There have been a lot of good games this NCAA Tournament. We’ve even had monumental upsets like Norfolk State and Lehigh toppling Missouri and Duke respectively. A #7 seed nearly made the Final Four and we’ll have an in-state rivalry in the 1st semifinal (Louisville/Kentucky) for the first time in 50 years!
And yet, this tournament is lacking something. It’s lacking drama and excitement and it’s showing. We’ve had just one overtime game (UNC vs. Ohio) so far and it’s the lowest total in the field of 65/68 era. Even more shocking is the lack of game-winning shots in the closing seconds. Do you want to count the number of buzzer-beaters? You don’t need to. We’re currently at ZERO. That’s right, ZERO game-winning shots and zero game-tying shots in the final 5 seconds of every basketball game played thus far.
It’s just not entertaining. And the end-of-game situations have been abysmal. Wisconsin and NC State both inexplicably fired away three-pointers down just 1 with time winding down. Their seasons unsurprisingly ended. NC State in particular against Kansas managed a failed cross-court pass down by 3, only to get a 2nd chance off a missed FT and not even get a proper shot off in 3 seconds. Louisville in a winning effort had a mindless turnover up by 2 against Florida only for the Gators to immediately travel not even a second later.
I guess the opening game between Mississippi Valley State and Western Kentucky was a preview of what we were going to get in the few down to the wire finishes we’ve had. The Delta Devils ended the game airballing a wide-open three from the corner, capping off a collapse for the ages. While blown leads have not been a big issue, late game situation failures have been. Maybe the most prominent foul-up was when Notre Dame committed a lane violation down just 73-70 against Xavier, and promptly lost by 5 as a result.
Is it me or is this tournament just lacking that special moment? I’m not advocating another Butler story, but in general the quality of games has gone down in my view and the late-game drama that makes March Madness great has really been a disappointment.
Baylor has advanced out of the South region, so who will prevail from the West? Michigan State is the favorite but Missouri and Marquette are also contenders to win that part of the bracket. Also featured is Murray State, having lost just 1 game all season long. Games are after the jump.
Hello everyone and WELCOME to the 4th annual “March Madness Simulated” series! Through the use of Whatifsports.com and just enough time in the day to actually do this, I will simulate the entire bracket from First Four to Final Four, complete with recaps and box scores (please note the box score is only available for about 2 days and then disappears). Every game is simulated once unless I’ve screwed up starting lineups by putting injured players in there. If the tournament is random, so shall simulations.This is a bit difficult because the First Four is tomorrow, but I’ve got that covered. Today we will look at the South Region, featuring Duke, Kentucky, Baylor, Indiana, and Notre Dame. Will the #1 overall seed prevail? Find out after the jump.
We miss you, Gus.
I don’t care what you say about him, Gus Johnson is perfect for March Madness. His over-the-top enthusiasm, creepy laugh, and ability to somehow get many many thrilling finishes, made him a staple of CBS’ college basketball tournament. Unfortunately, Gus isn’t with CBS or Turner and is wasting his time with FOX.
These are the pairings for 2012. With Gus gone, the excellent Kevin Harlan replaces him as the #4 announcer, meaning Harlan finally gets to work the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 on TV. Taking Harlan’s long-standing place as the #5 broadcaster is Milwaukee Brewers and TBS baseball man Brian Anderson.
This post will be updated with site locations for each broadcaster as soon as the information comes.
Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg (with Steve Kerr for the First Four and Final Four) – Tuesday First Four, Greensboro pod
Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery – Louisville pod
Marv Albert and Steve Kerr – Omaha pod + St. Louis regionals
Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, and Len Elmore – Pittsburgh pod
Brian Anderson and Dan Bonner – Portland pod
Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel – Wednesday First Four
Spero Dedes and Bob Wenzel – Albuquerque pod
Tim Brando and Mike Gminski – Columbus pod
This is the 4th year of the Joe Lunardi Bracket Analysis series. To view past editions click on the following links: 2011, 2010, and 2009.
The increase in site traffic has been almost entirely on the interwebz linking to previous breakdowns of famed bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s projected NCAA tournament brackets. I started doing this back in 2009 not to beat up on Lunardi, but to shoot down ESPN’s gushing praise of his excellency for “PICKING 64 OF 65 TEAMS CORRECTLY OMG”. Well, it’s 68 teams now, but there are still 31 auto-bids and roughly 20 at-large “locks” from teams as high as Kentucky all the way to the likes of West Virginia and Purdue. So in that sense, his job is really to pick the bubble teams and then sort out the seeds.
With comment input and my own need to improve this system, I have put in the following criteria:
- Teams in the tournament. Duh.
- Teams correctly seeded.
- NEW: For teams incorrectly seeded, a +/- system will be used. Example, if Michigan was a #4 seed when he had them as a #3, that means a +1. If Alabama is an 8 seed and he has them at #9, then it’s -1.
- NEW: First Four matchup predictions.
East, West, Southwest, Southeast, Final Four. Read ‘em all. If you already read them, read them again.
Here we are. Championship night for Battle of the Losers 2011. Georgetown is looking for a 2nd consecutive BOTL title, while Clemson are in the championship game for the first time after being in this competition the previous three seasons. But first, Utah State play Tennessee for the consolation game.