By Craig Edwards
The Big Dance is in full swing, with the first day of action in the books. Not a whole lot of upsets Thursday, but much of the action made me look forward to Saturday. Here are just some random thoughts from day #1.
--The PSU Vikings showed they do indeed belong in the NCAA Tournament. But even with all that heart, there's a huge difference between the Big Sky and the Big 12, and it showed. Kansas looked very much like a number 1 seed.
--What a game played by Belmont. They really looked like a top team against Duke. I really think they lost the game in the possession BEFORE Gerald Richardson made the go ahead basket. Instead of making sure they extended their lead, and forcing Duke to take a three, they went with the milk the clock strategy. Instead of getting a good shot, they got a horrible one, which let Duke go for a layup that won it.
--Mississippi Valley State's most famous alumni, Jerry Rice, probably wouldn't have been much help against UCLA. Kevin Love and company dropped 10 touchdowns on the 16 seed.
--Need proof basketball is a team sport? Look at the hype surrounding OJ Mayo and Michael Beasley heading into their game. But Beasley got into foul trouble, leading teammate Bill Walker to steal the show. Beasley may have lead his team in scoring, but the game belonged to Walker and Kansas St, as Beasley watched a lot of the action from the bench.
--Did anyone else feel smarter while watching Cornell vs. Stanford, or was it just me?
--A good basketball tip for you youngsters out there. Holding your opponent to 11 points in the second half is a very good formula for winning ball games. My Cougs definitely put the clamps down on Winthrop. If they can keep that defensive level up, they'll make a very deep run. One Winthrop player said he and his teammates were getting good looks at the basket. He apparantly was watching a different game than I was.
--Winthrop's 11 points in one half looks horrible, but Kent St. managed to beat them by one, shooting for a measly 10 in the first half against UNLV. Insert your own Las Vegas crime joke here.
--It looks like Georgia finally ran out of gas against Xavier. But they deserve props for winning the SEC tournament despite all those obstacles. Double headers work in baseball... not so much in basketball.
What did you think of all the action?
I'll see you tomorrow.