Monday, March 20

NCAA tournament, rounds 1 and 2: aftermath

Could you tell the Iowa loss seriously took the wind out of my sails? That and my 'pick who I want to win' strategy has me at the bottom of my pool. :-(

Jim Nantz (!) brought up a good point yesterday: three major conference tournament champions were already gone by that point: the Big Ten (Iowa), the Big Twelve (Kansas), and the Big East (I forget). Think those championships wear them down at all?

My read on the Haweyes was they just didn't have it left in them - mostly mentally/emotionally - to hold off another run. Their defense and free throw shooting down the stretch weren't as good as they have been and they lost at the last second. I mistook their run in the conference tournament for a sign of good things to come. Very few teams can make that kind of run (cf Duke). In Iowa's case, they gave everything they had in Indianapolis the first time and won't be heading back. I'm glad I got to watch those two Big Ten Tournament games though. That part was great.

So, do I think the power conferences shoot themselves in the foot a little, battling it our all season long? Yes. So I'd say don't be too quick to say the Big Ten wasn't that good just because they don't have any teams left. Maybe some of it is because they were that good.

Do I begrudge the 'Mid-Majors' their place? Heck no. It's fun. Bradley, Wichita State, George Mason: welcome to the Dance.

Here's a good article mainly about how Packer/Nantz were wrong on the selection show.

The biggest leveling of the field for the power schools is coming from the McDonalds All-Americans leaving for the NBA early.

It all makes for a more exciting March to the Championship.

Biggest news in Iowa basketball now is: Will Steve Alford go to Indiana? Let the speculation begin. My take: wouldn't be the end of the world.
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