1. Xavier Seems to be the Cinderella Team of the Tournament so Far
Xavier was the last team I was expecting from the Big East to reach the Sweet Sixteen. I thought there was a good chance they might lose to Ole Miss or BYU in the first round. The Musketeers have proven me, and others wrong, even though their second game was gift wrapped due to Baylor getting upset. They have been led by the world's largest and coolest Uber driver, Matt Stainbrook. Jalen Reynolds also had a career high with 21 points against Georgia State. Both Stainbrook and Reynolds will need to have great performances to beat an extremely talented Arizona team.
2. Bryce Alford is Making His Dad Proud
Bryce Alford has been lighting it up so far in the NCAA Tournament. He dropped 27 on SMU (including the ridiculous goaltending call), and had 22 points and five assists against UAB. It seems like UCLA is going to go as far as Bryce takes them, and they look capable of making it to the Elite Eight. The Bruins play the winner of the the Iowa/Gonzaga game on Sunday, and that game will give a much better indication how of far the Bruins can go.
3. The Three Point Shot is Villanova's Best Friend and Worst Enemy
The three-point shot is what got the Wildcats a first seed, and, unfortunately, did not get them past the first weekend in March Madness. They shot 30% from the field. You're not going to win games playing against quality opponents with that low of a percentage. If there was one team I would pick to beat Kentucky, I definitely thought it would be Villanova. They are fantastic from the perimeter, great defensively, and the most well coached team in the country. Villanova had a bad game, and every single quality team has one in the Tournament. Unfortunatel,y NC State was ready to play and Villanova loses in the Round of 32 for the second straight year.
4. Georgetown's NCAA Tournament Slump Continues
Georgetown was a team I thought had the potential to make it to the Sweet Sixteen or the Elite Eight. John Thompson III continues his early loses in the tournament, and I think people are beginning to notice how Georgetown has underachieved the past few years. Since 2008, every time Georgetown gets into the tournament the Hoyas have lost in either the first or second game. That's five times Georgetown has been upset in the past seven years, and that's extremely unsettling for all Georgetown fans. John Thompson III will not get fired because of the family legacy, but he needs to figure this out. Those no point of signing all this great recruits year after year and not finding a way to win when it really matters.
5. Arizona is the team with the best chance to beat Kentucky
Arizona faced a good Ohio State team with one of the nations best players in D'Angelo Russell. The Wildcats won 73-58 with D'angelo Russell, and Arizona's best player, Stanley Johnson, both shooting terrible from the field. The fact that Arizona won by fifteen with their best player shooting 1 of 12 from the field is extremely impressive. This is the third time Arizona has gone on to the Sweet Sixteen in three years and I hope they can give Kentucky a run for their money.
6. Kentucky games seem to be the most intense games of the tournament
There is no doubt that its Kentucky versus the rest of the nation. They're going to go down as one of the best college basketball teams ever assembled, and are likely to win the National Championship. When they played Cincinnati, it was by far the most intense game of the day. Cincinnati played fearless, and it allowed the Wildcats to be tested in a good way before heading into the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight. Every Kentucky game is the headliner, and opposing teams play their hearts out whenever they match up against the Wildcats.
7. Marcus Paige comes up huge for North Carolina…….Again
Marcus Paige is clearly the real MVP for the Tar Heels. He is the only one in their starting lineup who can hit three's on a consistent basis, and he needs to play well for North Carolina to win any of their games. Against Arkansas, he had 22 points, five steals, and six rebounds. Not bad for someone who is barely six feet tall.
8. Butler and Notre Dame was the best game of the night
Butler played against the best three-seed in the tournament, but the Irish pulled out the win by three points in overtime. It was back and forth game for the entire game, and was the best officiated game in the tournament thus far. It was back and forth, intense, and emphasized what March Madness is all about. Both teams were equally deserving for the win but a corner three by Steve Vasturia is what sealed the game for Notre Dame.
9. Notre Dame could go on a 2011 UConn run
This sounds crazy, but the similarities between the two teams are starting to show. Both teams started their run by winning their conference tournament ,and they were lead by the best point guard in the country. Jerian Grant is the leader of this team and they have enough shooters and lockdown defenders to upset Kentucky. I don't think they will, but there's a possibility if Pat Connaughton and Jerian Grant shoot the lights out.
10. It was an extremely disappointing day for the Big East
Today was the most disappointing day the Big East has had in a long time. Both Butler and Villanova lost to ACC teams, and Georgetown continues to lose in the first weekend of March Madness. Xavier is the only Big East team left, and the conference is not living up to the exception they had going into the tournament.