Tag:What we learned
Posted on: March 23, 2008 11:55 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2008 12:21 am

What we learned on Sunday & Ranking the Sweet 16

Things we learned on Sunday:

  1. North Carolina is the nation's best team. There is no doubt after the way they dismantled Arkansas on Sunday. The Razorbacks are a decent team that would have given every other team in this tournament problems. How do I know that? Well that's simple, let's us look at some of the other best teams in the tournament. UCLA had problems with Texas A&M,  a mediocre Aggies squad that is on the same level as Arkansas. Memphis had problems with Mississippi State, the only team that finished ahead of Arkansas in the SEC West but was not consistently better than Arkansas. Kansas? Well so far they look invicinble as well. I can't say anything bad about the Jayhawks.
  2. Wow UCLA has an easy road. I believe I harped on this last night as well. If West Virgnia knocks off Xavier then the highest seed they will have played on their way to the Final Four will be a 7 seed. That means a 16, 9, 12, and 7 to get to the Final Four. Meanwhile North Carolina is taking on 16, 9, 4, 2/3 on their way. Even if Xavier knocks off WVU their road will not be anything close to the Tar Heels. Washington State is clearly the best 4 seed in this bracket and Louisville and Tennessee are clearly the top 2 and 3 seeds in this tournament as well. North Carolina has a tough tough road to a national title. A potential game against Kansas in the FInal Four and then whoever makes the title game. Is it too much for them to overcome? By the way my national title game pick was North Carolina-UCLA.
  3. Stephen Curry is the best player in the tournament (or at least the hottest right now). I was not one of the millions of people who ignored Davidson's fantastic season all year. Stephen Curry is amazing. I already knew that. I already knew Davidson was one of the nation's best 16 teams. How about the coaching for the Wildcats? Knowing that they weren't going to be challenged at all in their conference (they were undefeated in regular season and conference tournament play) they went out and played some of the nation's toughest teams to begin the season. How did it pay off? Being ready for tough games against Gonzaga and Georgetown in a four day span and knocking them both off. Now they get Wisconsin, and don't be surprised if Davidson is playing in a regional final next week.
  4. Villanova makes me second guess myself. I had the Wildcats in my Sweet 16 before watching Clemson's ACC Tournament highlights a few more times and deciding that the Wildcats were just way too inconsistent for my liking. Nova didn't do anything too impressive to make the Sweet 16 (let's be honest Clemson was overrated and Siena was just red hot against Vanderbilt) but they did earn it by beating two teams that clearly were good enough to play in this tournament and win a few games. Now they get Kansas. If they can knock off the Jayhawks then Scottie Reynolds will have to do something extraordinary. I don't see it happening.
  5. This tournament is going to get crazier. I expect Kansas and UCLA to reach the Elite Eight but Memphis and North Carolina will have trouble.

Ranking the Sweet 16
1. North Carolina
2. Kansas
4. Memphis
5. Tennessee
6. Texas
7. Louisville
8. Washington State
9. Stanford
10. Wisconsin
11. Davidson
12. Michigan State
13. West Virginia
14. Xavier
15. Villanova
16. Western Kentucky

My Title Odds:
UCLA (3/1)
North Carolina (5/1)
Kansas (5/1)
Memphis (7/1)
Tennessee (9/1)
Texas (9/1)
Louisville (9/1)
Stanford (12/1)
Wisconsin (12/1)
Michigan State (15/1)
Washington State (15/1)
West Virginia (20/1)
Xavier (20/1)
Davidson (30/1)
Villanova (50/1)
Western Kentucky (80/1)

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 23, 2008 12:18 am
Edited on: March 23, 2008 1:31 am

What we learned on Saturday

I finally decided I could be patient with the dialup down here because things did go a little better today. I did finally get an antenna so I can pick up CBS through the air so I was able to watch every game today.  Here's what we learned on Saturday.

  1. UCLA is not as good as we thought they would be. I'm not saying the Bruins won't win the national championship but a team like Texas A&M (slow, without a whole lot of scorers or big time athletes) was able to expose their weaknesses. UCLA has to develop a third scorer because right now Kevin Love and Darren Collison are the only two players they can rely on. Their next game versus the Western Kentucky/San Diego winner will likely be a cakewalk (Cinderella runs tend to end after the Sweet 16) but their next game will be a lot more interesting (against Xavier/West Virginia). Right now it looks like UCLA will cakewalk to the Final Four and if West Virginia knocks off Xavier they won't have to play a team seeded higher than 7 to get there.
  2. Wisconsin can play with a team that appears to be more physical than them and they showed us by dominating Michael Beasley, Bill Walker, and Kansas State on Saturday. The Badgers played their game and tempo and in the process took the younger, less experienced Wilcats out of their gameplan.
  3. Live by the three, die by the three. First Duke fell based on this concept, going ice cold from behind the three point stripe. Then Notre Dame followed suit against Washington State just hours later. Luke Harangody couldn't even save the Irish and Duke relies on the three pointer more than anything do the lack of a big man. Coach K might want to get him a big man for next season (although I'm guessing he's probably already got one signed, just can't look it up on this dialup).
  4. Stanford is one of the nation's best teams. Before you start saying but wait if Brook Lopez's "miracle" shot doesn't fall then the Cardinal are at home right now listen to what I'm saying. Stanford is unselfish and they know that the Lopez brothers will take them as far as they go this season. Brook carried them, getting the ball on something like ten straight possessions down the stretch. If the Cardinal continue doing this then it will be tough for any team they could meet until the Final Four to defend them. Texas. Memphis,. and Michigan State (as well as Miami & MIssissippi State) all lack dominate big men. Make a note though, if the Bulldogs win then Vernado versus Lopez would be one of the best individual matchups of the season.
  5. And finally at last Kansas can play at any tempo. The Jayhawks played UNLV's game for almost 35 minutes before pulling away late. This puts the Jayhawks in a group of four teams in the country that I believe can play in any tempo. Those four teams are North Carolina, UCLA, Texas, and Kansas. Those four are my FInal Four teams.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 21, 2008 12:41 am
Edited on: March 21, 2008 1:03 am

What we learned on Thursday (Day 1- Tournament)

What we learned on Thursday:
1) This year's crop of mid major teams is not very good. Winthrop, George Mason, Kent State and others all fell easily. The only competitive lower seeds were Kansas State (they won), Kentucky, and Georgia; all teams from major conferences.
  • 2) Belmont is very good and Duke is very very very (did I say very?) lucky. If the Blue Devils want to get by West Virginia they better learn how to play defense because the Bruins got into the paint whenever they wanted to.
  • 3) This year's 16 seeds might be the worst ever. Neither Portland State or Mississippi Valley State let us believe for one second of the 40 minute game that they could hang with Kansas or UCLA.
  • 4) Saturday's best game might just be Notre Dame-Washington State. Both teams played well on Thursday and proved whoever wins can give North Carolina problems (assuming North Carolina wins their first two games).
  • 5) Baylor and Temple were not ready to play today. I don't know why but both got blown out. Baylor never was in the game against Purdue and it was pretty much the same case for the Owls after Michigan State made a huge run.

What to watch for on Friday:

  • Will there finally be an upset or will the top seeds continue to roll? Top seeds were 14-2 on Thursday.
  • No team seeded 5 or higher has lot a game yet. Will that change on Friday with a monumental upset? We'd all like to see that.
Category: NCAAB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com