For every wrong prediction - and, well, we've been wrong -- you see Mike Daum coming, and everything turns out ok. South Dakota State, the former of the great Nate Wolters, in a thrilling finish that saw Nebraska-Omaha have two shots to win it in the final 15 seconds, is back for their 5th run in the NCAA tournament. This time they're bringing Buffet folk hero, Mike Daum. Who's Mike Daum? Reigning Summit player of the year who 100% took over last night's game, with 37 points, scoring 9 of SDSt last 11 points, and has averaged 31 points per game and 9.6 rebounds during the Jackrabbits current 6 game win streak (including a 51 point game)
But I'll say one thing -- as much fun as watching the Sioux Falls crowd last night, and in fairness, the 1 seed was South Dakota -- given the demise of Belmont, Monmouth, Oakland, et al -- if your conference witnesses a court storming after the championship, and it's for the #4 seed - you're doing it wrong. I saw online a proposal for one-bid leagues (who insist of the $$$$ producing non-campus site conference tournament format) to grant a bye to their top seed until the final. And, I like that. I still think they should go to all campus sites, had last night been between any school other than a South Dakota school, that gym would have been as empty as Joe Louis was for the semifinals of the Horizon.
We'll take an abbreviated approach to our practice of medicine today, just looking at the schools playing today, and what they must do to: get in the Buffet, stay in the Buffet, or improve their seating geography (see what I did there, the almost homonym plays)
- We discussed the ACC schools yesterday, so no rehash coming there -- except to say, sayonara Georgia Tech. Clemson plays for its tournament life today versus Duke, Syracuse could be doing the same versus Miami.
- Speaking of tournament's life, California's is on life support. No loss to Oregon State is ever a good loss, this one would be tragic. From there it's Utah, who blew the doors off Cal last week, that is a win Cal must avenge, but even then I would think beating Oregon might be the ONLY way in, if that door even opens still...
- Texas Tech is virtually off the radar, but a run to the final getting through West Virginia & Baylor, 2 projected protected seeds -- then we'd talk about them a bit more
- Xavier CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT lose to DePaul, and since they've got four wins since Feb 1, and 2 are against DePaul, you'd think they wouldn't. Then is Butler -- and a win over DePaul with the balance of their resume could be enough, but I'd beat Butler if I were the Musketeers, because other teams aren't just sitting around while Xavier plays out the BE tournament. That win would be enough, that loss would likely send them to Dayton, and perhaps the NIT
- USC can't lose to Washington - and if they want to get out of the first four, then they would need to flip the upset of UCLA...
New Buffetology will be up later today. with a flip coming on the 2 line, and a little more invitation security for Wake Forest.
Also, a little POY grudge match in Lewisberg, PA as Nana Foulland, a good basketball player who we don't mean to take anything away from (but the Buffet comments on basketball, and is going to sell it straight) leads top seeded Bucknell against 2nd seeded Lehigh, who feature Tim Kempton Jr, who absolutely should have won for his 3rd straight year, but, you know, #sharing...