ESPN is rather ga-ga over their new Bracket Buster Weekend, which is a good idea, but a horrible name. Some of these teams aren't even going to the Big Dance (Northern Iowa, Walking Like Panthers?) and some are going and should be Top 5 seeds in their region. How can a Top 5 team be a Bracket Buster? That's just stupid. Anyway, let's wrap up Saturday, shall we? Big news, probably a new #1 come Monday (Does the AP work on Presidents Day?)
I said that if Florida was going to lose in the regular season that it might happen in Vanderbilt. And it did. #1 Florida falls to unranked Vandy, 83-70. Vandy's backcourt of Byars and Foster each scored 24 points, shooting a combined 20-35. This is a dangerous backcourt tandem. I haven't seen much of Foster, but I know Byars is the kind of player that keeps coaches up nights--he slashes, he scores, and he's unselfish (8 assists in this game). Vanderbilt is close to 20 wins for the season, has knocked off the #1 team in the country, and has the second best record in the SEC. They'll get a good seed, and be a very dangerous team.
So with #2 Ohio State idle, say hello to your new #1, presuming that Wisconsin could somehow hold back the juggernaut that is Penn State Nittany Lions. They did. Easily. It was boring. #3 Wisconsin crushes Penn State, 75-49. OK, so Alando "Calrissian" Tucker and Cammron "I'm Not Chris Rock" Taylor are well known factors for Wisconsin. But tonight saw the emergence of freshman Jason Bohannon, who scored 11 points. The last thing the rest of the country wants to see is Wisconsin working talented freshman into the mix. I've long believed that Wisconsin was the best team in the country. They tilt with Ohio State next week. It could be for the #1 seed in the Tourney. Fucking awesome. I love this country some times.
#4 North Carolina might move up, too. They knocked off #21 Boston College in Boston 77-72, in a way that will probably haunt poor Jared Dudley for a while. It's been a rough week for BC--they lost to an unranked Duke team, and had a chance to at least tie this game a couple of times in the final minutes, but couldn't seal the deal. In a killer sequence, Tyler Hansborough missed the front end of a 1-1, and when Dudley was fouled on a 3 point attempt, BC had a chance to tie it. Dudley missed all three free throws (he's over 70% for the year). BC never really recovered from that. And can anyone, anyone explain to me why UVA, tied for the best record in the ACC with NC is still fucking unranked? I hope they meet in the ACC tournament, and UVA shows NC the value of having seniors, and not having Roy Williams as your coach.
It is now possible to whipser quietly that #19 Arizona is massively overranked? Top 25 teams don't get blown out on their home floor. Arizona had that embarrassing loss to UNC earlier this season, and now #5 UCLA shows up, and just flat out whups 'em. 81-66 is your final. Sure, sure, this year's PAC-10 is the second coming of Jesus in basketball form, but cripes, this was an ass-kicking. UCLA isn't a sneaky pick for the Final Four, but they may be getting overlooked right now.
Is it OK to whisper that #8 Memphis is overrated even after winning against Gonzaga? It did take overtime, and The Zags were without their best interior player, because he's facing felony charges for possession of Wacky Mushrooms. I'm uncertain of Memphis. You can't call them overrated by their record--it's impressive. They've beaten some teams that look on paper. All the same, if I'm looking for a first round loss in the Tourney that completely fucks up a bracket, I'm looking in Memphis' direction.
#6 Texas A&M works Oklahoma. Is Acie Law the best guard in the country? He might be.
How is #9 Kansas playing Nebraska like your mom? Everyone scores. Oh, SNAP! Nebraska had 5 players in double digits, had 8 score more than 5, and the only starter who didn't score more than 5 points had 8 assists. Kansas roles, and probably stole some lunch money while they were at it, 92-39.
We'll get into some of the other big games later. We are a little tired right now. But it should be noted that Georgetown wins again! And that Jeff Green had 8 blocks in that game. 8 fucking blocks? Jeff Green, don't you know you are only 6' 8"?