Round 2 Review
Another day, another full slate of games on the March Madness calendar over and done with.
While Saturday concluded with a perhaps closer than expected #1 North Carolina win over #9 Providence, it started with a pretty big upset when #11 Gonzaga defeated #3 Utah to become the first team this year to advance to the Sweet 16.
You have to give credit where credit is due but, Utah did not start the game the way they needed to, nor did they finish well. Allowing Gonzaga to drop 44 in opening half is one thing, but scoring only 29 and 30 points in each half respectively will not win you many games. Let alone March Madness games.
Having a tough time defending is understandable. There are many intelligent coaches who can design a play to find the open man to hit the game-winning shot. But when the ball is in your hand you have the same opportunity as the man across from you to make a play. If you can’t make that shot, that’s on you as a player. You have to be better.
Simply put, Utah’s effort was just not good enough.
#1 ranked North Carolina started slower than they would’ve liked to themselves, but eventually pulled away and beat Providence by a very comfortable 19 point margin.
Providence gave a valiant effort and had the game in reach at halftime trailing just 34-30. But UNC put their grit and focus on display as they grinded it out from start to finish and just kept piling up the points.
Providence will hold their heads high as they exit March Madness 2016, but the round of 32 is as far as they will go.
The talent level of the Tar Heels is impressive, and with more than a few top seeds already gone the championship game seems closer than ever.