By the way - you can view my bracket here if you’re curious: http://games.espn.go.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/en/entry?entryID=111199
The long-anticipated day one of the 2012 NCAA Tournament didn’t disappoint one bit. We saw our fair share of upsets and close finishes. We did, however, go without a buzzer-beater, something that makes or breaks thousands of brackets in just one flick of the wrist.
Several favorites, like Wichita State and UNLV, lost their rhythm right in the middle of the game, and made comebacks right at the end of the game but failed to win. Others, such as Syracuse, averted disaster in the form of an embarrassing upset. Speaking of which, I’m still angry about the out-of-bounds call that went against UNC Asheville. The lane violation that was previously called was valid, but handing Syracuse the game was unforgivable. It seemed as if the referees didn’t want to see a 16-seed upset a 1. At the end of the day, however, I was happy with all the high seeds I picked to go far, happy with #RacerNation and Kansas State, and furious once again with Shaka Smart for handing me yet another incorrect selection.
All day I was on the edge of my couch, barking at the TV and confusing my mother, who was wondering why I cared so much, and why my plate still wasn’t in the sink. Ah, it’s truly March.
I hope you didn’t have your bracket busted today, I can proudly say all my Sweet 16 teams are still in the field. If it was, however, don’t sweat, because there is still a whole day to come tomorrow that’s sure to be full of thrillers and upsets.
What to Watch For:
#6 Cincinnati vs. #11 Texas - 12:15PM, CBS - Get your lazy self out of bed and watch this game. Texas is a bit under-seeded this year, but they face a Cincinnati team that knocked off Syracuse and Georgetown (1 and 3 seeds respectively in the tournament) en route to the Big East final. Watch the Cincinnati defense work against a freshman-heavy Longhorns squad lead by Junior J’Covan Brown. That’s a great name. Should be a good game.
#6 San Diego State vs. #11 NC State - 12:45, TruTV - Another great 6-11 game. This one features a NC State team that was one charge call away from potentially knocking off North Carolina in the ACC tournament. Many pick them to upset SDSU, but you can’t count out the Aztecs, who are ranked 26th in the nation and rebound well.
#7 Florida vs. #10 Virginia - 2:10, TNT - It seems as if half of the people I hear and talk to pick Florida, and half pick Virginia. Florida is well-tested and very strong, but Virginia boasts a strong record and plays in the always-competitive ACC. They both shoot 46% from the field, but Florida can light it up, scoring 76 points per game on average. Watch out for Kenny Boynton and Bradley Beal, they both shoot well from the outside for Florida.
#3 Georgetown vs. #14 Belmont - 3:15, TruTV - TruTV should get two great games, as I think this is an upset in the making. Belmont averages 81 points per game, and makes about 9 threes per game, so they have the offensive power to get by a big Hoyas team. They haven’t beaten anyone significant this year, but they are still itching for their first tournament win and it could come tomorrow. Remember, Georgetown has been making a habit of early exits recently.
#5 Temple vs. #12 South Florida - 9:50, TNT - In the second-to-last game of the day, USF’s firepower and Big East attitude will be countered by a strong team who can add beating Duke to their resume. It will be interesting to see if history repeats itself, and the victorious #12 seed in the first four is able to carry steam into the field of 64 and make a run.
Well, time to rest up for the games tomorrow. I’ll be back at the computer bright and early. Follow me on Twitter @KennyDucey for more thoughts on the tournament.