Friday, March 20, 2009

First Round Thoughts

First of all, the past week has been really busy so I haven't gotten a great chance to post. Finally, halfway through the second day of march madness, I get a chance to share my thoughts on the first round. These thoughts will be updated over the next 24 hours to include thoughts on ongoing games.
  • I was 14 of 14 going into the final two games of last night. I changed my pick from UCLA to VCU late Wednesday night only to watch Maynor miss a potential game winning shot. While I don't feel that VCU was a bad pick, UCLA's tournament experience over the past few years should have earned them the pick. I then missed on the Western Kentucky-Illinois upset pick, which in retrospect should have been an obvious upset. When it comes to March Madness its better to go Stephen Colbert (go with the gut) than George Costanza (do the opposite).
  • The other pick I changed Wednesday night was changing to Michigan over Clemson. That was a good decision as Clemson once again imploded. Its hard to have faith in a program that has lost 50+ straight at an opponent's home court (The Dean Dome). Also Clemson lost to GT in the ACC tournament.
  • Connecticut and Carolina absolutely dominated the #16 seeds winning by a combined 99 points. Both teams are not at full strength, but proved they deserve to be considered national title contenders. In Carolina's case Lawson is expected to be able to play against LSU on Saturday. I think UNC should dress Lawson, but start Drew II or Frasor and only bring Lawson in if the game gets too close. UNC should be able to win without Lawson, and it is important that he is very close to 100% for the Sweet Sixteen where they may meet a dangerous Gonzaga team.
  • Oklahoma and Duke were also impressive in dominating their low-seeded foes. While both teams may have obvious holes, they should both be considered contenders for the final four and should not be overlooked.
  • Both Villanova and Memphis were significantly challenged by low seeds. Memphis should be vary wary of a dangerous Maryland team, who I actually picked to upset the Tigers. Maryland is still somewhat incosistent, but when they come to play they can compete with anyone.
  • I find it somewhat funny that one of the sponsors of the ESPN Gametracker is Trojan. They should change it so that it says "ESPN Gametracker, Brought to you by Trojan: We've got it covered." Also, Geico really needs to stop with the "money you could be saving with Geico" commercials. Actually over the past five years the only ideas Geico has had are a talking gecko, cavemen, and a stack of money with eyes on top of it.
  • In contrast, the Nike Jumpman commercials such as the one with the Carolina fan being ticketed for doing 36 in a 35 in Illinois are great. Also as much as i despise the Cameron Crazies, their Coke Zero commercial is pretty cool as well.
  • Bruce Pearl needs to inform his team next year that they are not playing in the NBA, and thus other teams will try their hardest for the entire game.
  • Pittsburgh did pull out a win, but as I said earlier their unimpressive showing my be a harbinger of another Sweet Sixteen exit for the Panthers if they do not perform better than they did last night.
  • With the losses by BC, FSU, and especially Wake last night, the ACC has disappointed in the first week of the tournament. While I still believe UNC is a title favorite and that Maryland and Duke will make waves, the exit of so many ACC teams gives creedence to those who claim the conference is overrated.
  • Wake is a young talented team with little mental toughness or leadership. They peaked too early and got embarrassed by Cleveland State last night. After looking like a POY canditate in January, Teague disappeared for the most important part of the season. Aminu, Teague, and Johnson should all come back as it would be best for both them and Wake.
  • Syracuse does not look too fatigued by the BEast tournament and should not be an easy out for anyone. Mizzouri continues to wear teams out by playing suffocating defense and also will be a pain in the ass to any team that draws them. The Siena-Ohio State game was very entertaining and had a great finish.

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