Can we run back last night? We had three games absolutely deliver. We had iconic moments and plays that will be shown for years to come. We had guys living up to their hype. It was awesome. It was one of the single best Sweet 16 days I can remember in a long time. Now we have the two one seeds playing. We have the best region playing. We have a 15 seed. This is why there's nothing like the NCAA Tournament. You never know when it's going to be pure mayhem like it was last night.
Want to get the juices flowing? Here you go.
We're going back in the time machine. Kansas State delivered a classic last night and Xavier/Texas could be damn good today. We'll talk about that game more. But last night I jokingly said that Markquis Nowell was Jacob Pullen to Tyson Walker's Jordan Crawford. This is what I was referencing. One of my all-time favorite games. Just two dudes going big shot for big shot with Gus on the call. It was also the late game on Thursday which always feels like it delivers. Rico made a case for Kansas State playing the most entertaining games in the Sweet 16, Xavier very well might be the right answer.
We could be looking at a massive Elite Eight.
4 Storylines/Game Previews
1. 15 seed history (again)
I don't exactly know how but it somehow seems like 15 seed Princeton being in the Sweet 16 is flying under the radar. Maybe it's because they are the 3rd 15 seed in a row to do it. Maybe it's because of the Nowell run or UConn or the Gonzaga/UCLA game or FAU in the Elite Eight already. I don't know. It just seems that way. Now they have Creighton. This is an ideal matchup for Creighton. Princeton got here by taking tempo away from Arizona and Mizzou, making them execute in the halfcourt. While Creighton likes to fly around, they can easily play in the halfcourt. They have the shooting. They also have Kalkbrenner, Big East DPOY. Tosan is going to have to have a big game against Kalkbrenner for Princeton to have a chance.
2. Houston Jim Nantz legacy game
Fuck it. I hope Jim Nantz shows up wearing a Houston jersey for the call. Who cares? The man is Houston through and through. He's out here breaking down the team huddle with a hello friends. I love it. We're all from somewhere, why hide it? But this is a real interesting matchup for Houston. That's because Miami's offense is as elite as any. They have multiple guys - Wong, Pack, Miller and the emerging Poplar - that can beat you. Their offense also prevents where Houston is at its best. Miami won't play through Omier in the post. They will spread you out and attack that way. Houston should dominate the offensive glass like they normally do. It's going to be limiting what they do after that though.
3. Fast vs slow
This is it for Alabama/SDSU. Two completely different teams in terms of tempo. We saw Maryland try to muck up the game and make it ugly against Alabama. It worked for a little bit but Maryland doesn't have the offense to do it for 40 minutes against Alabama. SDSU .. maybe can. It's going to come down to their guards hitting shots. They can slow it down, draw doubles and get looks. It's just a matter of making them. I fully expect Alabama to score. There's the question of if SDSU is real. The MWC has been computer trickers and it's not like SDSU has some dominant wins in the regular season against top competition. They've done what they've had to.
4. The Rodney Terry dilemma
This might be the most interesting thing to me in terms of outside the game. What does Texas do with interim coach Rodney Terry. People wonder why he's not already hired full time. It's a tricky thing. Yes what he's done with this team has been awesome. This team loves him. But the question is, is he the best hire for Texas going forward? He was the head coach at UTEP and didn't win there. It's not like he would have gotten the Texas job right from UTEP. But what happens if Texas makes a Final Four? Obviously today they have to beat Xavier. I think Texas is borderline tier 1 with Houston and Alabama, but this line shows what Vegas thinks of Xavier too. It's only 4 as I write this. Texas will likely try to hunt Boum and Kunkel in ISO or ball screens. The biggest question will be what Texas shooting team shows up. They are a complete roller coaster there.
111-95-3 (+20.78) on the year on Twitter, mind as well add it to the blog
19-12 (+8.53) in the NCAA Tournament