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So how's yer bracket?

March 22, 2010 - Neil Rudel

I've got nine of the 16 left and three of my Final Four -- Ohio State, WVU and Kentucky.

I had Louisville, and Pitino can now go back to infidelity.

My most impressive performance of the weekend was Northern Iowa's takeout of top-seeded Kansas followed closely by St. Mary's and Cornell.

You've got to figure the coaches of those teams will have their choices of bigger jobs when their tourney runs end.

Up 1 with 35 seconds to go, Ali Farokhmanesh (Fah-ROHK-ma-NESH) put up -- and made -- one of the most courageous shots ever. He could have pulled it out, run clock, forced a foul -- and that strategy may have beaten Northern Iowa.

Instead, he played to win. Kudos to him.

Other random thoughts ... 

*Northern Iowa spread the floor as well as any team I've ever seen.

*One of the reasons the mid-majors have success is their players are less talented but more mature in that they generally stay four and even five years -- as opposed to the elite teams that more often lose their stars after a year or two.

*I could not believe up four with 23 seconds to go and possession that Northern Iowa called its last timeout -- stopping its own clock. Fortunately, it didn't pay for that curious move.

*Pitt didn't hold its seed -- again -- and while that has been a black mark on Jamie Dixon and the program, this year's Panthers totally overachieved without a true go-to player. With all that it has back, there will be more pressure on next year for Pitt to get to the Elite Eight and Final Four.

*Xavier's administration has to be credited for its NCAA success under five different head coaches -- Pete Gillen, Skip Prosser, Thad Matta, Sean Miller and now Chris Mack.

*Mike Rice can do better than the Fordham job.

*Man did Villanova crash and burn once the calendar turned to March.

*The Big East tournament burns out its teams.

*If I had to start a college basketball program tomorrow, Tom Izzo would be my coach.



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