What I learned after the first weekend of the 2011 NCAA Tournament
Regardless of what my brackets look like, as a college basketball fan I've been glued to the TV set all weekend watching all the madness unfold. Here's what I have learned....
Ohio State and Kansas are the real deal
Both programs have rolled thru the first two rounds with relative ease. With all due respect to Duke fans, OSU and Kansas look to be on a collision course to meet for the National Championship.
VCU absolutely belonged in the tournament
They were the mid-major that took alot of heat from the "experts" when they were added to the field. Their response has been to take down 3 teams from BCS conferences in dominating fashion.
Butler is not a Cinderella team
Let's stop with all the talk about Butler being Cinderella. The Bulldogs have proven over and over again that they are at the top of the list of mid-major teams. They are always a tough out in March and once again have found their stride when it mattered most.
Big East basketball is over-rated
The conference that had the most teams in the tournament (a record 11) finds themselves with only two teams in the Sweet 16. Ironically, those two teams had to play two teams from the Big East to get that far. Pitt was disappointing as always, Louisville proved it wasn’t as good as its record, Syracuse never seems to play up to its talent level and Notre Dame was show to be nothing but an overachiever. Overall, the conference is 9-9 after the first weekend. Not exactly a banner tournament for the conference that all the experts say is the best in college basketball.
Parity in college basketball is at an all-time high
Here's the breakdown of the teams in this year's sweet 16. The power conferences are represented by Duke, North Carolina and Florida State (ACC), Kentucky and Florida (SEC), Ohio State and Wisconsin (Big Ten), Marquette and UConn (Big East), Arizona (Pac-10) and Kansas (Big XII). The rest of the sweet 16 includes San Diego State and BYU (Mountain West), Richmond (Atlantic 10), VCU (Colonial) and Butler (Horizon). Thru the round of 32, teams that arent a part of the power conferences have won 15 games. Last season thru the whole tourney, they won 18 games and from 2007-2009, those schools won a total of 28 games. Anybody want any more proof why the power conferences refuse to play mid majors during the regular season?
What have you learned thru the first weekend of the tournament?