The Sweet 16 matchups are set and what a first weekend for the NCAA Tournament. Upsets, excitement, drama. This is one of the better tournaments that I can remember and I can’t wait until next weekend. Until then, here are my thoughts on Sunday
- Roy Hibbert sucks. He fouled out in just 16 minutes and scored just six points. In a game where he could have made such a difference, he didn’t even bother showing up. Well, Roy, that was your last game at the collegiate level and good luck to any team that takes a chance on him in the NBA.
- Tennessee looked better against a very good Butler team. But this Volunteer team can’t survive with Chris Lofton only scoring nine points.
- North Carolina and Louisville looked great. I want to see these two teams play in Charlotte in the Elite 8.
- Memphis really needs to learn how to hit free throws. It made that game against Mississippi State much closer than it should have been and it will cost them later in the tournament.
- A.J. Abrams helped Texas pulled out the win against upset-minded Miami. He poured in 26 points and now the Longhorns travel in-state to Houston for the next two rounds.
- I hate Villanova, but they somehow managed to get to the Sweet 16. They will hit a brick wall in the name of Kansas.
Here are some preliminary thoughts on the upcoming Sweet 16 matchups
- The best game of this day is Louisville and Tennessee. The Volunteers haven’t been playing that well and Louisville is coming off of a dominating win over Oklahoma. Game is in Charlotte, so most of the crowd will probably be wearing baby blue.
- Xavier and West Virginia is another great game. The Musketeers are a resilient bunch, but West Virginia seems to know how to get it done in March. Remember that Elite 8 run a couple years back?
- Davidson will need another great performance from Stephen Curry. This man can flat out play on the college level. But these Badgers force you to be patient and know what it takes to win. Can the Wildcats in the Midwest region keep roaring? That would require Davidson to beat Wisconsin and Villanova would have to beat Kansas? Not a chance.
- Stanford and Texas is the best game of this day. Another mismatch in styles. Texas is powered by great guards in D.J. Augustin and A.J. Abrams, while Stanford has one tree in its logo and two on the court. Texas has a little more inside presence though than Marquette with Damion James.
- Memphis better make its free throws against Michigan State otherwise than Spartans will pull off that upset.
Until then, I want revenge. The ‘Cuse host Massachusetts in the NIT Quarterfinals on Tuesday in the Dome. These two teams played earlier and the Minutemen embarrassed the Orange, putting up a Dome record 107 points. Here come the Orange….