Friday, March 20, 2009

2009 NCAA Hoops: Day 2

First of all, can I just say that yesterday, I picked 3 pretty games to be excited about for today.

Today was a pretty crazy day, with one huge upset, lots of little ones, and some pretty close calls.  Let's get to some specifics.

Biggest Upset:  Cleveland State over Wake Forest.  Though there were lots of upsets, like Dayton over West Virginia, or Arizona over Utah, or the ridiculous Badgers' win over Florida State.  Cleveland State jumped out all over Wake Forest, getting a lead early, and holding on to it.  18 Turnovers from Wake is perhaps the important statistic of a game they were never really in.  Lest you think that this was completely crazy, it should be noted that Wake was the third nationally ranked team Cleveland State has beaten this year--Syracuse and Butler being the other two.

Biggest Almost Upset:  One could argue for the scrappy ETSU squad, who hung with Pittsburgh until the very end of the game, losing by 10 (the shot that put Pitt up 10 was the first time all game that Pitt had a double digit lead).   A very similar dynamic played out in the North Dakota State and Kansas game.  So I think I have to go with Marquette barely holding off the fightin' Mormons of Utah State.

Best Players You Didn't See:  A bunch of choices--Ben Woodside of NDSU, who pumped in 37 points on a variety of shots, including some pretty ballsy drives in the lane (which led to 8-10 FT shooting), and over 40% from 3-point land.  The Dayton Flyers' Chris Wright was a manimal against West Virginia, with a double-double on 10-16 shooting (almost all of it inside).   Or OK State's Byron Eaton who paced the Cowboy attack against Tennessee, shooting 70% from the field, and dishing 7 assists.

Games I'm Most Excited About For Saturday:  Maryland vs. Memphis; Michigan vs. Oklahoma;  Western Kentucky vs. Gonzaga.

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