After being out of the top three for most of the tournament, stapleears burst to number one in the GABA Bracket Challenge today by virtue of correctly picking an impressive three Final Four teams. stapleears is also the only one left whose overall winner is still in it, and considering that he picked a Louisville team that is currently playing better than the Charlotte Bobcats, he's got a great chance of winning it all. TrimmingAubreyBeardsley and myself aren't too far behind.
As for the weekend's action, it ended up being somewhat anticlimactic outside of the Louisville-Duke game. None of the games were terribly close down the stretch, even the Cards and Blue Devils. Michigan completely dismantled Florida (so long, crappy 2013 SEC), Wichita St. did the same to a sluggish Ohio St. before the Buckeyes made a run at the end that made the final score look close than the game really was, and Syracuse's stifling defense held Marquette to only 39 points.
The premier matchup between Duke and Louisville saw a heartbreaking injury to Louisville's Kevin Ware. Trust me, you don't want to see video of this one; it might be more gruesome than the one suffered by Marcus Lattimore. Just take a look at the pictures of Louisville players nearly passing out at midcourt, Rick Pitino crying, and Coach K holding back tears, and you'll get an idea of how bad it was. Usually when this happens, the team of the injured player either plays out of its mind of crumbles. The Cardinals did the former, unleashing the most impressive half of basketball I've seen this year and completely dismantling the Blue Devils in the second half. Pitino utilized a high pick-and-roll strategy drawn up by his son Richard (coach at FIU and former Louisville assistant) to penetrate Duke's defense.
Of course, Louisville could succumb to the pressure of playing for the fallen comrade. However, given the way they've been playing over the past month, it's hard to see them not winning this thing. They shouldn't have any trouble with Wichita in the national semis. Syracuse seems like the likely pick of SU-Michigan, and the Cards have handled the Orange before, although certainly SU is playing well right now. That's definitely the final I'm hoping for.