By MICK HOLIEN
From a field of 68, the top NCAA teams have been winnowed to the Sweet 16 and with the upset defeat of Villanova there will be no repeat champion this season.
Brackets were blown up early and I think even before the field was down to 32 I heard somewhere – probably in a tweet – that just 100 ballots in a huge contest remained perfect.
While I was broadcasting games the NCAA told us they didn’t want us to fill out brackets, which personally I think was offensive since the majority of radio people don’t work for an institution but I guess I got in the habit of not doing it when imo continues
Mik holien back on your radio where for the third consecutive year Gonzaga sometimes slipping made its way into the top 16.
There even still are prognosticators who say the Zags are a Final Four lock and that’s people like Greg Gumble who still doesn’t bother to learn how to pronounce the school’s name.
I guess the pronouncing is difficult because of an eastern high school by the name but pronounced quite different.
There is no gun in Gone and no soft a in Zag not Zaug – how hard can that be. Do they say Villa nava
And the announcers aren’t much better as seasoned vets even get it wrong even though Mark Few has taken the team to the tournament for what 18 years?
So here I was expecting the Irish and a catholic school regional semi final matchup but West Virginia and its talkative coach Bob Huggins had other ideas and quite frankly Notre Dame didn’t deserve to advance.
I thrive on the passion of the tournament and also enjoy season stats that you can disregard once the popular affair is tipped off.
Fan reactions as well as those of player’s parents are consistently impassioned.
But from a guy who says little about officiating, there sure have been some dozzies and many of the Big Sky Conference refs are working games in Salt Lake City and Sacramento.
Some changes are certainly in order for what can be reviewed on video although I wish they would make a decision as quickly as they do during the action.
I love the changing of offenses and more zone, the back door bounce passes, the use of the bucket to shed a defender and the amazing distance of some treys.
It’s inspiring to see Princeton’s offense still being employed and to watch transition hoop on display at its best and I might add at its worse.
But I’d sure like the committee to examine how the No. 7 team from any particular league is better for the tournament than the runner-up in several leagues who are penalized mostly because they are unable or unwilling to secure a tougher schedule.
The tournament crowds immediately get behind the underdog in almost every scenario and it certainly rewards the overachievers who might get a hot hand.
Ever the media critic that I am, some of the descriptive calls have been amazing and the analysis extremely sound.
But the sideline and postgame interviews are for the most part less than inspiring. One doesn’t expect to get much from the coach but most of the player interviews are shallow and show little knowledge not just of hoop in general but in the game we just watched.
But I still hang on every word and can’t imagine when I had a job and missed some of the games how I even was able to function. And what an addition DVR replay is.
My biggest gripe?
It just gets finished so quickly but then again the Boys of Summer take the field in two weeks and I’m relegated to staying up usually after Midnight to see how badly the Mariners bullpen implodes.