2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Early Thoughts

March 19, 2010

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I am able to get moderate reception in the radio at my desk and am able to tune into the NCAA basketball tournament.  I managed to listen to some chunks of the tournament during the day and caught some footage on CBS last night.

Early thoughts from the tournament:

Georgetown must be the most hated team in the tournament this year.  The Hoyas put some stress on the majority of brackets across the country.  There are a few happy people, though – those who picked Tennessee (or, um, Ohio) to push into the sweet 16.

Villanova nearly became the villain ‘o the brackets.  The Wildcats had their hands full with Robert Morris on Thursday.  Some analysts feel that there were several questionable fouls against Robert Morris in the game – and these calls were critical, as the game ended up being decided in overtime.

The tournament started out with a bang.  The initial three games were incredibly tight.  The first game to go final was #11 seed Old Dominion beating 6 seeded NotreDame 51-50.  This ended up being the blowout of the trio, with the next two games forcing overtime.  BYU escaped Billy Donovan’s 10 seeded Florida team in two overtimes, and 15 seed Robert Morris came up just short in overtime against #2 seed Villanova.

Upsets were the order of the day, including #10 Saint Marys, #11 Old Dominion, #13 Murray State, and #14 Ohio.  Only one #12 seed was in action (UTEP losing to Butler), so there’s still a good chance that a #12 will pick up a win (they usually do).

Only 5 of the 16 games were decided by 10 or more points.  Two of these were #1 vs. #16 mismatches, and one was actually #14 seed Ohio’s win against Georgetown.  Hopefully the rest of the weekend’s games will be just as good.

My favorite game of the day was #9 Northern Iowa’s 69-66 win over #8 seeded UNLV.  I grew up about 50 miles from the UNI campus, and I cheer for them any time they aren’t playing my Iowa State team.  UNI won the game on a long, long bomb by Ali Farokhmanesh.  Ali Farokhmanesh is the son of an Iranian immigrant, Dr. Mashallah Farokhmanesh.   Ali’s mother (Cindy Fredrick) is the head volleyball coach at Luther College after stints at Washington State University and the University of Iowa. Dr. Mashallah Farokhmanesh continues to serve as assistant coach to his wife, as he has throughout their coaching careers.

The conference that laid the biggest egg on day 1 was the Big East.  The conference, which at a hulking 16 teams, is indeed big, placed 8 teams into the conference, including 5 teams amongst the top 4 seeds (#1 Syracuse, #2s Villanova and West Virginia, #3s Pitt and Georgetown).   Big East teams were 1-3 on the day.  Georgetown, Notre Dame, Marquette were all upset.  Villanova’s escape against Robert Morris was the BEST showing for the conference.  Ack.

What are my upset specials for day 2?  #13 Siena over #4 Purdue (playing without star Robbie Hummel), #12 Cornell over #5 Temple (this game may be over by the time you read this), #12 Utah State over #5 Texas A&M, #11 Minnesota over #6 Pitt.  And my sweet surprises?  Siena and Murray State (yep, I had Racers in the Sweet 16 on my official bracket).

What are your favorite moments about the tournament so far?

One Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Martin Kelly
    Mar 19, 2010 @ 23:33:10

    All I have so far is sadness. My Texas Longhorns have continued their collapse after starting 17-0. The only good news for me is that I picked them to lose in the second round anyway. With so many young talented players, I have a lot of hope for next year.


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