This entry is cross-posted on TNR's blog, Posting Up:
So we all agree that the ACC is overrated and the PAC-10 got a raw deal this year.
But to paraphrase a keen observer of the human condition--Rowdy Roddy Piper--now that we know some of the answers, it's time to change the questions.
And the new questions are: Who has had the best--and worst--March Madness so far?
-- NCAA Selection Committee. Drexel and Syracuse snubs are distant memories. The chalk rules every region, excepting only UNLV (mis-seeded at #7) and Vandy (#6).
-- Anthony Grant. Coach of VCU knocked out everyone's favorite ACC whipping-boy in Round One, took Big East beast Pitt to OT in Round Two, and made some extra spending money in the process. Comes from the Pitino-coaching-family (via Florida's Billy Donovan), and may not finish his first year as coach of VCU.
-- Texas A&M. Got through tougher-than-expected Penn, beat virtual home team Louisville, and head back to the friendly Alamodome (don't be surprised to see George H.W. Bush or Defense Secretary Bob Gates in the crowd shots). Memphis is a tough 2-seed, but Chris Douglas-Roberts is questionable, and #1 Ohio State looks vulnerable. The Aggies were a trendy Final Four pick a week ago, but this time, the Conventional Wisdom may be right.
-- CBS. No memorable buzzer-beaters, no major upsets, no Duke. Sure, there were some overtime games on Saturday, but is it worth paying $6B over 11 years to promote 'How I Met Your Mother'?
-- Kevin Durant. How can we have a coming-out-party when the guest-of-honor is MIA? To be fair, scouts, recruiters, and insiders have been up on Durant for a while--he was the #2 prospect a year ago (after OSU's Greg Oden), but this was this quietest college exit by a future NBA star since Indiana took UNC out of the Sweet Sixteen in 1984.
-- Sons of famous coaches. Sean Sutton's season at Oklahoma State included a brief ranking at #9 and ended with a home loss to Marist in the NIT. UNLV's Kevin Kruger took some heat after an 0-for-8 from the field in a First Round game, but to his credit, bounced back with 16 points (including 3 straight 3-pointers in the second half) in the second round win over Wisconsin. Unlike Kruger, Sutton has to wait six months to get another chance.