* I didn’t get to my Friday musings on Friday, so I’ll do some musings today. It’s been two days now since Wichita State’s loss to VCU here in Portland, where I have been since Tuesday. I really thought I would be covering a Shocker game today; instead I’m in my hotel room at the Portland Downtown Waterfront Marriott blogging and getting ready to watch Kansas State’s third-round game against Syracuse. More on that in a bit.
* Wichita State’s players and coaches have been back in Wichita since yesterday. I’m sure they’re still not sure what him them the other night. The worst thing about the loss is that the Shockers didn’t put forth their best effort. They looked flat for the longest time, nothing like the nation’s 14th-ranked team or one that many people, I’m sure, had advancing to a Sweet 16 match-up against Kentucky.
* It’s one thing to get beat in the NCAA Tournament. It’s another to get beat while not playing well, and that’s the case with the Shockers.
* Missouri’s loss to 15 seed Norfolk State is the upset of the tournament so far (Lehigh over Duke is a close second). But the thing about the Mizzou defeat is that Norfolk State took that game from the Tigers. Norfolk State was outstanding, mesmerizing, inspiring. Somebody might write a song about Norfolk State.
Never miss a local story.
* VCU was good against Wichita State, but hardly unbeatable. The Rams’ defense was the difference, but it forced only 12 Shocker turnovers. Given that number, I would have expected a veteran team like Wichita State to have done a better job handling VCU’s half-court defensive pressure. But that’s the aspect of the game that cost the Shockers the most. They never got comfortable with their half-court offense because VCU’s pressure never relented.
* So it’s time to start thinking about next season and a highly-praised recruiting class that is coming to WSU. Will Gregg Marshall still be the Shockers’ coach? I think it’s 50-50. We’ll know more soon, I presume.
* I’m not sure Marshall is enthralled with Missouri Valley Conference basketball. And his has nothing to do with those silly conspiracy theories some of WSU’s fans seem to believe exists. Marshall made an interesting comment after the VCU loss, about how no Valley teams presented Wichita State with anything like the Rams’ defensive pressure.
* Moving on. Kansas State plays today without Jamar Samuels. Some would say the Wildcats beat Southern Mississippi without Samuels, who was ineffective to say the least. But he’s a big body capable of doing nice things when healthy. This is a blow to the Cats.
* I think Syracuse wins and plays well. Unless K-State guard Rodney McGruder has another All-America-like performance, which he is capable of having. McGruder, no surprise, is the key for the Wildcats.
* Kansas had no trouble with Detroit. Kudos to the Jayhawks for that, since earlier in the day Norfolk State had pulled the shocker of the day in the same building in Omaha.
* As I said before the tournament started, KU has the easiest road of any of the high seeds to the Sweet 16, where the Jayhawks could run into North Carolina. I think that game’s going to happen a week from Sunday in St. Louis. It would be the second battle between those teams since Roy Williams left KU to coach at Carolina.
* Fab Melo’s name alone is enough for Syracuse to be investigated by the NCAA.
* I love it when Charles Barkley talks. When Kenny Smith or Greg Anthony or anyone else is talking, I want them to hurry up and let Sir Charles speak.
* I guess it’s because I enjoy people who say what they think, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Not everyone can do that and I suppose that’s a good thing. Civility is important.
* As is the case every March, I’m completely out of touch with everything that doesn’t involve a bouncing orange ball. Anything exciting going on out there in the world of music, television, movies, literature. I have a pop culture craving.
* I do see that one of my guys, Glenn Frey from the Eagles, is releasing a CD of standards in early May. That will be interesting, to say the least. Also expecting new material from Joe Walsh (in June) and Don Henley (who knows when?) Also, this is the Eagles’ 40th anniversary as a band and there are expectations that the band will be active during the last half of the year. I hope so.
* Thanks for reading. I’ll probably check in here after the Kansas State game. I’ll be Tweeting throughout that contest. Should that be a capital “T” on “Tweeting?” Life with all of this technology is so confusing.