Friday, February 18, 2005

I heart college basketball 

Any night that features a stunning upset over your most hated of all sports entities and a sound walloping over one of your conference rivals is a great one.

As I've said many times before, I just love it when Duke loses. Call it pettiness. Call it contempt. Call it blind envy. I just love it. It's enough that they're simply unlikable, but ESPN has the biggest hard-on for them, too. So practically every Duke game -- even the ones against lowly Davidson -- are televised nationally. They're just going to shove the Blue Devils down your throat and force you not to like them. Any Duke fans out there? Kiss my ass. Even with this stunning loss to a surprising Virginia Tech squad, Duke is overachieving so far this season. But it won't last. Why? Blue Devils have trouble rebounding and are plagued with a short bench. Even the Hokies figured it out:

Behind 14 points and 18 rebounds from Coleman Collins, Virginia Tech outrebounded Duke 49-32. The Hokies got J.J. Redick in foul trouble for the first time this season and they blocked 12 shots, making All-America candidates Redick and Shelden Williams work extra hard for shots.

As far as Arizona demolishing Oregon, it's nice to see an all-around effort like this from the Wildcats. Granted, when you shoot lights out, nobody can stop you. But I was relieved to see that Salim Stoudamire didn't simply quit on the game after a sluggish start and excited about Channing Frye's dominating output.

Oregon might be the most disappointing program in the nation. I was one of many who figured the Ducks could have been shooting for a top 4 spot in the Pac 10 and a shot at an NCAA invite. Well... looks like they'll be struggling for an NIT spot.

Bracket Buster Saturday is tomorrow! Contrived? Yes. Good exposure for the little guys? You bet! The following three games are the ones you should pay most attention to, as each of the six below 1) should make the tournament and 2) definitely have the ability to play Cinderella and wreck some office pools.

Vermont vs. Nevada
UTEP vs. Pacific (ranked 19 this week)
Miami (OH) vs. Wichita St.

Selection Sunday is exactly one month from this Sunday. I'm so ready.

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