Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday 03/16 (Tourney) Quickie:
VCU Saves the Tournament!

There was one result – ONE – that could singlehandedly save yesterday's NCAA Tournament games from a legacy of being the least entertaining, dramatic or meaningful "Round 1-Day 1" that anyone could remember.

Duke losing to VCU in a nail-biter.

Thankyouverymuch. And, given that result, the consequence is that no one will really remember that the rest of the day was kind of a dud. They will just remember this:

Just that Duke lost.

To VCU...
On the Tournament's first day...
In the only real upset of the entire day...

Perhaps it is actually harder to hate Duke today: Maybe a team that is so mediocre just isn't worth the wrath? (Nahhh!)

God: It was so so SO sweet, wasn't it?

(Great related column: Will Leitch has a great essay about Duke losing to VCU in today's online edition of the New York Times. Subscription req'd.)

Next-Biggest Storyline: Other than that, yesterday's main storyline was the utter lack of drama and/or upsets (before VCU/Duke. Xavier/BYU, as an 8-9 game most people didn't care about, doesn't really qualify).

The Tournament has built itself on either (a) upsets or (b) fantastic finishes. Outside of VCU/Duke, there weren't really any. This is bad – very bad – for the Tournament.

The good news is that if the Tournament, statistically, HAS to have SOME upsets or great finishes, we're due today for at least a couple, aren't we?

How about, say, a 13-seed Albany over a 4-seed UVA followed by a Georgia Tech over a UNLV to start the day, with maybe a Winthrop over a Notre Dame and Creighton over Nevada in the late-afternoon set.

Too much to ask? I say we're entitled. (And, um, my bracket's future sort of depends on it.)

Bracket Update: OK, so who ELSE had VCU beating Duke? How does everyone's brackets look today, halfway through the first round?

I went 14-2, missing Indiana and Xavier. I had Gonzaga and BYU losing in the next round anyway, so they aren't bracket-killing mistakes.

Embittered Hindsights:

(1) Xavier is such a clutch Tournament team, I should have never doubted them

(2) Indiana? Away from home? Against Gonzaga? I'd pick against them again.

Tournament Challenge Update: In the "Daily Quickie Readers" group a grand total of SEVEN people (out of nearly 1500!) got all 16 games right yesterday.

Everyone else's chances of having the mythical "Perfect Bracket" were obliterated within the Tournament's first 16 games.

National Bracket Update: If you used the "National Bracket" to make your picks, you would have gone 13-3.

Consider that, if you didn't do that well. (Of course, the N.B. will ALWAYS look better on a day with few upsets.)

The N.B.'s biggest misses was calling the Gonzaga upset outright and, to a lesser extent, Marquette over Michigan State in a "toss-up" 8-9 game.

But in Dan Steinberg's DC Sports Bog "Celebrity" Pool, I'm tied for second, behind Steinberg himself. Doesn't he know that it's totally uncool to be winning your own pool? Here's a link.

Quickie-style recap of yesterday's results:

d. Gonzaga
Zags' mystique nearly as eroded as Duke's
UNC d. E. Kentucky
Compare to how other 1-seeds dominated.
Xavier d. BYU
Drew Lavender: The new Earl Boykins?
Pitt d. Wright State
Happy to draw VCU over Duke? Or worse off?
UCLA d. Weber St
Just tracking Collison's ankle (looks good!)
Michigan St d. Marquette
As ugly as we thought it'd be
Ohio St d. CCSU
Oden/Conley end Tourney virginity
VCU d. Duke
See post below. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Afternoon Games:
Vandy d. GW
Surprisingly easily, wouldn't you say?
Texas A&M d. Penn
Trendy Aggies scared early, revved late
G'town d. Belmont
Hoyas' size was too much
Butler d. ODU
Bulldogs' late shooting pulls away
Wazzu d. Oral
Wazzu better than you thought, aren't they?

Click here for my late-afternoon live-blog.

L'ville d. Stanford
Cardinal were an embarrassment to at-larges
BC d. Texas Tech
Another early-round KO for Knight
Maryland d. Davidson
Looking ready for a run to the Sweet 16?

Click here for my early-afternoon live-blog.

Quickie-style preview of today's games:
(My picks to win are listed)

13 Albany over 4 Virginia
Could start my Round 1, Day 2 badly.
10 Georgia Tech over 7 UNLV
Pool-wreck Potential! I have Tech to 8.
2 Memphis over 15 North Texas
Another lightweight win for Tigers.
11 Winthrop over 6 Notre Dame
This is THE trendy upset pick of Round 1.
5 Tennessee over 12 Long Beach St
12-over-5? No: Vols love LBS style of play.
2 Wisconsin over 15 A&M-CC
Too much banging by the Badgers.
10 Creighton over 7 Nevada
Another trendy upset pick for Round 1

3 Oregon over 14 Miami (Ohio)
Wazzu set it up: Pac-10 looks good!

1 Kansas over 16 Niagara
Self ready to end KU's Round 1 Kurse?
5 VA Tech over 12 Illinois
Illinois needs to avoid "pulling a Stanford"
8 Arizona over 9 Purdue
Will confirm it's a good Round 1 for Pac-10
4 Texas over 13 New Mexico St
Adjust your MMOD screen to "Durant Channel."
9 Villanova over 8 Kentucky
Nova's Reynolds is a big-conference S. Curry.
4 Southern Illinois over 13 Holy Cross
Salukis in rare position of heavy favorite.
1 Florida over 16 Jackson State
If Gators lose, don't look for me for a while.
5 USC over 12 Arkansas
Pac-10's Round 1 dominance capped off.

Worth a quick look: Saturday's Round 2:

4 Maryland vs. 5 Butler
Terps: Good inconsistent? Or bad?
(Pick: Maryland)

3 Pitt vs. 11 VCU
How can you NOT root for VCU?
(Pick: VCU)

2 UCLA vs. 7 Indiana
Road finally catches up with Hoosiers.
(Pick: UCLA)

1 UNC vs. 9 Michigan St
Closer than you'll think.
(Pick: UNC)

3 Washington St vs. 6 Vandy
How good did Wazzu look?
(Pick: Wash. St.)

2 Georgetown vs. 7 BC
Old Big East rivals. Where's John Bagley?
(Pick: G'town)

1 Ohio State vs. 9 Xavier
Thad Matta's old school, players
(Pick: Ohio State, but close!)

3 Texas A&M vs. 6 Louisville
Cards ain't playing Cardinal anymore
(Pick: A&M)

Wait: There's other stuff to talk about in sports?

NBA fines Phil Jax $50K for "witch hunt" comment. Pocket change.

MLB: Sammy Sosa will be on the Rangers' 40-man roster. Victory!

NFL: Tank Johnson gets 4-months in prison. Cellblock D's Intramural Football Team – reigning Oz champs! – gets a boost!

Obit: Bowie Kuhn, former MLB commish, dies. His biggest legacy will likely be the start of free agency, which happened on his watch.

Finally: If you read one non-Tournament-related thing today, make it this amazing post from WithLeather's Matt Ufford about a night out with John Amaechi.

-- D.S.


Matt T said...

I'll be rooting for Albany as well, I have them in my money pool.

UNLV over GT and into the Elite 8.

I hated seeing Duke lose, but in the suicide pool I'm in 16/98 people had Duke, so that's 16 less people I have to beat.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

@ everyone:

In order to win a pool* you can't lose any sweet 16 teams in the first 2 days and you have to have all final 4 teams. Do you all agree?

*last year's does not count b/c of no one having george mason.

Jon said...

Anyone see K's press conference? Did he have a zit under his one eye or was there some sort of brawl in the Duke locker room after the game?

Giddy said...

How 'bout - VCU beat Duke. Give them some credit. I know it's semantics, but still.

Natsfan74 said...

OK, so Dan is a notorious Duke and Big 10 Hater. Funny thing is, he called for Duke to lose out of pure hatred, so if they had won he could say - well, they were the higher seed and the better team. Since they lost, he can say "see, I told you so." Hating duke is a no-lose proposition every year.

So now what will constitute success today for the Big 10? Wisconsin will win. Illinois is a much lower seed against a good VT team, and Purdue is facing a tough Arizona team. So far, I think the B10 has acquitted itself quite well in the tourney, so at the very worst, they will enter the week-end 4-2. But will a close game by Illinois be enough to quiet Dan's B10 hatred? Because entering this week-end, the B10 gets to play UNC and UCLA, so unless miracles happen they'll be down to 2 teams by Sunday night. Is that enough to stop the haters?

rafael said...

damnit dan, since you just posted this..noone will read my last response in the previous

to you Crumbbum!!

It's the tournament. Teams should be going all out all the time. You just basically said that Duke didn't try hard enough. If that's the case, then they earned their first round exit.
It's "cheap" for an underdog to play all out?? IT'S THE NCAA TOURNAMENT!! IT'S ONE AND DONE!! THIS ISN'T INTRAMURALS!!!!
Tell Scheyer to go play intramurals, brother.

CMFost said...

Does anyone else think even with the Duke upset that was the worst first day of the tourney ever? Was there a true buzzer beater, what was there to close games. Yesterday sucked hopefully today is better.

And Dan, stop taking credit for calling the Duke lose, if you read the comments from about 2 weeks back I called the Duke 1st round exit then.

CMFost said...

And Shanoff, I think you owe your site a LIVE Blog today. Or at least join us when the games begin.

rafael said...

btw, my brackets are ALL fucked.

3 up, 3 down.

I picked the Zags..I picked Stanford in a couple (and i have no idea why)...I picked Duke in a couple (even to the E8 in one..gawd)...Marquette (forgot about the injured guy)...I even fell for Davidson and ODU.

Can we do a second-chance second-round tournament?

Natsfan74 said...

- Revscott -- to win a pool, you have to have the national championship game right, both winner and loser. You probably need 3 of 4, 6 of 8, and 12 of Sweet 16. Unless your pool has well over 100 people.

I already looked at my money pool results for today. There are 125 people in it, 12 took Ohio State (40 took Florida). Of those 12, 4 have OSU beating Florida. Of those 4, 2 have Georgetown in the Final Four. So if I get Georgetown, OSU, FL, and NOT Kansas, then I win, even with Duke crumbling as my other Final 4 team.

rafael said...

oh..and i had faith in bobby knight. silly me.

Mikepcfl said...

I do agree with Dan that with yesterday's lackluster games, we are due for some barnburners/upsets today. I'm glad Maryland was able to escape against a pretty good team since today may be a bloodbath for higher seeds.

As for my one and only bracket, I missed 3 games (ODU, GW, Gonzaga). The only one I feel like an idiot for picking is GW. The others I feel justified for. But I had none of those teams making the Sweet 16, so I am on long term. Congrats to those in the Quickie group that got all 16.

CMFost said...

To win a pool I think you need at minimum 14 of your sweet 16 to survive and your entire elight and final four need to intact by the time you get to the sweet sixteen round. then you need 6 of your elight 8 and a minimum of 2 of your final 4 as long they are your final 2

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

A Duke loss I can handle it is going to happen. What I am getting tired of is every single sportswriter and talk show host acting like they just won the lottery when Duke loses. I cannot think of another team that causes this type of reaction. I know that success breads contempt and that Duke has been one of the most successful college bball programs the last 25 years but it gets ridiculous the level of hate that this team produces from people.

It is even worse when Duke wins or makes a Final Four run because they cannot do it on talent there has to be some help from the refs. Dan remember your "favorite" team was the 5-12 upset a couple of years ago and until they won it all last year they were eliminated in the first round a number of years in a row.

This year's Duke team has been the most frustrating to watch because they had talent but their chemistry was lacking. I think Coach K needs to give up the National Team job and focus on Duke again. Coaching the National team has actually made some members of the media (Dan Shanoff) not root for the US Basketball team.

Congrats to VCU on a great game this is there season and no they are playing with house money. It would be nice if they could make a deep run in the tourney. Dan as for your "team" I would like to see them make it to the finals only to get beat and after that final horn sounds Jim Nantz will say, "Florida fails to do what no team has done since Duke went back to back in 91-92."

CMFost said...

14-2 in the quickie group but I lost a sweet sixteen team.

15-1 and tied for 1st place in my cash pool, which is the important one.

CMFost said...

Jason, probably not but if a 16/1 upset where going to happen I would say it would probably the match up where the play in game winner comes from since they have a little confidence and it has only been a couple of days since they played.

Big D said...

Holy crap... is Coach K on top of the Daily Quickie Tourney Challenge Leaderboard right now?


Lost 6 teams... none of which I had advancing past Round 2. No biggie.

Loving all the "Scha-DUKE-Freude" today... just be careful it doesn't come back to bite your team (or worse, your brackets) square in the ass.

CMFost said...

This is how bad yesterday was:
12 out of the 16 games where double digit wins.

2 of the 4 none double digit victorys where by 9 points.

Only 2 games came down to the last minute.

And I think the Duke game was the only game that had a last second shot to have a chance to tie the game said...

Did anyone else who watched teh Gonzaga game think that James Brown is the WORST college BBall announcer ever???? Guy didn't know shit!

Kevin said...

How do you go an entire half without scoring a 2-pt FG (like Marquette did)? I'm a Marquette fan and I'm pretty thankful CBS switched away from the game to save me the trouble of turning it off.

U-G-L-Y, we ain't got not alibi!

chitown italian said...

I had VCU! Hell yeah baby! It's even sweeter because a college buddy of mine LOVES the Dukies. He even has a signed Redick jersey (before the DUI).

I am 14/16 in Quickie Pool and 15/16 of a talk shit Yahoo friends pool.

Give it time, I'll tank as fast as Johnson went to prison yesterday. I love my Bears.

Patriots64 said...

James Brown that hosts the NFL on CBS and played in the NBA?

James Brown's involvement in sports began while playing basketball at DeMatha Catholic High School in nearby Hyattsville. After doing the same at Harvard University, the three-time All-Ivy League was drafted with the 62nd pick overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1973 NBA Draft.

chitown italian said...

pats - are you kidding me? JB looks as athletic as both my grandmothers combined!!!

but it was the Hawks that drafted him so maybe you are correct.

Brian in Oxford said...

Anyone enjoying the NCAA clips of the buzzer beaters in years past?

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Anyone else waiting in line this morning for MMOD

Mikepcfl said...

James Brown was a great athlete in his day. But he was also pretty darn smart. His partner during the Tourney (Len Elmore, Go Terps) went to Harvard Law School. So we have two former great basketball players who went to Harvard now doing tv sports. Just interesting.

CMFost said...

Future, Nope was able to get right into MMOD this morning

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Didn't Dan go to Harvard Business School and yet he doesn't support either of his schools when it comes to sports only when it is convenient. That is the worse type of fan.

Anonymous said...

uhm my brackets should have been better given who i thought would win but i filled them out while playing playstation so i missfilled a few games originally and then copied hem over into all other things, games i missed:
washintong st
i had gw in the sweet 16

but hwo cares maryland wins and duke loses time to gloat over my stupid frontrunnign duke fan friends

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

fost I keep getting errors and cannot get into the waiting room. i am leaving early anyway so I don't really give a shit.

Change subjects real quick anyone else see 300 yet? Saw it last night so I missed most of the Duke game (I blame myself for their loss and not the quickness of VCU) but the movie is pretty awesome.

Anonymous said...

no the worst type of fan is a

duke/ yankees/ notredame fan.

also doesn;t help if they like the cowboys
if you like a combination of these teams please don;t ever speak tome.

Mikepcfl said...

@ FuturelegendVinceYoung:

You've accurately noted my Duke paranoia previously, but you have my sympathy this morning. To see these sportswriters turn so viciously on a team they have trumpeted for so long is pathetic. I've never seen such glee in the press over a team losing before.

I almost feel a little disapointed I wont have the Dukies to kick around anymore this season. But I believe they will be back next year and I can go back to hating them full-time! You have my permission to gloat when everyone elses team gets beat this year (especially Dan and UF)

Anonymous said...

seeing 300 tonight finally, heard that the action scenes are really sweet.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

I agree with you on Cowboy/Notre Dame/Yankee fans I would add Kentucky Wildcat fans instead of Duke fans like me and my family :)

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Thanks Mike I am now rooting for all ACC teams (except UNC) and my brother's alma mater Indiana. I hope the Terps get a chance to take out UF in the Sweet 16. Good luck the rest of the way.

Anonymous said...

ok please join my facebook group again, after watching another duke game i cannot take it anymore

it is called ncaa fans sick of duke getting every call

Natsfan74 said...

Dan and James Brown both went to Harvard.... hmm....

Anonymous said...

futurevince.... if you are a fan of just one for a reason that is fine.. i hate duke(alhtough I would love to go there as it is really nice and a great school) because i grew up a maryland fan but there is no problem rooting for them i have a problem with people who have different teams for random reasons in differnet sports and then end up rooting for all of the superpowers.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

drdoom I think you need to change your facebook title. Duke is not getting all the calls anymore unless they start winning championships again and then everyone will complain that they get all the calls.

Anonymous said...

i am a maryland fan so i am biased i will admit that, but i thought that the officiating last night was sternesque (actualyl it wasn;t that bad) however i do remmeber on of my first completely aware of sports and all palyers memories being marlyland blowing thta lead vs duke and duke getting every call.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

You mean the "Gone in 54 Seconds Game" I remember being in a bar with some friends and them ribbing me because Duke was about to lose. A few drinks later we are watching overtime and Duke pull out the win. I wish Jason Williams could have played for Duke for 15 years. That dude was awesome although Blake and Dixon always gave him problems.

Blake was a tough kid and Dixon may be my favorite MD player ever talk about a tough kid who made himself into an excellent bball player.

Anonymous said...

dixon is my favorite player ever by far

hence why i wear #3 for every sport if possible.

and yes jason williams was great and i did not hate him when he was at duke nor did i hate battier actually or deng.

i just hated reddik and now paulus.

by the way i don;t have athing against white basketball players i am one myself.

Patriots64 said...

Dixon is looking great on the Raptors so far, hope he will help them even more in the playoffs.

Mikepcfl said...

Bringing up Blake and Dixon brings back some good memories. Blake fouling out of the "Gone in 54 seconds" game is what lost it for Maryland. (Other than Jason Williams clutch shooting)

Anyway, I'm off to a DC bar this afternoon for the games. So I wont be able to read or post this afternoon. I'll miss the fun though.

CMFost said...

All right let's have some picks for the early games.

I got:
UNLV over GT
UVA over Albany
Memphis over North texas

ToddTheJackass said...

VCU!!! VCU!!!

When my girlfriend asked me last night why I was so happy when Duke lost, I told her, "Duke, the Yankees of College Basketball, just lost to VCU, who probably aren't even the Yankees of whatever the hell VCU does."

It's a good day for the haters.

As for Duke not getting calls this year, I think Clemson fans might disagree.

Anonymous said...

dixon is a perfect fit for the raptors, as he is a great shooter. Nothing would make me happier than him making a shot to beat orlando in playoffs (because orlando has reddik duke's shitty version of dixon

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Todd I know Duke had a down year but I can take solace in knowing that BC has not beaten Duke since they joined the ACC. That being said good luck against Georgetown.

Anonymous said...

i got memphis in a rout

i have unlv winning because i think they are severly underatted and because shanoffs headline is going to be simmonsesque if the yellow jackets win and i think i have albany over va.

Anonymous said...

no lets go georgetown over bc for my brackets and because i like jt3

Mega said...

I went 9-7 on the first day. WORST. DAY. EVER.

I have never done this badly. The last few years I was good for at least a 12-4 or 13-3. And I was one of those homers who thought Duke and Texas Tech could make the Sweet 16! UGH!

Anonymous said...

i did badly also cause you know i had balls and picked upsets. but thankfully i only lost 1 s16 team and all my f4 teams looked fine

Natsfan74 said...

I got 48 seconds on the ball spinning game... what's the record?

I got UVA over Albany, GT over UNLV, and Memphis in a route.

I gotta get a life.

Brian in Oxford said...

Since I'm home in the rapidly accumulating snow, I'm watching Cold Pizza.

Dana Jacobsen has changed her hair, and she sorta looks like the ugly version of Get Smart's Agent 99.

mcam09 said...

First of all, 300 was awesome, action scenes are sick, saw it in IMAX the other night.

Duke losing will always make my day a little better, however, it was already going well and I finished 15-1. (not that the first day means anything)

Early games today:

I have hte Great Danes of Albany pulling the upset, GT over UNLV, and Memphis over the Mean Green

Kevin said...

Same here: 14-2, no Sweet 16 teams eliminated. Now I need VCU to beat Pitt and Maryland to beat Florida...

Go Albany!

CMFost said...

stupid MMOD, I am in and was checking out what games and it is telling me I am blackout of what should be the best of the early games. UNLV/GT

Jared said...

Dan, now I remember why I stopped reading this blog for a few months. You're intolerable when you become subjective.

Jared said...

rafael, I responded to you in the other post. You won't agree with what I say, but I don't really care.

Andy said...

I went 13-3 yesterday. I got GW, Wright St, and Texas Tech wrong. I don't even remember picking Wright St or why, so that really sucks. I had WS in the Sweet 16 too. What the hell was I thinking??

darktoaster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
darktoaster said...

16 for 16 on day one. Too bad it is all downhill for pierce5 from here on out because this is my crazy Maryland wins it all bracket. Or maybe I am really a genius.

CMFost said...

Ok, So here is a 2 questions for everyone:

1. What game do you think there will most likely be an upset?

2. What game will be the biggest blow out?

My Answers:
1. LB St over Tenn.
2. Memphis over North Texas

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

If Jackson St. somehow pulled the biggest miracle ever and beat Florida will Dan disappear for a couple of days? Will he be prepared to get as good as he gives? I know it is very, very wishful thinking but was just curious on how he would react. Would he find another school he didn't attend to like?

Andy said...

I picked LB St too. As far as biggest blowout? Um, Oregon will destroy Miami(OH). MMOD seems to be working better today.

spotter said...

Avoid MMOD website problems

a little thing I put together to be able to watch on my linux laptop :)

Natsfan74 said...

I'm in DC (Virginia) and get to watch the UVa game on MMOD. I'm pretty happy now.

The problem for Duke is that no matter how good of a season they are having, they have a huge target across the name on the jerseys. Everyone wants to say they beat Duke. Even more-so in the tourney. So Duke has to have their A game every single night. I did like VCU's pressure last night, but really the difference was their 10 three-pointers. Jacking up 3's on a 3 on 1 fast break is what you do when you have nothing to lose. Taking the gimmes in the paint on those breaks is what other teams do.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

UVA has come out hot against Albany

Anonymous said...

i also have maryland winning it all

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

19-2 UVA may have the blowout of the day.

Natsfan74 said...

29-9 UVa and Reynolds can't miss. This is the type of guard play that carries final 4 teams.

Patriots64 said...

UNLV starting to kick it!

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Let's go Green! Let's go Green!

Anonymous said...

In case noboby has said this yet (I just heard and haven't caught up in the comments)...


6 years 48 million dollars

He's very good, but...