2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Important Observations 37-38 Kentucky/WVU, FLorida/UCLA
Looks like we have a whole slate of games that appear to be interesting today. So far, all of my top 11 teams form the power rankings are still alive, which is sort of a problem. I’d love to say all the teams I ranked high were good, but I’d also love to say that Richmond is in the Final Four, because that’s exciting and you don’t get that every year. Let’s keep observing the action:
37. Kentucky 71, West Virginia 63 — Brandon Knight is the next Calipari superstar recruit.
I always hear about coaches who are “good at recruiting,” and think that in reality they’re just the one who are the best and bending the rules about what they can and can’t do for high school students. But the players that John Calipari brings to his programs are getting to a ridiculous point where his abilities as a recruiter have to be either praised as an x-men-like superpower or condemned as criminal. I know there’s been some NCAA involvement with punishing him for some recruiting methods he’s used, but if you look at this year’s Kentucky team, it’s pretty clear that he’s still using them. Coach Cal aside, Brandon Knight can really play. He had a good regular season and struggled through the opening-round game right up until he made the game-winning shot. Knight had 30 today and looked nearly impossible to guard. I’m interested to see how he’ll do against Ohio State in the next game.
38. Florida 73, UCLA 65 — Billy Donovan knows what he’s doing.
During this game today, the announcers reminded me of something pretty important that I had forgotten until now. very recently, Bill Donovan won back-to-back NCAA titles. I’ve been underrating Florida in this tournament, and I still don’t think that they deserved a 2-seed, but coaching is extremely important, and Donovan knows how to get it done. This game was extremely tight for all 40 minutes and may have been the most enjoyable game to watch yet in this year’s tournament. Scratch that, most enjoyable game to mostly watch and kid of nap through a little bit. In retrospect, I don’t know how I fell asleep, because it was exciting. I’m excited to see this Florida team go up against BYU/Gonzaga, but hopefully BYU in the next round.