So the evening games are underway and there are a couple of good ones going down. Lets quick take a look back at some of the storylines from the first half of day 1 for all you suckers who had to work and couldn’t get the games on your computer loaded.
CBS has done a horrendous job of switching to games as they are winding down. In the first slate of games the ODU-Notre Dame game was coming down to it as there were 9.1 seconds left and Old Dominion was up by 3. Meanwhile, Florida and BYU were in the second OT with about 3 ½ minutes to go. Instead of switching to the end of the Irish game, or even going split screen (isn’t it 2010), they kept it on the Gators-Cougars. We didn’t get to see the end of the game (including Tory Jackson’s near tying three), instead they cut back to it after the play had already happened and the final score was posted. What the SHIT CBS? They again failed to go to the Murray St. upset until there was 25 seconds left, even though the lead had been going back and forth over the last minute and a half. Someone needs to get up these directors’ asses and make them realize that people like to see the end of exciting games.
UTEP played probably the worst half of basketball since UNC back in the 2008 semifinal game to Kansas. The Miners were up 6 at the half, dominating the paint, and controlling Butler’s shooting from the outside. Then the second half started and all of that changed as the Bulldogs outscored UTEP 50-26. One thing I failed to look at when I was deciding whom to pick in that game was my own advice. Butler is an experienced mid-major NCAA Tourney team and they have a point guard who can score (Mack who went for 25 and 7-9 behind the arc). That’s my bad and the Bulldogs could be a potential tough matchup for Syracuse looking down the road because of their ability to shoot from the outside.
Villanova was very lucky to escape with their win. Jay Wright has to be loving the good fortune that he received from the basketball gods today. First there were some questionable fouls called toward the end of the game that very much benefitted the Wildcats. Then, he has to be pleased with the fact that Scottie Reynolds had his worst shooting game of the season (2-15 from the field) and his team was still able to win the game. If you have ‘Nova, as I do, going to the Final Four you are sweating for the matchup against St. Mary’s, who looked really tough against Richmond.
The first four games really got this tournament started the way we remember it to be. Last year there was only one really dramatic game (Villanova-Pitt regional final) and this year all of the first four had amazing drama. ODU by one, BYU in double OT, Villanova in OT avoiding the biggest upset since George Mason over UCONN, and Murray St.’s buzzer beater made it possibly the most exciting first day ever and were just a half into the evening games! BTW, somebody wake Georgetown up.