For me, March Madness refers not to the entire tournament, but this week. This one week where great teams are outed by teams people have never heard of, with wall-to-wall basketball and so many possibilities you have a legitimate chance to see anything.
After Sunday, it is simply the NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Tournament. The games may be good, but they come only a couple at a time with few opportunities for nobody schools becoming somebodies for a day. So, one more day of this before we have to wait another year. Soak it in.
And today has been great. For all my moaning last night that the first round has merely been okay, the second round so far has been phenomenal. We had double overtime with San Diego State and Temple. We had back-and-forth affairs in the first two games that were much more fun to watch than the final scores of Kentucky and Florida suggest. We had Wisconsin winning on yet another clutch block, which has become a theme this tournament. Richland-Morehead State was a dud, but a 12 seed won, so that's kind of cool. BYU destroyed Gonzaga, but Jimmer Fredette put on a show. And even Connecticut-Cincinnati ended in lame fashion, but was still an enjoyable game, even if it paled to the other games of the day.
Best of all, though, Butler launched itself towards potentially another (even more unlikely) Cinderella story with a thrilling game accompanied by one of the most unique finishes you will ever see.
If today was an indication, we could be headed to one of the best second* rounds ever.
Half our Sweet 16 is set.
(2) Florida v. (3) BYU
(4) Wisconsin v. (8) Butler
(2) San Diego State v. (3) Connecticut
Two Cinderella options, not too bad so far.
SB Nation Dallas-Ft. Worth Staff Pool Standings
- Code: 35 (173 Possible)
- Griffin: 33 (137 Possible)
- London: 30 (142 Possible)
- Perryman: 29 (105 Possible)
- Fittz: 27 (151 Possible)
- Starkey: 26 (148 Possible)
Charley is doing the best so far in the second round, with a 5-3 record. 4-4 from myself was good enough for second place, as everyone else went just 3-5. Surprisingly, not one person had Butler!
Pittsburgh damage was predictably massive, but none suffered more than Brett, who has now lost his National Champion. Maurice got of relatively safe losing merely a runner up (at least his survived the first round, Louisville). Charley actually faired best by merely losing them from his Elite Eight, and he remains the only member of the group with an intact Final Four. I had the Panthers losing in the Sweet 16, but that relative victory was negated by picking Utah State to win the region.
Outside of Pitt, the multiple-round damage was minimal. Liam lost UCLA, J.P. lost West Virginia, and Christopher lost Gonzaga from their respective Elite Eights, and outside of that people either have already made their mistakes or have their later rounds still alive.
Get some rest and get ready for the last day of March Madness. And wish Charley bad luck.