Quote of the day
"You all understand this was an Elite Eight game. The winner of this should have gone to the Final Four." -- Kentucky coach John Calipari, after outlasting Wichita State to advance to the Sweet 16
What an entertaining toon-a-ment so far! So many games went down to the wire. We had a lot of great plays down the stretch, and a few boneheaded plays. Lot’s of “Whoa!” moments.
From a seeding perspective, there were 8 upsets in the first round (round of 64), which is right on the historical average for that round (25%). Ditto for the second round (5 upsets – 30%).
One of the Sweet 16 games will be played between two double-digit seeds – Stanford(10) vs. Dayton(11). That’s a bit unusual, as historically there have been only two games after the first weekend between two double-digit seeds. The last one was in 2011, when VCU(11) beat Florida State(10) in the Sweet 16. VCU advanced to the Final Four that year. The only other instance was in 1997, when Providence(10) beat UT-Chattanooga(14) before losing in the Elite 8 to eventual winner Arizona(4).
None of the regions have “chalk” for the Sweet 16. Three of the top four seeds advanced in two regions, with Baylor(6) crashing the party in the West (Arizona’s bracket) and UConn(7) advancing to the Sweet 16 in the East (Virginia’s bracket). The #3 seeds have probably fared the worst, with only Iowa State still alive.
If you look at the Market Madness standings, it’s still difficult to get a sense of the true leaders. In general, you’d want to have a low number of shorts still alive and a lot of longs, as the most points in the later rounds come from the long side. But with seed baskets, not all longs are created equally. For example, the SEC seed basket still has three teams alive. The ACC basket has only Virginia. So, unless you are a glutton for analytical drudgery, my best advice is to wait another week and then evaluate the landscape.
Meanwhile, back on the PGA Tour, top seed Adam Scott faded on Sunday as Cinderella Matt Every won the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Congrats to longtime Gurupie philflyboy2 who posted the top best ball score (-49) by two strokes, while Black Hawks 1 smoked the worst ball competition by seven strokes with a +59. Seventeen foursomes had Matt Every this week, but after earning the extra trade for his win, he immediately withdrew from this week’s Valero Texas Open, effectively taking that trade with him.