Well that was a fun NCAA tournament! You simply couldn’t have asked for a better ending, that’s for sure. Just when I thought Marcus Paige accomplished the impossible with his double clutch 3 to tie the game with 4 seconds left, Villanova’s Kris Jenkins went down and put a dagger in the hearts of Villanova fans.
I wasn’t mad about it. I followed Jimmy’s free pick and took Villanova +3 since he rolled all year in NCAA basketball. In fact, he kept pounding the Wildcats all tournament long and I couldn’t blame him. He loved them against Oklahoma since they had shut down high volume scorers all season long.
He picked them over Kansas, thinking their discipline would keep them in the game. He loved them against Iowa since the Hawkeyes were such a hot mess coming down the stretch.
Right after selection Sunday he even said Villanova at 18/1 was his favorite of the NCAA tournament odds to win it all.
Look, take nothing away from North Carolina. They had an impressive run. They beat a very good Indiana team fairly handily. They did get lucky and get to face Notre Dame as the 2 seed Wisconsin and the 3 seed West Virginia both went out early.
Brice Johnson is a very dangerous player and he should have a long future ahead of him in the NBA. Paige was fantastic all tournament.
How many great games were there though? Syracuse coming back and beating a very, very good Virginia team was one of the best for me.
Watching UNI blow their late lead against Texas A&M was heartbreaking, and it’s something that people won’t forget any time soon.
Gonzaga impressed me. They might not have did enough to win an at large bid if they didn’t win the WAC. Then they go out and beat the Big East champs Seton Hall easily. They completely dominated Utah in the second round, then played Syracuse tough. This team easily could have made the Elite 8.
The East Region was full of nail biters and great games. Stephen F. Austin pulling the upset over West Virginia, Wisconsin beating Pitt and Xavier. Notre Dame by one over Stephen Austin and then by five over Wisconsin. Indiana and Kentucky was a battle.
The West was characterized by blowouts. Oklahoma handled Oregon, A&M, VCU pretty easily. Oregon beat Duke and St. Joes’ without much fight. The only great games were the two UNI played in and the Baylor/Yale first rounder.
The south was pretty much the same. Iowa won on a buzzer beater against Temple, but other than that Kansas rolled through Maryalnd and UConn before going down to Villanova. The Wildcats embarrassed Miami and Iowa. Miami took care of Wichita easily. Hawaii didn’t put up much of a fight against Maryland.
Then the two Final Four games were blowouts. I’ve never seen anything like what Villanova did to Oklahoma. But then the tournament finished on a spectactular note with the buzzer beater. The game was close for the entire 40 minutes.
North Carolina shot lights out the first half, came back to reality in the second. It kept going back and forth and you knew who ever touched it last was going to win. Unfortunately for the Tar Heels, that team was Villanova. I couldn’t be happier.