NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Halfway there!
Man, I wasn't really thinking about it, then I put that title out there and now I am going to have that Bon Jovi song stuck in my head all day. No big deal, I can think of worse songs to have playing repetitively in my brain.
I can't say I am happy with the outcome, but I got a chance to watch that Sweet 16 game last night between Michigan State and Kansas State. Oddly enough, Living on a Prayer seems to be what Sparty was doing most of this tournament and sadly it fell just a little short last night.
At the end of the day, Michigan State has a lot to be happy about. Sure, making it to the Elite Eight would have been great and to be fair, they almost did it, but this was quite the Cinderella story for them.
The were unranked at the beginning of the tournament. Despite that they managed to come into the tournament at a 7 seed and beat two really good teams in USC and Marquette to make it to the Sweet 16.
They played really well last night. Nowell from KState was just a machine. He was running a clinic on the court. Even with an injured ankle, he was still making stuff happen. I have zero doubt he is a great player all the time, but he was literally having the game of his life last night against the Spartans.
How do you really compete with that.
State tried for sure. They took them into overtime, and kept things really close before finally falling short 98 to 93. I had a parlay bet that included Michigan State winning, so no matter what other lines likely hit, I came up short as well. I haven't even bothered to check this morning.
While I was watching the end of the MSU/KState game, I was keeping an eye on the score of the UConn/Arkansas game. Unfortunately, that one wasn't nearly as close. The Huskies were thumping on the Razorbacks. A 88 to 65 victory brought an end to the storybook tournament Arkansas was having.
Likewise, Florida Atlantic stunned 4 seed Tennessee with a pretty massive beat down. The Owls beat the Volunteers 62 to 55 in a quite low scoring game.
The other exciting game of the night besides the Michigan State one was between UCLA and Gonzaga. Talk about an epic ending! UCLA was up by one point with 12 seconds left on the clock. Gonzaga took the ball down the court and hit a long three to make it 78 to 76 with 7.2 seconds left.
With 2.3 seconds left on the clock, UCLA turned over the ball and had to foul Gonzaga. They hit one of the free throws and at that point it was over as UCLA only had 1.4 seconds to try to make something happen across the full court.
It's a tough loss for UCLA who many people thought had a chance of winning the whole thing this year. To be fair though, Gonzaga has been working towards this for quite some time now.
Tonight we have second four games of the Sweet 16 before the Elite 8 takes place over the weekend. I really hope San Diego State takes down Alabama tonight. Beyond that, I'm definitely cheering for Texas over Xavier since I have Texas winning the whole thing.
My bracket is basically busted at this point, but I am still holding out hope that Texas can win and give me a small amount of redemption.
Call me crazy, but I think the game between Princeton and Creighton could be really good. I expect Creighton will win, but Princeton has surprised us in the past...
That's all I have for you today. Check back on Monday when I recap the last of the Sweet 16 games and the outcome of the Elite 8 games!
Well, I'm in better shape than most years, I guess. Halfway through and three of my final 4 are still in. Marquette being the goner. You just can't trust those Yoopers, I guess.
I watched Sparty before Gonzaga last night. I really like Izzo and was rooting for him. A really good game to watch.
The Zags looked bad and good in the same game. They couldn't even slow UCLA down in the first half (46 points). Heroic shots are not unknown when GU plays UCLA... I actually thought they'd pissed the game away at the end with clanked free throws and fouls on the other end.
One thing to note. Gonzaga rebounds. They had as many offensive rebounds as UCLA had defensive rebounds. Crazy.
I'll leave with a hearty Go Zags and looking forward to tonight's games...
That's great that you are doing so well. I am not doing very good. I've all but given up at this point. Which isn't a big deal because now I can just watch it to enjoy it. I just don't want Alabama to win. Too much bad mojo around all that. Nowell was just on fire last night. Like I said, I am sure he is a good player anyway, but he was superhuman last night.
The way you felt about Gonzaga last night is kind of how I felt about MSU against Marquette. I thought sure they were going to piss that one away, but then they won. Tonight should be interesting for sure!