Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Boomer's Weekly Basketball Full-Court Press: Update on NCAA Tourney Edition

I'M BACK! Vegas was a blast and some good memories and sleepless hours of entertainment and fun. Looking forward to the next time I get a chance to go back out to Sin City. However, back to were I belong back in the state of OH-IO and back to "the rock" to give you all an update on how the 2012 NCAA Men's Tournament is playing out. Lets take a minute and recap each region and check out some interesting stats from the first weekend.

South Region
As the #15 seed Mountain Hawks of Lehigh were celebrating their victory over #2 seed Duke Blue Devils, millions of NCAA brackets were offically busted. The South Region left us with a rematch from eariler in the season, when #4 seed Indiana faces #1 seed Kentucky (IU beat UK in the regular season meeting, 73 to 72.). The other match-up in this region, matches #7 seed Xavier vs. #3 seed Baylor. With the way the bracket has played out, its Kentucky's to lose. Look for a preview of the Sweet 16 later in the week back here at "the rock".

West Region
Before Lehigh busted brackets all across the country, Norfolk State provided us with the first big upset of this years tourney. Norfolk State played lights out and upended a potential title contender #2 seed Missouri, 86 to 84. The only one-loss team heading into the tourney (Murray State) was able to win their first game, before falling to Marquette in the 3rd Round, 62 to 53. The first matchup pits #1 seed Michigan State vs. #4 seed Louisville. In the other regional semifinal, #3 seed Marquette takes on #7 seed Florida (who have won their first two games by a combined score of 155-95. I could see either of these four teams representhing this region in the Final Four, should be interesting to see how it plays out this weekend. Look for a preview of the Sweet 16 later in the week back here at "the rock".

East Region
The bracket that came the closest to being "chalk", the East region played out almost as expected. Syracuse got a scare in their first game vs. #16 seed UNC-Ashville, but bounced back to beat Kansas State and reach the Sweet 16. Ohio State got two balanced attack games out of their starters verus Loyola (MD) and Gonzaga to reach the Sweet 16 for the third straight year. Regional semifinals pit #1 seed Syracuse vs. #4 seed Wisconsin. In the other matchup, two Ohio schools face each other, when #2 seed Ohio State goes up against #6 Cincinnati. Although, in my bracket I have Syracuse advancing out of this region, I will be 100% commited to the Buckeyes, in hopes of reaching the Final Four. Look for a preview of the Sweet 16 later in the week back here at "the rock".

Midwest Region
The Midwest region is represented by the two Cinderalla teams of the NCAA tourney so far. #11 seed NC State and #13 seed Ohio are into the Sweet 16 after winning their first two games in the tourney in upset fashion. It also left us with two potential title contenders with one possibly having to play short-handed the rest of the tourney (UNC) and the other (Kansas) lucky enough to still be in the tournament after rallying in their Third Round game vs. Purdue. In the Sweet 16, #1 seed UNC will go up against #13 seed Ohio, with #2 seed Kansas verus #11 seed NC State. With the injury to UNC PG, Kendall Marshall, I lean towards Kansas being the team to get out of the Midwest region. Look for a preview of the Sweet 16 later in the week back here at "the rock".

Fun stats from the first weekend

- Not one single OT and/or buzzer-beater
- Four teams in the Sweet 16 from one state (Ohio), all-time record
- In the First Four, WKU came back from 16 with less then 5 mins to go to win, NCAA tourney record, also, in the First Four, BYU rallied from 25 down to beat Iona, 78-72 another NCAA tourney record
- First time three teams seeded 13 or higher won on the same day to advance to the Round of 32 (Ohio, Norfolk State, and Lehigh)
- First time two #2 seeds (Duke and Missouri) lost to #15 seeds in a single NCAA tournament
- All #1 seeds are still alive
- The Big Ten and Big East have the most teams left in the tourney with four (4), including three matchups pinning the two conferences against each other.
- The Big Ten went 9-2, while the Big East went 11-5 in the first week of the NCAA tourney
- The Midwest is represented by the Sweet 16, with only two teams west of the Mississippi River still in the tournament.

Please feel free to add a stat and/or fact in the comments section and check in later this week for a preview by Boomer on the Sweet 16.