Round one of the 2023 NCAA Tournament delivers as only March Madness can. Upsets and buzzer-beaters were the rules for round one again. If you watched basketball over the last two days you realize why this is the greatest sporting even in the world.
Trayce Jackson-Davis demonstrated why he should be named college basketball’s national player of the year by dominating an NCAA Tournament game as no player has in 37 years.
Indiana’s star senior recorded 24 points, 11 rebounds, five blocked shots and five assists to propel the No. 4 seeded Hoosiers to a 71-60 win against No. 13 Kent State on Friday night at MVP Arena.
Jackson-Davis set an NCAA Tournament record by becoming the first player with at least 20 points, ten rebounds, five blocks and five assists in an NCAA Tournament game – marking him as a truly great player.
Zach Edey won Big Ten player of the year, but that shows that the award is more of a popularity contest as Edey showed that he was nothing special as FDU beat the number one-seeded Boilermakers on Friday night.
TJD has the ability to put an entire team on their back, and he reminded me a little of Danny Manning, who in 1988 put the Kansas Jayhawks on his back and carried them to an unlikely National Championship. Can TJD do the same thing this season?
In the last three tournaments, Painter’s Boilermakers have lost to a 13-seed, a 15-seed, and now a 16-seed.
Painter is a great regular-season coach, but he comes up short when it matters the most.
The Banners that fly in West Lafayette are regular season banners, and Purdue has not made it to a final four since 1980 and has never won a National Championship.
Indiana has five banners flying at Assembly Hall, and it seems like Purdue should be embarrassed enough to try to do something to win a Championship. Instead, I am sure they will let Painter continue to win Big Ten Titles which means next to nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Look at it like this the last time Purdue played for a National Title was 1969; since that time, Indiana State has played in one, and Butler has played in two!
This becomes more common with each passing year, as last season; we saw two double-digit seeds advance to the Elite Eight. We have FDU, Princeton, and Furman this season, who are seeded 16, 15, and 13, still playing into round two.
Can any of them advance into the Sweet 16? My answer would be that at least one of these teams will advance to the Sweet 16.
A darkhorse major conference team everybody should keep an eye on are the Pitt Panthers, who have been underrated and overlooked all season.
This is what March is all about. Every team in this tournament is really, really talented. I feel like the seeds next to your name; it doesn’t matter at all. Every team is really good, and there are no longer any guaranteed wins unless Matt Painter is coaching. Then your team has to like its odds!
Alabama has rolled through this season as Sherman rolled through Georgia. They enter the tournament ranked number one by the AP and destroy the competition, but will they win it all?
The answer to that is over the last twenty years, the only number one ranked team to win the tournament was the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats, so the chances are that the Tide will come up short. With that being said, they look awful tough at this stage of the tournament.
Houston star Marcus Sasser missed the Cougars’ loss in the American title game with a groin injury. UCLA was without guard Jaylen Clark, who will miss the entire tournament.
Houston struggled to beat the 16th-seeded Northern Kentucky Norsemen as Sasser could not complete the game; with a groin injury, it’s unlikely he will play effectively in a second-round game. The Regional Semifinal also looks doubtful.
Both of these teams are also looking at tough second-round games as UCLA faces an underrated Northwestern team, and Houston will battle Auburn in a game that will be played in Birmingham, Alabama. I would be surprised if both teams advance to the Sweet 16.
The Blue Devils rode into this tournament playing as well as anybody, but people were still picking Oral Roberts to at least give them a game. It never happened as the Blue Devils dominated Oral Roberts and made a statement that Coach K is no longer needed. It will surprise me if Duke doesn’t at least make it to the Final Four.
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