If you follow this blog with any regularity, then you know I love College Football. That said, I will take a one week break from my usual format and focus on the Greatness that is March Madness. Never fear, College Football Junkie 2014 will return with its regular format next week.
*The Dayton Flyers are going to the Sweet 16 and got there by defeating 2 of the more difficult opponents in the field. In a matter of 2 days Dayton stunned Ohio State and then survived against Syracuse. In both games the opposition had a shot to win it at the last second. A big kudos to the Flyers, whose athleticism and smarts have made believers out of a lot of college basketball fans, including myself.
*Louisville goes to the Sweet 16 for the 20th time. Only 4 other schools, North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky have achieved such a feat. Well done Cards. That is college basketball royalty.
*Perhaps the most interesting development in the first couple of days of the tournament is the success of the 12 seed. Harvard, North Dakota State and Stephen F. Austin all defeated their 5 seed opponent and advanced to the next round. The lone 12 seed loser was N.C State who absolutely choked. The Wolfpack let a 16 point second half lead disappear in a flurry of turnovers and missed free throws. State missed 17 free throws on the night. Owch. Regardless I think the success of the lower seeds in this tournament, shows the growing strength of mid major conferences and the overall balance of College basketball. These lower seeds were in no way over matched. This tournament is as tightly fought as any I can remember. There are few blowouts. That is the sign of an even field.
*Michigan went crazy from beyond the arc Saturday. The Wolverines tied the all time tournament record for 3 pointers in a game with 6 minutes to go. At games end they had amassed 14 3s on 28 attempts. Thats insane. Furthermore the Wolverines look every bit as dangerous as anyone going forward. They got through the first weekend with little trouble and have the necessary components to make it through next weekend. Watch out for these boys.
*The Kentucky-KState game began in the most bizarre way. A technical foul was called on K-State reserve Brian Rohleder for dunking in warmups with less than 20 minutes until game time. The clock read 19:58. Pardon my language, but you have to be fucking kidding me. This rule is absolutely asinine. Why is dunking not allowed in pregame, and what does it matter if there is 2o minutes left before tip!? What a bunch of garbage.
*I took a bit of a road trip Friday to San Antonio to watch my beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers participate in the dance. The scene was incredible. As usual Husker fans came out in droves. It was a wonderful sight. Its too bad the product on the floor couldn’t match it. The Huskers played their worst game of the calender year. Poor shooting, mental errors, and ticky-tack fouls did them in. Give the credit to Baylor who hung in there despite their own struggles and defeated the Huskers handily. It was a disappointing end to a very good season. I am immensely proud of this team for its heart and improvement over the year. In a couple of years, when this program is a consistent contender, Nebrasketball fans will look upon the 2013-2014 campaign as the foundation for that success.
*What was your favorite game? I think mine was Wisconsin/Oregon. I was kicking dirt on the Badgers at halftime. They came out with tremendous intensity on defense and some hot shooting. Oregon wouldn’t go away. That how tournament ball should be played. Fantastic stuff.
Weekly List- Top 5 Reasons March Madness is GREATNESS
1)Urgency-Every game is an elimination game. Teams are fighting for their lives at all times. In a world with expanded playoffs and 7 game series, the NCAA basketball tournament offers a unique win or go home format that is nearly unmatched.
2)Unpredictability- This tournament is so freaking hard to gauge. A team can look great heading into the tournament and get beat by a hot shooting upstart. It happens all the time. In no other sporting event is the outcome so out of left field. Its awesome.
3)Pools- The March Madness pool pulls folks from all walks of life in. Someone who knows nothing of college basketball will participate. In fact its common for that person to win. These pools serve as extra spice on an already excellent event.
4)Underdogs- Teams come out of nowhere and shock the world. This year there has been a slew of them, from Mercer to North Dakota State. Most people like underdogs and it gives folks a new team to cheer for. It adds even more spice to an event that is always spicy.
5)Making a Weekend of it- I could have made this number 1. I always make sure I have the time off and settle in with plenty of pops and snacks. The action is non stop and you can have an absolute marathon of gluttony. Its awesome. Its the perfect way to break up the monotony between New Years and Memorial day.