Friday, March 23, 2007

Relieved, but still scared

One of the look-ahead games I glanced at before this tournament started was the one we are about to play....and I wasn't looking at Memphis.

I did not AT ALL want to play Texas A&M in San Antonio for the right to go to the Final Four. I was pissed off that A&M was getting a home-state advantage when they were only a 3-seed anyway, and I was concerned that it would end up being a quasi-road game.

So I was relieved last night when Acie Law IV choked on a layup last night in the waning seconds, and Memphis knocked off A&M.

But I don't know much about Memphis, and what little I do know does scare me.

Don't believe the people who tell you that they haven't played anybody. Yes, they play in a very weak conference (Conference-USA). Heading into this tournament, they had played three ranked teams, going 1-2 against them, but hadn't faced any of those ranked teams since #9 Arizona beat them back in 2006.

No, they hadn't played much of a schedule...until this week. Folks, the Tigers have defeated TWO teams ranked in the Top 10 in the last five days. Nevada was #10 and A&M was #7 in both major polls. So don't tell me that they had a weak schedule, and that's why Ohio State will prevail.

However, there is one bright spot that might speak volumes come tomorrow afternoon....

Tennessee beat them by 18 points earlier this year.

I can't help but wonder if they spent some time in the stands last night watching the game, hoping to get their chance to pay some revenge to their inter-state rival, only to wind up a little depressed at missing that chance (and having to witness first-hand the buzzsaw that the Volunteers ran into).

Ohio State owned the Big Ten this season.
Ohio State owned the state of Ohio last weekend.
Ohio State has a chance to own the state of Tennessee this weekend.

And if they do, they have a chance to own the Final Four next weekend. Go get 'em Bucks.

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