it all boils down to gravy in Houston on April 2 and 4.
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