Thursday, 22 March 2007

4 teams advance to Elite 8

Some quick thoughts:

- Great effort by Southern Illinois, and they did exactly what they had to do to stay in the game. They slowed things down, made it a halfcourt game, and got in the shorts of Kansas on every pass, dribble, and shot. In the end, Kansas was just a little too athletic for them off the dribble, but the Salukis have a great effort.

- Honestly, I'm not sure why every announcer was so confused at the refs taking 1.1 seconds off the clock. Seemed pretty clear to me that the ball bounced inbounds.

- After all of the clutch shots that Law made all season, who'da thought that his missed layup might have been the difference in the game? Shocking.

- Well the Tennessee/Ohio St. went how I thought for the most part, albeit in a manner that I didn't think. I thought Tennessee would pose a lot of problems for the Buckeyes, and they did, but I didn't quite think they'd have a 20 point lead at one point. Great job by the Buckeyes in the 2nd half to just continually get to the rim.

- I've been talking about how good Conley is even before it became popular to do so... but seriously, how good was he in this game? He got in some foul trouble, but he finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 1 turnover. Think about this... he's a true freshman with a suspect jumpshot, but I'm not so sure he isn't the best PG in America. He gets in the lane at will, he has unbelievable vision and is a great passer, and he extremely quick defensively. Last year I raved on and on about Marcus Williams... well, Conley's better. And he doesn't even have a jumpshot yet.

- UCLA... takin' care of business. Saturday's West Regional Final between Kansas and UCLA should be a heck of a game.

- In Non-Tourney news, the much maligned Tubby Smith is now the head coach of the Gophers. For proximity reasons, the Gophers are probably my 2nd favorite team after UCLA, and I couldn't be happier. Kentucky has struggled for the past couple of seasons, but consider some things:

1) 14 out of the past 16 Tournaments is pretty good.
2) He can win with his own players... from 2003-2005, Kentucky lost 12 regular season games.
3) He hasn't lost his touch recruiting. People forget, in 2004 Joe Crawford, Randolph Morris, and Rajon Rondo were all top 25 recruits. Things haven't worked out as well as hoped there, but he's getting good players.
4) Getting back to the Tournament within 2 years in Minnesota will be considered a success with what they have in the program right now... I think Tubby is certainly capable of that.