So, round 1 was a dud. But it makes us appreciate that none of this is staged, doesn’t it?
Virginia 84, Albany 57 [58 possessions]. In the first 7 vs. 15 game in history, the 7-seed wins easily. Considering what Connecticut went through last season, it’s an encouraging win for the Cavaliers.
UNLV 67, Georgia Tech 63 [59?]. Potential Final Four team goes down! For some reason I thought Will Bynum and BJ Elder were still around. Oh well, at least a couple others out publicly picked “Not Florida”, but yet made an intelligent selection. I’ll do better next year. How did this game end up so slow? I’ll tell you – crazy offensive rebounding on both ends. Both teams were able to grab over 50% of their own misses to cheat the shot clock and create multiple lengthy possessions. Useless trivia: Paul Hewitt’s substitutions equaled Georgia Tech’s possessions.
Memphis 73, North Texas 58 . A couple of teams that have toned down their running act this season, and it showed in this game which barely cracked an average pace. Interesting game of unknowns on Sunday. Nevada just played its first Pomeroy top 50 team since December 9th, and Memphis hasn’t played one since December 20th.
Winthrop 74, Notre Dame 64 . Harangody-mania will have to wait another year. Actually, Luke was awful, as a -20 in 16:46 will demonstrate. He sat for the Irish comeback as Mike Brey deployed the press, then returned for Winthrop’s final run.
Tennessee 121, Long Beach State 86 . In the first 6 vs. 16 game in history, the 6-seed wins easily. Hey committee, can we just go back to conventional seeding next season? Now we get the first ever 6 vs. 7 game in the second round.
Wisconsin 76, Texas A&M CC 63 . The Badgers gave the Islanders a 10-minute head start in this one. Now, we might be left with the impression that Wisconsin’s offense is struggling when they score 4 points in the first 10 minutes. But they did get their act together and salvage a mildly efficient game considering the opposition. This is the only dress rehearsal you get – time to start playing like a 2-seed.
Nevada 77, Creighton 71 (OT) . If this game didn’t end up close, we should have just called off the whole thing.
Oregon 58, Miami 56 . Ugh! The blackout game! It was entertaining! There was a half-court buzzer-beater at the end of the game! It didn’t matter! So the 2 and 3 in the Midwest looked rather weak and my supposedly undervalued 6 and 10 seeds bowed out. Things are looking nice for Florida, huh?
Virginia Tech 54, Illinois 52 . Hokies score final 12 points, with Deron Washington scoring eight of those and personally preventing an Illinois/SIU game, where I’m convinced negative scoring would have been possible.
Kansas 107, Niagara 67 [86!]. It’s getting late, but I think it really was an 86-possession game. Someone check my math. If so, it was easily the fastest of the season for both teams.
Purdue 72, Arizona 63 . And this is how Arizona’s season ends. Carl Landry was Carl Landry (21 and 13).
Texas 79, New Mexico St. 67 . Yeah, Durant was awesome. 27 points and his shooting rate was only 27%, so it’s not like it was all on his shoulders. His 16 FTA’s might be masking that, however. Now we get to see how Tim Floyd deals with him. I’m mildly excited.
Kentucky 67, Villanova 58 . Tubby Smith, fighting for his job, gives Dwight Perry his first career start. Perry had not played a full minute in the three games he had appeared in this season. Team is inspired to one of its most impressive W’s of the season. Tubby’s just crazy enough to do this against Kansas, also. He’s insane, insane like a fox.
Southern Illinois 61, Holy Cross 51 . More free throw attempts than 2-point attempts in this one. All told, a grand total of 32 made field goals.
Florida 112, Jackson State 69 . You wouldn’t know it by Florida’s OR% of 66.7 (5th best in a game between D-I’s this season), but this game was mildly suspenseful for about 12 minutes.
USC 77, Arkansas 60 . Probably what the 3rd place team in the Pac 10 should do to the 3rd place team in the SEC West, but I was surprised it wasn’t closer.