Thursday, March 26, 2009

Taking A Look At The Sweet 16, Day 1

I for one could not be more pumped for this year's Sweet 16! Say what you want about the first couple rounds of the tournament this year, but this Sweet 16 is chock full of juicy matchups that I can't wait to check out. And it appears as if 49er16 will be in and out at best for today's live blog and Mookie will be joining us at around the time for the 2nd set of games, which means that yours truly will most likely be doing the blogging work for the majority of the evening. Yes, the same yours truly is working off of 4.5 hours of sleep from the night before and any 30-minute catnap he has time for.

Now as far as what games I am getting, well, I've got 3 words for you. East and South. Yep, I've got both games from those regions (East on Thursday and South on Friday, obviously).

Now let's take a look of the games of the day, starting in the East Region.

In the early slot, we have got Pitt vs. Xavier. While it seems like it might be the donut of the day, with the way Pitt has been playing, I would not be so fast to crown this a 20-point blowout. Xavier has overachieved and Pitt has underachieved thus far as far as performance in the tournament goes (remember: Portland St. vs. Xavier was a lot of people's pick for big first round upsts). While I would not necessarily pick Xavier over Pitt, I think this one may end up being closer than a lot of people might think.

Staying in the East, we have, in my view (and I'll admit to being just a tad bit biased on this one), the game of the tournament thus far. It's the Villanova Wildcats vs. the Duke Blue Devils. What a game. And the irony of this match is all there. Gerald Henderson nearly went to Villanova, but instead he ended up "pitching a tent in Krzyzewskiville". This should be an exciting up and down and back and forth, extraordinary game that could very well come down to the last minute.

Moving over to the other featured region of the day, the West region being played at University of Phoenix Staduim. And given the location, literally anything can happen tonight when March Madness comes to Glendale. Opened on August 1, 2006, check out the list of dramatics this venue has already seen in its short history.
  • The Boise miracles at the 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
  • The Giants upsetting the then undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII
  • WVU upsetting OU in the 2008 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
  • The thrilling ending to the Texas-OSU 2009 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
  • The Cardinals winning their first playoff game since the age of the dinosaurs
  • The thrilling NFC title game between the Eagles and the Cardinals

So you know this place as seen the dramatics. And tonight we have a couple interesting games that could prove exciting. Purdue may be a Big 10 team but it is not out of the realm of possibilities that they can take out UConn tonight. They are definitley hot at hte right time and they seem to be that anamoly of a Big 10 team that can play the more up and down style (I'm yet to be sold on Sparty; we'll learn a lot about them tomorrow). Hummel is a flat out man beast for them and they could give the UConn Huskies and Hasheem Thabeet, all 9'8" of him, a run for his money.

And we've got Mizzou and Memphis in the later slot. Even though I did not have Memphis beating Maryland, I see Mizzou advancing to the Elite 8. I think this Memphis team, more so than others, benefitted from an easy schedule and are no where near the powerhouse that they were last year. They are a good team, no doubt about it, but I do not think that they will truly be up to the task against Missouri, their first real formidable opponent from a power school since the beginning of the year (sorry Twerps fans, but you failed to impress me as someone to be reckoned with in this tournament).

If AA has open threads, I will also be commenting there as well and leaving announcing quotes and so on and so forth. I am jacked for tonight. This one should be a blast.

FYI, for those not sure of what games you are getting, SSR has put together the coverage maps for today's games, and may I say, he did an excellent job in doing so.


  1. JFein, after Mookie leaves just have James Craven help you with the blog?

  2. I think Mookie is coming in late. Craven will most likely be doing Olbermann at around that time, anyway.

    /Realizes he worded the opposite of what he wanted to say.
    //Fixing now.


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