Tournament Observations

Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2010 by Travis Cody in

I love having multiple options. Today I can check out tournament games on CBS (HD on ch 107) and KIRO2 (no HD on ch 117), and keep track of recaps on CBS C (no HD on ch412), CBS CH (HD on ch 633), and (online). Ch 663 has live look-ins for every game in progress. That's cool!

If I just had picture-in-picture, I'd be in great shape!

Way back when I first got involved watching the tournament, ESPN was a baby network and they had the contract. I can remember when they put four games on the screen at the same time in the early rounds. And they would leave a blow out to switch to a close game. I understand CBS regional and contractual obligations. But this is the tournament. If you're showing a 1 blowing out a 16 by 40, and a 12 is about to upset a 5 somewhere else, just switch it to the better game. I love Duke, but even I would rather switch over and see a 15 working on the upset of a 2 than watch my Blue Devils cruise against an over-matched lower seed.

But that's really my only gripe about the coverage. For the most part, CBS does a decent job.

Villanova coach Jay Wright decided to bench Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher at the beginning of today's first round game against 15 seed Robert Morris for an unspecified "minor teaching moment". I respect a coach who won't compromise the program's principles and will follow his basic disciplinary process regardless of the situation.

Some would argue that it's no big deal for a high seed to sit a couple of players for a few minutes against a lower seed that likely has no chance to win. But this is the NCAA Tournament when anything can happen. A 15 seed doesn't beat a 2 very often. But it still takes a confident coach to go ahead and stick to his principles.

Fortunately, Villanova shook off whatever was wrong with it and managed to avoid the first major upset of the tournament. Robert Morris was in control from minute one to minute 38 before 'Nova finally came back to tie and force overtime. In the extra period, RMU made them work for it but ultimately lost too many players to fouls and the Wildcats survived to advance.

10 Florida and 7 BYU played a classic that went into double overtime before BYU took control and finally got the win. Junior Jimmer Fredette scored 37 points for the Cougars, while sophomore Michael Loyd Jr came off the bench for 26.

11 Old Dominion played outstanding defense and held 6 Notre Dame in check to pull off the upset. Although his college career ends with disappointment, I'd like to congratulate and thank Luke Harangody for choosing to come back and play his senior season.

So one upset in the first three games this morning, and all three games were close and competitive. Well how can you argue with an OT game, and double OT game, and a 1 point win in regulation?

You can't! I'm having a blast.

Catch ya later with some more observations.