1. Providence, 81, #1 Pittsburgh 73: If you saw this coming please raise your hand. Actually stand up, raise both hands, do the macarena, turn yourself around, and take a huge bow. And then go buy yourself something really nice, because you are either the luckiest gambler on earth, a descendent of the great Nostradamus, or you thought Providence was the "p" team with 1 beside its name.
In all seriousness what about what the Friars just did? Not only did they go from afterthought to potential at large berth winnner, but they also shook up the entire national championship picture. Maybe this is what it takes to beat the Panthers. A few hot shooters, a frustrated Dejuan Blair, and an ecstatic crowd. A lot of teams are throwing that formula together right now, and it probably won't work the majority of the time against one of the nation's most phyically gifted teams. Tonight it did though, and for Providence that's all that matters.
Is Providence in my field right now? I honestly can't say for sure since I haven't created my new field after tonight's games just yet, but I do think they are. And I know whar your thinking. Wait a minute Dan this team is 17-11 overall and you are putting them in the NCAA Tournament? Look closer. The Friars now have wins over #1 ranked Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and they swept Cincinnati. That pushes them above the Bearcats in the pecking order and puts them above Georgetown & Notre Dame at this point.
2. LSU is one of the most athletic teams in the country. Laugh when you see the Tigers in your team's bracket on Selection Sunday but be warned. This team is a matchup nightmare. They have the length of Tayshaun Prince everywhere and a player that can absolutely take over any game in a split second, Marcus Thornton.
3. Florida's loss pushes them farther towards the NCAA Tournament bubble. I keep asking for heart from bubble teams and aside from Providence, Maryland, and Arizona I've been let down. The Gators are probably still in at this juncture, but fourth best in the SEC East may not be good enough on Selection Sunday. You are reading it here first, so remember I said this. Do not be surprised if Florida makes a run over the next few games, including a deep SEC Tournament run. Billy Donovan has got the youngesters buying into his system and slowly but surely it will churn out some results.
4. Boston College looks safer and safer as every day goes by. The Eagles now have wins over North Carolina, Duke, and Florida State in ACC play, which should be more than enough to get them into the field barring a collapse. At this point I don't see how anyone can keep them out.
5. BYU put together a tremendous second half comeback against hungry San Diego State. For the Cougars it means the line for dance tickets is getting shorter. The Aztecs are about to get a "sold out" sign unless they do something spectacular or win the Mountain West Tournament.
6. Everybody seems to keep sleeping on Creighton, but don't be surprised if the Blue Jays sneak into the at large field ever so quietly on Selection Sunday if they lose in the Missouri Valley Tournament. The Blue Jays win over Missouri State pushed their overall record to an impressive 24-6.
7. The Texas A&M-Nebraska finish was the best of the night. Josh Carter hit a three at the buzzer to win the game for the Aggies, and keep alive their slim at large hopes in the process. Texas A&M is now 6-7 in conference play but still in need of big wins.
8. Baylor's hopes of reaching back to back NCAA Tournaments now relies on the Big 12 Tournament. Losing to Iowa State is unacceptable, especially when you barely have a pulse as it is.
9. I can't really say I've done my job unless I mention Ohio State's win over Penn State in tonight's first round of games. The Buckeyes jumped out to a quick lead before allowing the Nittany Lions to come back. Eventually Ohio State pulled away, enlarged its at large chances, and damaged Penn State's NCAA Tournament hopes all in one package.
10. One more thing I don't want to forget to mention is conference tournaments. On March 3rd the Big South & Ohio Valley tournaments start, so stay tuned for coverage of those on this blog. Radford will more than likely be the #1 seed in the Big South while the Ohio Valley race is still up in the air.
March Madness on Demand : This is one of the really cool features CBS has for us college basketball lovers during the NCAA Tournament. This season there are new features including High Quality live streaming video of the entire NCAA Tournament. I have used it in the past and I cannot wait to do so this year. Click the link and sign up!