Saturday, March 22, 2008

10 Friday Night Thoughts: Clement-Style

Last night was so much fun…let’s do it again!!!

{Check out Thursday night's reactions HERE}

Perhaps a few of us here at PHSports were a little too rough on the over-seeded Sooners. Perhaps.
Credit: Yahoo! Sports

1) Ladies and Gentlemen…we have our buzzer beater!

It might not be a clip of “the shot”, but it’s hilarious nevertheless. As for “the shot”, you had to see it live to truly enjoy it. (I was teaching Economic Systems to 8th graders, lucky me!) Either way, we got our buzzer beater and we all but automatically have our Cinderella-story out of the West Region (more below).

2) UCONN’t beat the Toreros.
Call me a hater, but I LOVE when opening nights respectively have Arizona and UCONN losing. Especially when the Huskies – who had lost team-MVP AJ Price to injury – lose as a 4-seed to arguably the WCC’s 3rd team. Yeah, I’m hatin!

3) Bracketbusting.
You might’ve had Drake or UCONN in the Sweet Sixteen (likely taking on UCLA); however, I doubt many of you had Western Kentucky or San Diego in that spot. Ahhh, the beauty of the tournament. 4 and 5 seeds are often the most vulnerable teams out there. Not to mention, I LOVE when UCONN loses. I LOVE IT! Meanwhile, in the night caps, Vanderbilt trailed throughout (brilliant idea picking them to go to the Sweet 16, Clement) to high-flying Siena and ended up being the second 4-seed of the day to bow out early (far too early in my opinion).

4) 1-Seeds hold serve. No surprise.
Mount St. Mary’s might’ve kept pace with the Heels for the first ten minutes; yet, they clearly proved why they were contestants in the play-in game and why the Heels are the #1 overall seed. Ditto for Memphis and TX-Arlington, a game I didn't watch one second of.

5) Those pesky 8/9 games.
You get Oregon, who is nowhere near a 9-seed, matched up against an erratic 8th-seeded Mississippi State. Good luck. Next up, you have an overhyped Indiana-team going against an under-the-radar Arkansas-squad. Good luck, again. We know who won. Question is: did you get BOTH games right?

6) Bruce Pearl…isn’t happy. Brad Stevens is ecstatic!
Win a game by 15 points and the majority of the media and nation are thoroughly disgusted with your performance. Bruce Pearl will light up like a firecracker (or a Mentos in Diet Coke) over the next 24-hours enough to make sure the Vols are more focused and more physical, especially since Butler looked THAT good. South Alabama wasn’t bad, it’s just the Bulldogs were again THAT good. Their three-point shooting was phenomenal (specifically Pete Campbell’s torching 8-10 from behind the arc performance) and Butler reminded quite a few of us of their potential. How they earned a 7-seed still baffles me. However, I know I’ll be in front of a TV for this matchup Sunday afternoon.

7) OK-lahoma!
They were obviously an overrated 6-seed, but was it fair to completely disrespect the Sooners? Probably not. Was it also a mistake to completely overrate a St. Joe’s team who got in by beating Xavier twice? Definitely. The Sooners, led by former VCU head coach Jeff Capel (plug!) shot nearly 60% the entire game as they throttled the second-to-last remaining A-10 squad. Boomer Sooner 72-64!

8) Oregon Trail
Oregon didn’t deserve to be in the tournament. They don’t deserve analysis. Thankfully, Mississippi State overcame an early deficit and won. Thank you, Starkville. Bye bye, Quack Attack.

9) Which Indiana team showed up?
CBS was asking it over and over and over…and over. In the end, Indiana will most likely be left asking themselves, “What might’ve happened if Sampson was never dismissed from the team?” Of course, a more fair question might be, “What if Sampson never violated any of the NCAA rules, again”. Nevertheless, Sonny Weems and a somewhat underrated Arkansas squad (their 9-seed was mainly a result of the SEC Final loss to Georgia) took out the Hooisers and pitted themselves against white-hot UNC. Not much of a reward, huh?

10) Late night…FEAST???
To be honest, Memphis/TX-Arlington & Louisville/Boise State seemed like snorers two days before they began. In the end, both games lacked drama. Both cruised to victories in the late night hours. However, there was definite intrigue on viewing the likes of Eric Gordon/DJ White/Patrick Beverly in one matchup and the wide-open 5/12 matchup of Clemson v. Villanova. While the aforementioned Razorback victory wasn’t filled with too much intrigue, there was more than enough reasons to view Villanova’s impressive 18-point comeback against the Clemson Tigers (the only one of four ACC teams to lose in the opening round). With more victories than any other 12-seed in nearly 30 years, Jay Wright’s crew reminded the nation of their talent and their grit. With Vanderbilt’s loss to Siena, we now have two brackets in which a 12 or 13 will advance to the Sweet Sixteen (Siena/Villanova in the Midwest and Western Kentucky/San Diego out West). The real question soon becomes: is Villanova capable of being a legit Cinderella?

I just can’t help myself. Time for numero 11!

11) Saturday…Saturday…Saturday Saturday Saturday
Tons of matchups I want to see tomorrow. TONS! Wisconsin/Kansas State (who dictates the pace early and often), Notre Dame/WASU (arguably Thursday’s top two performers), Marquette/Stanford (speed vs. size), and Pittsburgh/Michigan State (who’s hotter than Pitt or more schizo than MSU?). WOW. Not to mention, A&M has the talent (I said talent) to keep its game with UCLA more than interesting and Xavier remains the wild-card the entire media seems to be rooting for (even a #3-seed) out West.

A&M has tons of talent, like Josh Carter, but are they disciplined enough to maintain focus under a suffocating Bruins defensive attack?
Credit: Yahoo! Sports

See you later today!!!

Enjoy the day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Friday had some great games. I'm on spring break so I saw the buzzer beater. I thought Drake had won and then all of a sudden the guy takes a shot from 4 feet behind the arc and drains it.

My jaw dropped.