Well, that was an exciting weekend. From seven games decided within the final seven seconds on Thursday, to the final close game of Sunday – Texas’ J’Covan Brown could not have brought the ball up the court any slower in those final 10 seconds – it was certainly good reason to stay home all day… and hook up two TV’s in your living room, which I did. It was awesome. Now, the dust is cleared and the Sweet 16 set. Surprises? Check. Remaining upset potentials? Check. Bracket busted? Check. We certainly learned a lot from the weekend, and more questions yet still arose. Let’s review:
What we learned: VCU belongs in the tournament, Jim Nantz’s seniority aside, Gus Johnson should have been calling games on CBS, and NAPA’s Know How commercials may be the best advertising ploy Advance Auto Parts has ever conceived.
Speaking of VCU though, I don’t think the country – including myself – has ever been more wrong about a team. Not that we didn’t have plenty of reasons to doubt their legitimacy – they lost to Georgia State for goodness sake – they certainly made worthwhile their inclusion. After getting by USC in the First Four match up, they proceeded to stomp Georgetown and Purdue by 18 point margins in each game. Many people may look at the Southwest region and think Kansas has the easiest road to the Final Four, which when compared to other regions may be true, but leave no doubt that Kansas has tough games ahead. Should they get by Richmond, they would either have to face VCU or Florida State, both of whom beat teams vying for one-seeds throughout the season, and beat them handily.
Questions still remain, however. Can North Carolina and Duke rebound after narrowly surviving upsets in the Round of 32? Will a double digit seed make the Final Four? And lastly, how does Rick Barnes still have a job? All will be answered in time, but in the spirit of March, predictions must be made (because if you read my last article, you know how good I am at predicting things). The matchup of BYU’s Jimmer Fredette and Florida’s Chandler Parsons will be a three-point shooting display of potentially epic proportions. Parson’s has not made too much noise so far, at least not like Jimmer has, but this has the potential to be the best of the Sweet 16 matchups. Marquette comes in hot against North Carolina’s talented freshman-laden team, and I think that hot-streak continues. UNC got lucky against Washington for a number of reasons, be they faulty rules, Washington only getting off a two-pointer in the final shot, and subsequently no goaltending called on UNC’s John Henson, who must have suddenly thought he was playing a game of NBA Jam. I don’t care whether or not it mattered, just call it. Duke will get by, and my prediction remains of a UConn v. Kansas championship game, with KU cutting down the nets.
The only thing I have left to say is sit back and enjoy the ride, no matter how your bracket is doing or how much money you’re going to lose, because this weekend is shaping up to be better than the last. Once again, make sure there is plenty of ice and dip.