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NCAA Tournament Sunday Game Thread

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Again, if you're stuck away from a television, you can catch all the games here.

There were three games yesterday that carried a fair amount of significance for Carolina fans; two of them were blowouts of twenty points or more. The first was Kentucky's win over Wake Forest, a game that wasn't even as close as the final score. The Wildcats let Wake hang around just long enough to feel comfortable for breaking open a game tied at 19-19 with a 25-7 run. The Demon Deacons were held scoreless from the field for a five and-a-half minute stretch and never recovered; the second half was even more brutal than the first. This is a team that only beat UNC by to points at home, and needed overtimes to get by both of their games against we'll-shoot-anything Mississippi State. They've turned it on this week, and are playing the most like last year's UNC team as any squad in the country.

With Wake gone, the ACC is down to three teams, none of who have yet to make the Sweet Sixteen. The top two of the conference play today, and are at least expected to advance. This leaves Georgia Tech, the recently-hot team no one can explain. They always had the biggest disparity between their Pomeroy Rating and their actual performance, but seemed to have found a game plan that works of late. Ohio State had their way with the Big Ten this season, but that conference is also still looking to get a team into next week (four play today); that game, plus the Michigan State-Maryland one will show whether the Big Ten has anything or is just a shell of a  conference dominated by two teams that couldn't beat Carolina.

The second significant game wasn't even in the tournament; it was the twenty point rout of State by Alabama-Birmingham. UAB held Tracy Smith to 6 points and 3 rebounds, and without their best player playing well, the Wolfpack were hopeless. The loss exiles UNC to Birmingham for their next NIT game, rather than setting up a rematch in Carmichael. It doesn't reflect too poorly on the conference however, as State was a sixth seed not expected to go as far as they did. With UNC still alive and playing Tuesday and Virginia Tech getting UConn on Monday, the conference is still holding their own in the also-ran tournament.

The third game was the shocker, with Kansas failing to show up for most of their game against Northern Iowa, and making an embarrassingly early exit. The loss ends the Jayhawks season with 2003 all-time wins, while UNC sits at 2002 with games to play. It's worth noting that for all of the grief Roy Williams got at Kansas for poor tournament performance, he was 18-7 in the first seven seasons the Jayhawks were eligible, losing in the second round twice. Bill Self is 15-6 with three exits in the first week in the same amount of time.

It also makes you wonder about the Big 12 a bit. Kansas State and Baylor have advanced, while Oklahoma State and Texas were both upset by ACC teams, although in close-seeded matchups. Missouri and Texas A&M can still advance, of course, although it's not likely in the Tigers' case. At the end of the day, the four conferences with the most bids will all have been winnowed down pretty severely. The one that will have done the best will say a lot about what has become