1. This week(end) is easily one of the craziest I remember. 3 double digit seeds in the sweet 16? A Robbie Hummel-less Purdue breaking through? The region of death claiming 3 out of the 4 top seeds? The one game format and neutral sites allow the little guy as close to an even playing field that exists in sports. And it's why March Madness is the greatest sporting event year in and year out.
2. Given the one game format and odd match-ups it's hard to make giant claims about what this means. Does anyone think if Kansas and Northern Iowa had a 7 game series that Kansas wouldn't win out? And yet I try. After the first two rounds...Kentucky and Syracuse appear to be the favorites left in the tournament. However given how this tournament has I'm unwilling to stake my life on that....
3. Hats off to the Big 10. At the start of the year this was expected to be a banner year for the Big 10. They backed it up with their first victory over the ACC in the Big 10-ACC Challenge. To top it off they got 3 teams in the sweet 16....the most of any conference.
4. The one thing that I continues to strike me is how badly Indiana screwed itself with Kelvin Sampson. Basset (of Ohio) and Crawford (of Ohio) scored over 27 three times in this tournament. Both are Indiana transfers because of Sampson. For a reference point IU had a player score 27 or more three times the ENTIRE season.
5. The reason I might lean towards picking Kentucky is how athletic they are. Estimates at this point have Kentucky fielding 4 top 15 picks in this year's draft. Worldwide Wes, the shadowy friend to the NBA stars, has pushed the superstars to John Calipari and overflowing freshman talent on Kentucky (and the lack elsewhere) I think is a big reason for the upsets this year.
6. Decent 3 point shooting counteracts great inside shooting. Shooting 40% from 3 point is equal to shooting 60% from 2 pt (do the math is works out). Big Red (aka Cornell) rode the 3 point shooting to a sweet 16 birth (let me just state my biases. I love saying Go Big Red). It's something to keep in mind when the NBA playoffs roll around...good 3 point shooting matters a lot....
7. Lost in all the analyses and predictions and gambling and upsets...is the emotion. The heartbreak the unbridled joy is simply palatable. I think that's what makes college athletics so engrossing is the emotion. Whatever your feelings about Michigan State if your heart didn't break a little when Kalin Lucas collapsed on the court with a probable ruptured Achilles well I'd recommend some serious therapy. The emotions, the career implications, the timing, everything just awful for Lucas. Hopes and prayers that the injury isn't that serious and that he can get back on the court soon