Daily Dribble: NCAA Tournament Day One

March 16th, 2007

Siegel Thoughts: Day One Review

- All the talk all season about how Greg Paulus was the problem for Duke.. and suddenly he's the only guy keeping him in the game. What was odd about his 25 point effort is how many times he got into the lane.. and if he just had that killer scorers instinct down low, he probably could have had a half dozen more.

- VCU's Eric Maynor (22 points) picked up where he left off in the CAA Finals when he had 20, 7, and 4 assists.

- According to the CHN Top 50.. this wasn't that big of an upset. We had Duke ranked 31st and VCU 38th. That would have made it about a 10 seed beating an 8 seed.

- Seriously, VCU over Duke was nice and all.. but it wasn't that shocking. Oral Roberts would have been a real upset, Davidson would have been great, Penn would have been epic.. but Thursday was basically nothing but teases. Lets hope Friday we get some real Cinderella stories.

- Gonzaga just looked flat-out bad against Indiana. I originally thought the Zags would win.. more out of disrespect for the Hoosiers. This game didn't have me believing in the Hoosiers at the end though.. just left me thinking Gonzaga played horribly.

- Stanford got flat out owned today. Its been discussed on this website in other places how the Cardinal had no business being in the tournament to begin with. The fact that they had an RPI of 65(?!) should have been a sign.. a Sagarin rating of 51 wasn't much better. Who knows what the Committee thought.. but its an embarrasment. Consider that Air Force had an RPI of 30, beat the crap out of Stanford by 34 points in Maples Pavilion and went on to finish with a 22-8 record to Stanford's 18.. and yet the Falcons are in the NIT.

- The Committee should use the CHN Top 50 to fill the bracket. They'd have seen Stanford didn't even make the next in line for the ranking..

- The only other team that was on a similar plane as Stanford in hilarity was Texas Tech. The Raiders were also not in our Top 50 (or near it), and were 65th in the Sagarin. They would have made a good 5th seed.. in the NIT. Or maybe not even that considering that #62 Akron didn't even make the NIT for some unknown reason.

- Some felt BYU was underseeded as an 8.. mainly due to their RPI of 18. But always remember the RPI doesn't take into account venue. The Cougars were just 8-8 all season away from home. As usual, the Sagarin had them more appropriately ranked 41st.. and the team they lost to, Xavier, was 44th. No surprise the game was so tight.

- Texas A&M-Louisville now sets up as the tournament's first "big" game. Still, I wouldn't jump on the Cardinals bandwagon to much yet.. lets remember they only did just beat the country's 65th best team..

- GW apparently ran out of whatever gas carried them through the A10 Championship. They managed to be a rare tournament team that didn't even manage one double-digit scorer. That's what 13 of 48 from the field will get you.

- Even though Davidson lost, Stephen Curry's 30 point effort was the day's best and most interesting performance. Maryland's 12 point margin of victory doesn't explain just how close this game was. I'm glad I didn't bet on Davidson (which I was planning on doing), because I would have been really annoyed knowing I made the "right" call, but lost the spread as the team potzed around in the final minute.

- We actually had some fun and predicted Davidson to advance to the Sweet Sixteen in the official CHN bracket.. oh well, win some and lose some.

- Here's something amazing.. USC received half as many votes as Air Force in the Coaches Poll.. yet USC is a 5 seed in the Tournament and Air Force is willowing away in the NIT. Shows you how two different groups of humans can come to two completely different decisions. Also, this is probably a sign of how the Committee is completely out of touch with reality. Not only do the Coaches and the AP think USC (a 5 seed) isn't even top 30 (31st in AP and 34th in Coaches), the computers have USC 32nd (Sagarin) and 40th (RPI).

- Michigan State's easy 61-49 win (up 30-18 at the half) win over Marquette might seem like an upset considering Marquette was ranked 18th in the AP Poll and MSU didn't even get a single vote. But, going back to the trust Sagarin rating again, the Spartans were 20 (which admittedly does seem a bit high) compared to Marquette's measly ranking of 39th.

- Since I've been harping on the Sagarin.. lets see what "upsets" it predicts tomorrow. 10th seed Georgia Tech will beat 7th seed UNLV, because the Yellow Jackets are 19th in the Sagarin as compared to UNLV's 28th... and thats it. Only one upset predicted tomorrow, though two other games are much closer in the Sagarin than the seeds would have you believe. USC (a 5 seed) is only 32nd in the Sagarin, and should be in for a tough game against 40th ranked Arkansas. Similarly 7th seed Nevada should be in for a dog-fight against 10th seed Creighton. The two are virtually tied in the Sagarin, with the Wolfpack coming in 33rd to the Bluejays 35th.