I think that’s fair but it’s also a trend over many years.
There are programs that have had more consistent success so it’s not all just to chance. (of course Im sure you’re well aware of this and were just sparing the deeper dive due to your concerns of hot stoves LOL).
A neutral, truth-seeking, “academic” inquiry into this would be interesting. We could statistically measure the degree to which random chance is explanatory, evaluate various hypotheses against the hurdle of “does this apply to the postseason and not the regular season,” look at the specific losses and see to what extent each hypothesis came into play in that particular game, see if the hypotheses held water with other teams that had the same traits… and then come out with a few hypotheses that are plausible.
But that’s not going to happen. Hot Stove. Stay Away.
I’m rooting for Furman and Tennessee today, which means they’ll both lose (seriously they will probably both lose), and then the rest of the games I’ve got no particular rooting interest in. Except: go Houston, beat Auburn.
And then we end the day with Alabama-Maryland. Blegh. Somebody gross is going to win.
Have we had the discussion about how the shortest team in D1 beat Purdue, the team of giants? I know a lot of people on here loving talking about how it would be great to have taller players and that would solve all of Virginia’s problems, but a team of short dudes just shocked the world. I’ll hang up and listen….
Here’s what’s crazy.
I re-watched the last 5 minutes of all the games in the first round involving single digit seeds against double digit seeds that were one possession games inside 5 minutes.
There was soooo much pressure on the higher seeded players. It was palpable, tangible, suffocating, crushing.
Complete freedom for the lesser seeds knowing there were no outside expectations for them.
Here are those 7 teams listed that were under immense pressure. Then I will rank them according to how they did under pressure as far as staying calm and executing on both ends.
Arizona, Virginia, San Diego State, Xavier, Miami, Purdue, TCU
Tennessee was close but always had at least a 3 point lead with the ball.
Miami - Down by 8 with 4:30 left and closed on a 16-1 run to end the game. 10/12 on FT’s and 6/8 on FT’s to take control as they kept driving the ball and forcing the defense to make decisions.
Xavier - down 13 with 9 min left - just continued to hit singles and stay with it. Huge 3 pointer that gave them a 2 point lead with 1:44 left.
TCU - down 8 with 4:35 left - same - hit singles but also threes were a big factor - hit 3 threes in the last 5:11
San Diego State - Tie game with 3 min left and closed it 10-4. A big three to go up 5 but lots of drives resulting in a layup and 5 made FT’s.
Virginia - Lost a 12 point lead because zone by Furman and our insistence (Kyle Guy tweet) of going under screens on their shooters. BUT, did not wilt and came back to take control of the game and get a 4 point lead with 20 seconds left. And basically had the game won. Throw-in with 12 seconds left and a 2 point lead and simply needed to be strong with the ball and accept the foul. In fact Pegues had already started fouling Clark before he threw the pass. The amount of poise by our guys after losing the lead to come back and take control of that game was encouraging and HUGE!
Arizona - could not execute at all and only got the ball to their All American once in the last 5 minutes. Lots of contested jumpers.
Purdue - could not execute at all and only got the ball to their All American once for a shot attempt in the last 12 minutes. No one could make a three - 5/26 for the game - to make them come out off Edey.
Great point - I actually told my wife I was so proud of how we came back. When Furman took the lead I said “I’ve seen this movie before. We are going to wilt”…and then we didn’t.
Again, it takes Kihei calling a very simply time out and making ONE of two free throws and we’re a 50/50 shot at going to the S16. That would’ve been a successful season given our pieces. The line is that thin
It’s becoming clear that you don’t want to build your team around plodding post up bigs. You want versatile bigs that can either defend multiple positions at a high level and/or stretch the floor. I think Kadin/Traudt/Blake fit this mold. Where you want size is at wing and guard and that is what we’re lacking right now. Dunn/Bond help at the wing if shooting improves. But we need our next guard recruits/transfers to be taller.
Another hit and run away post from me, but every team in the NCAA tournament is good. Every one of them. Maybe you don’t know them, no one hears of them, but to get there they’re a good team.
When a lower seed pulls the upset the media should be celebrating the lower seed’s accomplishment, promoting the Cinderella, not bashing the higher seed. This is why they play the game. I really feel for Purdue and instead of hammering them the media should be talking about the excitement of the tournament and praising FDU.
I think the media people that want to pour salt on the wounds, and I’m talking to you Pat Forde, need to walk away from college sports. They don’t get it. It’s fine for fans to do that but professional sportswriters ought to be better than that. I have nothing but contempt for him and others.
Interesting that Furman is already pulling out the 1-3-1in the first half here. Less likely to work / more time to adjust. As well as we played early on, we couldn’t really get them to sweat like that.
I agree with the general point. I don’t consider FDU a good team by any measure though and how Purdue lost to them is inexplicable. FDU had 15 losses this season, 12 of them to teams ranked below 200 per Kenpom. They didn’t even win their conference regular season or tournament title. Backed in because of the rule forcing Merrimack out. Lol just insane that Purdue found a way to lose to them.