Sweet 16 gut reaction
Green's 'travel' no-call, a historic Final Four and more
Posted: Saturday March 24, 2007 2:25AM; Updated: Saturday March 24, 2007 2:43PM
SI.com caught up with Seth Davis, who's serving as a CBS studio analyst during the tournament, to get his impressions of Friday's regionals action.
SI.com: We're down to eight teams and all four No. 1 seeds are alive. Is this the year that all four make it to Atlanta?
S.D.: I'm really feeling the top seeds right now. I know Ohio State had its problems against Tennessee. I know Florida has had to grind out three straight wins, and Kansas got a good gut-check against Southern Illinois. UNC found a way tonight. They have all proven to be vulnerable, but each has answered the bell when it counts. There's something to be said for that on a road that requires six straight wins.
Kansas has done the best job to live up to its potential, and Florida has definitely been playing with fire, but I just like the matchups in the next round for them all to advance. This would be historical since they started seeding in 1979, no Final Four has had all of the No. 1 seeds.
If all four top seeds go to the Final Four, you will have people writing and talking about how this is the end of parity, but I would caution anyone who tries to extrapolate a trend out of this tournament. There's a different storyline that can happen each year that you think will never happen. Just sit back and enjoy the games.
SI.com: It looked as though Jeff Green took a step too many at the end of Georgetown's win over Vandy. What did you see?
S.D.: Immediately, I thought travel, but with each viewing I was less and less sure. I'd never blame a referee on that call in that situation in the Sweet 16. It's hard to fathom someone stepping in during that situation. At the end, I think it was technically a travel.
SI.com: Another night, another second-half run for a top seed. What did you think of North Carolina's burst?
S.D.: They are geared to win in the last five minutes because they just wear you down. I've never seen a faster player with the ball than Tywon Lawson, and they are just running so many guys out there who can get things done that you are going to see teams simply unable to keep pace and go man-for-man off the bench.
Look at tonight. Tyler Hansbrough only had five points. Reyshawn Terry had strep throat, but he got them nine points. I didn't even expect him to do much, and he did. USC lost Taj Gibson to a third foul, fourth foul, and then out, and they were not able to replace him with an equal presence. The Trojans did not choke. UNC just wore them down, like they have so many. We've seen it before from them: This is their blueprint and how they are designed. The first thing that I did when I filled out my bracket was put Georgetown in the Final Four, but I'm going to have to rethink that after seeing Carolina play tonight.
SI.com: Oregon seemed to have the easiest night. Who stood out to you?
If I had told you that Aaron Brooks was going to have just eight points and the Ducks would win, I don't think you would have believed me; but the little guy, Tajuan Porter, who is 5-foot-7 with heels on maybe, put together an unbelievable virtuoso performance. He scored 17 straight individual points in the first half and just was amazing with the best individual performance, so far. The first three games of this season, he was Pete Maravich. Now he's getting back into that mold. The Ducks have a lot of different guys who can go off, and their defense is underrated. Tonight it was Porter, tomorrow it could be someone else.
SI.com: When will the slow starts catch up to Florida?
S.D.: They are constantly playing with the fire, and they have just been coming out flat. At some point, I think it catches up to them, but they were able to get by again tonight over Butler. Lee Humphrey has not shot it to his standards, and there's a lack of focus for them at times. Oregon can come out quick and take advantage of a team that is not ready to play right and going through the motions. The other guys on the team are studs, but I think they need to all start with Taurean Green.
SI.com: Other than the travel call, what did you see in the Georgetown game?
S.D.: The Hoyas had trouble with Vanderbilt's quickness -- and speed kills -- which is why I think UNC is going to give them headaches. UNC has the big bodies, too, that will be able to battle with Georgetown and not get worn down. I'd rather have Brandan Wright than Roy Hibbert any day. Wright's a monster, and Hibbert gets in trouble when he has to guard outside the paint. I think that the speed of the Tar Heels is going to be very tough for the Hoyas, since they had such a problem with Vandy getting out on the court tonight.