Thursday, March 15, 2007

No tournament upsets so far

Observations on Thursday afternoon’s NCAA tournament games:

- Looks like Stanford – one of the most-criticized at-large selections - didn’t belong in the NCAA tournament after all. Louisville crushed Stanford 78-58. Incidentally, Louisville finished strong, winning 18 of its last 23 in the regular season after a 6-4 start, and might not be finished making an impact in this tournament.

- Passing through a hallway during the interminable, 20-minute halftime of Texas Tech’s game with Boston College, coach Bob Knight stopped for a chat with former Georgetown coach John Thompson, who’s doing radio analysis for the tournament. That’s why the former coaches and players get these big analyst jobs. Thompson can go back on the air and report what Knight told him. Knight doesn’t stop to talk to the average reporter at halftime.

- Nice start for the ACC, which got seven teams into the NCAA tournament and was disappointed when Florida State didn’t get in. Maryland (vs. Davidson) and Boston College (vs. Texas Tech) survived early afternoon games against dangerous opponents.

- Davidson has nothing to be ashamed of after losing 82-70 to Maryland. The Terrapins were 5-0 against Duke, N.C. State and North Carolina.

- There were no big upsets in the early games. So far, it looks like the selection committee did a good job seeding the tournament.

- Butler’s No. 5 seed was heavily criticized because of its late-season struggles. But it proved it deserved the seed with a strong performance against another top mid-major, Old Dominion.

- Georgetown already has one of the best front lines in college basketball with Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert. If guard Jessie Sapp plays the way he did Thursday (a career-high 20 points, 8-for-10 from the field), it won’t be easy to keep the Hoyas out of the Final Four.

- Wins by Boston College and Georgetown on Thursday set up a meeting between former Big East foes for Saturday in Winston-Salem. Some Big East coaches were angry when Boston College left for the ACC two years ago, but Georgetown’s John Thompson III wasn’t one of them. "With that whole situation, I kind of left that up to our president and our administrators," he said. – Ken Tysiac