Wrapping up Friday night: UNC, Oregon finish off Elite Eight;
Plus: What to expect tomorrow

I'm heading to bed, so I'm not going to write a whole bunch. Just a couple of quick thoughts on the two late games:

  • Is there anyone in the country that can play with North Carolina when the Tar Heels are on fire like they were for about a 10-minute stretch against USC? The Trojans completely outplayed UNC for 3/4 of that game, and all of their effort was completely erased in one spectacular burst. When Jim Nantz described it as "turning on the afterburners," that's about as apt a description as I can think of. The problem? UNC's effort still comes and goes. They seem to rely on wearing teams down with their superior depth. Makes me wonder if they can do the same thing against a team with comparable talent and depth, such as Florida. That said, it was downright scary how slow the Tar Heels made USC look during that burst.
  • Oregon's offense is what gets all the attention, but what really is driving this run by the Ducks is their defense, which really is remarkable considering how horrible that part of their game was midway through the season. Since the end of the regular season, Oregon has only allowed an opponent to shoot better than 42 percent once -- Miami of Ohio. This from a team that couldn't stop anyone for periods this season. They'll need all of that newfound defensive intensity to have any kind of shot against Florida.
That's it for tonight. I've posted the latest Bracket Challenge standings. UNC and Georgetown winning really hurt my chances to make some hay, although I've still got three of four Final Four teams alive.

As for tomorrow, I'll be away from an Internet connection all day, although I will be near a TV. So be looking for more analysis as we head into the Final Four -- my favorite three sports game sof the year!

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