Observations from the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament:
Embrace the upset
Don’t let the destruction of whatever minute chances you may have had in a silly pool sour you on what the tourney’s really about. Seeing the little guy have a chance at taking down Goliath is as much a part of March as “One Shining Moment.”
The fact that a pair of 15-seeds (Norfolk St. and Lehigh) knocked off a pair of two-seeds (Missouri and Duke) in the same day made the story even more compelling, even if you had the Tigers and Blue Devils winning it all.
So what, you lost $5. Odds are some guy in Detroit fared worse than you today.
Get those guys some glasses
Now’s the time to step your game up, guys.
Everybody else is.
While I hate to pick on zebras — who am I kidding? I love it — questionable calls had direct effects in the outcomes of several games last week, most notably in UNC-Asheville’s bid to become the first 16-seed to advance.
Perhaps it is time for the officials to be able to go to the monitor after every play in doubt; I’d like to see the games extend even later into the night so we can watch Charles Barkley and Greg Gumble perform the postgame show in their footed pajamas.
On second thought, just make the right call the first time around.
In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the tourney is missing one of its most key components — the voice of Gus Johnson.
Johnson, who was released by CBS following a contract dispute last May, had come to enjoy folk hero status by some for his exuberance in seeing a team reach the double-bonus.
But it wasn’t just the enthusiasm that made Johnson stand out. Who doesn’t enjoy such innovative phrases as “Rise and Fire!” or “He’s got get away from the cops speed!?”
No need to worry, however, as you can still hear all of Gus’ gems with a click of the mouse by visiting the Gus Johnson Soundboard website.
On the women’s side of the bracket, a familiar group is beginning to emerge, and may just be hitting its stride at the right time.
Don’t look now, but the UConn Huskies are beginning to hoop and could be on a collision course to meet top-ranked and undefeated Baylor April 3rd in Denver.
In two games, the Huskies (31-4) have defeated their oppenents by 82 points and looked particularly sharp in their 72-26 decimation of Kansas State Monday night.
Baylor (35-0) has also looked nearly unstoppable in its wins over UC-Santa Barbara and Florida, but with Geno Auriema’s experience in winning the big game, the Huskies may have an advantage to counter the Bears’ Brittney Griner.
Should they meet in the finals, however, the Huskies may find themselves in a foriegn role on the game’s biggest stage — the underdog.
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