Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On To The Sweet 16....Hits and Misses (Part 1)



The first two rounds of the women's NCAA Basketball Tournament were a surprise on several fronts, the most obvious being while the men's tournament held few upsets, and all of the one and two seeds held for the men, in the women's side it was a different story.

So...let's do, ladies first.

On Monday seventh seeded Rutgers beat the two seed Auburn, and the fifth seed Purdue knocked off (3) North Carolina, while (4) Pitt was given a scare by Gonzaga, but won....and last night (1) Oklahoma had all they could handle from (9) Georgia Tech in the Oklahoma City Region.

The Raleigh Region held true with numbers one through four Maryland, Baylor, Louisville, and Vanderbilt (with Baylor winning squeakers in both opening rounds), and the Trenton Region had (who else?) (1)UCONN, (2) Texas A&M, and (4) Cal advancing, while second seed FSU was eliminated by (6)Arizona State.

But the biggest bracket buster OF bracket busters was the Berkeley Region. Though Tennessee was only a five seed, there was still reason to believe that Pat Summitt would find a way to get the Lady Vols into the Sweet Sixteen. Upstart Ball State, in their first NCAA Tournament, knocked Tennessee out in the first round. Yesterday, while Ball State was preparing for its game with (4) Iowa State ( who beat Ball State 71-57), Tennessee was back in Knoxville, having a practice, preparing for next year. But there was more...(9) seed Michigan State used a suffocating defense and a home court advantage to beat (1) Duke. This was the first time a nine seed had advanced to the Sweet Sixteen since 1998, and it was MSU head coach Suzy Merchant's (pictured above) first trip to the Sweet Sixteen. Third seed Ohio State and (2) Stanford advanced...and the Cardinal should be a favorite to advance to the Final Four in consecutive years, with the next two rounds being held in their backyard.

Overall, I picked 12 of 16....Berkeley was my worst bracket, I picked both Tennesee and Duke to be there in the field of 16, as well as North Carolina (Oklahoma City) and Florida State (Trenton).

Here's the matchups for Saturday and Sunday.

• RALEIGH: SATURDAY
No. 3 Louisville vs. No. 2 Baylor (ESPN, noon)
No. 4 Vanderbilt vs. No. 1 Maryland (ESPN, 2)

• BERKELEY: SATURDAY
No. 9 Michigan St. vs. No. 4 Iowa St. (ESPN, 9)
No. 3 Ohio St. vs. No. 2 Stanford (ESPN2, 11:30)

• TRENTON: SUNDAY
No. 4 California vs. No. 1 UConn (ESPN, noon)
No. 6 ASU vs. No. 2 Texas A&M (ESPN2, 2:30)

• OKLAHOMA CITY: SUNDAY
No. 7 Rutgers vs. No. 6 Purdue (ESPN2, 7:30)
No. 4 Pitt vs. No. 1 Oklahoma (ESPN2, 9:30)

My Picks-

No. 3 Louisville vs. No. 2 Baylor - LOUISVILLE
No. 4 Vanderbilt vs. No. 1 Maryland- MARYLAND
No. 9 Michigan St. vs. No. 4 Iowa St- MICHIGAN STATE
No. 3 Ohio St. vs. No. 2 Stanford - STANFORD
No. 4 California vs. No. 1 UConn - UCONN
No. 6 ASU vs. No. 2 Texas A&M - ARIZONA STATE
No. 7 Rutgers vs. No. 6 Purdue - RUTGERS
No. 4 Pitt vs. No. 1 Oklahoma- OKLAHOMA

OK....lets see how not smart I am!

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