Monday, March 17, 2008
~All I see is chalk. I filled out a preliminary bracket last night and all I could see was a chalk final four. This is extremely extremely disappointing to me. I think my lack of hard core following this season has lead me to not have any real sleeper team I love. There are some high seeds I don't really like much, but the one seeds all seem like pretty safe bets to me, which is a shame and very boring.
~I really don't want to hear people whining about bubble teams that didn't get in and those that did and blah blah blah. Really who cares. Do bubbles teams every make a significant impact in the tournament? Well yes I guess, but it's very limited. George Mason was a bubble team that made a historic impact but 9 out of 10 bubble teams don't do shit. So if your team didn't get in then perhaps you just should have won more games.
~For those that whine please note Georgia. They weren't very good this season, they were forced to play 4 games in their conference tournaments. They were forced to play two games on saturday alone and 3 games within 27 hours. Yet they won their tournament and are now dancing. You all had the same opportunity. You couldn't get it done. It's your own fault.
~Seeding always confuses me in these tournaments. The biggest seeding question I have is Indiana. Indiana has been ranked the entire season. They finished with an RPI of 22, a decent strength of schedule and a 25-7 overall record, yet they got an 8 seed. They got bounced early in their conference tournament simply due to a ridiculous miracle prayer shot. They had a better record than Purdon't, a much better RPI than Purdon't, beat Purdon't and yet Purdon't is a 6 seed where as Indiana will be forced to face off against UNC in the 2nd round. I don't think either Indiana or UNC is very pleased about this.
~I like most don't really respect high ranking mid major squads. Perhaps it's because every year Gonzaga gets a high seed they get bounced relatively quickly. This year it's Drake with a 5 seed. Drake garnered a 5 seed despite playing and defeating only one BCS school the entire season, that being the lousy Iowa Hawkeyes. They made their mark with a terrific record and a singular win over Butler, woo. Unfortunately they are in the same region as #4 seed UConn. I always enjoy watching UConn squirm but because of this perceived lucky draw will cruise through this weekend.
~If I had to say which #1 seed has the toughest road, I think it is North Carolina. Playing Indiana in the 2nd round blows. If they get Notre Dame in the 2nd round that could be a very physical and wearing battle. Ugly boy Harangody versus Hansbrough would be an entertaining matchup. And then landing Tennessee as the #2 seed would also be a tough game. If that's how the bracket pans out for UNC it will be a tough road to the Final 4.
~Speaking of UNC, I find the cock stroking of Hansbrough during the games almost too much to bare. I get it, he's the player of the year. He's an intense and passionate player. Everything he does is not perfection. Him getting the rebound against VaTech in the closing seconds was not about hustle or finding the right spot. It was about luck. If anything it should have been his teammate being credited for knocking the rebound away from the two Hokie players. But not it was all about Hansbrough finding the right spot and being the perfect decoy (which was BS he was walking at the top of the key when Lawson took the shot). On one possession yesterday Vitale and Patrick praised Hansbrough for getting up a shot that was swatted into the bench. And of course they don't call him out when he makes a completely boneheaded play fouling a Clemson big man 20 feet away from the basket with less than 20 to play. It's highly annoying how much they praise him during the games and for that reason I shall root against UNC for the entirety of the tournament, unless they play Duke in the finals.
~Picking out the best bracket is a tough one, but I'd lean towards the South. To me their isn't much difference in the #1 seeds so Memphis is on the same tier as the other 3 schools despite their lack of conference difficulty. If Texas had won yesterday they probably would have garnered a #1 seed. Additionally, the Longhorns probably have assembled the best wins which include Kansas, Tennessee and UCLA. The Stanford Cardinal have a lot of poise and very good post play with the twins in the middle. And then the 4 5 clash is arguably the best in the tournament. With the young and maturing Pitt Panthers coming off a stellar Big East Tournament lined up to play Michigan St. whom Tom Izzo always has ready come tournament time.
~ESPN allows you to fill out 10 entries. Which is ludicrous. Very ludicrous. But I'll probably be board enough to do it.
~I'll make my final picks on thursday. Let's hope by then I can get myself to deviate from the chalk.