March Madness: Elite 8

Florida v. Butler kicks off the Elite 8 matchups. Florida defeated the Jimmers in overtime in a poorly played game by both teams. Alex Tyus had a career gamer to save the Gators. Butler played well for 37 minutes against Wisconsin, but then looked vulnerable to pressure and almost spit the game up.

Butler is a very physical team, with a very skilled guard in Shelvin Mack. They play good defense. Matt Howard has played quite well. Florida has shown it can play fast or slow, and has a deep bench. It will be interesting to see how Billy Donovan decides to play it, especially in light of Butler's miscues against pressure by Wisconsin late in their previous game.

If Florida shoots well, I believe they should have a good chance to win. If not, probably not. I expect another nailbiter, so I will take Butler (+4) (2 units.) More . . .

The second game today is between Arizona and Connecticut. Connecticut has the very good Kemba Walker and Arizona has the very good Derrick Williams. Connecticut has no fear and by now, neither does Arizona. I think it is a toss up game. I am taking Arizona on the moneyline (+130), (2 units.) The point spread is UConn -2 1/2.

Let's Go Gators!

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    Donovan should press them... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 01:59:16 PM EST
    ...from baseline to baseline from the opening tip.  Isn't that what the end of the Wisconsin game would say to any coach?  Reminds me of when UCLA under Jim Harrick lost to Princeton in the first round the year after they won the NCAA title.  I watched that game and just kept wondering: "You have twice the athletes and athletic ability they do, why are you not taking advantage of it and pressuring them all over the place?"  

    I think Arizona/UConn could produce an NBA score, good to take the over.

    Carril was great (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 05:21:31 PM EST
    Harrick was stupid.  A team like Princeton can only play that game against a superior team of athletes IF that superior team lets them.  Why that superior team WOULD let them is a subject for a doctorate in sports psychology.  

    Butler and Florida are in overtime (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 05:53:07 PM EST
    This is a GREAT game.  No fan of this beautiful sport could fail to relish this kind of competition.  Both teams are showing nerves and nad and it is one fun ride.  Butler by 1, with the ball, and under a minute left in OT.

    Butler goes back to the Final Four! (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dadler on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:04:55 PM EST
    Kudos to the Bulldogs and Florida.  Love them both.  Love Billy "The Kid" Donovan.  But this young guy who coaches Butler, Brad Stevens, wow, I'd say his stock is pretty hot right now.  Amazing game.  UConn/Arizona ready to blaze up the hardwood next.  Hoop heaven.

    Not to mention (none / 0) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:31:51 PM EST
    A contract through 2022, minutes from where he grew up, at a place where he sounds perfectly happy. I'm not happy Butler beat the Gators but I'm happy for him.

    Since my bracket... (none / 0) (#6)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 06:13:00 PM EST
    ...is uber-busted (after being last year's winner), seeing these hard-fought, nail biters provides some consolation.  But what really fills my heart with joy is seeing first jOSU and now Florida going down to defeat.

    UConn/Arizona should be another great one...


    We certainly agree re OSU. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 07:34:00 PM EST
    What's the latest out of AA... (none / 0) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:12:44 PM EST
    ...re: Spring Drills and the new FB coach?  

    We've got a lot of holes to fill (QB/LB/D Line/CB/Safeties), so lots of interesting battles going on.  Time for the young kids to step up and show their stuff.  

    The Nebraska fans around here are already talking smack--I think they're going to be in for a rude awakening come Fall!


    Just getting the follow-up to the new coach (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:38:26 PM EST
    leaving SDSU for U of M.  Surprise:  he lost money on his house here.  Although I expect the Gold donors to the Michigan athletic funds probably picked up the slack.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#15)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:49:06 PM EST
    ...I'm sure he'll be OK financially.  Now, the weather/culture shock may be a whole 'nother thing.  

    Besides, I thought you could still sell your house in CA and move to the Midwest (or the East Central US for the literalists around here) and live like a king?  


    Upside down on the mortgage apparently. (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 09:08:57 PM EST
    And wasn't the new head coach formerly an assistant coach at U of M?  Not a former player--so it is kind of surprising they hired him.  But desperation.

    I believe so. (none / 0) (#19)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 09:26:58 PM EST
    Some prior connection to the program anyway.  It did seem to be somewhat of a desperation hire after the A-listers spurned them.  

    Do you think you could go back and endure those winters or the oppressive heat and humidity in the Summer?  I don't think I could.  It was much easier to deal with when I was younger and didn't know any different, but after living in God's country for all these years...


    Ahem (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by cal1942 on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:01:29 AM EST
    This is God's Country.  

    IMO, the best real estate in the country.

    In the eye of the beholder ya know.


    I could live in Ann Arbor in spring and fall-- (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:26:30 AM EST
    assuming I didn't have to earn a living.  Talk about an over-qualified work force.  SE Iowa?  Not a chance.  

    what part of SE Iowa? (none / 0) (#23)
    by desmoinesdem on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 12:47:08 PM EST
    Iowa City is a lot like a lot of college towns--smaller but not hugely different in atmosphere from Ann Arbor or Madison.

    Burlington. Population 30,000. (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:21:31 PM EST
    Fifth largest city in the state of Iowa!  Nice scenery.  

    On the real estate thing (none / 0) (#21)
    by cal1942 on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 02:54:29 AM EST
    I'd say yes.  Housing prices here are a bargain compared to the west coast.  In fact, a bargain compared to probably most anywhere else.


    Their excessive fatcat alumni will bail him out of anything just as they bailed out Richrod when West Virginia sued for a million or so.

    We're northeast quadrant.  That's an absolute.


    I had Pitt winning the championship (none / 0) (#16)
    by desmoinesdem on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 09:06:31 PM EST
    and I am happy to see Butler advance, as many other people would have picked Florida to get to the Final Four.

    This is such a weird tournament for me. I thought I was totally out of it after Pitt lost, but I had UConn in the Final Four as well as Kansas and North Carolina (which is looking a bit more likely now that Ohio State's out of it).


    Wow--another great finish. (none / 0) (#10)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 08:18:49 PM EST
    Interesting--AZ going for the win instead of playing for OT.  

    Even as an old Connecticut boy (none / 0) (#25)
    by jondee on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 01:57:17 PM EST
    a part of me was pulling for Az because I think they'd match up better than UConn against Kansas or NC..

    UConn's big guys seem too slow and timid in the paint..


    One thing to note about Butler and VCU (none / 0) (#27)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 02:44:31 PM EST
    They are both led by young, relatively low-key, non-screamers and anti-ranters, who are also VERY good nuts and bolts coaches.  These are teams that play like they LOVE to play for their coach.  I don't think it's any surprise, in an era when there is tons of talent out there (the entire globe included these days), that these two mid-majors can be so good.  

    But here comes KU (none / 0) (#28)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 02:47:15 PM EST
    The VCU lead is now just 7.

    and my calm VCU coach gets a T (none / 0) (#29)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 02:48:52 PM EST

    getting a little whistle happy (none / 0) (#30)
    by jondee on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:06:09 PM EST
    out there..

    Wow (none / 0) (#32)
    by jondee on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:45:37 PM EST
    Call VCU the anti-Marquette: completely unintimidated, sharp as a razor, and on-point the whole game.

    Major props to those guys and their coach.


    Butler or VCU will be in the final game (none / 0) (#34)
    by Dadler on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 04:59:06 PM EST
    Love it.  

    boy, that VCU team (none / 0) (#31)
    by cpinva on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 03:44:49 PM EST
    just isn't very good.

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#33)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun Mar 27, 2011 at 04:55:07 PM EST
    ....Kansas is going to blow them out of the gym.  Lock of the tournament--book it!  

    Now, that's funny.



    VCU (none / 0) (#37)
    by Realleft on Mon Mar 28, 2011 at 07:01:24 PM EST
    We are happy, happy, happy!