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Da Tournament so far

OK, first things first, as the second round of Sweet Sixteen games prepares to tip (and look for UK to give Ohio State a game and a half if Josh Harrleson shows up at all):

Can we please stop regarding Butler as the Cute Little School That Could?

Look, anyone that's surprised the Bulldogs are in the Elite Eight again -- or could well reach their second straight Final Four -- hasn't been paying attention. They might have lost one first-round NBA pick in Gordon Hayward, but Shelvin Mack will be another, and you can deposit that right now in the financial institution of your choice. I have a suspicion Matt Howard will make an NBA roster at some point, too. And Brad Stevens can just flat out coach the game off its feet.

Its touch-over-4,000 enrollment and Horizon League pedigree notwithstanding, it's a big-time program now. Discussion over.

Other observations:

* The notion that big-time players carry far more weight in Da Tournament than any other factor got another bump last night. All you had to do is check out the way Arizona's Derrick Williams destroyed Duke or the way Kemba Walker continues to lug UConn around on his back. Something to keep in mind next March when you get ready to fill our your bracket: When in doubt, pick the team with the future pro/pros in the lineup.

* Speaking of which, the legend of Jimmer Fredette came to a crashing end when he shot his team out of it in the overtime against Florida. In three tournament games, Jimmer took 77 shots and made 32. That's a tad more than 41 percent. And last night, he got baited into taking some absolutely horrible shots down the stretch Florida.

Conclusion: He's good. But I'll take Kemba Walker any day.

Ben Smith's blog.

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