Could chalk advance? I wanted Louisville to topple Carolina, and as you know I wanted Xavier to shock UCLA. Neither of those things happened, now 2 of the 4 #1 seeds have already punched their ticket to the Final Four, could this be the year all four #1 seeds advance? The question I ask myself after Day 7 of tournament play is this, have I drastically underestimated the top ranked tournament teams?
In LynchyRightNow fashion: NO
I said that Xavier was a sleeper and they were. To make it to the Elite 8 is still a great success for a team from the Atlantic 10 conference. UCLA was just a better team than the Musketeers , the 76-57 drumming of Xavier proved that. The Bruins shot better than 53% from the floor while Drew Lavender and company shot a mere 36%. Story of the day belonged to the back court duo of Darren Collison and Russell Westbrook, who scored a combined 36 points which included being 4 of 6 from behind the arc. After they played Western Kentucky to reach the Elite 8, I said that they would need a better effort from Collison to beat the Musketeers and they got it. Ben Howland and the UCLA Bruins are off to their 3rd Final Four in 3 years, that my friends is impressive.
I may have slightly allowed my hatred for Carolina blue to distract me from the truth . The Tar Heels are real good. I don't care for Roy Williams or the officiating of the Atlantic Coast Conference, furthermore I don't understand why they are awarded 4 games in the tournament before they leave their home state. All that said, the Tar Heels are real good. Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals were taking lessons on how to shoot free throws from John Calipari and the Memphis Tigers before the game, resulted in 9 of 16 from the line, the Tar Heels were 18 of 21. David Padgett had 8 rebounds, Hansbrough countered with 13. When the Cardinals pushed back, the Heels held them off, when the Cardinals had momentum, the Heels held them off. The entire second half went back and fourth like this until time ran out. For the first time since the beginning of February, I'll show some respect to Tyler Hansbrough, now I waon't call him "Psycho T" but I will call him a quality Division 1 college basketball player. Hansbrough's 28 points and 13 boards dominated Louisville all night long and left Pitino with a couple hairs out of place on his slick quaf. When Carolina rolls into San Antonio they are looking tougher than any other team based on what they've put up, and they'll have to be if Davidson can't beat Kansas because Kansas is the 1B of this Tourney.
Next UP: Memphis and Kansas look to make history . . .