Monday, March 19, 2007

Shocking Sunday?

1) Was the upset of 2 seed Wisconsin a shock? No, it was a little surprising Wisconsin did not advance out of the Chicago pod, but the team clearly did not play the same after the Brian Butch injury.

2) Was Texas losing to USC a shock? Let’s look at Texas vs the RPI Top 50:

Michigan St. defeats Texas 63-61
Tennessee defeats Texas 111-105 in overtime
Villanova defeats Texas 76-69
Texas A&M defeats Texas 100-82
Kansas defeats Texas 90-86
Kansas defeats Texas 88-84 in overtime

Texas lost a lot of games against the top 50 this year and only won two:

Texas defeats Arkansas 80-76
Texas defeats Texas A&M 98-96 in double overtime

So the fact that Texas lost in the Sweet Sixteen should not have come as a total shock. But, the final margin of victory was surprising.

USC defeats Texas 87-68

After so many dramatic games (including the Okahoma St. games), the NCAA viewer has to feel a little cheated that we did not get to enjoy some Durant magic one more time. I heard quite a few people claim that Texas was much better than a 4 seed, but what was hidden by Durant’s amazing offensive ability was the fact that the team had suspect defense and was too dependent on underclassmen at the other starting spots. (Sadly, no Ron Lewis on this team.) Regardless, there is no denying that Texas was fun to watch and that Texas will be missed as the tournament continues. Goodbye Durant, we hardly knew you.

3) What was the biggest shocker of the tournament? Every year since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, the ACC has put 2 teams in the Sweet Sixteen. But, with Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, Boston College, and Georgia Tech going down, the ACC sends only 1 team to the Sweet Sixteen this year.

ACC Teams in Sweet Sixteen By Year
1985 4
1986 4
1987 2
1988 2
1989 4
1990 4
1991 2
1992 4
1993 4
1994 2
1995 4
1996 2
1997 3
1998 3
1999 2
2000 2
2001 2
2002 2
2003 2
2004 3
2005 3
2006 2
2007 1

That was a truly amazing streak. (The best part of the streak ending is that I never have to hear Dick Vitale quote this stat again.) While some argued that this was the deepest ACC ever and that even Florida St. deserved a bid, the parity at least partly reflected the lack of dominant teams in the conference. The ACC is also near the bottom of the conference race:

7-2 SEC (3 Left)
7-3 Pac 10 (3 Left)
5-2 Big 12 (2 Left)
5-4 Big East (2 Left)
6-5 Big Ten (1 Left)
6-6 ACC (1 Left)
2-0 CUSA (1 Left)
2-1 MVC (1 Left)
2-1 MWC (1 Left)
2-1 Horizon (1 Left)

That’s it for today. If you are still basketball starved, you can always check out the NIT bracket where 3 ACC teams are still alive!