#3 Baylor is in a rare position as highest-seeded team remaining in the region.
Baylor got knocked out in the 1st round by 14th-seeded Georgia State in 2015
& by 12th-seeded Yale in 2016, double-digit seed losses that Johnathan Motley
and the Belgian Manu Lecomte ended.
While much has been made about the NCAA Tournament committee placing
# 7 South Carolina in Greenville for its first- and second-round games,
there’s no denying that this SEC underdog earned its spot in the Sweet 16.
After trailing by a point to No. 10 Marquette at halftime in game one, S.C.
found momentum in racing to a 20-point victory. In the second round,
South Carolina exploded for 65 2nd-half points – the most given up ever by
a Mike Krzyzewski-coached team in his 37 seasons at Duke – in rolling to a
surprise victory over the Blue Devils. Frank Martin’s team is certainly no
stranger to the underdog role, having been picked seventh in the SEC
prior to a 25-win campaign last year and eighth this year.
# 8 Wisconsin may be the lowest remaining seed in this region,
but it is far from a dog due to its previous experience in this round.
Wisky’s the only team in the country to make the Sweet 16 4 years in a row
and have all five starters in place from last year’s team.
Greg Gard’s squad has already seen that experience pay off in eliminating
defending national champion and No. 1 overall seed Villanova in the 2nd round –
a game the Badgers won despite shooting only 43.8 percent from the free-throw line.
If senior guard Bronson Koenig continues his stellar NCAA Tournament play –
45 points and 11 made 3-pointers in the first two games –
Wisconsin could use its experience to keep marching on.
After winning its first 2 games by an average of 20.5 points per game,
Florida rolls into the Sweet 16 for the first time in the Mike White era.
#4 Fla are 4–0 in their last four trips to the Sweet 16, w/ 3 Elite Eight
appearances and one Final Four appearance during that stretch.
Of course, that success – and the back-to-back national championships in
2006 and ’07 – came under the direction of current OKC Thunder head coach
Billy Donovan. Although winning back-to-back national titles may be a stretch
at this point, White has a defensive-minded team that is well-equipped to
keep on winning in this year’s tournament. Florida is ranked 37th nationally
in scoring defense and held ACC power Virginia to just 39 points in the
2nd-round game in Orlando.
The NCAA made some experimental rule changes for the 2017 NIT,
and cut games into 4 quarters, like Pro & High School levels.
Team Fouls reset to 0 @ end of 10-minute segments each H.
That’s how every other B-ball league worldwide is governed.
After a team commits its 5th foul in a 10-minute segment
(and all fouls after that),
other team will shoot 2 free throws — no more “1-and-1” FTs
– changes how fouls are counted, but not how game is timed.
The NCAA is hoping to gather data thru the 31 NIT games to
see if it’s eventually worth making the switch to quarters
in all of college basketball.
No rule changes have been made for the 2017 NCAA Tournament
NC’s under [u]10-2-1[/u] their last 13games following a win,
& the under is [u]11-5-1[/u] in the Tar Heels last 17 overall.
Oregon went under [u]4-1[/u] their last 5 games vs. the ACC,
& under is [u]5-2[/u] in Ducks last 7 NCAA Tourney games.
Can Zags shut down X-factor J. Jackson a la Virginia’s Defense…??
But just don’t care for 67% public bets on NC w/ slight RLM
—and the easiest path I’ve ever seen in decades given by NCAAto Gonzaga…
Perhaps there’s a few too many debts owed Few…
When the most obvious of infractions –
sticking hands on & thru the rimby 2 Zags on the same play against Northwestern –
seen by all except 3 Refs… then a Tech foul on top of it –
6 point swing assured a Zags win, and the calls they’ve been getting.
NCAA has its issues with UNC and fake tests, fake grades of “student” athletes…
Zags have more good 3pt shootersZags
allow less shots from beyond the arc
Zags have more to play for,
and more to win
[u][b]and they do tonight.[/u][/b/]