Thursday, March 17, 2011

On Clemson's Road, Free Attedance and Buzzer Beaters

Quick observations on the first full day of the NCAA basketball tournament:

-- The tournament committee needs to fix what it did to Clemson this year so that it doesn't happen again in the future. The Tigers got sent to a Dayton, Ohio play-in game (okay, they called it a first-round game but why does a 12 seed get that?), won that game and were rewarded with a noon game barely 36 hours later in Tampa against West Virginia.

If the committee is going to make a handful of teams play one extra game, at least st it up so they don't have to play a noon game after a 9 p.m. game two days earlier. The Tigers were late getting out Dayton and probably didn't have a whole lot of fun getting ready for West Virginia.

It just seems silly to do it hte way the committee did it.

-- There were a few thousand fans in Time Warner Cable Arena to watch both Duke and North Carolina practice today but it was a smaller crowd than many expected.

Obviously some people were still at work and others didn't want to make the drive in to watch a couple of 40-minute workouts. There was a time, though, when Duke nearly filled the Greensboro Coliseum for a pre-tournament workout and the Tar Heels did the same thing.

Given the $200-plus price of tickets, it's less of a surprise the building isn't sold out yet.

-- The tournament has an uncanny ability to produce compelling finishes. Before dinner time Thursday, there were already a couple of buzzer-beater finishes and at least one significant upset (Louisville).

It's why the first weekend of the tournament is the best weekend in many ways.

-- Ron Green Jr.

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