WOW! The NCAA tournament is still a week away, but the drama has already begun in college hoops. There are still three days of hoops action until Selection Sunday, but let's look at some of the developing storylines and recap some of the recent action.
SYRACUSE BEATS UCONN IN INSTANT CLASSIC
Does it get any better than this? Syracuse outlasted Connecticut, winning 127-117 in six overtimes. Check out some of the numbers: it took 3 hours, 46 minutes it took to play the game that ended at 1:22 a.m., the teams scored combined 244 points, 102 of which came after the regulation buzzer, there were eight players who fouled out, and six who registered double-doubles. The game could have ended at the end of regulation, but the refs waived off a Syracuse three-pointer that would have won the game at the buzzer. It was the right call, but man was it close. I liked because it allowed for the guys to settle it on the court. The refs may have ruled differently had they realized it would take six extra frames to decide the contest.
OKLAHOMA, PITTSBURGH DISAPPOINT
All season long teams struggled to stay atop the polls. I was never sold on Oklahoma and there struggles down the stretch confirmed my suspicisions. There 71-70 loss to Oklahoma State shows they are not a serious contender for the national title as some have said. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh was even more disappointing. West Virginia dominated them, costing the Panthers there shot at a No. 1 seed. I still like Pitt as a team to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament, but they are going to have start hitting some free throws and play with a bit more consistency if they are going to make a splash.
LOUISVILLE A #1 SEED?
Rick Pitino's bunch looks so good at times and now they have a chance to get the elusive No. 1 seed with Pitt and UConn already out of the Big East tournament. The Cardinals have the talent to win it all and are definitely going to be going deep on my brackets, all 20 of them...LOL!
GOOD DAY FOR KENTUCKY
For one day UK fans had something to be excited about. First was the news that Patrick Patterson will return for his junior season. Then there was the Wildcats' impressive performance against Ole Miss. The best part of the win was that it wasn't only Patterson and Jodie Meeks carrying the load. Perry Stevenson and Darius Miller also offered some production. The Cats are still on the bubble, but if they can beat LSU on Friday they are starting to look like they will make the dance.
XAVIER BOUNCES BACK
As I wrote earlier this week, Xavier has little to gain. However, after their dud effort against Richmond to close out the regular season it was good to see them get things rolling against St. Louis to kickoff their A-10 run. If they win the conference tournament they could still sneak in as No. 4 seed.