Folks, you won't find a sports day better than the one we received this past Sunday.
In college basketball, the number one ranked team in the nation who was undefeated going into their last game of the regular season against an unranked team that will more than likely miss the NCAA Tournament went down in flames
. Along with them, the number three team in the nation, Kentucky
, and the number seven team in the nation, Kansas
, both fell to unranked teams.
Meanwhile, the number two team in the nation, North Carolina, rallied from nine down with 3 minutes left to score 11 straight points to win a thriller
at the Dean Dome. And the number four team in the nation, Wake Forest, hit a floater in order to pull out the win
against NC State, albeit the game resulted in the suspension of their top player
for dirty tactics.
Is this a precursor to March Madness? Possibly. It's hard to see one round in the tourney equal this, much less one day. But it is good to see a lot of teams playing hard at the close of the season, because next Sunday will probably be one of the most controversial selection shows ever, and no team is really safe.
Illinois's backcourt weaknesses shone against Ohio State. While a UNC team without McCants was still strong, they all have to contribute on the offensive end because McCants is their pure shooter. Duke can't beat a team that is equally physical or more physical than them. Wake Forest is lacking in the front court. Kentucky will have problems on neutral courts. One of Kansas's key starters is injured with an ankle sprain.
If you are a bubble team that's slumped down the stretch - Maryland, West Virginia, Georgetown, and Indiana, for example - you couldn't be too happy with what went down Sunday. But hey; the selection committee has to pick 65 teams. Hope some of the mid-major favorites win their conference tourneys (especially Holy Cross, Pacific, Winthrop and Davidson).
Add to that an emotional finish to golf's Doral Open, where Tiger Woods beat Phil Mickelson in a playoff to regain his number one world ranking
. Is Tiger back to form? We'll see at the Masters.
And the week is only going to get better. Conference championships go on throughout the week, as Gonzaga
and Old Dominion
(much to the relief of bubble teams, as OD had to do it in overtime) stamped their tickets to the tourney on Monday. Most of the major conferences will start on Wednesday.
I'll talk more about the bubble teams - who's locked in, who needs a great conference tournament performance, and who's bubble has already burst - before the ACC tournament starts Wednesday.