North Carolina didn’t completely hold down Willie Warren, as the previous entry suggested would be important. They did virtually silence Tony Crocker and nobody else could buy a basket. Ergo, game, set, and match.
Didn’t see the other game as I was at a party for my parents’ 25th anniversary. It actually falls on April 1st, and that’s no lie– although we’ll have to see whether the same can be said for the conficker virus. Things went pretty well, the food was good, and just as planned, we surprised them with my brother coming over from college in the midwest. But when I found at what Michigan State did to Louisville, all I could say is whoa. Good defensive team? Yes, like a few others in the Big Ten this season? Hold the Cardinals to 52 points and win by double digits? Maybe five people saw that one coming.
So now we get a killer Final Four. Michigan State and UConn, two teams that have played each other twice before in their histories. They split those meetings, and went on to win the national title in the same seasons. This time, the winner obviously gets to play for it on Monday. Beyond the aforementioned display against Louisville, Michigan State is a team nobody wanted in Detroit simply because in addition to the playoffs, the Huskies will face maybe 50,000 Spartan fans. Don’t be fooled by the limited ticket distribution (plus those given to students). The likes of StubHub will make it a very unpleasant environment for UConn. On the 30th anniversary of Magic and Co. In a city/state badly damaged by the Big Three’s uselessness and desperate for something good (besides the Wings, whose success is practically expected).
Source: Deseret News
North Carolina gets Villanova, and while they’re a better all-around team, they might have a tough time with the Wildcats D, Desire, and Determination. The bookies still apparently love the Tar Heels, and I do have them winning in my Beer Lodge bracket, but I think 10-11 odds are a little too overwhelming for a team that’s definitely human. Speaking of that bracket, I could possibly still move up from 4th into the top-3, but not sure about winning (even though I’m a point behind) because I only have Villanova and UNC left in play. Facebook bracket percentile is still nice, but probably even less potential to move up…
I’ll give my thoughts on the games later this week, but for now, some external previews. ESPN has thumbnails for each team if you subscribe to Insider, while Andy Katz has a longer preview for everyone. Dan Wetzel focuses on the very different angles each team has going into the weekend.
Saw most of the U.S.A.’s draw against El Salvador. Ugly first hour, nice comeback to save a point led by Frankie Hejduk and Jozy Altidore, and it could’ve been all three but for a goal-line clearance on Brian Ching’s late bicycle kick. Hejduk might be getting better with age, and he says going surfing has a lot to do with it. Altidore, of course, is probably America’s bright hope for the future, though he needs to get some more playing time at club level before he can expect to start, much less live up to the hype on a consistent basis.
Thanks to goal.com for the picture.
Oh, and as noted in the Tribune article and a press release, Henry Kissinger is now helping to lobby for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup to be held in America. I’d love to see us host it, not least because we might be ready to win by then!
This image was found on the U.S. Soccer Federation website.
The U.S. plays Trinidad & Tobago next in Nashville on Wednesday, and I’d expect an American win from this one.