March Madness - 2007

Vandy wins 77-44. I know that proves nothing to you, but I’m guessing you based your view on looking at box scores rather than watching Vandy play (not many people watch Vandy, so that’s not a criticism, really). When Vandy shows up, they can beat anyone in the country.

You know, right now, one of the greatest college players to ever play the game is at my college, for what will likely be his only year before going pro.

I have not seen him play once.

March Madness is here, and I haven’t seen one game.

I’m starting to realize that I just can’t make myself care about basketball.

I feel sorry for you, Rimbo. I really do. Because I don’t like basketball. I don’t watch the pros play at all, and I don’t normally find it a very interesting game. But college basketball just works for me, ESPECIALLY this tourney. It’s magic and just loads of fun to have on in the background or to watch closely. It just works.

I’ll probably start caring once the Sweet Sixteen come around, if Texas is still around to be in it.

Here’s hoping that’s the last game you watch this year.

God DAMN Duke sucks!

Dukemas came a little early this year… OVER RATED

I vote to stake Duke.

The first two days are so much fun for fans. So many games.

Anyone cashing tickets yet?

It proves a little bit. I mean, I did say I wouldn’t be shocked if GW won, which means I was expecting Vandy to win at least 50% of the time.

This game was an outlier for both sides. Vandy shot something insane from beyond the arc, and at halftime GW had gone like 2-17 from the floor.

When anyone shows up, they can beat anyone in the country. I still believe that their home/road “split” is more pronounced than most, and that they rarely “show up” when not at home. Today, they did (and for added bonus, GW not only didn’t show up, they sent a pee-wee team in their place), although not a true road game. Should be interesting to see how Saturday goes against a team that should generate a more “road” atmosphere for them (Wash. St.).

I had GW in 2 of 3 brackets, but even in the “Vandy wins” scenarios, I didn’t think it’d ever look like this.

Go UNLV!

Damn, North Texas looked so good for most of the first half against Memphis. But they had 2 really bad runs in the 2nd half that did them in. That and Memphis is on a 23 game winning streak!

I still had my plush Scrappy mascot sitting on my desk in a show of solidarity. It’s just nice to have a team of the caliber than can even make the tournament. The last time we went was back in '88!

Great season Mean Green!

North Texas-Memphis looked to me to an extremely physical game, there was a lot of that going on. I think at times NTU just wore down.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi had a great start but Wisco showed definite signs of coming back in the first half, and showed it in the second for sure. Disappointing for both of the new to the tournament (well, in recent memory) Texas teams.

— Alan

The Illinois-Va Tech game was very interesting…great ending, and I didn’t care about either team.

Yeah, it was a pretty good ending. I was just happy to see an ACC team win.

Is it me or are there a whole lot fewer exciting endgames than last year’s first round? It just seems to me that last year’s first round had a lot more games ending with edge-of-your-seat moments.

Maybe it’s the dearth of upsets.

One of the most exciting late-game moments for me–so far–was in the UNLV/Ga.Tech game. That 5-second call. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t remember the last 5-second call I saw off the dribble. I was totally shocked the ref called it…and it was totally legit. I love seeing a defensive sequence like that. Great defense at just the right moment.

But still…how does a tournament team let itself get a 5 second call at the end of the game? Oof.

Tonight’s games kind of passed with a ho-hum feeling. I freely admit that the fact that my team is out already may be affecting my attitude, but it all seemed to flow from the same script: 1. Scrappy upstart plays solid first half. 2. Much higher seed looks to be in danger. 3. Glance at score in second half reveals 20-point edge by higher seed. 4. Higher seed wins by gazillion points.

Does this mean the matchups are good? Or bad?

Or do we have to wait to find out the answer?

“We don’t know…but it comes out of the basketball court.”

-Amanpour

Duke and Texas Tech both lost YAYYYYY. Eff you, Coach K and Bob Knight.

Is it me or are there a whole lot fewer exciting endgames than last year’s first round? It just seems to me that last year’s first round had a lot more games ending with edge-of-your-seat moments.

Maybe it’s the dearth of upsets.

Yeah, although this should be more the rule than the exception, fewer upsets in the first round. More on this later!

One of the most exciting late-game moments for me–so far–was in the UNLV/Ga.Tech game. That 5-second call. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t remember the last 5-second call I saw off the dribble. I was totally shocked the ref called it…and it was totally legit. I love seeing a defensive sequence like that. Great defense at just the right moment.

But still…how does a tournament team let itself get a 5 second call at the end of the game? Oof.

It was pretty amazing to see that call. I would guess that possibly Georgia Tech was pushing it in the paint for most of the game, and the refs were hearing about it from UNLV head coach Lon Kruger. Also, UNLV’s defensive pressure (what they are known for) seems also to lead to refs watching both defenses more closely, or maybe that’s just my jaundiced eye from watching them. I, myself, was pretty amazed UNLV won despite abysmal shooting by 3-point man (and coach’s son) Kevin Kruger, since their W/L stats correlate to his ability to play/play well.

Tonight’s games kind of passed with a ho-hum feeling. I freely admit that the fact that my team is out already may be affecting my attitude, but it all seemed to flow from the same script: 1. Scrappy upstart plays solid first half. 2. Much higher seed looks to be in danger. 3. Glance at score in second half reveals 20-point edge by higher seed. 4. Higher seed wins by gazillion points.

Does this mean the matchups are good? Or bad?

Just typical for the first round, I think, with the whole high seed/low seed pairings. Sports talk radio seemed to be complaining leading up to the tourney that a lot of the lower seed nods were more political than merit-based, and so you get these lopsided victories.

Additionally, anyone who complains about a team running up the score in a tournament is clearly a fan of the losing team and perspectively-challenged. As long as there are shots to make, you make the shots and keep the momentum going from game to game. This isn’t a grade-school Tiddlywinks contest.

There was some discussion on the Operation Sports forum about how this seemed to be the most boring first round in recent memory, with only two real upsets. One guy posted the following:

Because I was curious and had nothing better to do, I decided to see just how bad games were this year in terms of close, down to the wire games. 2007 set a record (since 1985 when field expanded to 64) for number of games determined by nine points or less.

Number of Games Decided By 9 Points Or Less:
2007: 9 games
2006: 18 games
2005: 14 games
2004: 14 games
2003: 17 games
2002: 12 games
2001: 15 games
2000: 13 games
1999: 11 games
1998: 14 games
1997: 10 games
1996: 12 games
1995: 17 games
1994: 11 games
1993: 10 games
1992: 13 games
1991: 14 games
1990: 15 games
1989: 14 games
1988: 15 games
1987: 15 games
1986: 18 games
1985: 19 games

So yeah, there were a lot fewer exciting games than in last year’s first round.

Aw, hell yeah!!!

Suck it, dannimal!!!

Nah, I’m just messing with you. I’m excited. That was a terrific game for Vandy. Great comeback, double overtime…I almost had a heart attack. All credit to WSU. They are a great team who just kept making clutch baskets at the end there.

Anyway, go Vandy!!!

Bleh – WSU turned all retarded there at the end of regulation as well as the end of the 2nd overtime. What the heck are they thinking throwing up 3 pt. attempts when all they needed was 1 point to win?

All credit to Vandy for a gutsy comeback - I really need them to lose the next game though for my bracket to have any hope of bringing me money.

Vandy walled up, forcing them to take a three, it appeared. They couldn’t go inside. Still, they had some big guys. You would think they would risk the drive and try to draw the foul. But I think Vandy had positioning, which might have led to a charge.

Also, as a homer, my brackets are doing fine. I have one actual homer bracket, where Vandy wins it all, and one more realistic one, where I still have them going to the sweet sixteen and losing to Gtown.