Can I take a mulligan?Posted by nvr1983 on March 16th, 2008
So my predictions yesterday didn’t turn out so well and I might have left out a few things. . .
Ok, if you used my picks in Vegas you are probably reading this blog at a public library because you lost your home yesterday. And yeah, I completely forgot about that small conference called the Big East. I’ll chalk it up to trying to cover one of the busiest days in the sport on my first day.
– Pittsburgh 74, #9 Georgetown 65: Pitt is rounding into a very dangerous team as they recover from early-season injuries. They basically won this game on the boards as they held a 41-29 advantage on the glass to overcome an atrocious 22-for-44 performance from the line.
– The bigger picture (other than Pitt winning the Big East tourney for only the 2nd time despite 8 finals appearances) is that Georgetown probably didn’t change its seed for the NCAA tournament with this performance. They will likely end up a 2 or 3 seed, which we don’t think will matter in the end. We like Georgetown’s inside/outside combination, but we wouldn’t count on Roy Hibbert to deliver consistently in the tournament. Despite his height, reasonable inside game, and good feel for the game that you see with his passing, we just feel something is missing with Hibbert (read: a desire to dominate). Pittsburgh will be a very interesting team to watch on the selection show. Lunardi has them as a 3 seed based on their post-season performance, but that seems really high for a team that wasn’t even ranked going into their conference tourney. In any case, they will be a dangerous team that nobody wants in their region.
– Well these games ended up a lot more competitive than we expected. The first semi was a back-and-forth affair that featured big plays from multiple players on both team (we hope you were watching, OJ) that wasn’t decided until ACC and potential national POY Tyler Hansbrough grabbed a rebound and hit a jumper along the baseline with 0.8 secs left to beat Virginia Tech, 68-66. He then proceeded to show us the most awkward celebration we have ever seen. He clearly needs to watch Laettner’s celebration again to see how it is done. In the second semi, Clemson pulled off the upset over Duke, 78-74 (tip of the hat to Vegas Watch). Clemson is a very athletic team that can play with anybody on a given night, but is often killed by its free throw shooting. Amazingly, they went 7/8 from the FT line down the stretch to put the Blue Devils away.
– UNC locked up the #1 seed in the East Regional with their win (and Tennessee’s choke job), which gives them an in-state path to the Final 4. Duke’s loss takes away any shot it had at a #1 seed, and they will likely end up with a #2 seed. Clemson was already getting in the tournament so at this point they are just climbing up the seeding charts. Viriginia Tech will be playing for the right to call itself the 66th best team in the country.
– In today’s final, we’re going with UNC (down by 1 at half). We don’t think Clemson can hit FTs two days in a row.
Back with more from the other conferences later.