Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sweet 16 thoughts - Night one

- Pittsburgh can ugly up a game. But, the Panthers are in the Elite Eight for the first time in school history.

- Missouri and Memphis played in the West Regional. But, viewers in San Francisco (to pick one western market) did not get the game until it became apparent that Villanova was up on Duke by 13 points. The love affair with Duke, by the TV networks, is alive and well. (And, yeah, I know that the east coast/Philadelphia markets deliver more viewers than the Missouri and Memphis markets.)

- How good did Missouri look in the first half of their game? Congratulations to the Tigers for advancing to the Elite Eight.

- I see that Memphis worked hard on their free throw shooting after last year's national championship loss to Kansas. Other than Tyreke Evans, Memphis shot 9 of 23 from the line.

- Who would have thought that Mizzou and Memphis, two teams noted for their defensive skills, would score a total of 193 points in their game?

- How often did Dick Enberg call Missouri "Memphis?"

- Kentucky isn't in the Sweet 16, or the NCAA Tournament for that matter. And, it now is eliminated from the NIT Tournament after losing to Notre Dame. It appears that Billy Gillispie may be out as head coach. According to sources, Gillispie's inability to handle the non-traditional coaching duties like dealing with alumni, fans and press, as well as relate to his team, may ultimately be his undoing. Obviously, the win-loss record doesn't help either.

- Does anyone think that Evans will be back at Memphis next season? For the second straight year, Coach John Calipari has recruited a stud point guard who likely will be lottery pick after one year in college. Last year, Derrick Rose; this year, Tyreke Evans. This is likely the appeal for recruits like Xavier Henry and DeMarcus Cousins, who have picked Memphis, and likely John Wall, who will announce his intentions in the near future.

- Villanova's convincing win over Duke puts three Big East teams into the Elite Eight.

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