I love the NCAA Tournament. I love it so much. 2016 has been better than 2015 and the year before and the one before that. The NCAA Tournament is the only thing that I can think of that gets better and better every year. If the NCAA tournament had human qualities assigned to it, this is how it would look:
Let’s assess the magic from this weekend:
Yale, given 5 more minutes, would have beaten Duke. I hate the cliche that sportscasters use where they say that, “this team didn’t lose, they got beat.” It is a dumb quote, but the logic actually applies to Yale in reverse. Duke did not beat Yale, Yale lost the game with a sub par first half, but I firmly believe Yale with its patient offense predicated on ball movement and there outstanding rebounding was the better team in that game even though they succumbed to pressure in the first half
That shot…That half-court shot that Northern Iowa threw up was a thing of beauty and it looked as natural as a Steph Curry 3. Everyone in that arena knew that shot was going in. Then Northern Iowa gets a massive lead against A&M, and in the most unbelievable comeback, A&M came back when Northern Iowa lost their in bounder. Role players matter, and having a guy that can inbound the ball matters in big games.
Three words: Tom Brady poise. Thomas Walkup doesn’t flinch. He dribbled and passed around any type of defense that was thrown at him, and he was nearly impossible to guard. It just looked like Walkup played as loose as someone playing an intense game of horse. Love the beard, love the Joe Bateman-esque composure, wish ND missed the tip in. “The Boston Celtics select…”
He is one of the few players in the tournament that can single handedly take his team to a title. May the Celtics land him with one of their 83 picks.
Yale (+5) over Baylor…uh huh
Purdue (-11) over Arkansas Little Rock (almost)
USC (-2) over Providence…yup.
I will gamble if I can draw a conclusion from the handicapping resources available and share my thoughts and results. Purdue, had they not lost their PG would have won AND covered.
Raft, Hill, Nance
Show me a better booth than Raft, Nance, and Hill in any sport at any time. I associate Raft with all things Big East, so I am a little biased, but he is smart with great timing. Hill brings the player’s perspective better than any former player, and Nance has the best, warmest call of any play by play (even Michaels).