NCAA Day 2

That was quite a fun first day, wasn’t it? It wasn’t chock full of upsets, but a couple double-digit teams (UWM and UAB) did advance. Even though the seeds say otherwise, I’d also consider Pacific’s win over Pittsburgh, because anytime a team from a power conference loses to a team like Pacific, it’s an upset in my book.
Day 2 should be even more fun for the local folks, because due to some odd scheduling, four of the five ACC teams play today. Duke and Carolina should both roll, although you may have noticed that neither of the #1 seeds yesterday won in blowout fashion. I have a hunch the Tar Heels and Blue Devils (read this article about the troubles of Delaware State’s coach. Tough story) will be different.

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Classic Dean Smith Quote

Those of you who are relatively new to the ACC certainly know who Dean Smith is. He’s the legendary coach from North Carolina, known not only for his Xs and Os, but for his gentlemanly manners and the love of his players.
What you may not remember though is that Smith was not just one of the best coaches ever, but he was one of the best ever at the back-handed compliment. Coach Smith loved to jab his rivals while pretending to compliment them. Take the quotes from this article about Mike Krzyzewski catching Dean Smith’s NCAA win record.

“I didn’t realize that,” Smith said recently by phone from his office in the Dean E. Smith center, nine miles from Cameron Indoor Stadium and Coach K Court. “It isn’t fair for John Wooden, Frank McGuire, Pete Newell and Henry Iba. Mike and I had it great, when more than one team from each conference got in. You used to have to win the conference tournament to get in.”
Yes, in fairness to Smith — not to mention those championship coaches of an earlier era — in his first 14 years at North Carolina, ACC teams had to win the conference tournament to advance. When he made his first NCAA tournament in 1967, the field was 23 teams, nine of which had first-round byes. There were fewer games to play and tougher matchups sooner.
When Krzyzewski made his second NCAA tournament in 1985, almost 20 years later, the field was expanded to 64 teams.
“Mike certainly has done a great job in the tournament,” said Smith, who has 11 Final Fours and two national championships to Krzyzewski’s 10 Final Fours and three titles. “I thought he’d probably have had it a long time ago.”

I thought he’d probably have had it a long time ago.
The man still has the touch!
Thanks to the ACC Basketblog for the find.

Dan Bonner Is OK

Whew! I was worried for a while there. It turns out that Dan Bonner is OK. He’s working one of the first round games today.
When Bonner wasn’t working the local broadcasts of the ACC Tournament, I was concerned. I honestly thought that maybe Mike Hogewood had eaten him.

Featherston On The NCAA Tournament

I’ve become Al Featherston’s marketing page!
He has yet another great article at the Duke Basketball Report. This one is on the NCAA Tournament and has some great anecdotes about beat reporters and covering the tournament.
He also has a section highlighting Coach K’s success at Duke (well, he is writing for a Duke site).
My one beef is his bringing up that Virginia loss to NC State in the regional finals of 1983. It’s still a sore spot.

Calm Before The Storm

Man, do I wish I were back in college. In those days, this week was always Spring Break and I could sit and watch basketball all day from Thursday through Sunday. I even remember being in Dayton Beach and sitting in my hotel room in front of the TV while everyone else was outside (of course that had nothing to do with a wicked sunburn and brutal hangover). Great times.
Life with a job and kids isn’t all bad (well, the kids part isn’t all bad), but it just doesn’t give me hoops-watching time I crave. I’ll have to do with long lunches at the sports bar and some good Internet scoreboards.
Anyway, enough with the wishful thinking. It’s nearly time to play ball and I want to get a few thoughts out there before the games start. I don’t have time to run through the whole bracket, so I’ll focus on the ACC teams.

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Dave Sez NCAA Pool

Update: Only a few more hours to sign up! We have 21 people in the pool now, which is a pretty nice contest. Lets see if we can get some more!
Want to impress your coworkers? Shame your friends? Score with the ladies (or gentlemen)?
Then you need to join my Dave Sez NCAA Pool. I set it up through Yahoo, because it’s free and pretty easy to use.
Just head here and sign up. The Dave Sez group id is 60054 and the password is davesez.
No prizes other than bragging rights and frankly, it don’t get no better than that. I’ll also post info on the winners on my world-famous site, so you’ll be able to live a few moments in the blinding spotlight of Internet fame.
Sign up!

Computer Picks

I decided to do a quick run through of the brackets using just a few computer ratings to pick teams. It turns out that whether you use Pomeroy, Sagarin or RPI, you get pretty similar results. Surprisingly, each of the computer ratings would pick only six or seven upsets (lower seed beating higher seed) in the whole tournament.
Sagarin has UNC, Illinois, Wake Forest and Duke in the Final Four with Illinois winning it all.
Pomeroy has the exact same Final Four and winner as Sagarin.
The RPI has Kansas, Illinois, Washington and Duke in the Final Four with Kansas (!!) winning it all. Outside of Kansas’ surprising run, the RPI picks only two upsets in the whole tourney, which I guess isn’t too surprising since that’s the computer model they use for their seeding.
When you consider that Sagarin and Pomeroy pick only six and seven upsets, I wonder why the RPI is used at all. It seems to come to basically the same conclusions as the more sensible computer ratings. The main difference is Kansas, a team whose RPI the committee largely ignored.


Like I did last week, I’m gonna cheat again today. This time of year there are just so many good links that I’m a bit overwhelmed. So instead of giving you what I think is a good list, I’m gonna go meta on yo ass. Check out the ACC Basketblog’s links of the day.
After you finish that list, you can check out the Duke Basketball Report for a cornucopia of ACC and NCAA Tourney links.
And of course, Yoni is cranking out list after list as well (from a national perspective).

Champions Again

Before we move on to the college basketball feast that is the NCAA Tournament, I want to look back at the ACC Tournament. Ned Barnett of the News & Observer rightly points out that the timing of the tournament final, just a few hours before the NCAA brackets are revealed, makes it easy to overlook the champ. Well, not here. I couldn’t be more excited about the Big Dance, but it can wait one more day.
I think I’ll just do a quick rundown of each team and how they did and what it means for them now.

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