The NCAA Selection Committee got what it wanted. In a year of upsets, the Duke Blue Devils are back in the Final Four, with much thanks to the easiest road ever created for a top seed. It’s a shame Billy Packer isn’t around to enjoy it.
- Baylor’s program has rebounded from disaster. Too bad they didn’t rebound Sunday. The Bears might be in the Final Four if they had just boxed out on the defensive end. Duke had 17 offensive rebounds IN THE SECOND HALF! I’ve played on pickup teams that did a better job than Baylor on the glass.
- There are a lot of teams green with Spartan envy. Tom Izzo doesn’t recruit the top players in the country each year. But he does recruit very good players that understand how to win. Michigan State does all the little things right, which explains why the Spartans are in the Final Four for the sixth time in 12 years.
- The Bulldogs aren’t underdogs. Butler was ranked in the top ten in preseason polls. Butler was in the top 25 all year long. Butler hasn’t lost a game since December. Butler is a nice story, but it’s not a cinderella story. It’s a story about a great team that the public is finally realizing is a great team.
- Peaking at just the right time. The tournament committee is always looking for teams playing well down the stretch. West Virginia epitomizes that. They’ve won 10 straight games to roar into the Final Four, mostly on the basis of stifling defense. If they win it all, they’ll have racked up a dozen in a row, their longest streak of the season. That’s good timing!
- If it’s broke, find a way to fix it. Mountaineers’ guard Darryl Bryant broke his foot last week and missed the regional semifinals and finals. But now, the medical staff is looking options that would allow him to play in the Final Four. For anybody who wants to teach a lesson in toughness and determination, here’s your story. The fact he’s even considering playing is enough for me.
- CBS is an even bigger fan of Duke now. Just imagine the ratings if the Final Four had Baylor in it instead of Duke. CBS is glad it doesn’t have that problem. And you know the network honchos want the Blue Devils in the finals. I’m sick just thinking about it. OK, we’re done here.
THERE IT IS!