Tag:2011 NCAA basketball tournament
Posted on: March 21, 2011 12:11 am

March Madness - first weekend recap

Every year March Madness is filled with wild games, close finishes, and crazy upsets.  Here's how the first weekend of the tourney of 2011 went down:
  • In the first round the 1's, 2's, and 3's had absolutely no trouble (except maybe BYU, the only team to win by a single digit, 8)
  • Other than the 1,2,3's 16 of the remaining 20 were decided by less than 10
  • 11 of those remaining 20 were decided by 5 pts or less, a combined 30 points, or an average of 2.7 points
  • The Southwest regional saw the 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 seeds all win
  • Tennessee lost by 30 to #8 Michigan after being down only 4 at half.  Bruce "Cheater" Pearl's leading scorer had 19, none of them in the 2nd half
  • I didn't even know there was a station called TruTV, and I got it in HD!  Southern Fried Stings looks pretty good too...

  • Saturday and Sunday blowouts included #12 Richmond by 17, #11 VCU over #3 Purdue by 18, BYU over Gonzaga by 22, and OSU by 32 (only one making any sense)
  • The big dogs started struggling: Notre Dame lost by 14 to #10 Florida State, Pitt lost by a point in a game they shoulda won, Duke survived by only 2, UNC won by only 3, and San Diego State needed 2 overtimes
  • #1 Pitt's loss was to last year's national runner up Butler, who lost it's best player and struggled despite returning the rest of last year's squad, taking an at-large 8 seed into the tournament
  • The three 4vs5 matchups were all VERY close (8, 5, and 1 point games)
  • 6 more games were decided by 5 points or less (including #11 Marquette's upset of #3 Syracuse)
  • The so-called "amazing" Big East has only 2 teams left, lowest seed Marquette and Kemba Walker UConn (see my last article; I also loved all 11 teams)
Soapbox: It seems to me that this year had the usual number of upsets but far more really close games and fewer blowouts.  It also seems to me that there were a lot of dumb plays and dumb decisions by seemingly dumb players (ex's: the Pitt-Butler and UNC-Washington foul-filled finishes).  Is that because NCAA basketball has far fewer upperclassmen and just a bunch of raw talented freshmen and sophomores who bolt for the NBA after only a year or two?  I think yes, and I hope this year's Final 4 are all senior-led teams just to prove the points that A) experience matters and B) graduating from college matters.
  • Oh and one more bullet: my bracket sucks.  I knew I should have gone with my heart and picked homers Wisconsin and Marquette to play in the national championship!
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com