Well we're back and I hope you've recovered from possibly the best first two rounds in NCAA Tournament history. Buzzer beaters, upsets, tears and drama were the norm and at the end of the weekend we had 16 teams left from the initial 68 with nary a Cinderella to be found.
Just like we did for the first round we're going to drop some sports knowledge and TAKES that are going to melt your brain and ensure that your second chance bracket is not the disaster your original one was. With that said, let's just jump right in shall we?
The Rules (part deux):
-Mizzou'd! Xavier adds another year of "made the tourney, no final four" to their postseason resume. If wikipedia is to be trusted, this means they now are in second place. See, we're making progress without actually making progress!
-On the same note, Gonzaga, Texas A&M, and Miami look to break their "no final four" records. No team is making a sweet sixteen debut. For all the upsets and craze, order has been mostly restored.
-First time in four years where all number one seeds are still alive. (Ahem, let's fix that soon, shall we?)
-Always take Michigan State and Izzo, they're surefire in the tournament...wait, what happened?
In the East (east coast is the best coast)
1 UNC vs 5 Indiana
The blue bloods of blue bloods! Really this is just a time bomb game if you ask me. Either Indiana wins and UNC starts its slow turn down to mediocrity and NCAA sanctions with Roy retiring for his health, or UNC wins and Indiana and their fans will demand that Crean be fired because they're all nuts. Final tip-off of the round, so guess it's either a lot of coffee or, for shame, the DVR! Fun fact, these two last met in 1984, with IU winning and putting an end to the college career of one Michael Jordan.
6 Notre Dame vs 7 Wisconsin
Both teams got here at the buzzer, better late than never they say. Wisconsin lost to some crap teams in November and December, Notre Dame says they're in the ACC because the ACC has no spine. So Wisconsin it is and Greg Gard continues to make Bo Ryan look like a genius, take that Barry Alvarez! Talk about squeaking by. Was pulling for the lumberjacks, so close! And sad Bill Murray is, well, sad. For what it's worth, which is probably not much, first time they've met in "the" tourney.
In the South (S-E-C, S-E-C)
(Editor's note: Tourney time is all about crazy superstition, so if our silly little color trick fails again, time for a change) What's with the McDonald's love, Maryland? Though their coffee really isn't all that bad.
1 Kansas vs 5 Maryland
I mean, we could write about Melo Trimble and the fact that he doesn't get rattled or that Diamond Stone is a man among children out there, or how Robert Carter might be the best player you know nothing about, or even that Rasheed Sulaimon can be counted on at crunch time, or finally that Jake Layman is more under appreciated by Terps fans than Rosburg was by Mizzou fans, and he was actually good and a contributor for more than just two months. All this is well and good, and sure sometimes MD looks like 5 dudes, 5 great dudes on the floor at once, and less a team, but it does not matter. Because it's Kansas on the other side of the court and they must go down. Take MD because the hell with Kansas and Bill Self and their player named after a shoe store. Fun fact, last time they played, this happened. And again, don't we all want a happy HHKB household? (Do we? Live tweeting your spouse as his or her team loses might be entertaining. But that means kansas wins, and friends don't let friends let kansas win.) Even though they were really awesome and donated money to a cause, and yeah..........
2 Villanova vs 3 Miami
There's been no crying in Philly so that's a better situation than last year and Miami is just straight taking care of business. Feels like Hurricane season, no? 'Cause a Miami win would pretty much end my bracket, so why not, get the pain and frustration over with. Lesson learned kids, don't get too cute with your upsets. You can get cute, but not Fresno State cute. 'Nova "finally" makes it to the sweet sixteen since 2009, the horror! (But what a fun tourney that was.)
In the Midwest
1 Virginia vs 4 Iowa State
Someone needs to get Tony Bennett a stool because he keeps catching the vapors and toppling over. Ron Hunter with a broken leg and a scooter stayed more upright than Bennett did. That was such a fun Georgia State team, and nice to see Kevin Ware playing again. But anyway....another "haven't actually met in the tourney" pairing. Really good offense meets really good defense, drink when you hear that defense wins championships?
10 Syracuse vs 11 Gonzaga
I don't care that you've won two games Syracuse, you still don't belong here and you should send a fruit basket to Murfreesboro, TN for showing up in round 2 instead of Michigan State to allow your season to continue. Losing to St. Johns should not be rewarded, also someone tell Boeheim to buy a suit, you look like a Macys store manager out there. Such a shame MTSU couldn't go on a "Dunk City" style run. Michigan State never had the lead, that's just hilarious. Just not the same sort of tourney without a Cinderella running around, and no, Syracuse, you don't count. Why are you here again?
In the West
1 Oregon vs 4 Duke
Grayson Allen continues to trip people, the dude has decided that if he's going to be the latest white dude to get hated at Duke he might as well go full force and really own it. Congrats young man, nobody likes you! Oregon all day son, ALL DAY! (Checks bracket) Yes, go, ducks! (Stats fun: This will be the third time in the past twenty years Duke plays as the lower seed. The previous two were both losses.) Coach K seems to not like Pacific Coast time, there's that East Coast bias again.
2 Oklahoma vs 3 Texas A&M
Oh look, it's a former Big 12 matchup, let's all get excited. Both these teams could have easily lost in round 2, hell A&M should have lost, UNI just got some bad calls against them. Anyway, whatever happens in this game, people will continue to say Buddy is the best player in the country and bemoan that player of the year awards are given out before the tournament...blah, blah, blah! Weirdest ending to game I've seen in a long time, probably felt like a slow motion train wreck to UNI, Oh wait, that's exactly what it was. A&M just 'cause bracket says so. And why root for OU?
And that will do it for this week, we've got another set of these coming for the elite 8 Saturday morning so you'll be hearing from us sooner than you think. So sit back, grab a drink, enjoy the games and if you're reading this, LeBron, maybe just stop talking about what you would do if you were at UNI and focus on getting that head band straight.