A Friday night update on all things Championship Week with an eye on the bracket..
- Miami, the Ohio version, almost caused havoc by knocking Kent State out of the MAC tournament. But the Golden Flashes managed to pull of a 49-47 win, ensuring that at least for another day the MAC is a one bid league.
- I've said this many times.. but its too bad Dominic James has never learned how to hit a jump shot. The Golden Eagles made a nice comeback to make a game of it against Pitt, but ultimately Marquette couldn't hit shots. Outside of Jerel McNeal, the rest of the team shot a dismal 25% (12 of 48)
- SFA was supposed to be the class of the Southland, but their solid season came to a close tonight. The Demons of Northwestern State came back from a big halftime deficit to advance to the conference finals. SFA came into today with an RPI of 57 and will hope to do some damage in the NIT.
- Speaking of damage (never a good segue..), the SEC semifinal matchup between Georgia & Kentucky has been postponed. Unless a team plays twice tomorrow, I'm not sure what's going to happen there.
- One guy who wouldn't mind doing some damage to Kentucky is Tubby Smith. His Gophers upset Indiana in the Big Ten quarters and now face fellow surprise Illinois tomorrow afternoon. You have to figure Minnesota is the favorite to advance to the finals.. and there's no reason not to think they'd give Wisconsin or MSU a game. Taking Minnesota to the Big Dance would be an amazing accomplishment for the first-year coach. (It would also be an embarrassment to a league that most likely wont get a team past the Sweet Sixteen).
- I'm usually a big ACC proponent, but man has that league's tournament been boring.
- Tulsa's good run continued, beating UTEP in OT a day after knocking off UAB in OT as well. In their last 12 games, Tulsa is 10-2, only losing to Memphis and UAB. The Golden Hurricane (seems like a lot of Golden nicknames in action today) face Memphis tomorrow.. and though they won't win, it might be closer than you'd expect.
- A day after scoring 0 points, Roy Hibbert came through with his best statistical game of the season.. 25 points and 13 boards against West Virginia. On the flip side, Joe Alexander's tear came to an abrupt end with just 12 points on 5-16 shooting.
- Congrats to Saint Joseph's for being a rare bubble team that actually won some games down the stretch. Beating Xavier (rather easily too) should probably lock up a Tournament bid. But then again, if Temple won the title tomorrow.. the committee might shy away from giving the A10 3 bids.
- American worked their way into the tournament, beating Colgate in a hard fought game. I thought the Raiders played every bit as well, but home court was the deciding factor here.
- If anybody suggests to me that Va Tech should be in the NCAA Tournament, I'll slap them in the face. If they beat UNC tomorrow.. then that's a different story. But as of now, this is still the same team to me that struggled to put away Liberty at home..