Saturday, March 1, 2008

Thoughts from today

Now that I'm done correcting my earlier mistakes from my seed list, here are my reflections from another Saturday full of college basketball:

I laughed when I saw an ESPN headline saying that the Syracuse loss today to Pittsburgh burst their bubble. That was obviously written by someone who hasn't the faintest idea how weak this years bubble is.

There were, however, several teams who, in my opinion, burst their bubbles today:

  • Ohio St., losing at Minnesota
  • Nebraska, losing at Oklahoma St. (I believed that they still had very slim hopes, if they could win out)
  • George Mason, a team whose bubble burst a couple weeks ago, but still gets talked about
  • Stephen F. Austin, whose 3 loss season was starting to get some notice. This is the second horrible loss for the Lumberjacks, however, and their win over Oklahoma probably won't be enough to get them in if they don't win the Southland
  • Houston, who was still on the bubble because of their lack of bad wins, lost to East Carolina

Other merely hurt their chances:

  • Kent St, fresh off a major BracketBuster win, managed a bad loss to put them back on the bubble
  • Florida, who needs to beat Tennessee on Wednesday and Kentucky @ Rupp next Sunday to have a shot, as they lost to fellow bubble team Mississippi St.
  • Syracuse, as mentioned earlier
  • Wake Forest, who added another not-so-good loss @ GT to a resume that contains quite a few bad ones
  • Texas A&M, a normally highly effective team that was held that a shockingly low .58 Points Per Possession in a 37 point effort against Oklahoma, beating their previous low of .72 in a loss to Texas
  • Cal, who probably needs a sweep of the LA teams next week after falling to Washington

Other things of note:

  • This has been said elsewhere, but you know a team is good when they are down 15 or so points in the second half, and you don't consider the other team to be blowing them out. Such was true of UNC @ BC and Duke @ NC St.
  • In the Year of the Weak Bubble, we also seem to have less dominant teams than in previous years. Every good team has a fatal flaw - Duke is too small, UNC can't play defense, Georgetown and Memphis can't shoot Free Throws, Texas is inconsistent, and so on.
  • This was emphasized today by a number of upsets and scares. Texas, Kent St., and Vanderbilt all lost, while UNC, Duke, Memphis, Xavier and Drake all had scares against vastly inferior opponents.
  • Out of the games I watched today, St. Mary's-Gonzaga was the best, although Gonzaga pulled away to make the end a boring affair. Georgetown-Marquette and Texas-Texas Tech had much more exciting endings.

Since I do not have transportation to Chicago for tomorrow, I am not able to get to the Depaul game. I would do another liveblog, but I don't think that is advisable. Instead, I will just post about the conferences that wrapped up regular-season play today and tomorrow.

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