NCAA blog: Game day reactions on Marquette, Gonzaga and more
James Crisp, AP
Matt (4:50 p.m.): So close Southern...a couple of things jumped out:
1) Gonzaga and Marquette both made huge shots down the stretch to avoid monumental upsets. That's the difference between the higher and lower seeds. The higher seeds know they can make those plays. Lower seeds? Uncharted territory. It can happen. That's why it's called March Madness. But when it's close, you can almost always expect the higher-seeded team to know how to pull it out.
2) Olynyk will absolutely be a dude opposing fans hate in the NBA. He's got the who-me look and hand gestures down pat. His hair makes it look like he's flopping every time he gets touched. And he looks like Luis Scola's brother. It's a no-win for him, popularity-wise.
3) Pangos just leapfrogged up the national awareness list. His crunchtime jumpers carried way more swagger than a sophomore should be able to have. No hesitation, no doubt.
4) Anyone who picked Gonzaga deeper than the Sweet 16 has to be sweating bullets right now. Olynyk's cute rolls to the rim are slower than molassus, and sooner than later the Bulldogs are going to run into a frontcourt that knows how to rotate and A) draw the charge or B) block his under-the-rim attempts.
Matt (4:21 p.m.): Kudos to Marquette for the pair of contested 3-pointers. Defense was all over them and it didn't matter.
On the flip-side, shame on Davidson for allowing the game-winning layup. Let me repeat that: GAME-WINNING LAYUP.
Pure fans are surely disappointed, just as bracket-fillers are thrilled over that outcome.
Meanwhile Olynyk is just destroying Southern right now. It's concerning, however, that the Bulldogs needed this kind of performance just to pull away from a 16-seed. I doubt anyone had the guts to pick Southern, but if you had to pick the weakest No. 1 seed of the past five years, wouldn't it be Gonzaga?
Also: let's not ignore that other than Wichita State's win, it's been all chalk today (plus I doubt anyone really considers an 8/9 matchup an "upset" if No. 9 wins).
Landon (3:57 p.m.): Oh, wow. What a finish to Davidson-Marquette. Who saw that one coming? Three made buckets in the final 40 seconds, two of which were three pointers, and a lay-up to win it.
Little did you know that I filmed myself cheering as Marquette saved my perfect bracket. http://youtu.be/eEgj2Jww5Fk. Was I overreacting? Maybe. But hey, it is the madness, and I'm still perfect six games in.
Personally, I'm struggling to believe that Southern is staying this close to Gonzaga. Do you think this could be the first ever 16-seed to upset a 1-seed? Only a matter of time.
Regardless, I echo the comments of J.A. Adande. It is very good to see a Stockton on a court in Salt Lake City. I wonder how dad must be feeling...
Matt (3:26 p.m.): Now that I've gotten the newsroom to switch from Gonzaga-Southern to Marquette-Davidson, let's remember these Wildcats haven't won a tourney game since 2008, when they went all the way to the Sweet 16. Could you imagine it happening again? Sure. This year against Marquette? No way.
Pretty sure a lot of people had Marquette going to their third Sweet 16 in a row...me included.
Landon (2:45 p.m.): I'll see your mildly-relevant NBA analogy and raise you another. My bracket right now is like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Tall, rebounds well, and doesn't miss much. We are very early on, but the results so far have been good for me. I'm four for four, and about to go five for five.
Man, those untypically hard video games were the best. I miss them.
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