NCAA Tournament: What We Learned After the First Weekend

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2009

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 21:  Demetri Goodson #3 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs is hugged by teammate Jeremy Pargo #2 after Goodson made the game-winning basket to defeat the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers during the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Rose Garden on March 21, 2009 in Portland, Oregon. The Bulldgos defeated the Hilltoppers 83-81 to advance to the Sweet 16.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

After four days of madness, the Sweet 16 is now set. There were some surprises and a few great finishes, but only a few people have already torn up their brackets.

However, when the dust settled and the greatest weekend in sports has finished, we are able to learn a few things about this league.

The Selection Committee Does a Great Job

Primarily, the main complaint against them is that they select the wrong bubble teams to be in the tournament.

Well this year, the last few teams in the dance set out to prove they belonged. Arizona, Dayton, Maryland, Michigan, and Wisconsin were the last five teams in according to their seeding.

Every one of these teams showed up to play and won their opening round game. This makes it hard for outsiders to debate their merit.

The Committee's other task is to seed the teams in the tournament. The Sweet 16 includes the top three seeds in each region and the four seeds in two brackets. This shows that they were able to tell who the best teams really are.

The ACC Is Not As Good As Advertised

Analysts had said all year long that the ACC and the Big East were the by far the best conferences in the country. Three different teams spent time on top of the polls and others hovered around the top 10. Unfortunately, the NCAA Tournament is the time for teams to prove their real merit, and the ACC has come up short.

Four teams were upset in the first round, including Wake Forest's pitiful performance against Cleveland State. The Sweet 16 includes only two teams from this underachieving conference—the usual suspects of Duke and North Carolina.

If the ACC wants to continue getting seven teams in the tournament, the teams better perform better once they get there.

Connecticut Seems Most Ready For A Title Run

After winning their first two games by a combined 82 points, the Huskies have shown that they do not need Jerome Dyson to win.

A.J. Price has stepped up to take more responsibility and Hasheem Thabeet remains the most important defensive player in the country.

Few teams can match-up with their size, and the only limitation they might have is postseason experience. No player on this team had won a Big East or NCAA Tournament game until this past Thursday.

The Next Two Weeks Will Be Very Entertaining

There are many unanswered questions that will be very exciting to find out with some great match-ups this upcoming weekend.

Can Villanova use its quickness to stay with Duke?

Can Syracuse's 2-3 zone slow down Blake Griffin?

Will Ty Lawson show any lingering effects of his toe injury?

Can this rejuvenated Arizona team continue to win?

Will any more teams mock Memphis and Conference USA?

Stay tuned, because this tournament is just beginning.