What you need to know in the rest of the mess of March Madness

March 27, 2010 |

Many of you have already thrown away your brackets.

A few of you have been so embarrassed by how you did, you don’t even want to watch the rest of the games.

“I did something I promised myself I wouldn’t—I looked at my bracket which I haven’t done since the end of the second round. I’m out,” said a loyal follower of the sportaholic, Mark Huber.

Do you feel this same sentiment? Well, don’t feel alone. This tournament brought an immense amount of upsets that there is not one perfect bracket left in America.

Even that autistic kid in Chicago is out after his winning team, Purdue,  lost to Duke last night during the last game of the sweet 16.

But there is no denying the excitement, the energy and craziness this years tournaments have ensued.

I don’t care if you are a basketball fan or not–it is games like these that make even the most anti-sports fan pause and actually get caught up in the yelling from the people standing in front of the TVs.

I think the biggest game so far that had me going nuts was the Kansas State vs. Xavier game. This was the first double over time game played in a sweet 16 in over ten years and the combined points (101-96 = 197) is the second highest amount of combined points in a sweet 16.

This game was intense. There were 17 lead changes. There were 13 ties.

And there was eventually a winner decided about one in the morning on Thursday night.

If you missed this game, I am truly sorry; games like this are why I got so into sports in the first place.

The drama. The energy. The excitement and movement.

The fast acting changing of who might win which changes just as much as the passing of the basketball itself. It is more climatic than any movie you might see in theaters.

If you didn’t at least stop and see why this game was so insane, then you might as well stop reading now.

Because a game like that is the best way anyone can ever get involved in sports.

The rest of the elite 8 games are set, and some have already been played. Here are some key points to remember while watching the last half of the NCAA tournament.

The Butler Bulldogs wanted to win today’s game against Kansas State. And that they did.

Was it because in winning, they get to play near home in Indianapolis? Or was Kansas State still worn out pulling out that victory on Thursday; either way, the Bulldogs fought hard to put the game away 63-56.

If you missed this first game of the elite 8, you missed some pretty crazy last few minutes of the game–unless you live in my apartment building because then I am sure you heard me yelling at the TV.

To me, it almost seemed like K. State just couldn’t hold it together. They missed clutch foul shots and turned the ball over as the Bulldogs at least three different times picked the ball off K. State as easy as taking candy from a kid.

Of course, you knew the game was over after Butler almost missed a lay-up–and before it tipped out, a played from K.State accidentally tipped it back in. Did anyone else see that?

Good run, K. State. But good luck Butler. They earned this first trip to the Final Four for their team.

West Virginia (#2) and #1 Kentucky are going head-to-head right now. These are the last two most picked teams to outlast the rest in this big dance and take home the trophy. Who did you pick, and who do you think will take it away in the second half?

As they go into half time, the score sits at 28-26 in favor of West VA. They were 8 for 13 in the first half in 3-pointers.

Will John Wall and the rest of the young Kentucky team pull this victory away from the Mountaineers?

Tomorrow, Duke takes on Baylor.  While Duke is #1 ranked in their division, I personally don’t see them going further than tomorrow. I had them going to the elite 8 and losing when I made my original bracket. Then again, my bracket has a few bruises in it right now.

But can Kyler Singler and Jon Scheyer take down Baylor?

After last night’s game beating Purdue, Coach K became the most winningest coach in the tournament, beating UNC’s former head coach Dean Smith (yea–add the salt to the wound this year, Duke. Tarheels will get it together next season).

Tennessee will play Michigan State, the team that took Maryland out of the games with that last minute shot by Korie Lucious from Mich State. Whoever wins here will play Butler. And that is the game they should be ready for. Butler is a team to not underestimate this year.

Don’t miss the games tomorrow. With the tournament going the way it has, you don’t want to be caught out of the loop.

And if you were wondering if history repeats itself: Butler, the cinderella team of this year, extended the nation’s longest current winning streak to 24 when they beat K.State today.

When they return to Indy, they will return as the first team to play a Final Four in its home town since 1972 like UCLA.

And UCLA won the title back in 1972.