Sunday, February 19, 2006

The sports I watched and wanted to watch this weekend 

I woke up this morning just in time to catch the last five minutes of the USA v Sweden hockey game. As expected, the Americans are having a difficult time producing goals in this tournament. Consecutive 2-1 defeats against Sweden and, the day before, Slovakia couple with a disappointing tie against Latvia has put the States in a tricky position heading into Tuesday's final group stage game against Russia -- a squad that pummelled Sweden 5-0 earlier in the tournament. It seems likely, though, that even with a loss against Russia, the Americans will crawl through to the quarterfinals where they'll probably be made short work of by Finland or Canada. Or maybe they'll be suprising Switzerland! Wha?? The Swiss beating Canada this weekend is nothing short of amazing.

I had every intention of watching the Slovakia match on Saturday, as well as mucho college basketball, as it was Bracket Buster Saturday -- perhaps the greatest Saturday in the regular season. And Northern Iowa v Bucknell lived up to it's billing. Double OT win for UNI in dramatic fashion. Did I see it? No. For one, it started at nine in the morning Pacific time. Secondly, I had only gone to bed three hours eariler. The sun was already up when I turned in. My friends and I weren't partying or anything. Just shooting the shit. It was really great. This whole weekend has resembled that laid back Friday night. I love it. I really needed the downtime. Even though the Missouri Valley Conference's big five (Northern Iowa, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, Wichita State, and Creighton) went 3-2 on the day, all five, without a doubt, deserve to be in the NCAA tournament. If even one of those schools doesn't get selected for the Big Dance, it would be a travesty. Let's face it: The MVC is the 4th best conference in the country, this year. Certainly, they look stronger than the SEC, Big XII, and Pac 10. Seriously. Fortunately, I was able to catch at least part of Bracket Buster Saturday. Can't wait for March Madness.

Teams to watch out for in the coming weeks and in the tournament:
North Carolina
Cal (even with the shocking loss to ASU yesterday)
MVC's big five (if the Big XII and MVC switched names this year, no one would bat an eye at five tourney bids for this conference)


Still a mystery to me:
Michigan State

Final Four as of today:
(wild card spot) Illinois

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