Awesome first day. Kentucky rolled; they looked great. Tennessee got through a tough first round matchup with San Diego State. Vandy and Florida played in highly competitive games and lost heartbreakers. Still I thought both teams represented the conference well. The Big East looks overrated. Ohio dominated Georgetown. Washington, after the whole Pac 10 has been roasted by the national media, beat Marquette late. Villanova barely survived 15th seeded Robert Morris in overtime, though Robert Morris was a quality team. Kansas won, though I'm just not totally sold on them. I picked them to win it all, but I don't love'em. I think they can possibly get beaten by somebody. Tennessee, Ohio State or one of these underdog teams.
The Northern Iowa-UNLV game was a classic with Northern Iowa winning in the last seconds. I love that team; disciplined, hard-working, skilled–they can really shoot the ball. The winning shot was a 28-footer. It was awesome. I was also very impressed with Brigham Young, who beat Florida in overtime. Like Northern Iowa, BYU played confidently and relentlessly. I love these disciplined, smart teams that play their hearts out and are highly skilled. Florida played well, too, though they had a chance to win at the buzzer in regulation and in the first overtime, but couldn't get their shots to fall. Chandler Parsons took the shot at the end of regulation and it hit off the back iron. I still like that guy taking a shot late in the game. He's a clutch player, it just didn't fall for him yesterday. Couldn't remember who took the shot in overtime. If Florida has everybody come back next year, they could be a very good team. They've got good talent.
Felt bad for Vandy. They played their hearts out. Just couldn't get on that Murray State guy at the buzzer when he made a 15-footer to win it, 66-65. That was very, very tough for the 'Dores.
But I like Ky's chances and I think UT has a chance to advance further. But UT plays Ohio on Sat. at 2:30 and that will be a tough game for them. Ohio is for real. Ky plays Wake Forest on Saturday at 7:20. Those games will be on CBS. UT could have a real tough time with Ohio. Ky should be all right though I'm not going to guarantee it. If the the first day is any indication, there are going to be some surprises in this tourney. I thought, and a lot of people thought, that this tourney was top heavy with the top seeds in good shape to go a long way. But it hasn't turned out that way. These mid-major teams are playing their hearts out and are talented teams. Expect some more upsets this weekend.
Another great day in the tourney today. Duke plays, Syracuse plays, West Virginia plays, and others. A key game to watch is an 8:45 matchup between Cal-Louisville. I think that could be a great game that comes down to the end. I think Cal and Washington are good teams. People trashed the PAC-10, but these two teams are quality. Cal could knock off the 'Ville, though Cal is the lower seed. The Big East is showing signs that they're not as good as people thought they were. Still think West Virginia can go a long way.
Some sportswriters were discussing yesterday that if they had a choice, which event would they rather watch, the first two days of the NCAA tourney or events like the Super Bowl, the final day of a golf Major, the National Championship game in college football or game six or seven of the World Series. That's a tough call. Personally, I love these two days. I'd put them at the top of my list of favorite sporting events, maybe my favorite. Luckily, we don't have to make that choice of which event to watch; they don't conflict. We can enjoy all of those events autonomously. This is a blast and if the first day is a sign of how good this tournament is going to be, it should be special.