Critical Section

Madness: Round Four

Sunday,  03/29/09  11:45 PM

And so after four rounds we have four survivors...
  • Connecticut(1) ground it out over Missouri(3)Missouri - Connecticut - 82-75.  UConn jumped out fast but Missouri caught them and hung tough.  Second half was continuous up and down, lots of action, and the teams played even until UConn started to pull out at the end (and Missouri missed some key baskets).  But then the Tigers almost caught them at the end in an excruciating free-throw-fest.  An entertaining game, FS=01:20.  { I have to add, as long as the foul / free-throw / inbound endgame always takes, it is much worse when it turns into foul / commercial / free-throw / commercial / inbound.  Even substituting "fast-forward-Tivo" for "commercial" it was pretty bad.  Feh. }
  • Villanova(3) buzzer beat Pittsburgh(1)Villanova - Pittsburgh - 78-76.  Pitt was outplayed for most of the 1st half, but took a 2-point lead into the locker room, and then it was a great second half, a well-played see-saw battle, ending with some unbelievable plays at the end, a coast-to-coast drive and a barely missed hail Mary at the buzzer.  Possibly The best game of the tournament so far.  FS=00:00.
  • Michigan State(2) upsets Louisville(1)Michigan State - Louisville - 64-52.  Got off to a slow start, with 13 points in the first 10 minutes, then turned into a pretty good game, if a little sloppy; nerves were in evidence.  The second half was better and the pace picked along with the excitement level, as Michigan State began to assert themselves.  Their confidence grew and Louisville missed shots they should make; they looked so much better against Arizona.  FS=05:00.
  • North Carolina(1) rolled over Oklahoma(2)Oklahoma - North Carolina - 72-60.  Carolina jumped out to a 13-2 lead, and never looked back.  The game ended when they held the Sooners scoreless for five minutes in the middle of the second half.  Not the greatest basketball, I must say...  FS=10:00.
Do we have to keep hearing about how great the Big East was this year?  I mean, they were great.  Now let's move on.  Mercifully the cult-of-the-coach thing was kept to a minimum, thank you CBS.  Unmercifully we were inundated with commercial breaks, thank you CBS.

At this point, with Louisville out, I'm going to pick Connecticut to go all the way.  I have it as UConn over Michigan State, Villanova over North Carolina, and the Huskies to win it all.  Amazingly my bracket is still in pretty good shape (except for UCLA winning, that is :)  Anyway next weekend we'll see how it all ends up; stay tuned...

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