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Friday, March 26, 2010

Reflections on NCAA Men's Basketball

There were a bunch of big stories arising from last night. The best game was Xavier against Kansas State, a barn-burner of a contest that featured great competitiveness from both teams. It was a treat to watch. In the end, Xavier ran out of three-point shooting magic dust, and Kansas State, which played clutch ball itself, prevailed. Great, great game.

Cornell got off to a red-hot start, which it needed to do to try to shake the confidence of Kentucky. But after a 10-2 start, Kentucky went on a 30-6 run to make it 32-16 at the half, and, for the most part, that was the ball game. Cornell needed to keep it close and couldn't do it. Credit Kentucky for playing great basketball to make the second half virtually a non-issue.

Unfortunately, I had a prior commitment that prevented me from watching the earlier games, but Butler did the Mid-Major World proud with its upset of Syracuse. Meanwhile, West Virginia got the stealth bomber award, beating Washington with little incident despite being without its starting point guard. The other three games -- either from their publicity (Cornell), their stunning result (Butler) or their quality (Xavier-Kansas State) eclipsed West Virginia's win last night, at least from the standpoint of publicity.

Kentucky looks primed to win the national championship. Yes, they are young, but they are very talented and they played well together last night under tremendous scrutiny. That said, West Virginia is a formidable team, the last one standing from the Big East. West Virginia might well be Kentucky's toughest hurdle en route to winning a national title.


Anonymous Patrick Dobel said...

West Virginia won. Experience and better defense against a team with three one year and out freshmen. The game's coaches represent all that is wrong with college basketball. See

They know how to coach college basketball and they know how to win. They don't belong at universities, Huggins because he does not care about graduating kids, and Calipari, well the integrity record speaks for itself.

1:52 PM  

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