Rick Bozich has 10 Takeaways From Friday's NCAA Tournament play.
ST. LOUIS (WDRB) – Then there were 32, although it's
actually 31 because Florida just made Pittsburgh wish the Panthers were playing
in the NIT, smacking Pitt, 61-45 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Gators looked like a group that might convince Nate
Silver of the 538 blog to increase their chances of winning the tournament from
12 percent to more like 22 percent.
But before too many games are completed on Saturday, it's
time for my 10 (Plus One) Takeaways from Friday's games:
TOP 25 TEAMS CHECKED OUT:
Duke (No. 8); Cincinnati (15); New Mexico (17); Oklahoma (21); Ohio
State (22); VCU (24).
OVERTIME GAMES: Just one, but it what a wonderful one it
was. Stephen F. Austin rode a four-point play to a victory over VCU. Only three
years ago, VCU coach Shaka Smart was the darling of the tournament. My, my. Now
it's Brad Underwood. He coaches SAU.
BIGGEST UPSET (BY POINTS) – You got 13 points if you were
silly enough to take Mercer over Duke on Friday. By the end of the game it felt
as if you were running up the score.
BIGGEST UPSET (BY SEED): Mercer 78, Duke 71. First Lehigh in
2012. Now this, a 14 beating a three? If his name was Mike Krews and he was a
fourth-year coach, people would be putting Mike Krzyzewski's name on the hot
seat for 2015.
AVERAGE MARGIN OF VICTORY: Thursday had more overtime games,
but Friday had fewer blowouts. The average victory margin was 10.8, down from
CONFERENCE KINGPIN: S-E-C. Ten leagues earned multiple bids
to the tournament. Only Mike Slive's league remains unbeaten – 4-0, led by
Tennessee, which is the only team with two wins. Ooops. Make that 5-0 with the Florida victory.
Louisville's conference, the AAC, is a solid runner-up at 3-1.
CONFERENCE SNUFFED: Big Ten. With Nebraska Bo Pelini-style loss
to Baylor, the Big Ten finished 3-3 in its first six games and is now desperate
for Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin to deliver.
LEADING SCORERS: Bryce Cotton, Providence, 36; Doug McDermott,
Creighton, 30; Jeremy Ingram, North Carolina Central, 28; Jarnell Stokes,
Tennessee, 26; Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga, 26.
COACHES WHO WON THEIR FIRST NCAA GAME: Johnny Dawkins,
Stanford; Bob Hoffman, Mercer; Brad Underwood, SAU; Cuonzo Martin, Tennessee.
COACHES WITH NCAA TITLES WHO ADVANCED: Bill Self, Kansas;
Roy Williams, North Carolina; John Calipari, Kentucky. Eight coaches who have won it all are still alive.
COACHES WITH ANTOHER SMUDGE: Travis Ford's NCAA Tournament
record dropped to 1-5 after Oklahoma State lost to Gonzaga.