We’ve already discussed the biggest chumps of the tournament. Now let’s get a quick rundown of those who shined in the first two rounds.
I’ve got nothing against Dell Curry — after all, the man was in NBA Jam — but he’s not Stephen. Between a 40-point effort against Gonzaga and 30 against Georgetown, I can’t get enough of him. And to think, he’s just a sophomore.
Since I can’t imagine he’s hurting for money, we’ll probably get at least another year of watching him blossom at Davidson. It’s pretty awesome to think that the most exciting returning player in college basketball (if Tyler Hansbrough should go pro) will be at a school most people have never heard of.
Yeah, I know, they didn’t even get out of the second round. But I don’t think anyone is doubting that Butler deserved much better than the 7 seed they earned from the tournament committee after blasting South Alabama in Birmingham and barely falling to Tennessee in overtime.
The shame of it is the Bulldogs won’t be nearly as strong next year with A.J. Graves and Mike Green graduating. This was their chance to have one final shot under the sun, and thanks to a poorly drawn bracket, it was an abbreviated stay. But it was a stay that I personally enjoyed watching.
The tournament committee needs to start paying some attention to where teams are ranked in the polls when it does its seeding. The fact that Butler was in the Top 12 in the AP and Coaches’ polls might indicate that yes, they actually are that good. No matter how much they prove themselves every postseason, though, it seems mid-majors can never be afforded the respect of a top 4 seed. Maybe it’s just an effort to prevent Billy Packer’s head from exploding.
I guess Bill Walker is sort of the Steve Buscemi of basketball. He doesn’t get the glory, but I wouldn’t mind having that dude in a supporting role no matter what the situation. The way he played against USC and Wisconsin seems to indicate there is at least a small glimmer of hope for K-State after Beasley leaves for the glory of the Charlotte Bobcats or some other fine organization next season.
All year, there was peeping from the west coast about how the Pac-10 was the best conference in the country. Of course, no one listened to all that hippie-talk. But it’s starting to look like they were on to something. And I don’t mean weed.
Granted, UCLA looked pretty shaky against Texas A&M. But Washington State simply dominated a Notre Dame team that many people felt was primed for a run, and Stanford pulled out a gutsy win over Marquette sans coach. We’ll see how they fare in the next round — it wouldn’t be shocking if all of them were gone — but at least the Pac-10 has proven it belongs somewhere in the best conference discussion.