Armstrong: Five thoughts from the NCAA Tournament so far

Jack Armstrong
3/25/2013 3:54:37 PM
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It was a wild weekend of NCAA games on TSN and TSN2.  While I'm exhausted from watching lots of a bunch of games, I still have my weekly five thoughts from the Tournament so far.

1. Florida Gulf Coast: How awesome is this story? I'm loving it.  These guys play with incredible passion, heart and spirit. They are so fun to watch. Sherwood Brown is steady and a dynamic leader, Brett Comer is a freewheeling point guard who hasn't met a lob pass that he won't throw and Bernard Thompson is a complete player.  Their big's are athletic and finish at the rim.

Teams like this are why we all fall in love with the Tournament. Looking ahead, I think they can beat Florida. They have the guard play that can compete and their big's can hand with Erik Murphy.  It should be a fascinating game to watch.

2. The Best No. 1 seed so far  - Louisville:   There's no doubt that Louisville is the best so far with . Gonzaga gone home along with Kansas and Indiana having to work hard for their wins.  Rick Pitino's club is an awesome defensive team forcing 44 turnovers in two games.

Russ Smith is playing out of his mind right now, averaging 25 points per-game in the tournament.  Louisville is on a roll right now and playing with incredible confidence.  Oregon better be ready.        

3. Game I'm looking forward to watching (Michigan vs. Kansas): Kansas's Ben McLemore needs to play a lot better vs. the Wolverines. Trey Burke, Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway, Jr played great vs. VCU , and scored a combined 46 points on 18-35 shooting.  

The pressure and the back court battle will be critical.  The Jeff Withey vs. Mitch McGary matchup is key.  Size, length and shot blocking vs. the bulk, strength and enthusiasm of McGary.  It should be a fun one.

4. Ben Howland and Tubby Smith (UCLA & Minnesota): Both coaches have been fired in the past 24 hours.  It shows you what a fickle profession coaching can be. Smith has won an NCAA Championship in his career and Howland took the Bruins to the Final Four 3 times and for both men that wasn't good enough. 

Talk about a what have you done for me lately scenario.  It's a peacock today and feather duster tomorrow!!   Don't let your kids grow up to be college or professional coaches.                   

5. Three Canadians in the NBA Draft?: If all three of the following players, UNLV's Anthony Bennett, Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk or Texas' Myck Kabongo decide to declare for the NBA Draft this June you could very well see three Canadians selected in the first round according to a bunch of mock drafts I've seen. 

Obviously, it's early and a lot can go both right and wrong in the process but isn't it really cool to see how far Canadian basketball has come and where it's going?   I look forward to seeing this more and more as young players across the country get hooked on the sport and receive top-notch coaching and exposure to both the professional and college game.  The best is yet to come!


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