The 2012 All-Giant Killers team
Well, it's that time of year again here. The last double-digit seeds in the NCAA tournament were knocked out two rounds ago. We've stretched our Giant Killers model to new heights of speculation and drawn as many lessons as we can from the results. There's not a whole lot left to do except to click Save As on our spreadsheets for the last time.
We'd also like to thank you for all your feedback. We are seriously proud of the loyalty of our readers to Giant Killers and of the thoughtfulness of the ideas you have sent to us, both in the comments to our posts and via the GK mailbag. We will incorporate your suggestions over the coming months as we make what almost certainly will be the biggest changes yet to our Giant Killers statistical model.
Of course, we also need to add the final cherry to this edition of the GK sundae: the third annual All-Giant Killers Team. As you might remember, last year we awarded naming rights to this squad to honor two members of the 2004 and 2005 UAB Blazers, the first and, and until VCU this year, only Killers to slay Giants in back-to-back tournaments. In 2004 the Blazers, a No. 9 seed, knocked off Kentucky, a No. 1, then in 2005 they beat LSU in an 11-6 matchup.
Over those two seasons, the Blazers stole the ball on nearly 16 percent of opponent possessions while hardly ever turning the ball over. If you want an example of how they played, check out this video of Ronell Taylor swiping a Kentucky pass and passing it, backward, two-handed and over his head, to his twin brother, Donell. We like to think that's how we throw stats around here at GK Central.
So here's the 2012 Donell and Ronell Taylor All-Giant Killers team:
Bradford Burgess, F, Virginia Commonwealth Rams
In the second round, he had 13 points in a crushing first half against Wichita State, and after the Shockers came all the way back, he drained a huge 3-pointer with 1:33 left in the game to put the Rams on top for good. In the third round, he went 4-for-9 on 3-pointers against Indiana, and his effort inside as well as on the perimeter helped force the Hoosiers to commit 22 turnovers.
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