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Friday, March 25, 2011

Sweet Sixteen Madness: Duke gets thwarted (and I didn't even see it)

As the first half of the round of 16(I simply refuse to call it the fourth round, and from here on out I am going to refer to each round by the number of teams left--the final round, of course, will be the championship round), there are a few observations I would like to make:

Last night Duke proved that it was, indeed, the weakest of the number one seeds.  All apologies go out to Pitt fans, but I am not sure the Panthers deserved the number one seed anyway.  The Blue Devils have no one to blame but themselves.  And while I admit I surmised they might make a run at the title, by no means did I say they were a lock.  Even though I fell asleep, it seems their lack of a legitimate inside presence was Duke's ultimate downfall.  I have to laugh at people who say Mason Plumlee is NBA ready right now.  He is too soft.

UConn proved they are more than just Kemba Walker.  The Huskies beat a San Diego State team that played just like that--a team.  It's nice to know that at least three of my final four teams are still remaining, even though BYU could have made it four(more on that in a bit.).

Butler continues its cinderella season.  At the beginning of the tourney, everyone pointed to the showdown between the Buckeyes and the Jayhawks.  Yet if I were in OSU's shoes, I think I'd rather play Kansas. Butler was a rimmed out three pointer from being the defending national champs and seem really unflappable at this point.

Jimmer Fredette finally showed a weakness is his game.  Or maybe its that I watched a full BYU game for the first time, but Jimmer did not really help his team last night.  In my opinion, Fredette's offense consisted of taking the open shot, or, if the open shot wasn't there, passing it to a teammate. Now, don't get me wrong, that is what your supposed to do.  I understand that.  Yet what I am saying is that if Fredette didn't have the shot it appeared that he passed to the nearest teammate, rather than the guy with the best shot. Plus his shot selection could have been better.  I mean, c'mon Jimmer, if you're going to shoot it from 25 feet out you best make it.

Florida continues to surprise people.  It's interesting that I had a conversation the other day about OSU's particularly unimpressive nonconference schedule.  Yet that road win against the Gators is looking that much more impressive.  Could we see a reverse repeat of 2007(where OSU and UF played in the regular season and then again in the championship)? I am all for it, as long as the Buckeyes are the ones cutting down the nets this time.

So, with all the craziness going on last night, who among the remaining four has the most to worry about?  Surprise, surprise, I am going to say Kansas.  On paper, the Jayhawks are supposed to have the easiest road.  Yet that's why the games are played on the hardcourt.

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