Tuesday, March 24, 2009

At the sports desk: NCAA tournament thoughts

A good roundup of what's gone on, along with some opinions, can be found here.

My thoughts: true, there haven't been the huge upsets this year. There's no George Mason. But that doesn't mean that the era of parity and big upsets are over. Note how Virginia Commonwealth played UCLA even, and lost only by 1. Siena beats major conference power Ohio State. North Dakota State sticks with Kansas pretty much the entire game. Morehead State gives Louisville a run for it for a half, and then a bit more. East Tennessee State stays right with Pitt for a good portion of that game. The upsets from Cinderella didn't happen this year...but clearly they still can happen. Maybe next year they will.

Other thoughts...
There was still some great "madness", though, wasn't there? VCU and UCLA go right down to the wire. So do Tennessee and Oklahoma State. Late Friday night there are two games, in tandem, in overtime.

So far in this tournament, the Big East has pretty well validated itself as the toughest conference in America, hasn't it? 5 teams in the Sweet Sixteen, and Marquette, despite the injury to Dominic James, almost made it.

Big 10 basketball improved this year, so the conference is probably disappointed that only two of their teams made the final 16. But their two power teams, Purdue and Michigan State, did make it, and the conference can console itself with the fact that only two ACC teams made the Sweet 16, too. The SEC, meanwhile, is out.

There will be some great matchups on Thursday and Friday--on Thursday we'll pick the winners.