Saturday, March 17, 2007

So Close...Yet So Far + WCHA Championship Tonight!

As the Xavier vs. Ohio St. game progressed I couldn't help but find myself rooting for the Muskateers. Even though I have Ohio St. picked to the Elite 8 or Final 4 in basically all of my brackets I was so drawn to the upset and was nearly certain that it was going to happen.

Ohio St. made a huge statement by winning this game. They showed their extreme balance and resilience by making this comeback. When they were down 59-50 they looked essentially dead in the water. Especially once Oden fouled out. However, they showed that they have multiple weapons -3 or 4 guys- who can hit that big shot and that's what it takes to win a National Championship.

I found a touch of controversy in this game however, as I thought that Greg Oden's 5th foul was intentional. I don't blame the refs for allowing them to finish the game on the court but now looking back on it, when hindsight is 20/20, I think that it would have made all the difference in the game. If Oden throwing the Xavier player to the ground is called intentional I think Xavier holds on and wins.

However weak as the Buckeyes looked today, right now I would absolutely not want to play them. I think the winner of the Tenn/Virginia game is in big trouble because today we learned a lot about Ohio St. today and they learned a lot about themselves as a team. They learned that they can get it done without Oden and that they have a couple guards, one a freshman and one a senior, who can literally take over a game(or overtime) and make that one shot to save the season. Ohio St. just received a slap in the face and is officially awake. Right now I think Ohio St. might be the most balanced team in the tournament, and they are certainly a team that I would not want to play.


The WCHA Championship will be decided tonight at 7:07 (Central). The UND Fighting Sioux take on the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Look for this to be a really great game and if you are a fan of hockey or college hockey in particular I strongly encourage you to tune in to this one.

UND come in really hot, having lost only 1 game in the last 18. Personally I think the matchup of UND vs. Minn favors UND. That's why I'm really glad that Minnesota beat Wisconsin last night because I think that Wisconsin's physical gameplay would really favor them in a matchup with UND. However, with UND vs. Minnesota I think that UND's speed and outstanding puckhandling gives them an advantage in this one. Not to mention that when they last played in Minneapolis the Sioux came out with a sweep of the then #1 ranked Golden Gophers.



stephen a said...

Obviously since I go there im rooting for UND, but I think Minnesota is going to win tonight since it's basically a home game for them and they have a bigtime goaltending edge and defensive edge and although Friday's games didn't really show it, playoff hockey is defensive hockey

grittysquirrels said...

Man what a game that was. Incredible shot by Wheeler at the end in OT. Well, I personally thought Minnesota would be a 1 seed regardless, and with a win UND could have been a 1 seed, but now it looks like UND will wind up with a 2 seed most likely.