Wild Wednesday: Down Goes, Well, Almost Everyone
We passed the point weeks ago where shocking results remained shocking. Now there’s just nightly numbness as scores roll in that make less and less sense as an evening goes along. There’s no real coherent way to put things together anymore. Up is down, left is right, upsets don’t really exist (well, unless you’re Miami tonight). What the heck has happened to college basketball this season and where did logic, sense and reason go?
On what looked like a fairly docile night of matchups nationwide, scoreboards kept updating and flashing more and more surprising news. Villanova beats a top-five team at Wells Fargo Center? Yawn. We’ve seen that before (twice). The Wildcats were a slight favorite over Georgetown. Nothing to see here, especially in the grand context of this season and of this particular team in this particular venue.
Oh, did I mention there’s an NCAA subregional scheduled for this building and Villanova would be eligible to play in it if it’s a 12-seed or higher? Location protection only extends to top-four seeds in the Round of 64, and the three top-five wins Nova has are the only games they have played in the building, keeping the Wildcats at the maximum limit for it not to be designated a secondary home. (Update: With Duke looking like a 1- or 2-seed and Georgetown, a conference rival, possibly the other protected seed in Philly, the reality is Nova would probably have to be a 9- or 10-seed, to fit into Duke’s pod, for this even to be possible.)
Let’s move on. Oh, Oklahoma State got bounced at Iowa State? Again, not a real surprise. Hilton Magic made the increasingly win-needy Cyclones a small betting favorite. That one was pretty easy to sniff out.
Then this happened.
(h/t @RobDauster and NBC’s College Basketball Talk)
Miami, with the outright ACC title on the line and a 1-seed in the NCAAs looming as a prize, gacked away a double-digit halftime lead and lost. At home. To Georgia Tech. For their third loss in four games. This little losing skid (solid effort at Cameron aside) is also starting to undermine Miami claims for injury credit for the losses to Florida Gulf Coast (without Durand Scott) and in Hawaii (without Reggie Johnson). Johnson has mostly been a non-factor since his return from injury, which is really hurting the Canes at this point.
OK, what else…
Oh, goodie. UCLA, a co-leader in the Pac-12 with control of its own destiny for that league title, lost at Washington State for the first time in two decades. By double digits. Leaving Oregon alone in first. At least until the Ducks play at Colorado tomorrow night. And Cal, which is playing Stanford tonight, has a chance to grab a share of the league title out of nowhere. (Update: No, they almost certainly don’t. Ick.)
What’s that? Oh, sweet. Atlantic 10 mayhem! Saint Louis fell at Xavier in overtime, moving VCU into a tie for first in the conference and opening the door for a possible co-championship for … La Salle? La Salle!!
So is this what March is going to be like? Every night, someone drops? Every night, we’re left scratching our heads and picking through the carnage? Every night, we’re reassessing just about everything we thought we knew about the NCAA tournament picture and which teams we can trust?
Yes? Well, sign me up.