2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Important Observations 50-52 Marquette/Cuse, kansas/Illini, FSU/ND
We’re already through the first two rounds of this year’s tournament? It went by so fast. Check out my last few Important Observations and then make sure you stat with SpreeGoogs for some loosely-related tournament coverage in the couple of few days.
50. Marquette 66, Syracuse 62 — The passion of Gus Johnson calling Darius Johnson-Odom’s game-winning shot forced it to go in.
Did you hear this call? If not, I’m sure you can find it somewhere online. The way Gus tickled to “O” in “DJO” forced that ball into the net. I hate to suggest that he’s impacting the outcome of games with the way he announces, but it’s true. Syracuse’s tying effort wasn’t called with the same amount of gusto, and it’s no surprise that it didn’t go it. A slow-motion replay of DJO’s shot shows Gus Johnson’s voice bending the ball into the basket by sheer will. It’s true, you can watch it yourself. Marquette is my team from here on out through the rest of the tournament, and not just because my twin brother went there, it’s also because they’re sort of a Cinderella and I’m a man whose been around the college basketball scene long enough to know better than to get in the way of Gus Johnson will.
51. kansas 73, Illinois 59 — The Morris brothers are impossible to tell apart, partially because they are both so dominant.
If the Morris brothers didn’t wear different numbers, I’m sure no one would know who to vote for in the Big 12 player of the year poll. Maybe their tattoos are different too (I wrote that before I put the picture in, and now that I look at it, their tattoos actually look the same too). I’m not kidding, I think they may switch uniforms for some games just to see if teams will guard them differently. It would be easy to tell them apart if one was good and one wasn’t. Or even if one was elite and the other was good. But that’s not the situation, they’re both elitely good. One of them (Marcus) was the Big 12 player of the year this year. The other one (Markieff) had 24 points and 12 rebounds tonight. As a combined force, the Brothers Morris scored 41 tonight and came within 6 rebounds of Illinois’ team total. And on top of everything, they are identical. The look the same. The play the same. And right now, they’re scaring all those double-digit seeds in kansas’ bracket the same.
52. Florida State 71, Notre Dame 57 — The Big East isn’t as good as we all thought.
I know I’m not the only person who has noticed that the Big East is the victim of all of these upsets. They started the tournament with 11 teams, all ranked 11 or better. And only 2 teams made it through to the Sweet 16. And those two teams only got through by beating other Big East teams. In short, the only two Big East representatives in the Sweet 16 got there because a Big East team had to be there. Florida State controlled this game. Notre Dame didn’t even have a chance. Best conference in basketball? A week ago, anyone would have told you yes, but now, it’s up for debate. Actually, there are a surprising number of teams from the conferences with the most teams in the tournament. The Big East started with 11 and is down to 2. The Big 10 started with 7 and is down to 2. The Big 12 started with 5 and is down to 1. Two of the best conferences so far have been the ACC (4 teams in, 3 still remaining) and the Mountain West (3 teams in, 2 left) who a lot of people thought were down conferences. We’ll see how the rest of the tournament shakes out, but right now the big losers have been the Big East.