My thoughts on the second week of the NCAA Tournament.
By Bill Smith
Lots and lots and lots of chalk. The top 3 seeds dominated the play in the second week of the NCAA. Over all, the committee was right about the top dozen teams.
In the tournament, quality depth is critical.
As I said in My thoughts on betting the NCAA Tournament—For entertainment purposes only depth is critical for surviving and moving on. North Carolina’s depth was a major factor in both of their wins. In the critical minutes at the end of games their opponents had their hands on hips searching for a breath of oxygen while the NC starters were rested.
Don’t worry about top seed teams that lost early in their conference tournament. NC moved on while Duke failed to make the final 4.
After the first weekend, beware of the one man team. As good as Blake Griffin is, it is far too easy to stop a single player. Griffin will be the first choice in the NBA draft if he comes out (which he will). Even though he scored 23, NC found ways to keep him down when it counted.
Live by the 3 point shot, die by a cold shooting night. A number of teams that depended on 3 point shots were drummed out the door by a cold night. Ohio State failed to make the second round due to a cold night. Duke, Louisville, and Missouri all use the 3 point shot as a major part of their O and all lost.
Offense comes and goes but Defense is more reliable. Michigan State showed how important D is in winning a tough game. They ground out a win in typical Big 10 style. Despite a 38% shooting day, the Louisville D almost got them into the final 2 rounds. The problem was that MS’s D was better than Louisville’s. The best game on the road to Detroit was Villanova vs. Pitt. Two D focused teams battled it out until the final shot.
Bet on the point guard over the center. Kemba Walker for UConn and Ty Lawson for NC showed how valuable guard play is in the big dance. Both provided the fuel to get their teams to the final 4.
Listen to the experts. The top seeds moved on. Again, I don’t consider a 3 over a 1 as an upset. The top 12 teams made it to the final 16. Most experts don’t want to look stupid and are conservative with their picks. The cream rose to the top and we have 3 traditional powers in the final 4.
I hope my thoughts helped you win your pool—for entertainment purposes only of course.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .
My email is [email protected]