Goodbye Elite Eight

I just finished watching Georgetown beat North Carolina in overtime, which has lifted my spirits at least halfway from the Jayhawks’ loss last night. This Georgetown win was exactly what makes March Madness so special. A historic match up featuring two great teams that took extra time to finish. It was probably the best game of the first four rounds, though I’m sure someone will point out a better one that I’ve forgotten. With Kansas out, my money is on Georgetown from here on out. (Of course, it helps that Georgetown has salvaged my otherwise paltry tournament predictions.)

This being the conclusion of the Elite Eight, I can’t help but think that Roy Williams and Bill Self were the big letdowns of the first two weeks. Both of them had incredibly deep and talented teams, and yet were the only two one-seeds to fail to advance.

My criticism falls especially on Self, the Kansas coach. In a game in which his team missed 20 layups, he neglected to make any changes in his offensive setup; leading to a double digit loss to UCLA. Less than halfway through the second half, it was clear that the Bruins were defending the ball screens very well, and that while the Kansas players were quite adept at penetrating, they were always out of control and unable to finish their drive to the hoop. Perhaps a switch to more off the ball screens and pull up jumpers would have led to a more even finish.

My picks from here out? Georgetown and UCLA advance to the finals, (this UCLA vs. Florida semifinal rematch of last year’s final should be pretty interesting, by the way), with Georgetown winning it all.

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