Monday, March 19, 2007

Sweet 16 Musings

The first weekend of the Tournament is in the books and the books probably made a lot of money on people betting on upsets and underdogs. 10 out of the top 12 seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16 with the lowest seed a 7 seed.

The SEC has shown up in the Tournament with a 7-2 record and 3 Sweet 16 teams (Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt). The ACC has had a performance to forget so far with a mediocre 6-6 record and just one team advancing past the first weekend (North Carolina). The ACC missed the Final 4 last year and has not missed two years in a row since 1979-80. Now onto my thoughts.

North Carolina
The Tar Heels appear to be the weakest of the number one seeds in many people's eyes right now, but they turned it on when they had to against Michigan State. Tyler Hansbrough took off the mask early and proceeded to score 33 and grab 8 boards in an MOP type performance. North might have the toughest path of the number one seeds as USC looked very good against Texas. The Heels will need to continue to play their up tempo style and use their deep bench as that is their biggest advantage over any team in the Tournament.

The Gators survived their scare and are now onto the Final 4 right? Well, Butler will want to slow it down even more than Purdue did, but Florida must find their bigs much earlier in the game. I still think the Midwest is the weakest bracket by far and with the 2 of the top 4 seeds out it may have become that much easier. Yet, I don't think the Gators can have longer lapses of poor play than they did against Purdue because the teams will only get better from here on out.

The Volunteers get a rematch with Ohio State and this time it won't be in Columbus. The Vols capitalized on the injury of JR Reynolds, but still had to dodge a last second ditch at overtime from a less talented Virginia team. The Vols have the size to match up with Ohio State and an elite scorer who can get hot in Chris Lofton. I wonder if Ohio State had their big scare and survived if Tennessee can play as well as Xavier did.

Who would have thought the Commodores would be in the Sweet 16 after a slump down the stretch of SEC play? Now, Vanderbilt must tangle with Georgetown and the tandem of Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green.

Other thoughts...
Ohio State
Thank god for that missed free throw by Xavier in the last 10 seconds of regulation. If they Buckeyes can keep Oden out of foul trouble and stay hot from the outside they will be very tough.

Look the best of any number one seed so far in the Tourney. Kentucky tested them for about 25 minutes

Old fashioned, Big East slug fest with Boston College, but you never got the feeling they would lose.

From Sacramento to San Jose - it doesn't seem fair that the Bruins don't have to leave the state of California. Three Pac 10 teams in the Sweet 16 further prove the argument that the Bruins were the best team for most of the season.

Texas A&M
I still like this team in the region because of two reasons: Acie Law and they will be playing in San Antonio

This team does not play like a 3 seed, but they will be tough to beat because of their size and experience

I certainly did not expect the Trojans to dominate Texas like they did. Might be some payback for the 2006 Rose Bowl.

The fraternities in Vegas are going wild. I wonder what the fraternity parties are like at UNLV?

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