Five Observations From Tourney Weekend

Featured, Sports and Bets — March 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm by

The field is now down to sixteen after a weekend full of OTs, upsets, and heartbreak, and after four days of sitting on a couch surrounded by cases of Budweiser and boxes of fried and cheesy foods, you probably need a break.  I don’t know about you, but I pretty much got my teeth kicked in while gambling on these gems, and whatever ref called a gazillion technical fouls on the Oregon Ducks and gave Wisconsin 100 foul shots with 0.6 seconds owes me a damn explanation in the least and some cash if my paranoid thoughts of a fix come to fruition in my bent reality.   Regardless of my losings, at least the games were damn entertaining and we’ve got plenty of action remaining.  Here are some more thoughts from this weekend.

1.  Are the Mid-Majors better, or Are The Majors Just Worse?

Everyone keeps spouting off on how the mid-majors are just better these days and they point to all the upsets to prove this point.  But only one mid major is in the Sweet 16 and that’s Chode’s darlings, the Dayton Flyers.  Otherwise, everyone else remaining, low seed or not, is in a major conference.  Wichita State, the mid-major who made the Final Four last year and clicked of 35 straight this year, got beat by the NBA developmental squad otherwise known as Kentucky in an instant classic yesterday.  There were plenty of early round upsets, the aforementioned Dayton over Ohio State and then Syracuse, and Mercer beating a woefully soft Duke team, but what does that really mean?  I really don’t think these mid majors are better than in those bygone decades, they still aren’t ripe with NBA talent, they just are able to beat bigger schools who have depleted rosters and lack cohesion because all the super stars and big talents leave earlier these days. Would that same Mercer team beat any Duke team from the 80’s, 90’s or early 2000’s?  No way.  And that’s because those Duke teams played together for years and their stars stayed in school.  Believe it, playing together for a long time means something, and in the big schools the core of talent stays together less and less.   When was the last time a truly great and dynastic team won the NCAA tourney?  It has been a while.

Mercer interview dance

2. Was The Kentucky/ Wichita State game the best game of the year so far?

Definitely.  If these teams play 10 times they probably split, 5-5. Even though Wichita State is an aforementioned mid major, they have legit written all over them.  The Final Four last year and a bit of a win streak this year earned them a number one seed in the tournament’s toughest bracket.  The back and forth with an ubertalented and pre season number one Kentucky team was an instant classic.  Cleanthony Early is a fuckin’ baller and he almost singlehandedly willed the Shockers to victory, but they fell just a missed 3 short of advancing.  Meanwhile, Kentucky has been playing good ball and poses a big threat to Louisville this weekend.  The media had this portrayed as a good guys vs bad guys matchup.  The team first, mid major, against the one and done soon to be NBA team.  The bad guys won in a sick, sick game.

3.  Refs are Always Shady When You Gamble.

Did you have George Washington getting four against Memphis?  Did you enjoy watching the refs put 0.4 seconds on the clock and giving Memphis two foul shots?  Of course Memphis hit them to cover the number, winning by five.  Did you have Oregon plus six?  Did you love the foul call with 0.6 seconds left?  How about the technical?  Did you love watching Wisconsin drain foul shots to destroy the spread and send you to the loss column.  Fucking anger.  I can’t remember being more furious at a sports bet than I was at the Oregon/Wisconsin game.  Who calls fouls with the game in hand?  Who fucking does that?   AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

4. Why do Cinderellas Usually Get Pummeled in the Next Round?

SFA.  North Dakota State.  Mercer.  All got annihilated in the round of 32.  Mercer beats Duke and then suddenly can’t throw the ball into the ocean against Tennessee.  What gives?  Exhaustion?  Falling back to earth?  I mean, SFA, NDSU, and Mercer  didn’t stand a goddamn chance in the second round.  It just proves our previous point, the mid majors aren’t better than they used to be, if they were, three or four of them would be in the Sweet 16, not just one.  Once in a lifetime is once in a lifetime for most of these little schools.  It’s hard to get inspired night after night, especially after these teams put so much effort into winning just one game.  It’s like when Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson and Douglas had drawn inspiration from his mother’s sudden and tragic death.  Douglas’ career would tank after his moment of Tyson knockout glory.  His mom could only die once.

5. The ACC Blows

With the exception of Virginia, who played two shitty teams to advance, the ACC is gone.  UNC couldn’t get it done against Iowa State even with the Cyclones’ best player hurt.  Duke got beat by Mercer.  Mercer.  Hahahahahahahahahaha.  NC State couldn’t hit free throws and lost in overtime, Cuse lost to Dayton, and Pitt got shit on by the Florida Gators.  Ugly.  As a Maryland fan, it’s really depressing to think that we could only muster 17 wins while playing in this crappy conference.  Oh well, on to the Big 10 for us and the Sweet 16 for the Cavs.  For some reason I’m rooting for them.




One Comment

  1. ACC was horrible. Good luck to MD in the Big Ten next year. Football season should be fun.

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