Monday, March 12, 2007

Conference Tourney Musings

Going around the horn quickly on some of the conference tourney’s as we prep for the big selection show:

Big East

Without having watched as much of the tourney as I’d like, there have been no surprises here. Villanova and Syracuse took care of business in the first round clinching NCAA berths, then bowed out to the higher seeds in Round 2. West Virginia made a very strong showing, shooting the lights out in the opener and taking Louisville to the brink before losing with the help of the officials in OT. Other than that, the only thing that sticks out to me is Georgetown dominating the final, potentially making a statement to the country that they are a legit Final Four team.

Big 12

Almost had a Cinderella with former Top 10 team Oklahoma State making a run, before running into the Kevin Durant show. Everyone has known about Durant all year, but as the microscope hones and in and the spotlight turns up in March Durant and Texas are only getting better. Before hearing our ESPN brethren discuss it on Sunday I proclaimed to fellow bar patrons and a few pints of Guinness that Durant could do for Texas what ‘Melo did for Syracuse in 2003. He is that good. And the Texas freshmen are starting to come together. Just a note, A&M is stumbling a bit down the stretch.

I like Texas Tech, but how do you get blown out of the building in a big game against a mediocre team?


What’s worse, Duke’s performance or Sidney Lowe’s blazer? If there was any doubt about Georgia Tech they put that to rest with a win, but Florida State still sits firmly on the bubble. I think Tech should be in the tourney and could cause an early stir, but FSU not so much. Those quality wins are not as quality as they sound in the ACC. Carolina is the cream of the crop hear and I doubt any other teams make a deep run.

Big 10

The nation’s most overrated conference. They should have 4 tourney teams, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan State, that’s it. Almost exactly like the football season, the conference is top heavy and extraordinarily mediocre from top to bottom. Mediocre also describes the quality of play at times in this conference championship.

Pac 10

I didn’t catch this tourney, but I’m high on the Pac-10. Watch out next week. The only enigma remains Arizona. They have the talent, but you never know what team will show up.

Why We Watch: Holy Cross, Albany, Miami (Ohio), George Washington, to name a few. Conference Championship week is about those schools and those kids. Those moments of exhilaration exemplify collegiate athletics.

Despite the big conferences lacking any surprises, the Mid-Majors provided a few tourney upsets that will steal at-large bids. Hello GW, Wichita State, New Mexico State. Goodbye: Air Force, Colonial getting 3 teams, and hopefully the Big 10.


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