So I haven't written anything about the tournament, which is pretty lame considering this is a college basketball blog. But I was very busy going to the bar and watching games all day...which is not conducive to having a computer by your side to update your blog. Oh well. I won't attempt to make up for it by writing thoughts about every game, but here are some thoughts....
1.) After watching Western Kentucky play two excellent games that both came down to the wire, I began to wonder if Kevin Harlan was being paid each time he said the name "Mendez-Valdez." I understand that the kid had 2 INCREDIBLE games, hitting huge shots and making defensive plays whenever Western Kentucky needed it, but it was a LITTLE excessive...."Mendez-Valdez dribbling, Mendez-Valdez passes, Mendez-Valdez gets it back....Mendez-Valdez drives...Mendez-Valdez SCORES!!! TWENTY POINTS FOR MENDEZ-VALDEZ!!" I mean, seriously? Sometimes less is more buddy. Less is more.
2.) I'm sure despite the Big Ten getting 7 teams in the tournament, Digger Phelps will find a laundry list of reasons why the Big Ten is the worst conference in the world. Okay, listen. I'm not saying the Big Ten was the best conference this year. They weren't. I am not stupid enough to argue that. ALL I'm saying is that the Big Ten doesn't completely suck. Yes, it can get frustrating because it's a slow, grind-it-out style of play. I like offense too. But that doesn't mean these teams suck. The conference has wins over UCLA, Duke, Louisville, Texas, Kansas, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Davidson...and the list goes on. Of the 7 teams in the tournament, 3 lost in the first round (and you have to wonder if Chester Frazier was healthy if Illinois would have gone farther), 2 lost in the second and 2 made the Sweet 16. Not amazing, but not too bad. And everyone competed and gave the other team a solid run. Where's the SEC? Only 3 teams in, all out after the first weekend. And how about the Almighty ACC--only two of THEIR teams made the Sweet 16 too. And FURTHERMORE, for a conference that has trouble scoring against each other, they averaged as conference (from Michigan State all the way down to Indiana) 70.5 ppg against non-conference opponents during the regular season. No, they are not the best conference, but especially with all the coaches, give it 2 years and there will be the same discussions about the Big Ten that we're having about the Big East right now.
3.) Speaking of the Big East....How good are they?!?! So far 3 teams in the Elite 8 and possibly more after tonight. I think one of my favorite moments was watching Villanova completely dismantle Duke. Coach K gave that press conference earlier in the year about how the ACC was a superior conference...I realize you are going to be loyal to your conference and all, but....ouch. Must have burned a little bit to get your ass handed to you on a silver platter by an "inferior" Big East team. And the best part? It's wasn't even the BEST team in the conference! Villanova finished 4th or 5th this year, I think? Obviously, Villanova is still a great team, but if a team can punch you in the mouth that much and not win their conference, I think it's a testament to who the best conference really is.
4.) Villanova. Unreal. I picked them to get this far in my bracket, but then picked Pitt to beat them in the Elite 8. I kind of wish I could change my mind. Pitt has been winning, but struggling, and Villanova is making everyone they play look like chumps. Their game against American was scary for awhile, but they turned it on in that game and haven't turned it off. Talk about a team that's ready to play. Wow.
5.) You may be wondering why I haven't mentioned Michigan State. It's because I am too nervous to discuss it. Kansas is a tough match-up and yes, we beat them in January, but....they're a different team now. So are we...but I want them to win so badly. I can't take it.
That is all.