Folks, Davidson is such a great team that they made last night’s game (against apparently overrated #3 seed Wisconsin) look boring. Although I did see Stephen Curry miss two three-pointers in a row — one very badly — before sinking the next few with his signature panache. He’s the kind of player who makes me think I could grab a basketball and land gorgeous, high-arcing 25-footers with no trouble at all.
One thing I’ve noticed during this year’s tournament — it’s really amazing how little of a game you have to watch in order to figure out how well matched the teams are. Defensive aggressiveness and offensive rebounds are the two things I tend to pick up in the first few possessions I see (wow, that’s a lot of double letters). For instance, toward the end of last Sunday’s Western conference quarterfinal between Western Kentucky and San Diego, Western set up a series of defensive traps that basically shut down the USD offense; they did the same against Drake last week and attempted it, unsuccessfully, alas, against UCLA. You would only have to watch 5 or 10 minutes to see if the strategy was effective against the other team’s skill.
Now all this isn’t to say that I can watch the first ten minutes of a game and know beyond a shadow of a doubt who will win. Roundball is a capricious mistress, people. Anybody who’s ever smacked his forehead in disbelief at an uncalled mugging or volunteered to lend his glasses to a clearly visually impaired ref can attest to the fact that games are won with 90% sweat and 10% luck.
Besides, when the games are as exciting as tomorrow’s Elite Eight matchup between Davidson and the #1 seed Kansas, why watch five minutes when you can watch the whole thing?