Friday, March 13, 2009

Weird Day

So that was a weird day, beginning with the Gophers actually coming back and winning a game it looked like they had kicked away. I'm not willing to call them a lock, but it's pretty close and I don't see any way they get knocked out now. Winning over Michigan State today would guarantee a bid, but I don't see it happening.

Michigan State is just too good, and we've seen how they can crush the Gophers. If Minnesota plays like they did for most of the Northwestern game, they can hang, but I don't see them winning. And they better bring their A game too. If they get crushed by the Spartans again, that's not going to be a good image to leave in the heads of the selection committee.

In other weirdness, the UCONN/Syracuse game went into six overtimes before the Cuse prevailed, and I watched every single one of them. It wasn't nearly as thrilling as it sounds. Every overtime ended in anti-climactic fashion. Nobody hit a big shot, and mainly towards the end of the OTs it was like watching the Gophers try to run a last minute play. Still, second longest game in history, so it's worth mentioning.

Five teams with their eyes on #1 bids played yesterday, and four of them lost. UCONN to Syracuse, Pitt to West Virginia, Oklahoma to Oklahoma State, and Kansas to Baylor - who looks like they are in position to make a run at the B12 title and justify my preseason love. Suddenly not only do Louisville and North Carolina look like locks for #1, but Michigan State and Memphis are in play as well. Hopefully the Gophers can knock the Spartans off that spot.

Speaking of the Gophers, they got a decent amount of help bubble-wise yesterday. Providence couldn't beat Louisville and probably ended their chance. Other teams who are now dead are UNLV (lost to San Diego State), Miami (lost to Virginia Tech), Kansas State (lost to Texas), Rhode Island (lost to Duquesne), and New Mexico (lost to Wyoming). Arizona also didn't do itself any favors, losing to Arizona State. They may still get in, but at this point they are probably behind Minnesota.

In the non-help division, Virginia Tech's win over Miami helped them, but they probably need one more, as do Temple (beat St. Joe's) and Maryland (beat NC State). Kentucky won their opening rounder, but needs probably 2 or 3 more wins. While Michigan, Oklahoma State, and Boston College probably all put themselves in, and maybe Florida and Penn State too - they're a really weird case. Additionally, USC may have put themselves in the conversation with an upset win over Cal. If they can manage to beat UCLA today, who knows.

Today will have plenty of interesting consequences for a lot of teams:

Virginia Tech plays North Carolina and has to win, as does Kentucky vs. LSU, San Diego State vs. BYU, and Temple vs. Xavier. Florida and Penn State might needs wins too.

And, just to top of the weirdness of the night, in case you missed it, I had a nice little chat with Devron Bostick.

Oh, prediction. Michigan State 71, Minnesota 64.