Daily Dribble: Thursday Sweet Sixteen Review

    
March 23rd, 2007

- Lets be honest, you've been disappointed with Greg Oden's play. He's been less future hall of famer.. and more Dikembe Mutombo on an off night..

- Where have you been Ron Lewis? B.G. (Before Greg, B.O. just didn't sound good...) Lewis was scoring serious points for the Buckeyes. Most fans remember his 30-point effort against UNC earlier in the year. A.G. Lewis became a bit contributor that put in between 5 and 12 points a game. Suddenly the confident free-flowing Lewis has returned (just in the nick of time) and been the main reason Ohio State is still alive. He's a solid 22 of 40 (55%) from the floor and 10 of 20 from three (50%) since the tourney started, averaging 21.7 ppg.

- As an aside, third-string Ohio State big man Matt Terwilliger would start for about 250 D1 teams.

- Interesting thread on the message board about how the announcers were favoring Ohio State to win over Tennessee. There seems to be something to that. Part of that is probably the announcers internalizing the fact that Oden will bring ratings to the game. High ratings means the game's and hence the announcer's matter. Running a site like this, I can't help but feel a pull towards the big ratings sometimes as well.

- Next up for Tennessee is learning whether Chris Lofton will go pro or not. If this team returns intact (well, minus Bradshaw), it has to probably be a preseason Top 10.

- I'm tired of all this "is Memphis legit" talk I hear on SportsCenter. They're ranked 5th in the country and a #2 seed, so they have legitimacy in the eyes of the only people that matter. I understand how you lose respect by playing in the CUSA.. but what bothers me is that if they had beaten a scrub BCS team like Illinois in the 2nd round as opposed to Nevada, then the talking heads would have said they were "legit" last round.

- If Memphis beats Ohio State, will they finally be "legit" or will it take a national title?

- Kansas' win over Southern Illinois was pretty ugly. It got so bad at times that I switched to the D-II semifinals game between Central Missouri and Winona State (Winona won). Its not very often that Kansas will win a game when their high-scorer (Rush) has only 12 points.

- That game was easily SIU's to be won. Perhaps if the refs hadn't given the Jayhawks a free 2 points (on the 24 second violation in the 1st half), the game would have had a different ending. As it was, SIU's 3 point deficit could have been overcome simply by hitting some shots (including lay-ups, open dunks, etc).

- What happened to Tony Young last night? The SIU senior had some delusion that he was an All-American shooter. He shot the ball 11 times from three (3 more than his previous high), and 16 times altogether (1 below his previous high). The difference is that in the previous game he shot a lot, 17 attempts vs Bradley, Young had the best game of his life scoring 25 points. Last night, Young went just 5-16 overall. 16 shots from a guy who averages only 9.9 ppg and shoots 39.5% makes little to no sense. (Then again, its not like anybody else was feeling it.)

- For Kansas, last night's win is a bad omen for when they face UCLA. UCLA can play D almost as well as SIU and should be able to keep the pace similar to last night's.. but unlike SIU, they'll be able to score when it counts.

- Jay Bilas really bothered me throughout the SIU-Kansas game. He kept repeating how Kansas had lost to a "mid-major" the past two years and how this would really get in their heads if SIU took the lead. This doesn't even begin to make sense. If Kansas was down to Virginia Tech, apparently they would suddenly have forgot about the previous years losses and wouldn't have cared about winning because its fun to lose to an ACC team..

- Arron Afflalo is an All-American candidate..but he's been pretty brutal the last two games. 5 for 22 shooting and 1 for 8 from three. My guess is that he's due for a 20+ point breakout Saturday.

- I don't see many upsets in the work either tonight. Vandy and UNLV have the best chance of getting a decently low seed in the Elite Eight, but I dont see it happening. Oh well, at least there's always the coaching changes to get people buzzing instead of the games.

- Don't blame Tubby Smith for leaving. The guy's won 5 regular season SEC titles, 4 SEC tourney titles, and won a national title in the past decade.. and gets treated he's Steve Lavin. Now he leaves UK with a mostly seniorless roster that is probably in line to win an SEC title again next year..

- Finally, How does Digger Phelps have a job?