Ohhhh, a day ful of basketball is always a good day! I am trying to get my dissertation material in order, but I keep getting distracted by basketball.
Three out of four NC schools made it through today. Duke beat Albany…blah, blah…I was rooting for Albany. Miami gave a master class to Pacific. It was a hard pounding, but Pacific actually did pretty well.
UNC, per usual, blew a 19 point lead by playing down to the level of their opponents managing to win by 7. I love the Heels. I love to watch them play, but when another teams wants to set the basketball level low UNC obliges by playing at that level. During the middle part of the game, they let Nova set the pace and it was not in their favor. In the second half, Roy did pull all five of his starters for a heart to heart. This is a tactic that has been used to portray that he means business (like in 2008 vs BC….that even made it into the 2009 video for Late Night with Roy). When he put his starting five back in this evening they perked up and pulled this game back on track. Heels, get a good night’s sleep…it may not be that easy on Sunday.
NCSU fell to Temple. The play was up and down and there were times that it felt like the Pack were not in it to win it. They seemed distracted. The Owls were able to shut Wood down and the rest of the team could not pick up his scoring slack. This ends the Wolfpack’s run on the 30th anniversary of their National Championship. They are loosing some great players, but will come back strong next season.
Other upsets of the day came when LaSalle beat K-State and Ole Miss sent Wisconsin packing. That is what this round is all about! Many times the seeds predict who will win, until they don’t. Then you have good basketball and players wanting the season not to end. I was surprised by the Badger loss, I was expecting a Wisconsin/OSU showdown (I had OSU on top).
The most fun game of the day to watch was #2 Georgetown’s stunning loss to #15 FGCU. It is hard to predict when a #15 will upend a #2 , but today marks the 7th time it has happened. FGCU was the first team into the Big Dance this year, their conference was won on March 9th, and I said from the beginning I was rooting for this team. After only 6 years as a D1 school, they beat Miami at the beginning of the season and took Duke into overtime. This team is fast and athletic. People may not have taken them as seriously as their statistics might have suggested, but they are ready to play and have no fear on the court. They are dunking machines! Both #20 and #23 put on amazing shows tonight. Both dunks deserve to be in the nightly top ten as they were playing in FGCU Dunk City today Ba-aby (I imagine you will say that last line in Dickie V’s voice)!
Tomorrow will bring more good ball. I am particularly ready for the VCU-Michigan match up.