Patterico's Pontifications

3/22/2008

March Madness: Going to the Sweet 16 (Updated)

Filed under: Sports — DRJ @ 7:01 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Let’s review the brackets as of Saturday evening:

East.

No real upsets here. The top seed beat the lower-seeded team in every case except #9 Arkansas’s win over #8 Indiana. Washington State beat Notre Dame to make it into the Sweet 16. The remaining 3 teams will be determined tomorrow.

South.

Just like in the East, all the top seeds in the South made it past the first round. In the second round, Stanford beat Marquette by 1 in Overtime to move into the Sweet 16. Michigan State and Pitt are in progress, with the winner going to the Sweet 16. The remaining 2 teams will be determined tomorrow.

UPDATE: #5 Michigan State beat #4 Pitt and will take on the winner of Memphis-Mississippi State next week.

West.

There were a few upsets in the West, including #9 Texas A&M over #8 BYU and #12 Western Kentucky over #5 Drake. But the big news was #13 San Diego’s 1-point win over #4 Connecticut.

In addition, West Virginia made it to the Sweet 16 by ending Duke’s run in the second round. West Virginia will face Xavier, who beat Purdue today. The third Sweet 16 team from the West will be the winner of UCLA-Texas A&M, which is in progress. The fourth team from the West will be determined tomorrow.

UPDATE: Texas A&M was the 6th-ranked team in the Big 12 Conference (it was 8-8 in conference play) and it’s taking UCLA down to the wire. The game is tied at 47 with just over a minute to play. No matter how this game turns out, the PAC-10 looks very weak right now.

UCLA won 53-49 51-49 [see comment 14] but it was close to the end. What’s even more amazing is this was in Anaheim and basically a home game for UCLA.

Midwest.

There were some big upsets in the Midwest, including #10 Davidson over #7 Gonzaga, #11 Kansas State beat #6 USC, #13 Siena over #4 Vanderbilt, and #12 Villanova beat #5 Clemson. The 12-seed Villanova will face #13 Siena tomorrow. You don’t see that every day.

#1 seed Kansas made it safely through the first and second rounds and is off to the Sweet 16, as is #3 Wisconsin. The remaining 2 teams from the Midwest will be determined tomorrow.

Good luck to all.

— DRJ

24 Responses to “March Madness: Going to the Sweet 16 (Updated)”

  1. KSU’s out. Damnit.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  2. I know, Scott. I really cheered for KSU. Partly because I like the Big 12, partly for you, and also because my mom went there. Good people.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  3. And an amazing campus. It’s hard to not love the Little Apple…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  4. The 12-seed Villanova will face #13 Siena tomorrow. You don’t see that every day.

    But you’ll see it twice on Sunday; #12 WKU vs. #13 San Diego starts 2 1/2 hours after Villanova-Siena.

    Dodd (976505)

  5. Absolutely right, Dodd. Thanks.

    Isn’t this fun?

    DRJ (a431ca)

  6. Midwest #10 Davidson over #7 Gonzaga wasn’t an upset if you go by the Vegas odds or by the UPI top 25. The selection committee doesn’t always seed them perfectly.

    kaf (5402f4)

  7. The usual “home cooking” for UCLA by the striped shirts late in the 2nd half, but that’s what the AGro-Americans from College Station get for allowing it to be close at the wire. Good effort nevertheless.

    Go Horns.

    capitano (03e5ec)

  8. every time ucla wins, somebody complains about the officiating. what’s up with that?

    assistant devil's advocate (e3698b)

  9. ADA,

    I think NCAA and other officials do a good job but there are always complaints about officiating, and not just in UCLA games. Ditto for football for teams like USC and Cal.

    However, there have been times I’ve wondered if officials in the high-profile markets are less likely to intervene during the final 2-3 minutes of a game. There seems to be a “let them play” approach that prevails in those markets, particularly in pro sports and big college games. Since the home team already has an advantage because of its fans, relaxing the calls at the end of the game is more likely to benefit the home team than the visitor and it can feel like the rules change in mid-game.

    If this exists, I don’t think it is limited to West Coast games. However, there are a lot of high-profile markets and teams on the West Coast so it may be more noticeable.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  10. well drj, i remember the ucla-washington game earlier this season when washington won, and in order to preserve its upset in the final seconds, it inbounded the ball right off of alfred aboya’s face – no whistle. i thought, ok, as long as my team gets some close calls too.

    on the other hand, as a 4 1/2 decade laker fan too, i have noticed the “invisible hand of the league”.

    assistant devil's advocate (e3698b)

  11. UCLA, Stanford and Wash. State move on to the Sweet Sixteen. How does this make the Pac 10 look weak? Good teams find a way to win close games. Are there any conferences with three teams in the next bracket?

    Alta Bob (aada0c)

  12. assistant devil’s advocate: every time ucla wins, somebody complains about the officiating. what’s up with that?

    You’ve got it backwards. Every time the officiating is complaint-worthy, UCLA wins. What’s up with THAT?

    Here’s the caption for this Los Angeles Times photo of A&M’s Donald Sloane trying for a game-tying shot in the lane:


    UCLA forward Josh Shipp appears to grab the arm of Texas A&M’s Donald Sloan, who was trying to make the tying basket in the final seconds of Saturday’s second-round NCAA West Regional game at Anaheim.

    Another Times photo showing both Shipp and Darren Collison (right, #2) fouling Sloan isn’t on the paper’s site. It was displayed by college hoops analyst Doug Gottlieb on ESPNews a few hours ago. Gottlieb says there is no doubt that Sloan was fouled, and that the officials “swallowed the whistle.”

    Gottlieb also wondered — as I do also — why the final dunk was counted by the official scorer when the ball was clearly in Russell Westbrook’s hand when the backboard lit up, signaling the end of the game.

    L.N. Smithee (eeee35)

  13. OK, it appears that what I saw in WordPress’ preview doesn’t translate to the site. Here’s the link to the photo matching the above caption:

    http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2008-03/37063269.jpg

    L.N. Smithee (eeee35)

  14. The NCAA has now “clarified the score” in the UCLA-Texas A&M game. As L. N. Smithee mentioned, the final dunk should not have counted and the score should have been 51-49.

    That’s pretty lame. I may reconsider my comment on how UCLA doesn’t get any special breaks.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  15. Butler got gleenwalded in their seeding, and the gleenwalded by the striped shirts today. A shame.

    JD (5f0e11)

  16. Mr. Smithee, I watched the last half of the UCLA game. While you could argue that Sloan was fouled, you could also argue that A&M committed a uncalled foul a little earlier. UCLA had just stolen the ball and was going for a shot; the A&M defender clearly slapped the UCLA shooter’s forearm as he tried to go up for the shot. The ball came out, and two Bruins dove for it. UCLA was charged with an offensive foul, and possession went to A&M. Had the A&M foul been called, UCLA likely would have had one or more extra point in their lead on A&M’s last possession.

    Complaints about officiating go both ways, I didn’t see anything to grouse about in that game.

    As far as the last field goal, I saw the 2 points taken off the final score while I was watching the after-game stuff. I don’t know whether it had been added back. But it doesn’t matter.

    Steverino (459829)

  17. Alta Bob,

    Let’s talk about the PAC-10. The PAC-10 campaigned to get 7 teams into the NCAA tournament this year, including its top three teams (UCLA, Stanford, Washington State) as well as USC, Arizona, Oregon and Arizona State.

    They ended up getting 6 bids with Arizona State the only campaigner that didn’t get a bid, amid much complaining. Arizona, Oregon, and USC went out in the first round. I don’t recall the scores but I saw some of each game and they weren’t that close. In addition, Stanford had its hands full with Marquette and won in overtime, while Washington State faced Winthrop in the first round, and UCLA playing in Anaheim barely escaped Texas A&M. Frankly, if UCLA had trouble with A&M, just wait until it sees Kansas.

    In comparison, like the PAC-10, the Big 12 had 6 teams in the field. However, while only 2 have made it into the Sweet 16 (so far, but Oklahoma is down by 20+), 5 of the 6 teams made it past the first round.

    The Big East has 8 teams in the field and 7 of them made it to the second round. It would have been all 8 if not for Connecticut’s stunning upset. ‘Nova and West Virginia are going to the Sweet 16, and Georgetown would have been in if not for the incredible second-half performance by Davidson’s Steve Curry. The winner of Big East’s Louisville vs Big 12 Oklahoma – probably Louisville – will be in the Sweet 16, boosting the numbers for that conference.

    The Big 10 got 4 bids and 2 of those, Wisconsin and Michigan State, are going to the Sweet 16. Percentage-wise, it’s hard to beat a 50% success rate, but Conference USA (Memphis) and the Southern Conference (Davidson) are at 100% when it comes to their ability to get to the Sweet 16.

    I guess we’ll have to see what happens, but I wouldn’t bet on the PAC-10 this year.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  18. I don’t like when sportswriters bring politics into sports. This ESPN article asking “Is America’s love for Tyler Hansbrough as a hard worker and player of the year favorite related to race?” is a good example.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  19. DRJ – I think the fact that people appreciate Tyler Hansbrough is mainly due to the fact that he is damn good, plays hard, and is fortunate enough to play for a school, and in a conference, that is fellated by the 4-letter network constantly.

    JD (5f0e11)

  20. Steverino wrote: While you could argue that Sloan was fouled, you could also argue that A&M committed a uncalled foul a little earlier…UCLA was charged with an offensive foul, and possession went to A&M…I didn’t see anything to grouse about in that game.

    Accepting your premise that it was an error on the officials’ part, what you are referring to happened at 2:24 on the clock with the score tied 45-45. The uncalled foul of Sloan as he was driving to the hoop happened with 5.3 seconds left with UCLA leading by two. That’s two-and-a-half minutes and potentially five full possessions to recover from a bad/no call in a tie game vs. four seconds and NO possessions trailing by two points.

    Bad calls and no-calls happen, but they are not created equal.

    L.N. Smithee (eeee35)

  21. oh my aching sides! 53-49 versus 51-49 doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to me.

    i watched the game from my usual perch at our local world-class facility bandon dunes. it was disturbing that ucla couldn’t score for so many minutes going into and coming out of the half, but they eventually picked up the pace just enough to win. i agree that they need to do better than that to beat stronger teams.

    the pac-10 is a weak conference? let’s see what the final four looks like. let’s see what the champion looks like.

    assistant devil's advocate (27e83d)

  22. But ADA, if the refs can’t get the score right, what else are they missing.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  23. ada – Bandon Dunes is one of my all-time favorite golf courses. What an incredible track there.

    JD (75f5c3)

  24. what else are they missing?

    in basketball as in litigation, all that went before merges into the final result; the testimony and argument, the posturing and table-thumping, the fouls called and fouls ignored, and when it’s over you walk out of the courtroom telling your client “that was really sloppy and ugly, but it goes in the book as a win, and i’m gonna take it.” your question is fundamentally unimportant, it betrays a process-oriented attitude in a result-oriented context. a champion will open a big enough lead on the scoreboard to be immune from referee home cooking.

    assistant devil's advocate (27e83d)


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