What have we learned after the first--ahem, second--round of the NCAA Tournament, a k a March Madness? Well, we know why Warren Buffett is not only smart but shrewd--who's surprised that no brackets, anywhere, are still in play for Buffett's $1 billion carrot for those hoping to pick a perfect bracket? We also know that, as a friend tweeted, "what the tourney giveth, the tourney taketh away" (see VCU, Duke, and Ohio State.)
Let's do some grades, shall we, on early round action...
Pass: 12 seeds. This is a tournament that, at least initially, will be known for the 12 seeds' dominance over five seeds--North Dakota State, Harvard and Stephen F. Austin all showed why the five seed is, annually, susceptible to the upset.
Fail: Not only did five seed VCU fall to Stephen F. Austin but they did it by giving up a four point play with less than a second left in regulation.
Pass: Thank you, NCAA and CBS, for expanding this tournament to Turner such that all games are televised and available for easy switching, to and fro throughout the day.
Fail: Albany's unis. Did you see those two-toned shorts? Talk about a Glamour don't...
Pass: Wichita State did what one seeds are supposed to do--they took care of business and easily demolished Cal Poly.
Fail: Quick service burger restaurants. What's with McDonald's cursory use of Johnny Manziel in the LeBron James commercial? And, it's two days in and I'm already tired of the Burger King spot with Chris Webber and the obnoxious screaming fan.
Pass: Bill Raftery and Verne Lundquist. Raftery is the most engaging, fun color guy of the tournament and Lundquist makes the perfect foil and sidekick. Yeah, these guys are long in the tooth but their voices just scream "March Madness."
Fail: Gus Johnson, where are you? We want you back...
Pass: Kansas' freshman. We all expected 19 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks from Andrew Wiggins but it was the two least heralded Jayhawk frosh--Conner Frankamp and Frank Mason--who provided significant minutes and production off the bench. Frankamp steadied a ship that was taking on water in the first half with his steady play and ended up with 10 points, four assists and no turnovers in 25 minutes of action.
Fail: Duke--it was the Blue Devils second opening round flameout in three years.