Ok, after roughly 48 hours of watching college basketball in a 4-day span, who's ready to do it again? Between buzzer beaters, bone-headed mistakes, and feel-good upsets, the first four days provided more drama than Jersey Shore - minus the orange tans. Actually come to think of it, there were some Orange-coloured fans out there.
The Sweet 16 has a perfect blend of everything: cinderellas, heavyweights, stars and of course, Butler. There are two 11 seeds, VCU and Marquette, along with the feel-good story of this year's tournament, Richmond. The 12th-seeded Spiders are led by Kevin Anderson, who Leo Rautins has called the best little man in the Big Dance.
The big dogs like Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, North Carolina, and Florida are all waiting to have their say as to who goes all the way. After the first week, Ohio State still looks like the team to beat in my eyes. They pounded a very good George Mason team that had won 17 of their last 18 games before the Buckeyes went Bones Jones on them.
College basketball's biggest stars are on hand for crunch time. BYU's Jimmer Fredette, who led the NCAA in scoring this year, has scored 30-plus points in six of his last seven games. He was on fire against Gonzaga and it just goes to show you the benefits of playing prison ball at young age.
Connecticut's Kemba Walker, who is the cover boy for the latest Sports Illustrated and the star of the Big East tournament a few weeks ago, might singlehandedly take the Huskies all the way. Walker is a game-changer and has been exactly that when it matters most in March.
Derrick Williams from Arizona is considered to be the top pick in June's NBA draft, and he's got a knack for making big plays in big moments. A big block near the buzzer sealed the Wildcats' win over Memphis and his 3-point play against Texas proved to be difference in that one, not to mention a bad call on Pickering, Ontario's Cory Joseph. I thought quick counts only happened when Dangerous Danny Davis was refereeing?
There is still a couple of Canadians left in the mix, too. Toronto's Junior Cadougan is a sophomore guard for Marquette and is playing some pretty good ball as of late. Richmond's Francis Cedric Martel from Montreal, has been described as a ninja by his coach for his ability to silently strike out of nowhere. Martel had four 3's in their first tournament victory.
My bracket still has Ohio State, Duke and Kansas going through, with my pick of St. John's going down the drain quickly. I still like those three number 1 seeds advancing, although UConn is playing well enough to beat Duke in a showdown. I have to go with Butler to come out of the Southeast region now. Given their first two games, this is clearly a team of destiny.
My picks for the Sweet 16 are as follows: Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, Butler, North Carolina, UConn, Florida and VCU. I'm sticking with Sherman Hamilton's alma mater Virginia Commonwealth because this way he'll continue sharing his Skittles with me on set. Let the madness roll on.