Five Things You Missed
The preseason No. 2 team finishes 35-5 and wins 16 in a row to close the season, culminating with a national championship. No dominant team in college basketball this year?
Tonight, the No. 1 overall seed takes on a team once ranked No. 1 and now playing its best basketball. On one side is Louisville, the favorite when the field was announced, trying to keep the national championship trophy in the state of Kentucky.
Even with limited drama—none of the regional finals were particularly thrilling—the NCAA Tournament is a wonderful thing, the perfect blend of fairness and unpredictability.
To measure the unpredictability of this year’s NCAA Tournament, consider two items that didn’t make this column: Gonzaga, a 32-win team on a 15-game win streak, didn’t survive the first weekend, and Harvard, a 14 seed, won its first ever Tournament game.
Yesterday was a relatively drama-free Selection Sunday. Joe Lunardi was a perfect 68 for 68, as Middle Tennessee State, St. Mary’s, Boise State, and La Salle claimed the final spots in the field. Louisville, Gonzaga, Kansas, and Indiana earned the top seeds.
The Big dance is right around the corner and teams are making strides towards being part of it. It all started this weekend with a buzzer beater, Kentucky barely holding on and Belmont joining the tourney. A wild weekend indeed!
One more team will join the big dance by the services of a popular tourney! The Metro Atlantic Athletic Tournament got under way and the stand out defense of the Rider stags kick started it in nice way! Along with other teams eliminated, important events you can’t miss!
Hoops fans, rejoice: it’s March! The madness was evident this past weekend, as several highly-anticipated matchups — Duke-Miami & Michigan-Michigan State, just to name two — went down to the final possession. The first poll of the month may provide yet another new No. 1. With several conference tournaments set to begin, this wild season is about to kick into an extra gear.
There wasn’t an abundance of wild finishes this weekend, but there were some incredible individual performances (see below). Memphis, mentioned in this week’s column, is one of five teams unbeaten in conference; another, Gonzaga, has won its last six games by an average of 24 points.
It may not have been a particularly memorable weekend, but there were exciting finishes across the country. Some of the teams mentioned below, as well as Gonzaga and Michigan State, continue to impress, while other contenders have looked shaky of late.
- Sports Author John Feinstein: “Other Than The Respect For The Golf I Don’t Know Why People Like Tiger”
- Louisville Star Luke Hancock: “We Have Some Pieces Coming Back Next Year…We’re Definitely Going To Be Back”
- ESPN’s Bruce Pearl Recaps Louisville and Michigan
- ESPN’s Jay Bilas: “Rick Pitino Is Definitely One Of The Best Coaches That’s Ever Walked The Sideline”
- Rising Star: Louisville Junior Luke Hancock