March Madness: Day #5
The opening of round three of the NCAA tournament was both good and bad. It was good, in the sense that I am now in the lead in my group; it was bad in that half of my championship game is now gone. Memphis just could not put it together against Missouri. I don't know what happened, but that was not the same team that destroyed Maryland last weekend. I have to give it to Missouri, though; they played exceptionally. If you think Louisville's defense is tough, Missouri's is like a freaking rock wall. A rock wall that chases you at a ridiculous speed. I think they have a shot at taking the whole thing down if they continue to play at that level. Connecticut is going to have a tough game on Saturday.
I did, however, make one correct call that no one else in my group made. I had Duke losing to Villanova. I was pretty certain that they weren't going to be able to keep it together to get into the Elite 8, and I was right. I don't think Duke had the lead at all the whole game. Their outside shooters weren't hitting well, and they were unable to penetrate Villanova's defense on a regular basis, causing them to lose by over 20 points. It really shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone; they've been inconsistent all season.
Pittsburgh is scaring me. Though they continue to win, their margins are far too close for a championship team. I'm beginning to have my doubts that they will even make it to the final four, much less the big game. This is not the same team that was rocking the regular season. They continue to claw and escape defeat, but I think that's going to catch up to them soon. Of course, as long as they continue to win I don't care how bad they look.
UConn beat Purdue handily, which I expected. I'm wondering if they can handle Missouri, though. If Missouri continues to play like they did last night against Memphis, UConn is going to have to have a practically flawless game to stand a chance. UConn is ridiculously efficient from the free throw line, so they definitely have a chance of making up ground there if they need to.
In order to have a chance at winning this group, I need for Michigan State to beat Louisville. That will break everyone else's West/Midwest section of the final four. I have MSU in the final four, but losing to Memphis. Gonzaga beating UNC is probably also a necessity, as some people have them as winning the championship; I don't even have them in the final four. We'll see how things pan out tonight.