Friday, March 18, 2011

First-day thoughts from Charlotte's NCAA tourney

You want buzzer beaters? You want last-second drama?

Maybe Sunday -- at least in Charlotte (where, by, the way, the times have been announced for Sunday's two games). Not Friday.

On Sunday, North Carolina plays Washington at 12:15 p.m. Duke plays Michigan 30 minutes after that game, which will allow for a likely 2:45 or so start. Both games will be televised by CBS -- it's sort of an old-school afternoon coming up.

Through the first three games of Charlotte's latest NCAA hosting experience Friday, we saw a 30-point win (by Michigan), a 42-point win (by Duke) and a 15-point win (by UNC).

The final Friday game -- which actually ended at about 12:15 a.m. Saturday -- was a little better. Washington edged Georgia, 68-65, although the Bulldogs had about a 30-footer at the buzzer that could have tied it (but wasn't close). Washington led most of the second half by 8-10 points, though -- it wasn't exactly a thriller.

Washington will likely run with the Tar Heels Sunday. The Huskies were No.3 in the country in scoring this season, averaging 83 per game, although Georgia slowed them down a little.

In the UNC game, the Tar Heels led by 10-16 points for most of the second half over those gritty Long Island Blackbirds before winning 102-87.

As I write in my column for Saturday's newspaper, though, this game again exposed some flaws in the Tar Heels. They committed too many turnovers (18), shot poorly from three-point range (3-for-17), allowed too much penetration by LIU's quick guards and had some concentration lapses that allowed LIU to stick around too long.

As Roy Williams said afterward: “I’m not pleased with the way we played, but I’m pleased we’re still playing.”

Duke was much more impressive in its first-round victory, but of course Michigan won by 30 as well (in what was likely Bruce Pearl's last game as Tennessee coach). I think the Blue Devils are too athletic for Michigan, though, especially now that Kyrie Irving is playing again.


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I was actually looking for North Carolina demographic characteristics on Google and this was one of the main results I got.
I am afraid sometimes Google is not that effective on their search engines, because this is not what I was trying to find. Still, the entry was very interesting and at least didn't waste my time reading it! I'd like to train my chihuahua for this tourney... do you think he can success? XD

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