Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NCAA First Rounds' Impressions

First of all, let me tell you, my bracket is busted. What an exciting first two (or three including qualifiers) rounds. Some of the finishes were legendary. No true buzzer beaters yet, but plenty of close finishes and last second shots.

"Arizona's Derrick Williams"
My runner-up for best game is Texas-Arizona in the West regional quarterfinals. With only a few seconds left on the clock Texas had the ball and the two point lead, and had only to throw it inbounds to be fouled and secure a four-point lead, and assuredly the insurmountable lead. However, Cory Joseph gets called on a five-seconds inbound play, Derrick Williams gets the ball on the Arizona possession, scores the tough basket and gets fouled to take the lead with an and-1 basket. Arizona wins 70-69 on a no-call for Texas.

The best game so far of this NCAA tournament may be the craziest ending that I have ever seen in a basketball game. The dramatic turns-of-events between (1) Pittsburgh and (8) Butler, would not have happened had the teams not played sloppy, sloppy basketball, and taken ridiculously unnecessary fouls. Nevertheless, it made for a game to remember. Butler scored to take the lead 70-69 with 2.2 seconds remaining. Pitt inbounded the ball to Gilbert Brown who is fouled at halfcourt by Shelvin Mack with 1.4 seconds to go. Brown makes the first, but misses the second and Matt Howard is there for the rebound, which he catches and releases in one motion to draw a foul call with the game tied at 70, and only 0.8 seconds on the clock. Butler sealed the win with a free-throw 71-70, in a classic finish.

"Butler's Matt Howard celebrates his team's win, as Pitt leaves the floor"

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