By Craig Edwards
What's up? Welcome to the second round. You may notice there aren't as many teams here with you. Expect that trend to continue as you get deeper into the tournament.
--Got to start with Duke. I won't shed any tears for the Blue Devils. They really should have lost in the first round. However, all the credit does go to West Virginia, who played like gangbusters to pull off the upset.
--You should have heard Joe Becker during the Stanford game. He almost blew the roof off of the newsroom when the Cardinal nailed that buzzer beater. Joe has Stanford reaching the final four in our newsroom brackets, which of course are played only for entertainment and educational purposes.
--Everyone in our newsroom asks me how my brackets are doing. My answer is simple. I didn't fill out any. I'm not putting myself in any position where I might have to think about rooting against Washington State.
--Speaking of which, if you coach young basketball players, and want to inspire them to play defense, show them The Cougs against Notre Dame. The Irish averaged 80+ points a game this season, but only managed 41 against WSU. The Cougs imposed their will, making Notre Dame throw up ugly shot after ugly shot. The Irish shot 24.5% from the field. Defense does indeed win championships.
--So do awesome players. Kevin Love took over the game, giving UCLA the win over a very game Texas A&M squad, which actually lead for most of the contest. In a weekend that saw OJ Mayo and Michael Beasley get knocked out early, the big man from Lake Oswego is now the freshman of note in this tournament.
--Take that Bobby Knight. First, his champion pick Pittsburgh gets bounced by Michigan State. Then, after bagging on the Pac-10 Friday, he watches 3 of its teams punch their tickets to the sweet 16.