Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday (Elite 8) Quickie

Let's start with this simple proposition:

Tom Izzo is the best college basketball coach in the country. Period.

Because we judge our college basketball coaches on their success in the NCAA Tournament -- and no coach is more successful than Izzo.

He does it with championship-caliber teams. He does it with second-tier teams. He does it when we expect him to do it. And, most important, he does it when we don't expect him to do it.

Sure, Michigan State dodged a bullet in having to play Northern Iowa rather than Kansas, but - on the other hand - UNI beat Kansas. And the MSU defense locked down that clever UNI offense.

Now, Michigan State is one win -- against Tennessee, a game the Spartans should win -- from their most improbable Final Four yet of the prolific Izzo Era.

Meanwhile: So much for St. Mary's. That first-half beat-down by Baylor was one of the most devastating things I have ever seen at an elite moment of a college hoops season.

At this point, it sure looks like Baylor has precisely the kind of freakish athletes and shooters and size and fearlessness that typifies the profile of teams that bounce Duke out of the Tournament.

Oh: That was a classy move by Evan Turner to stalk off the court last night after Tennessee blocked him (cleanly) from the Elite Eight. Future endorser for Brand LeBron, I'm sure.

Today's regional finals:

Kansas State vs. Butler: Like most everyone else, I'm rooting for Butler. But Syracuse played with zero heart against the Bulldogs; K-State will play very very differently.

Kentucky vs. West Virginia: I don't buy the hype that this will be some sort of epic clash. I think UK will roll -- WVU can't keep up with Wall and Bledsoe and UK's NBA size is an ass-kicker.

Enjoy the games...

-- D.S.

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