NCAA Tourney Day One: What Did We Learn Today?

Andrew KennedyContributor IMarch 20, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 19:  Eric Maynor #3 of the VCU Rams rebounds against Jrue Holiday #21 of the UCLA Bruins during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Wachovia Center on March 19, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

In honor of the great Dan Patrick who coined the phrase, let’s take a look back at the first day game-by-game in order and see what we learned from it.

1. The Butler didn’t do it for the first time in a while. LSU was ranked No. 12 three weeks ago and was clearly better than a No. 8 seed. I guess there’s at least one legit team in the SEC this year.

2. Memphis probably didn’t deserve a No. 1 seed and still can’t shoot free throws (11-for-28!). I could see Roburt Sallie expressing his desire to be drafted by Golden State in the post-game press conference, it could work out.

3. Let’s just let BYU and Texas A&M play every year as an eight-nine matchup. Honestly though, three straight years of BYU losing in the first round as an eight? At least make them a nine next year.

4. Purdue was pretty reliable in avoiding the upset and didn’t disappoint. You've got to love a team who win their conference tourney. I still like them to advance to the Sweet 16.

5. It’s easy to study for an exam when North Carolina is playing Radford (seriously, I finished the test in 15 minutes and was back in time for the Washington-Mississippi State finish). I’d like to see Lawson in action Saturday.

6. There was no chance of an upset with Connecticut. I like them to win that region now more than ever. Why were there so many haters?

7. Not knowing anyone’s name on Cal paid off for me, as Maryland won easily. Greivis Vazquez may have shushed the crowd one too many times, but Memphis-Maryland should be a close game.

8. Kind of stinks living on the east coast because you always miss one game during the first round, and the online stream hasn’t been too reliable for me so far. I picked Washington but was sort of rooting for Mississippi State because I have Purdue in the Sweet 16—another reason why this tournament is so crazy and ridiculous.

9. Big Ten just can’t keep up sometimes. If Abrams is getting looks, Texas can hang with anyone. Duke should be able to treat him like they did Stephon Curry and move on.

10. Beilein Ball is a proven formula in the tournament. Kind of a relief actually, even though I picked Clemson, because Michigan is less of a threat to the Sooners.

11. Valiant effort by American. Villanova will use this as a wake-up call. I was hoping for a second they’d go down to give Duke an easier road.

12. Really wish Gonzaga didn’t struggle so much since I picked them for the Sweet 16. They started to look real good at the end. This will probably also serve as a wake-up call for them.

13. Duke rolled. Still like them over Texas and into the Elite 8.

14. Oklahoma dominated. Blake Griffin got flipped but still had 28 and 14. They might be the best No. 2 seed.

15. Great nail-biter of a game. Eric Maynor is significantly better than Darren Collison, didn’t think the difference was this much. I don’t like Maynor’s stroke but he is so quick he makes Collison look slow. However, Collison stopped him when it counts.

Jrue Holliday is an X-factor for UCLA. He has an amazing handle and just needs a little more confidence. I wouldn’t be surprised to see UCLA knock off Villanova.

16. Who didn’t pick this upset? Got really nervous at the end though, not sure on some of those calls. Illinois was not the same team without Chester Frazier. Courtney Lee didn’t play either for Western Kentucky. Gonzaga better take care of business Saturday.


In the end, I only missed two picks; Clemson and Butler going down. It looks like someone may have copied my bracket before hand and modified to try and take me down since I won the pool last year. Therefore, my destiny in my pool will be decided tomorrow. It’s a weird feeling.

I’ll be back again to recap tomorrow’s games as well.