Later today the selection committee will chose the 68 teams who will play in the NCAA tournament we call “March Madness”.
Today, before decisions are made by the committee, some teams will play their way into the tournament.
Yesterday semifinals were played in division tournaments, today most will play the finals. The term “upset” has been applied to numerous games this year, but frequently it was a misnomer.
Yesterday when number 3 Indiana was trounced by number 22 Wisconsin, the rankings appear to say “upset”. If you’ve watched college basketball this year, and the way Wisconsin has been playing the last month, it shouldn’t have been a surprise.
Indiana won the regular season Big Ten Championship, but they won’t win the Big Ten tournament. Wisconsin won their 12th consecutive game over Indiana 68-56, and will play in the championship game today against Ohio State, who outlasted Michigan State 62-58.
The Badgers (23-10) allowed only 7 points after the Hoosiers pulled to 1 behind with 9 minutes 45 seconds left. There were no last second heroics by Cody Zeller or Victor Oladipo. The post-loss question to Victor Oladipo on Saturday: How confident are you that Indiana is playing its best basketball, with the NCAA tournament imminent? “A little bit.”
We’ll see where they are seeded later today.
The other upset, and this one was, saw UCLA lose to Oregon, 78-69.
UCLA was playing in the final of the Pac-12 tournament without freshman Jordan Adams. Adams is the Bruins second leading scorer, but in the semis, when a leaping Arizona Wildcat came down on his foot and broke a toe, he sat out the game with the Ducks. Adams brought the Bruins back from an 11-point deficit by himself against Arizona in the semifinals, scoring 17 of his 24 points in the final 9:57, 15 straight at one point in UCLA’s 66-64 win.
The first half saw a demonstration of the intensity of UCLA’s head coach. Furious with a charge called against Shabazz Muhammad in the first half, Howland’s rage took over. He angrily removed his jacket and decided to give fans a souvenir by launching it several rows into the stands behind UCLA’s bench. He received a technical foul.
After the game Howland apologized:
“I was very embarrassed by that to lose my composure. It’s a terrible example for our team to have their coach behave in such a manner. We’re always going to have bad calls. I definitely thought that wasn’t a call that was called correctly, but you’re going to have calls like that. …I told the team at halftime and after the game that that was a terrible example for them. We have to play through adversity. We’ve done a great job all season long with all sorts of adversity.”
March Madness pressure is reaching its peak
Columnist-The Guardian Express