With the high school basketball season (almost) officially over, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about. But, the NCAA Division I basketball tournament is still among us, so why not see how the big boys and girls are faring in the Big Dance.
The No. 1 seeds have been unstoppable through the first two rounds, winning by an average margin of 35 points per game in their eight wins. The opening rounds were highlighted by No. 1 UConn‘s rout of No. 16 Idaho 105-37, one of the biggest blowouts in tournament history.
Only nine games in tournament history have been determined by at least 60 points, and the Huskies are now owners of four of them. With a program that is primed for some incredible runs in the coming years, the Huskies will also get a chance to add to its prestigious reputation with their fearless leader, coach Geno Auriemma, who signed a five-year, 10.86-million dollar extension through the 2017-18 season on Wednesday.
The Huskies, who already have several of the top recruits from the past two years, will add Ossining senior and New York State Gatorade player of the year Saniya Chong to its roster next season, meaning the section’s all-time leading scorer will play out her UConn career under the seven-time national champion coach. Which bring us to a poll question:
On the men’s side, this has turned out to be one of the most dramatic tournaments in recent years… and we haven’t even seen a Sweet 16 game yet. The Cinderella boys from Florida Gulf Coast have taken headlines by storm after becoming just the sixth No. 15 seed to defeat a No. 2 seed (beating Georgetown), and the first No. 15 seed to ever advance to the Sweet 16. Our local boys at Iona didn’t fare well as the No. 15 seed, losing handily to No. 2 Ohio State in the Round of 64. Still a great season from the Gaels.
Gonzaga became the first, and so far only, top seed to be eliminated this season after the Bulldogs dropped their Round of 32 contest to No. 9 Wichita State on Saturday. Kansas almost didn’t make it past No 16 Western Kentucky on Friday, and Indiana survived a thriller against No. 9 Temple on Sunday. Louisville was the only No. 1 seed that was relatively untested through its first two games this year (good, because I have them winning it all in my bracket!)
If any of you follow college hoops half as much as you do high school hoops, I’m sure you filled out a bracket this year along with the millions of other people around the world, myself included. Since my first bracket in freshman or sophomore year, I have never had any success, usually because I never follow college hoops. After following the sport a decent amount this year, I’m finally enjoying a decent year. My entire Final Four, Championship, and Champion are still alive and, should they remain intact through the final buzzer, I will win my pool of more than 80 entries.
How are your brackets looking? Who do you (or did you) have in your Final Four? Let me know so we can compare (and hopefully root for each other). This year, I went with Louisville, Ohio State, Michigan, and Indiana in my best bracket, with Louisville over Indiana in the final, 69-65. As an insurance policy, I filled out a second bracket, which is also having moderate success and should lock up first place should the Final Four, Champion, and Champion remain intact. Similarly, I have Louisville, Ohio State, and Indiana advancing to Atlanta, with Florida as my fourth and final team. In the title game there, I have the Hoosiers over the Cardinals (Hey, you have to follow the Harbaugh magic, right?) in the same final score, 69-65.