Round One Winners & Losers

Winners

  • The Pac-10 - They were mocked and hated on all-season, with many thinking this was a one-bid league. Certainly the conference was down, there's no doubting that, but for Washington and California to advance at the expense of two Big East teams is eye-catching. These kids out west just stuck it to a lot of people.
  • Jordan Crawford - Yeah, yeah, he's the kid who dunked on LeBron last summer. Crawford may have just accelerated his time to actually competing against King James with a 28-point performance yesterday against Minnesota. If I had access to a shot chart, it would show Crawford's versatility on the offense end as buckets came from all over the court. Musketeer fans should enjoy this, because JCraw probably won't be around next season.
  • Paul Hewitt - Coaching a team with at least a few NBA prospects, Hewitt by most measures underachieved this season, going 7-9 in the ACC. But he likely saved his job at Georgia Tech with a win over Oklahoma State last night. Shaky guard play will likely doom the Yellow Jackets against Ohio State, but if they can rebound they'll be competitive.
  • Cornell's Bandwagon - Don't call the Big Red's victory over Temple an upset. The Owls only average 62 possessions a game, and couldn't adjust their pace to claw back from a double-digit deficit. Funny how Cornell head coach Steve Donahue goes years struggling to beat former Penn coach Fran Dunphy, then moves past him in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
  • The Fan - Just how frieken enjoyable were the last two days of basketball? Buzzer beaters, 12-over-5 upsets, Scoop Jardine crossovers, and even a shocking victory from the MAC champs. We got it all over the past 48 hours.

Losers

  • The Big East - They finished 4-4 overall, and one of those victories was Villanova eeking past Robert Morris,  but perhaps the most embarrassing losses were the two against the Pac 10. Seth Davis pointed out just a few minutes ago that the top four BE teams advanced, but I say "so what." This isn't how we drew it up.
  • Greg Monroe - Criticized frequently for his apathetic approach, Monroe told the press following the loss to Ohio that he will be back at Georgetown next season. Who knows how much veracity there is to the claim, but it might be a wise decision. Despite Monroe's decent statline on Thursday (19 points on 7-11 shooting; 13 rebounds), the loss has to leave a sour taste in the mouths' of scouts.
  • Kevin Stallings - In the last two NCAA Tournament appearances by the Commodores, they have been a #4 seed, and in both instances they have lost. Thursday's game-winning shot by Murray State was certainly much more demoralizing than the 21-point drubbing Stallings' kids suffered against Siena in 2008, and collectively that 2007 Elite Eight appearance seems like a loooong time ago.
  • Richmond's Bandwagon - I thought good guard play is all you need to win a first round game? Not in this case, as the Spiders' Kevin Anderson and David Gonzalvez were not enough to down Omar Samhan and the Gaels. While the Atlantic 10 has a bit more depth, the WCC may now have two teams that can consistently compete on the national level.
  • CBS College Sports - The cable channel strategically placed two 5 vs. 12 match-ups during the East Coast dinner hours. A great move to pull in viewers, but both games were duds and lacked intensity, as both Butler and Texas A&M cruised to victory.

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