NCAA Preview, Round 2
Recapping the First Round, we see strong teams, weak teams, and the most amorphous collection of middle teams ever. Every number 7 seed lost to the number 10, every 8 lost to the 9. This is an unprecedented failure of seeding and it was pretty near impossible to predict.
That said, I didn't do a bad job on the first round games. My overall record was an uninspiring 22-10. But if we narrow things to the 16 seeded teams, I got every game right. Not that getting the Duke-Fla. A&M game right was a demonstration of insight, but I daresay I was the only predictor who found the only two teams in the top sixteen to lose, North Carolina and Arizona. Let's look at the regions:
I knew I didn't want to have Wisconsin, I couldn't imagine that they'd go so dead as to hold the SW Missouri to 43 points and not be in the game!
Surprise team: Tulsa
Rising Stock: Cincinnati
I had this region pretty wired, going 7-1, the only loser being Louisville, which blew a 13 point second half lead.
Surprise: Creighton -- where did that second-half defense come from?
Rising: Indiana --108 points is a lot of points in the NBA
Declining: No one, the top teams were very efficient
Szczerbiak was very healthy and Miami won a squeaker. UNCC edged RI in OT; I said I loved Harrick as a dog, unfortunately he was a slight favorite. Oh well.
Surprise: Oklahoma (although not to me)
Declining: Pac 10 Conference (1-3)
Penn blew a double digit second half lead, rerunning their debacle against Princeton. Kenny Thomas was 100% and UNM won the squeaker vs. Missouri.
Surprise: Weber St.
Duke over Tulsa, Miami over Purdue, both easily
Cincinnatti shouldn't have much trouble with Temple
Tennessee over SW Missouri : this may be ugly
Auburn over Oklahoma State: not this round, but the clock is ticking on the Tigers
Maryland over Creighton: too much talent for Terps
St. John's over Indiana: Grant and Thornton are healthy, this should be the best game of the day
Ohio St. over Detroit: they beat UCLA, they have a story for the grandkids
Michigan St. over Mississippi: have to respect SEC, 6-0 in first round, but MSU has talent edge
Utah over Miami, OH: he carried them this far, but it's tough to do it again 48 hours later
Kentucky over Kansas: mighty classy battle for second round
Oklahoma over UNCC: it's a tossup, let's give Cinderalla the call
Uconn over New Mexico: on a mission, next game may be tougher
Stanford over Gonzaga: not happy about either of their games Thursday; Stanford struggled against Alcorn, Gonzaga let a team shredded by suspensions back in the game, Cardinal has the class edge
Florida over Weber St: classy performance by Florida's kids vs Penn, great win by Weber vs NC
Arkansas over Iowa: Tom Davis never wins a second round game, but it should be entertaining
Bonus selection: Lennox Lewis over Evander Holyfield
He's been attacked for having no heart and beating no one, but I think it's time for Evander to lose. Remember, Riddick Bowe ducked this guy, lost to him in the amateurs, and Bowe beat Evander two of three (and I thought it was three of three).