Saturday, March 22, 2008
- The Hodags lose, and get it good. A 4-point loss in a game to 13 isn't that close, and they lose to a team no one had mentioned as having that potential: Michigan. Not only that, but Michigan stays the course and finishes undefeated and riding momentum into a quarters match-up against Arizona. The end of the pursuit of an undefeated season should redirect Wisconsin's attention to where it really needs to be: a series championship.
- The westernmost team in Quarters is Arizona. What an abysmal showing by the Northwest region, when your highest finishers will meet in the semis of 9als and you have a combined record of 5-20. At this point Las Positas is looking good, with former favorites Stanford, UBC, and Oregon plumbing Centex depths.
- This amounts to a run on the bank at Santa Barbara & Co. They're on a sharp 2-10 skid and they haven't touched bottom yet. Bottom is up for grabs tomorrow, with little else, as they meet in consolation play against San Diego. Loser gets no better than 24th. Does Claremont have entitlement to the 3rd seed in Southwest regionals?
- No bigger victory today, for its possible future ramifications, than Colorado's beating of Arizona to start the insanity. After getting poo-pooed all season by haters and doubters alike, while watching Arizona gets treated to verbal back massages, they came out to christen the day with a statement win for the region. Unless they meet in finals, they likely won't see each other again until the regional finals, and short of an Arizona victory Sunday they'll have the SW 1-seed.
- Oh yeah, and Martin Cochran is BAAACK! Don't be a fool and think Mamabird's day and Cochran's return is a coincidence. Boy can play.
- All Georgia had to do to make the championship bracket is not tank a game to Harvard. They had one loss to Arizona but had beaten both CUT and Mamabird and would have had the head-to-head advantage. Just don't lose to Harvard, the team that allowed sorry-to-be-there Kansas more points than anyone else. What did Georgia do? Lay a shocking 7-13 loss. Welcome to consolation.
- Pool C is nothing but heartbreak for Texas and their fans. One 2-point loss, and they're out of contention. I agree that this pool was the hardest to qualify from, but after UBC dropping like ballast and UCSB again failing to show up this pool is looking weaker in retrospect. UNC has the potential to ride a weaker side of the bracket to finals, maybe, but Pittsburgh is going to be swallowed in the first round by Colorado, I bet.
- Minnesota advances to the championship bracket after a 1-point squeaker over Illinois. They didn't have a particularly impressive day; although they played Florida close they lost their first game against Georgia Tech. UNC will not be as merciful if they come out flat again in quarters, the score won't be close.
For 9als, I like NCSU vs Carleton, Texas vs. Georgia (ed: correction, thanks Kyle). NCSU takes if from Texas.
I like Michigan vs UNC in one semifinal and Wisconsin vs Colorado in the other. Assuming Michigan doesn't run out of steam it'll be a rematch against Wisconsin in finals, at a time the odds of victory will seem directly proportional to the rewards reaped from it.