Off to an interesting start today. Villanova is making things far too interesting in their game. They couldn't hit a shot, but they also were poor defensively. Robert Morris should not look like they're as athletic as Villanova. And Old Dominion pulled an "upset" that wasn't really an upset. What was more surprising to me than ODU winning was how they did it. I had picked ODU because of their offensive rebounding, and while it was good in this game the real reason they won was that Notre Dame's post defense was atrocious. ODU's paint offense seemed unstoppable.
But the real story so far today is BYU's poor performance. I'm high on BYU because they do three very important things well: they take care of the ball, they are an outstanding defensive rebounding team and they hit their free throws. The free throw shooting wasn't great for them, but it was fine today. And the ball handling wasn't awful, although Jimmer Fredette was uncharacteristically sloppy (including an inexplicably dumb turnover with about 30 seconds left in the first overtime). But most importantly, their defensive rebounding was terrible. On the season they were second in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage, collecting 2.83 defensive rebounds for every offensive rebound allowed. But today that number was 1.44, with Florida collecting a shockingly high 16 offensive rebounds.
A few times the rebounds were just Florida players getting up higher, as BYU chose to go with a smaller lineup than they could have gone with. But occasionally it was bad boxing out, with Florida players coming in unopposed to the basket. And that just cannot happen. You have to wonder if BYU was just tight, after being told all week that the school had lost seven straight first round games. Next comes the big test, as the Kansas State game will be tougher for BYU than a potential Sweet 16 game. If they win their next one then they're going to the Elite 8.