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Thursday, March 24, 2005

March Madness, Indeed

While I didn’t blog it at the time, Mrs. Hammer was kind enough to give birth to Baby Grace before the first round games of the NCAA tournament. Even better, she allowed me to watch the whole tournament last weekend in her hospital room, despite her appalling lack of interest in most of it. A quick review:

In my opinion, there were far more ‘little’ teams giving the big boys a run for their money this year. As usual, the 13-16s fell by the wayside, most in the first round – but many of them put up much more of a fight than we typically see.

Whoa! I just saw the nastiest pick I have ever seen in a college game laid out by Louisville on Washington. Ouch!

Anyway, with the exception of North Carolina, every high seed had to compete with the low seed they faced. Of course, there was the ubiquitous 12-5 upset of UW-Milwaukee over Alabama, plus Vermont overcoming Syracuse in a 13-4 upset, and the shocking 14-3 upset of Kansas by the Patriot League representative, Bucknell. I knew Kansas was a weak 3 seed, with poor play in the end of the regular season, and picked an early exit for them, but Bucknell? Wow. I know that UW-M was a trendy pick for the annual 12-5 upset…instead I chose George Washington and now my bracket is in tatters after UConn’s loss to NC State, a 10 seed.

My Final Four picks were UConn, Texas Tech, Illinois, and UK, so I still have three left. Still, Texas Tech has a tough road with giant-killer West Virginia on tap tonight, and then the winner of Washington-Louisville. Speaking of Louisville, if they stop turning the ball over (due to bad hands, it seems, not defensive pressure), then they may kill Washington. Washington is not shooting well, especially if you don’t included their fast-break points. Louisville is currently shooting the lights out from beyond the arc…another UofL turnover, and another Washington miss. We’ll see.

I’m pulling for a number of schools. I’m rooting for UK and Uof L, since I am currently a Kentucky resident. I’m pulling for the Big East - as St. John’s and Notre Dame aren’t in the Dance, I root for their conference. Only WVU and Villanova remain, but Nova is looking very sharp – they may have an outside shot. Finally, I am rooting for Texas Tech, because I like Bobby Knight as a coach.

Well, Louisville is leading Washington by 12 at the half. That’s a tough deficit for any team, and one that, in my opinion, requires superior coaching. Not many have it over Pitino. UofL will advance.

PS – Does anyone box out anymore besides Bob Knight’s and Tubby Smith’s teams?


  • Don't even ask me about my brackets...worst ever. I am usually in the top 5 to 10 in our company, where usually 150 or so sheets are played in our pool. I am 7th from the bottom this year, although I should end up higher, as three of my final four teams are still left.

    By Blogger John B., at 3/25/2005 08:35:00 AM  

  • ...and the General goes down. It looks like Bobby Knight's recruiting has changed. His boys are the classic basketball thugs you find at Cincinatti, Memphis or St. John's - whne the game gets tough, they want to do it themselves.

    Louisville looks really tough. If they play the rest of the way like thye did last night, they'll bring home the bacon.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 3/25/2005 09:01:00 AM  

  • OK, I'd better get back to using 'preview'. Sheesh.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 3/25/2005 09:02:00 AM  

  • Hammer & Mrs.,

    Congrats on the little girl. What a great name.

    By Blogger David M. Smith, at 3/25/2005 10:59:00 AM  

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