Friday, March 27, 2009
Taking A Look At The Sweet 16, Day 2
Yesterday was a fun day of college basketball, especially seeing as Villanova creamed Duke by 23 points. And today could be just as good. Why is that you ask? Because in the Midwest region, it's the one, the only, Gus Johnson calling the games! Too bad for me though that I am stuck in Memphis with Jim Nantz on the call for both games. And while he is improving, he's no Gus Johnson, that's for sure.
The first game of the first window today is Arizona and Louisville. Arizona is the only remaining double-digit seed, but very few are actually calling them Cinderella. In fact, many feel as if it should have been St. Mary's in this tournament and many may also feel that Arizona got a real lucky draw, having to play a weak 5-seed in Utah and then 13-seed Cleveland State in the 2nd round. This is definitley their big test, though, as all of a sudden they are playing the #1 overall ranked team, Louisville. I'm not sure if I really like Arizona's chances in this one, and in fact, this could easily turn into a Louisville blowout.
Tipping off 20-minutes in the first window is Syracuse and Oklahoma. This one is certainly intriguing as we've got the Orange, who have been nothing but exhillerating to watch over the past few weeks and have romped through the tourney's first couple of games. And then on the other side, it's Blake Griffin and the Oklahoma Sooners. If there is one thing that the Sooners cannot afford, it is to get their big man into foul trouble. If so, this could be a big day for the Cuse. If not, then I think this one will be a battle to the end.
Most likely starting off the second window (there's always the possibility that Arizona and Louisville go into double overtime and that sets things off a bit), is Kansas and Michigan State. And while Michigan State is not a bad team, watching them, I do not feel like I am watching a Final Four team. I believe that they were highly overrated to begin with and that Kansas could take it to them this game. But if there is one thing we know about Michigan State, and that is they won't go down without a fight under Tom Izzo. While I more than likely think this will be a KU blowout, if Sparty can hang around and keep it interesting, there could be some GuJo fireworks going off tonight.
And lastly tonight we have UNC and Gonzaga. It was in the Sweet 16 10 years ago that the Zags pulled the upset over Florida and in doing so, gave us one of the greatest calls in college basketball history from one Gus Johnson. Now they are in Memphis playing the #1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels with Jim Nantz on the call. Gonzaga has been criticized as being too soft and that North Carlolina will most likely wipe the floor with them. But, not so fast! Even though Ty Lawson is back, it is unclear as to whether or not he really is 100% percent and is an unhealthy Ty Lawson worse than no Ty Lawson at all? Does the slipper still fit for the Zags, 10 years later? A trip to the Elite 8 in this one that is chock full of good stuff to watch for.
I'm pumped for today's action and I hope you are too. Now I'm sure some of you what on earth about Duke I hate so much? Well, I'm pretty sure this post from Rush The Court with a video from the end of last night's Villanova-Duke game will answer any and all questions. (I can't seem to be able to just embed the video. RTC must put some non-embed security on it or something, if that's even possible).
Update: I'll be back tonight for another round of blogging at Keith's Sports Journal. And S2N also said that he is going to get a live blog going tonight. And maybe even an AA open thread! I'll be everywhere tonight!