Tuesday, March 24, 2009

To the Sweet 16

So far, not so bad (and not so good either), for me in the Sports Night Blog Bracket Challenge (SNBBC). 7th place heading to the Sweet 16, and have a chance at a high finish (but likely not a win), if my brackets hold up. Any lower seed beating a higher seed, from here on out, is not really an upset, as the chalk held firm throughout much of the opening 2 rounds. Only neglected, and unloved Arizona remains in the "Cinderella" classification, their 12 seed in tow.

The ACC flamed out in the opening 2 rounds, with Wake Forest, Boston College and Florida State losing their openers. Maryland won a game (as I thought they would), but then ran into Memphis. Only Duke and UNC continue on, Duke meeting Villanova in Boston, and Carolina taking on Gonzaga in Memphis. I like Carolina's chances against Gonzaga, but I'm not sure about Duke and 'Nova. We'll see as the week goes on.

Davidson's NIT run came to an end this morning-seriously, this morning. St. Mary's (CA) knocked out Davidson 80-68, ending the Wildcats hopes of making it to New York for the NIT semi-finals. Stephen Curry scored 26 in the season finale, and now the watch will begin to see if Curry will return to the Wildcats for one more season. I hope he does--for selfish reasons. I like the kid. He's vibrant, and exciting to watch. If he decides to go the NBA, I wish him loads of luck. He's got the opportunity to be a solid pro. Not a star (and he doesn't have to be), but a guy that can contribute for a very long time.

Brandon Costner is leaving NC State to enter the NBA draft pool. This is a guy that averaged 13 points and 6 rebounds for his career in the ACC. The stuff of legend? No, but the stuff that can be coached into a role player in the league. I don't pretend to know what Costner is capable of in the future, but under Sidney Lowe, Costner showed he can be versatile enough that at the next level, he's an off the bench guy. Problem is, off the bench guys aren't necessarily drafted, especially in the first round. Costner will have a tough road ahead of him as a pro, but he wouldn't be the first undrafted player to land a job with a pro team. I wish him the best.

Busy week ahead with Jim Connors en route to Memphis, and Ryan Welch heading north to Boston. We'll have you covered every step of the way as the Drive to Detroit continues!

Mike Solarte

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