Ask and ye shall receive.
After an uneventful day 1, the shit exploded. Enter the DEMOLITION:
1) LEHIGH ‘TIL I DIE
I like it when Duke loses. I like it even more when Duke gets upset. I like it EVEN MORE when Duke goes out as a #2 seed in the first round (yes, FIRST ROUND) of the NCAA Tournament. You’re playing with lava-hot fire anytime you play a Patriot League team, but Duke ran into a Lehigh group that was game and KNEW that the Blue Devils weren’t anything to be intimidated by. Guys like EJ McCollum came out with a swagger, gesturing and jawing like he was Reggie Miller to Austin Rivers’s John Starks. Try as they might, no amount of Plumlee could save a team that was overrated from the get-go. Coach K looked all mad, all game long. In other breaking news, the alphabet begins with “A.”
2) THANKS, MIZZOURI
Prior to the Duke loss, the Missouri Tigers got outplayed in their own way. This was the bigger deal (particularly for those of us who had Missouri going long distance), because Mizzou had the hype and LOOKED to be legit. And hell, maybe they were, but the matchup wasn’t good. Norfolk State had the kryptonite, which came in the form of talented bigs. This loss pissed me off for what it did to my bracket, but I said to myself, “If Duke loses, too, then I’m cool…”
.. and it happened.
3) FLORIDA STATE SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYONE
The team that emerged as the justifiably trendy pick to go deep into the tournament was nearly one and done, thanks to the mighty St. Bonaventure. Talk about a region that could have looked remarkably different. Between this and the near-failure of the ‘Cuse, we almost had a clear path for Ohio State to New Orleans. Fortunately, it was not to be.
4) THE LANE VIOLATION. AGAIN.
This rule is idiotic. Notre Dame got hit with the same shit that hit our friends at UNC-Asheville. This one, however, was far more crucial, as it erased the Irish’s chance to tie the game up from the line. As soon as that ball leaves the hand of the shooter, guys should be able to go for it. It’s a massive gamble as it is because, if an off-lane player comes flying in and doesn’t get the board, his man is probably going to by wide open for an easy two at the other end. Instead, it’s another opportunity to get the whistles out… and that’s never a good thing.
5) THE ADS ARE A DAY WORSE
In no particular order:
- Greg Anthony and his March Monotony/Mildness/Whatever
- Charlie Sheen and Fiat
- Chevy/Spandau Ballet
- Anything with Pitbull
Slowly creeping in is the Jim Rome/CBS stuff, which we’ll see more of as the Turner stations get knocked off.
6) I MISS GUS
I really like Marv Albert and Steve Kerr. Same for Verne Lundquist and Bill Raferty. I don’t mind Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, and Reggie Miller. However, none of these men compare to Gus. There’s no other way to say this: no Gus Johnson for the NCAA Tournament is royally fucked up.
So, heading into the weekend, most of the heavyweights are still standing. However, the fact that two #2s are gone is significant, as it virtually assures that we’re going to get an Elite 8 that is a little weird. With the way some of these mid-majors look and how strong some of the top dogs don’t look, I don’t think we’re done with the surprises. Until next time…
– Wes Lilliman