The Greatest Day Ever: Part II

March Madness is even more satisfying than Bill Murray.

Closing the books on the glorious masterpiece that was the first day of the NCAA tournament is done with the sweetest of sorrows, but fear not. Just like Groundhog Day, we get to hit the clock and do it again.

Here’s what’s peaked my interest for Day 2:

7 Florida vs. 10 UVA
This has to be one of the hardest games to pick that I can remember. Both teams have looked like top 10-15 material on occasion this season, but neither has found the consistency for that to materialize. Florida is #5 in KenPom’s offensive efficiency and #121 on defense, while UVA is #104 on offense and #3 on defense. It should be interesting to see how this “strength-on-strength” match-up plays out.

Is The Wolfpack Back?
NC State gave UNC all it wanted in the ACC tournament and managed to scrape their way into the field.While the Wolfpack is obviously playing their best basketball of the year, San Diego St. seems to have put theirs well behind them. If C.J. Leslie and the Pack get going, they should have a good chance of not only beating the Aztecs, but possibly making a run at the Sweet 16.

Will The Mid-Major Bug Bite KU Again?
Kansas is a very good basketball team led by a POY candidate in Thomas Robinson. Kansas has also had lots of very good basketball teams that have lost to mid-major teams in shocking fashion. Detroit is no Kansas, but they have size, athleticism, and 5 guys averaging double-digits in scoring. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, I’m just saying…

Here’s to a great day of hoops. Hopefully we’ll see a little more shock than chalk.

 

The Greatest Day Ever

How you doin'?

Today marks the real beginning of the NCAA Tournament and one of my favorite days all year. The upsets, the overtimes, the buzzer-beaters, the Cinderellas… It all starts today.

Here what I’ll be watching:

6 Murray St. vs. 11 Colorado St.
Are the Racers for real or have they been the benefactors of a dreadful schedule? Has Colorado State been “tested” against a tough MWC schedule or are they as mediocre as their record would indicate? We’ll get the answers today and hopefully see Isaiah Cannon put on a show.

Early Exit Artists
Will the Louisville Cardinals and Vanderbilt Commodores continue their trend of high seeds and early exits? Logic tells you that with Louisville being the Big East tournament champs and Vanderbilt taking the SEC tournament title over #1 Kentucky this should be a no-brainer. My gut still tells me to trust neither win as a given against tough first round opponents.

Is Kentucky Still Kentucky?
After steam-rolling through the regular season, the Wildcats looked anything but dominant in the SEC tournament. Was that a result of a lack of motivation or a sign of regression? We might not get a full answer against an over-matched WKU squad, but it will be interesting to see if the Cats start strong.

There’s just no equivalent to the excitement of knowing you’re going to see so many games that mean so much for each team’s players, coaches, and fans. It’s the NFL playoffs turned up to 11. It’s the NBA playoffs, if the players cared. It’s March Madness and it knows no peer.