Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Madness Day 1 Recap

The first day of March Madness came and went and it went by with only one game that was worth watching, and one game that should have been if not for some awful officiating. The best game of the day was easily VCU-Wichita State which saw both teams trade baskets late. It also was the only game to go down to the last second, as Garrett Stutz of Wichita St missed a game-tying three. In other words, Shaka beat the Shockers. And while VCU might not go back to the Final Four, winning today will only make people believe that they are going back on that same run.

Something Stinks In Pittsburgh

Syracuse survived their matchup against UNC-Asheville and they can thank the men in stripes for that. The Bulldogs had a goaltending call and a lane violation go against them, but those are judgement calls. The worst came with 38.5 seconds left. Syracuse inbounds the ball and it goes out of bounds off Brandon Triche's hands. So, UNC-Asheville ball, right? Wrong, it goes back to the Orange. It's one thing if a foul was called, which could have been. If so, everyone would whine about UNC-Asheville getting a tough whistle and no one would care. By not call it a foul, and blatantly getting that call wrong, then the entire legitimacy of your officiating crew can be questioned and that's not something that should occur in a game like this. UNC-Asheville may not have won today, but they deserved a fair chance to go for it and they didn't get it. Disgraceful.

Defending Champs Bounced

UConn fell to Iowa State, ending their reign as National Champions. Expectations weren't high since this Huskies team overlooks opponents and did so tonight. Iowa State made a bunch of three's and though UConn fought back, they couldn't make it a game. Now, the future of the program is anyone's guess now that they are banned for the tourney in 2013.

Rest of the action:

The Big East had the worst day among the major conferences as West Virginia limp home after getting crushed by Gonzaga. The conference did get wins by Louisville and Marquette, joining Syracuse's win. The Mountain West also looked bad today as Colorado State and UNLV both lost, while New Mexico survived a scare against Long Beach State. UNLV was particularly dreadful as they chucked three's all night and allowed Colorado from the awful Pac-12 score a win. No other upsets occurred as Kentucky and Ohio State took care of business as 1 and 2 seeds respectively. Wisconsin and Vanderbilt set up their matchup with little fuss, while Baylor and Indiana didn't allow their games to get away from them. The other close game was Kansas State's win over Southern Miss, and that was because the Wildcats only had three guys score for them. They will need more to beat Syracuse, but I do think they are up for the task.

Just a reminder, I will be back to live blog the afternoon games once again tomorrow. Hopefully, we will have some better finishes (and the trend is Friday has good games after bad ones on Thursday). Although, without Gus Johnson, I can see the basketball gods as an angry sort and will dull the tourney so we can call it March Yawness.

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