Wednesday, April 05, 2006

NCAA Tournament Recap

I hate to say it, but I still don’t feel good about this tournament. It is absolutely a fantastic event, one that I look forward to every year. I do believe that Florida played great and deserved to be the National Champions, but I can’t help wonder how they would have done against a possibly motivated UConn team in the semi-finals. I love the Cinderella teams, but not in the final four. George Mason was a very good team, but clearly they were over-matched in the final four and would struggle against any of the other 3 teams on almost any given day.

The opening rounds of this tournament were fabulous. We had some great last second drama with Northwestern State (quick: where is this college located) hitting a three point shot at the buzzer to beat Iowa and Chris Lofton sinking a shot as time expired to beat Winthrop. Additionally, Uconn down 10 points to Albany with 10 minutes left went on a 34-9 run to eliminate any hope of an upset. Kansas, on the other hand, was not so fortunate as Bill Self and his Jayhawks suffered another early round exit.

The sweet 16 is where the tournament was turned upside down. One of my readers, B-on-Fire wrote that Adam Morrison was crying for all us, when they lost to UCLA.

Think about it for a moment. Imagine if UCLA had not come back and scored the final 11 points of the game and won 73-71. Gonzaga would have played Memphis for the rights to the western regional spot in the final four. That would have been a high scoring, up and down game, with some, but not a lot of defense being played. Memphis would have been favored in that game so let’s assume they won and met LSU in the final four. That would have been fun to watch all of the above the rim dunks with Rodney Carney and Tyrus Thomas trying to out-dunk each other.

But, this did not happen, as these teams that lost were flawed in their half court execution. Florida may be remembered as one of the weaker National Champions in years past, or they may not be remembered at all. This tournament more than likely could be remembered as the Cinderella tournament, with teams such as George Mason, Bradley and Northwestern State making a name for themselves and their conference. Incidentally, Northwestern state is located in Natchitoches, Louisiana and plays in the Southland conference.

Stay tuned for more college basketball updates, as I will examine next years top teams as well as the NBA draft.


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