NCAA Sweet 16: And A Baby-Faced Assassin Shall Lead Them

Marc DaleyAnalyst IMarch 29, 2008

Stephen Curry has genetics and a shot honed by constant repetition on his side.  He also has the benefit of four teammates who understand that he is their main option and do everything smart and legal to get him open for opportunities - not that he needs much more than a sliver to get his kill shot off.   More importantly, his fellow squad members also realize that one man does not a team make, much like their latest victims in Dairytown.

But the Badgers failed to heed a piece of advice my father passed on me to long ago - play to your strengths.  While Andrew Lovedale has proven to be a formidable defensive foe against the tall firs Wisconsin clearly had an advantage in the frontcourt.  Yet they continued to imitate the baby-faced bomber without the accuracy.  Bo Ryan has been a successful leader wherever he's been so I will stop short of saying that he was outcoached by Bob McKillop but it was obvious the Madison Mammoths failed to use Butch, Krabbenhoft, et al. in the most effective way possible.

As for the others who fell short of the Elite 8 dream....

Bruce Pearl is one of the most overrated coaches in Division I.  He is a fantastic motivator who could probably turn a mute introvert into salesperson of the month.  But as a strategist he fumbles.  The Vols have won based on a combination of superior athletics and timely Chris Lofton shots.  Well, Lofton's shot mysteriously left him and not only did Louisville match them athletically they understood the team concept following a tumultuous early campaign.  Mysteriously, the Vols continued to try and jump out of the gym in vain hopes that their acrobatics would awe the Cards into submission.  The Cards merely matched them with better precision.

Michigan State will be a well-oiled machine with Lucas and Morgan.  But as Neitzel goes, so go the 300, and he sputtered mightily against the pressing Tigers.  Memphis will still fall to Texas on Sunday but it will be interesting in East Lansing to see who takes over as the pulse of Spartan Nation.

Stanford's lack of a third option proved to be their undoing.  Brook Lopez can at least go home in the comfort of the arms of the LPGA's Anna Kournikova but anyone who though Anthony Goods or Lawrence Hill would be the Collison to Lopez's Love didn't live outside of Palo Alto.  With the twins' stock rising faster than, well any actual stock, I could see dark times returning to Cardinal Valley next year.