Know what this NCAA Tournament is missing? Besides Villanova and Duke? Buzzer-beaters. You know, the kind that get showed a gazillion times on highlight shows? As scarce as short pants.
Know what else? Overtime games. Not one yet. There were several close finishes, and some mesmerizing storylines, but none with the truly unforgettable ending. Turned out the most re-played moment of the weekend was a missed Gonzaga goaltending.
Not that the first week didn’t have its interests. For example, you could count the ACC teams fall, one after another. Eight of the nine vanished by Sunday night. Michigan’s storybook March, South Carolina’s dropping in unexpectedly, Xavier’s recovery act, Butler back on stage, all there. And some truly intriguing matchups ahead.
Where does March go from here? The Sweet 16, from A to X. That’d be Arizona to Xavier.
Yes, Xavier did indeed go a month and six games without a victory as injuries nearly wrecked the season. But the Musketeers just beat the No. 6 and No. 3 seeds from Maryland and Florida State by 10 and 25 points, so that slide to 13 losses is irrelevant. What is relevant is how Trevon Bluiett turns into a monster during the halftime break, with 39 points in the second halves of two tournament games. Also relevant is how good the zone has been. Remember how far zone defense took a 13-loss Syracuse team one year ago.
Lots of intrigue in those 16 teams, and no dead wood. Who needs overtime?