2005-03-18

NCAA: Day 1 Recap


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My goal for the first round is always to hit three out of every four games, and not lose any teams that I have going beyond the second round. So far I'm 11/16 - just one game shy of my goal, so there's still a good chance I can make that up today. And, I haven't lost any of my second round winners yet, so things are looking good.

Creighton! If that had gone the other way I'd be right on track. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to have any idea what to do with the ball during the last minute of the game.

Hail Bobby Knight! One of my favorite coaches in the game. The other night I watched Indiana lose behind a miserable effort in the NIT. It was remarkable how far that team has fallen in the short time that Knight has been gone. IU has never had the greatest talent in the world, so Knight's teams had to be disciplined (although no one seems to get that anymore), motivated and fundamentally sound to have any success at all. Today's Hoosiers are sloppy and lackluster.

Contrast that with the Texas Tech team we saw last night. Crisp ball movement, excellent shot selection, and solid on all the fundamentals. When you see someone like Coach Knight or Rick Pitino go somewhere else and duplicate previous success you realize ... It's the coach, stupid!

I'm proud of my UW-Milwaukee and UAB picks.

At one point last night, my picks were losing in all four games in progess, and three of them were big. Everyone except Texas (is that school just born to under-achieve) took their games over in the second half.

I'm feeling good about Arizona going deep, and I'm curious about Illinois. They were pushed. Sometimes this is an indication of weakness, and sometimes it's a wakeup and the team is untouchable for the rest of the tournament. I say the Illini are beatable.

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