Thursday, March 27, 2008

Random thoughts on the tourney

After two rounds, our tournament challenge picks up right where it left off last year, with Sam's Amateur Psychic bracket at the top of the leaderboard. But Rus is tied with him, trying to salvage the integrity of the 110 Percent pros. And we aren't worried here--Sam has Memphis winning it all, when everyone knows they won't get past Texas.

If you thought you could take on three pros no problem, you might be interested to know that there is a fourth on the leaderboard. Currently in fourth place is Kevin Hayward from All on the Field. He's running a MLB preview right now; be sure to head over there and check it out.

The reigning champ might be at the top, but there are eight other teams within four points, which is the value of each game in the next round. And by the time the regional finals are over, the standings could look quite different--particularly after Memphis gets KOed.

As for the actual tournament, I've got a few observations. I'll start with this year's phenom, Michael Beasley from K-State. In a word: unimpressed. I watched the first round game between USC and K-State (thanks, CBS Sportsline!), my first game of the year. (Before you get too smug, think about how many games you watched before March. Only need one hand? That's what I thought.) I've read a lot about Beasley, but if I was an NBA GM, I'd pass. I freely admit that I can't quantify why; it's just a feeling I have, and it's only based on the one game. I think it's his attitude--he seems too cocky. Confidence is good, but Beasley looks like he thinks he's a little better than all this. He foresee a journeyman's career. Now, OJ Mayo, USC's star, I'd take. He's gonna be good.

We've got two 12s and a 10 in the Sweet Sixteen, and yet none can really be considered a Cinderella. Parity really his college baskeball this season. All of the teams seeded four to twelve would be six to eight seeds historically. The fours aren't really that good and the twelves aren't really that bad. So when number 12 Villanova "upset" Vandy, you shouldn't have really been surprised. And, yeah, number 12 Western Kentucky beat Drake in the first round, but they only had to beat 13 seed San Diego to make the Sweet Sixteen, and that doesn't qualify them as a Cinderella yet. If they beat UCLA in their next game, then we can talk.

As for the Final Four, I'm still confident with North Carolina, UCLA and Texas. With Georgetown getting knocked off in the Midwest, however, it looks like Kansas is going to have a hard time choking their way out of this Final Four. I'll stick with UNC over UCLA in the Final, but you know I'll be pulling for Texas. I'd be more than happy to write another article about how I love being wrong.


rus said...

I think I can count on one elbow all the games I watched before March. Especially since ESPN can't show a game unless its Duke and North Carolina.
Here are my thoughts.
1. We watched with great interest the Duke/Belmont game since my wife is a Belmont graduate. I don't know how many times I've seen a good team barely survive the first round and then run all the way to the Final Four. I was honestly shocked when Duke came out and laid and egg against West Virginia. I watched a good bit of that game and WV was bigger, faster, and stronger. I wonder if Coach K has decided to just coach 4 year guys who aren't big NBA guys because he wants all the glory for their "success." Does that make sense? I mean I think he's rather have 5 Greg Paulus's than 2 O.J. Mayo who are one and done. He's finished with the Corey Maggettes and Elton Brands of the world.
2. I was unimpressed with UCLA who needed a great deal of help from the officials to hold off a mediocre Texas A&M on what was basically a home game. They'll almost surely make the Final Four, but I think Texas can take them.
3. I couldn't believe Georgetown let Davidson back in that game at all, much less let them win. They are by far the biggest chokers in this field.
4. You know, I take it back. Vanderbilt just puked up all over themselves against Sienna. I thought, wow Sienna must be pretty good, until Villanova made them look stupid. Vandy didn't even show up. UT-Arlington had more fight in them against Memphis than Vandy had against Sienna.
5. I'm sticking with my Final Four (except Georgetown- add Kansas). I have a weakness for picking my favorite team so I picked Texas, but I think the probable NC/Kansas will be the best game and probably the winner of that game will win the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

I'm awaiting official retraction! Sorry, I just couldn't resist.
Dad (Amateur Psychic)