What a Saturday!
Just an unbelievable day of basketball on Saturday! It may have started started with two blowouts (thanks to Villanova and Duke), but it heated up in the evening play with high drama, and an unbelievable finish!
After all that, the pool leader remains the same, BobbySchmitt, who sits atop the standings at 41 points. He is followed closely by Dakin Bacon and David Wiz Stabb at 39 points, and then 6 players - Eduardo Carochio, Serenity Now, LLOM.org1, KarenL, Rocket John, and Powerspeed -- at 38 points. Sunday's games are worth 2 points each, just like Saturday, so look for more movement as we reach the Sweet 16.
And a freshman shall lead them...
The night finished with a ridiculous finish to the Michigan-Houston game, as Houston looked like they had the game locked. Up by two in the closing seconds after a Michigan foul, they miss the free throw to give Michigan the ball with 3 seconds left. The Wolverines rushed the ball up the court, and freshman Jordon Poole (no, not the director of "Get Out," that's Jordan Peele, silly) hit an off-balanced, long-distance 3-pointer at the buzzer for the win. A great game, and sorry to see Houston's Rob Gray go out (he's a terrific player, despite the man bun).
Sister Jean makes the call
The Loyola Chicago vs. Tennessee game was unbelievable, as the Vols came storming back from down 10 in the final minutes to actually pull ahead by 1. But then Loyola's Clayton Custer got one of the most incredible bounces ever to give the Ramblers the win on the final possession. Turns out he had some help, as "Sister Jean," the 98-year-old nun and Ramblers' team chaplain, had picked them to advance to the Sweet 16 on her bracket. Where they go from here is in other hands, as Sister Jean has them bowing out in the Sweet 16. You can't make this stuff up, folks, and you wouldn't believe me if I did. I just embrace the Madness, but Loyola is a great story.
Duke vs. Hurley
One of my favorite pool participants (just kidding, you're ALL my favorites) Emailed me a question today: "Hey Jabin. So....when Bobby Hurley's brother's team plays Coach K's team, who do WF grads root for?" I acted like I was insulted by the question - the obvious answer is I cheer against Duke -- but as the game progressed a delicious bit of irony transpired. As Duke was making a big run late in the first half, there was a 50-50 ball that both players had a right to go for. There was contact, and I actually thought the Duke player could have been called for a foul. But the Rhode Island player was whistled, and Coach Danny Hurley of the Rams was incredulous. I could read his lips as he stared down the ref: "That's unbelievable, man. You should be ashamed!," he said. It was just another in an endless line of Duke getting calls (see every previous rant in my pool), but to have it negatively impact a member of the Hurley family was sort of ironic. And a small part of me (that I'm not particularly proud of) found it funny. But Danny Hurley seems like a great coach. Nice moment at the end when he took out his seniors.
People who know ... know BDO.
Does anyone know what exactly BDO does? Their commercials and corporate cliché-speak are a little scary. They call themselves “Accountants and Advisors,” but why do I get the feeling that for the right price, they’d kill a guy? “Now, Mr. Johnson, we feel for maximum organizational optimization, Mr. Peterson should receive our Platinum Elimination package. Now would you like the no-pain option with that?”
I can't be that old, can I?
Many years ago, I was a sportswriter and covered high school basketball in Winston-Salem, NC, where I went to college. I remember in particular a skinny point guard at Reynolds High School named Ryan Odom, mostly because he was the son of a great Wake Forest coach, Dave Odom. He went on to play college ball at Hampden-Sydney before moving into coaching college ball, including seven years as an assistant at Virginia Tech. You might know him now as the head coach at UMBC, which pulled off what many are saying is the biggest upset in tournament history on Friday night over Virginia. Seems like just yesterday (and some math just shouldn't be done).
- Have Charles, Spike, and Samuel L. Jackson jumped the shark? As funny as these 3 are together in their Capital One commercials, this bit may have been played. I think it's the writing.
- Speaking of things that have played out, I think we can just about call it on "Dilly Dilly," don't you, Bud Light?
- Kentucky scares me a bit. They looked to be peaking coming into the tourney after their SEC Tournament win, and they really had it rolling in the second half Saturday against Buffalo.They get the winner of Sunday's UMBC/K-State matchup in the Sweet 16. Nothing against K-State, but I'd be pretty pumped for a Kentucky-UMBC matchup.
OK, so that's it for Saturday. We are now down to 24 teams, and will get to the Sweet 16 by the end of Sunday's play. To quote the great philosopher Flounder from "Animal House,: "Oh boy, is this great?" Complete standings are updated and available on the site here.