2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Important Observations 23-27
*Unnumbered but still important observation from this afternoon’s games — If you’re going to nap during a set of basketball games, you may think you have beaten the system by recording the important ones so you can watch them when you wake up. This seems like a loophole in the laws of NCAA tournament watching that will allow you to recover from these early west coast start times. But it is not. Here’s the problem. Recording two games to allow you to nap for an hour only means you have 6 games to watch at a time when you wake up. It’s a rigorous game of catch-up. A dangerous gamble. But it doesn’t just apply to naps. You might think you run out to get some food/drink or run an errand or exercise or even go to work. It seems like you can do other things and still watch every game, but you’re lying to yourself and reality will crush you.
23. Notre Dame 69, Akron 56 — That Napa Know How song is getting unbearable.
I know you know what I’m talking about here. And I guess maybe I’m the perfect example of exactly how it’s working because here I am on my own blog writing about it so that other people can see it and hopefully comment on it later (PS, where is the commenting love from the 104 people who read me yesterday), but it’s just infuriating to see the beginning of that Napa commercial and know what’s about to happen. No really important notes from this game. Notre Dame is good. Akron staying in there, but couldn’t put anything together when they needed to. What I expect from a 2-15 game by now.
24. George Mason 61, Villanova 57 — If you don’t put a team away when they struggle, they’ll put you away later.
I’ve always wanted to make an Adam Bonefeste Rule about this at some point, but never really had the 100% statistically backup that the RSR has. In the last 5 minutes of the first half and the first 7 minutes of the second half, George mason made 4 shots. They were stuck at 29 points for 4 minutes and Villanova couldn’t put them away. GM game Nova another window from 6:24 remaining to 1:59 remaining here they made no baskets at all. Nova couldn’t go up by more than 6. GM put on a furry of points in the final two minutes and won by 4. Nova went home and cried because they should have kicked George mason when they were down.
25. Duke 87, Hampton 45 — Mike Krzyzewski has coached in 100 NCAA Tournament games; that’s the most significant fact about the first (I repeat, FIRST) round.
100 games is an awful lot of games. Even if you win the whole thing, it’s only 6 games. He’s been so good for so long that we’ve stop appreciating him, but Coach K is a legend and he deserves it. In this year’s tournament, there will be upsets that happen and cinderellas that eventually lose, and all of that drama will just boil down to a couple of teams that we all expected all year playing for the title, so most what seems like a big story in the first round will fizzle out. But 100 games is always going to be 100 games and that number is only going up because the other thing we learned in this game is that Kyrie Irving is going to play and he’s going to be good. Congratulations to Coach K and the Duke program for accomplishing this.
26. Arizona 77, Memphis 75 — Don’t blame a loss on what you think was a missed call.
I don’t know if Memphis has officially blames this game on the refs for missing what could have been a shooting foul on the offensive rebound after their intentionally-missed free throw with a few seconds left. I know the coach was up and yelling about it during the game. I doubt it’ll be a serious thing in the end, but any team that can’t win a game on it’s own shouldn’t be leaning on the refs to bail them out and give them a second shot to make a play. It seems weird to see Memphis without coach Cal, but the new guy looks like he has put together a pretty great base for the Tigers and that rebuilding period is going to be way shorter than I thought it would. Look for Memphis to be back at full strength by next season.
27. Florida State 57, Texas A&M 50 — Chris Singleton means a lot to Florida State.
Singleton had been injured and was forced to miss about a month of basketball before this game, but he makes a lot of difference in the way this FSU team plays. Singleton is the team’s best rebounder and scorer and with him, the Seminoles look like the tam that beat Duke, not the team that sort of hobbled through the end of the season and sneaked in as a 10-seed. They’re a good team and I’m waiting to see how Notre Dame is going to handle him.