Saturday, December 31, 2011

My 2012 Projections

In the spirit of the new year here are my predictions for 2012.

1. This year’s tournament will be even more unpredictable than last year. Kurly claims chalk, I claim otherwise
2. The Big 10 breaks a record for highest percentage of teams in a conference to make the dance. None make the Final 4
3. 4 Mid Major’s make the Sweet 16 and 2 in the Elite Eight
4. 2 of the Final Four are not in the top 15 as of this Monday’s ranking
5. A #1 seed won’t make it past opening weekend. I’m looking at you Ohio State
6. We break a record and clear out 9 quarter barrels
7. Marquette gets a 4 or 5 seed and bows out to a more disciplined 12 seed
8. Bo Ryan refuses to change his offense in the tournament and they lose 61-48 to a Big East school
9. Gonzaga peaks in March and makes a run
10. 9 of these predictions fall apart and I look foolish

2012's Twelve Fearless predictions

1. Bo Ryan's Badgers will score less than 40 in a March game and say "deal with it" afterwards.
2. Buzz Williams will be able to tell the exact amount of hours his team has practiced since October at any time you'd like.
3. Northwestern will make the dance.
4. Illinois won't.
5. Dick Vitale's head will explode during the ACC tournament
6. The Big East will have the most compelling tournament and then bow out with a whimper in the Big Dance
7. Seth Davis will be relegated to the little kids table again in March
8. Chalk will rule the day by time we get to the Final Four
9. The B1G will be the most successful conference in the dance but won't have a national champion again
10. Baylor will make it a double-double with Perry Jones being named player of the year
11. Duke won't make it to the second weekend
12. I won't pay to use KenPom's site or jsonline. I'll miss one

Friday, December 30, 2011

Good Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt turned Marquette into a Bo Ryan team in March last night. Down 31-6 at one point and putting up bricks like me and I do that alone in my driveway.

I do like Marquette fan needling Seth Davis on twitter about him not ranking them early this season. Remember, this isn't college football. Rankings in AP or coaches poll do not matter. Respect is earned. I just made that up.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Better watch out!

Big Sis is Watching!

I hope every one had a Merry Christmas. I had a strain of the recent virus outbreak that goes around every year. After counting down the days I made a complete recovery. You know the drill.

While I was sick I watched some USC Trojan Basketball. They lost to Georgia after a late collapse.

Illegal immigrant.



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Now if we could just get through these crappy bowl games and on to Conference play and NFL playoffs it would be wonderful!

And some snow wouldn't hurt.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The 'Cuse & Saturday musings

Syracuse gets a nice victory at N.C. State tonight. The eye test to me shows a well-balanced team that plays solid on both ends. Jardine and Joseph had nice moments down the stretch attacking the defense and getting to the basket. If they play unselfish like they did in the final ten minutes tonight, they'll be a tough out in March. Duh.

Give Tom Crean an awful lot of credit for bringing Indiana back to the forefront. Lots of people in Milwaukee are sort of torn on him but he did such a good job embracing the past and building for the future here (upgrading the facilities and making Marquette capable of contending in the Big East) I have a hard time rooting against HIM. Indiana, on the other hand...but having villains in sports make it more enjoyable at times. If I were Indiana fan though, I'd be weary in March...

Am I wrong in thinking Illinois won't even make the dance again?

Despite some bad luck on the injury front coming into the season, Louisville has the look of that Pitino team that puts it together for a deep March run. Memphis made a nice run at them in the second half and played them tough but Louisville showed an ability to make the big shot and big stop on defense. I'll be watching them. I sort of like this team this year.

Finally, if Perry Jones stays healthy, he's my early POY. Imagine that. RG3 and Jones both in Waco. 2012, indeed.

Thing that made me say hmmmm....

Pitino has been at Louisville for 11 years now. That's three years longer than his Kentucky tenure

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Season's First Bracketology

It's a little rough right now. With only 8-9 games of non-conference played there are a lot of gaudy records without much behind it. Here's my first attempt.

1 seed vs 16 seed
Syracuse (Beast) vs Lamar(Sland)/AlabamaA&M (SWAC)
Kentucky vs Albany (Aeast)/NorfolkSt (MEAC)
North Carolina vs CS-Fullerton (Bwest)
Ohio State vs Campbell (Bsouth)
2 seed vs 15 seed
Duke (ACC) vs South Dakota State (Summit)
Louisville vs Charleston (SoCon)
Baylor (Big12) vs Weber St (BigSky)
Marquette vs Loyola MD (MAAC)
3 seed vs 14 seed
Missouri (Big12) vs Robert Morris (NEC)
Stanford (Pac12) vs MidTennState (Sbelt)
Florida vs LeHigh (Patriot)
Wisconsin vs Nevada (WAC)
4 seed vs 13 seed
Indiana vs Tulane (CUSA)
Connecticut vs Wyoming (Wmest)
Pittsburgh vs George Mason (CAA)
Georgetown vs Cleveland State (Horizon)
5 seed vs 12 seed
Xavier (A10) vs Murray State (OVC)
Califonia vs Kent State (MAC)
Kansas vs Wichita State/Minnesota
Michigan State vs Northern Iowa/Kansas State
6 seed vs 11 seed
UNLV vs Memphis (Cusa)
Alabama vs Temple
Gonzaga vs Harvard (Ivy)
Michigan vs New Mexico
7 seed vs 10 seed
Texas A&M vs Belmont (Asun)
Purdue vs Northern Iowa
Mississippi State (SEC) vs St. Mary's (WCC)
Illinois (B1G) vs Florida State
8 seed vs 9 seed
Virginia vs Creighton (MVC)
Arizona vs Texas
St. Louis vs Vanderbilt
BYU vs West Virginia

First Four Out
Virginia Tech
Oklahoma State
Washington
Northwestern
Next Four Out
Seton Hall
VCU
San Diego State
Marshall
Also Considered
Washington
Iona
Long Beach St
NC State
Oklahoma
Villanova
Cincinnati
Miami
Georgia Tech
Clemson
Missouri State
Washington State
Ohio
Georgia State
Iowa State
Notre Dame
Oregon
Oral Roberts
Indiana State
Georgia
Old Domionion
Central Florida

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Kentucky-Indiana

We had a couple people over for Carson's birthday...watched the second half of that game and the atmostphere was like March Madness. Every possesion was awesome. Ending was great.

Can it get better than that? Maybe if it was on steroids, like a certain 100 million dollar hypocrite.

PS. I love Mick Cronin

KY-IU

95 days until March Madness. Hopefully we see a lot of this.

Holy fuuuuuuuu......

Indiana beats Kentucky at the buzzer.

I'm not sure what was more impressive, Indiana's win or Kentucky having a chance with Davis in foul trouble all game and Terence Jones riding pine at the end.

Whatever the case, college basketball was the winner. It's a better sport when Indiana is relevant.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marquette

Geez, you would have thought Demski would have been all up in here tooting his Marquette Gold Horn after that Wisconsin win.

Either way it's another big win for the Warriors as they squeak one out over Washington. If they keep playing like this they'll have a top 50 RPI by the end of the year!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I prefer the "Al" over the Tebow




Even in the 70's Bagder fans were a-holes. 61-54 without Cadougan

Monday, December 5, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

ACC Woes continue

Tulane over Georgia Tech

Richmond over Wake Forest

Boston over Boston College

UNC-Kentucky

Won't see many better than that this year.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Big Ten

Well, the Big Ten wins third third challenge in a row 8 to 4. My picks also went 8-4 missing on Duke over Ohio State and Michigan over Virginia on Tuesday and NC State over Indiana and Nebraska over Wake on Wednesday. So, what does the mean for the overall prospects of each conference come March? As it pertains to number of teams from the conference I think we'll definately see more B1G teams make it, even if they are all in the 8-11 seed range. However, this is only teams that could possibly make the tournament. If we are pairing down to potential Final Four teams I think both conferences bottom out at two. Duke and North Carolina in the ACC and Wisconsin and Ohio State in the B1G. At this point Duke and Wisconsin are still far away from being National Title contenders but with the season still early they have time to make up ground.

A good article about the "decline of the ACC" by Kurly is below. The real question is how do the mid-level ACC teams bounce back? It wasn't that far ago that Georgia Tech and Maryland were in the championship game!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ACC-B1G (tee hee B1G) challenge, part deux

No disagreement on Brian's choices. It is interesting the decline of the ACC the last few years. Decline is too strong a word I suppose when they still have more National Champs in the last decade than all the other BCS conferences combined but you know what I mean.

What happened? The blue bloods are still National Title contenders (Duke & UNC) but the next tier has dropped precipitously. Maryland & Georgia Tech are in regime changes and Wake has been wondering the wilderness since the untimely passing of Skip Prosser.

N.C.State and unrealistic expectations jettisoned their best coach since Jimmy V (Granted, Herb Sendek has largely failed at ASU) and Virginia has probably underperformed for going on 15 years. Clemson probably falls into that category, too of underachievers.

Virginia Tech and FSU are likely the next best teams after the blue bloods and capable of a few wins in March but not threats like Wake, Tech & Garyland used to be.

Both Miami & BC are capable programs but aren't likely to be nothing more than middle of the pack teams. Until the "others" return to winning ways, the B1G will probably keep winning this thing.

And it doesn't hurt the top programs and even the middling schools have had the same coaches for a fair amount of time. Hear that, ACC athletic directors?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Big Ten - ACC Challenge

Here's my picks for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge starting tomorrow night through Wednesday.

Tue, Nov 29
Miami at Purdue - Big Ten 1, ACC 0
Northwestern at Georgia Tech - Big Ten 2, ACC 0
Illinois at Maryland - Big Ten 3, ACC 0
Michigan at Virginia - Big Ten 4, ACC 0
Clemson at Iowa - Big Ten 4, ACC 1
Duke at Ohio State - Big Ten 4, ACC 2

Wed, Nov 30
Indiana at North Carolina State - Big Ten 4, ACC 3
Penn State at Boston College - Big Ten 5, ACC 3
Florida State at Michigan State - Big Ten 6, ACC 3
Virginia Tech at Minnesota - Big Ten 7, ACC 3
Wake Forest at Nebraska - Big Ten 8, ACC 3
Wisconsin at North Carolina - Big Ten 8, ACC 4

And the Big Ten takes a second Challenge!

PS...I ain't that confident Duke wins at Ohio State either

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Amending my Final Four pick

With what is about to hit the fan at Syracuse, I can't see them staying focused so I'll put Wisconsin in ahead of them.

UNLV should be interesting to watch as we move ahead, too. Dave Rice is an old Tark player who wants to push tempo like back in the glory days. Don't know if they're ready to build off the UNC win but keep an eye on them through the course of the season.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

the Ohio State LOSES


Arrogance personified, responsibility dodging, football factory, cheating scum. Wear it and good luck with the quitter who doesn't mind winning with criminals.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Atlantis?

Yep, Harvard vs Central Florida in the championship, although Harvard there isn't too much of a surprise.

And did I see Norfolk State in the Paradise Jam championship?

I hope this this a harbringer of things to come....

I see your Turkey Day scores and raise you

UCF 68 UConn 63

The "Battle 4 Atlantis" final will be UCF vs. Harvard or Florida State

Saint Louis whippy whipping 'Nova right now, too.

What LSU-Arkansas game? Honey Badger!

Thanksgiving Scores

For all the talk about the Big Conferences eating up the bids this year there were some strange scores from yesterday's games.

Indiana State 60, Texas Tech 49
St. Louis 62, Boston College 51
Dayton 80, Wake Forest 76
Harvard 75, Utah 47
Fairfield 55, Arizona State 44

Now, I know these are the lower tier teams in the BCS conferences but c'mon! Fairfield and St. Louis by 11 over BC and ASU? Utah getting shelacked by Harvard? What's more likely? The bottom teams in the BCS are that bad or the Mid-Majors are even better than they've been the last couple years? It's not even December and I'm already picturing a lot of double digit seed upsets!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Maui overreaction

1. UCLA, good luck
2. Memphis was disapointing but I think they can still be real good by March
3. Georgetown may have finished 5th but that'll be a nice win as they look like a possible bubble team.
4. Michigan is a good team. Can play disciplined offense and still have players that can beat you off the dribble.
5. Eff you Maymon. JK, he looked good on Tuesday.

Early Season Notes

Two weeks into the season we’ve seen a couple surprises on the positive and on the negative side.

Positive

Missouri – my preseason pick as a 7 seed not only have they been winning games (5-0) but they are destroying teams beating Notre Dame and California by an average of more than 30 points. Frank Haith has these Tigers playing at a higher level than Mike Anderson had them.

Negative

UCLA – Yikes. Did I really have them as a 3 seed making a Final Four run? Revees Nelson can’t make the team flight, Josh Smith can’t miss a team meal or 20, and the team can’t beat Loyola Marymount or Middle Tennessee. I’d put a fork in them already but Josh Smith would just eat it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reeves Nelson, not good

After getting reinstated at UCLA, he misses the team flight to Hawaii.

Awesome

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Player to know: Casper Ware

Long Beach State's PG helps spark an upset over the Pitt Panthers.

LBSU coach is Dan Monson, the guy who started the whole Gonzaga run a decade ago and then mistakenly took the Gooher job after the Clem Haskins fiasco.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

L.A. Blues

Wonder how long until Ben Howland finds himself on the hot seat in Tinseltown?

Opening the season with double digit losses to LMU & Middle Tennessee? Yikes!

Seems like a silly notion to consider his record at UCLA but expectations are always absurdly high. Howland did reinstate Reeves Nelson quickly after suspending him for "attitude issues". A sure sign of a steady hand at the wheel.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

903

That will be all.

Monday, November 14, 2011

24 Hour Marathon

Don't forget to catch all of the 24 hour marathon ESPN is running starting tonight at midnight with Washington State taking on Gonzaga.
Truth be told there are some exciting games out there in addition to Duke-Michigan State and Ohio State- Florida.

Kent State at West Virginia at 9am CST looks solid. Kent State is my MAC favorite and West Virginia is always tough

Belmont at Memphis at 11am. Was Friday's 1 point loss at Duke a fluke or is Belmont for real?

San Diego State at Baylor at 1pm. Two teams going in different directions. It's time for Baylor to step it up.

Oh, also Kentucky plays Kansas at 8pm if you're into that sort of thing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Duke Won

That is all. Nothing else to see here. Move along.



Drosselmeyer

Random Stuff, like normal

1. Basketball aint supposed to be played on a boat. In open air. I kept waiting for the Professor to throw an alley-oop to Sik wit It, laying it off the backboard to Escalade for the dunk. And-1, yo!

2. At least Obama was there. to watch. the game. and be presidential. I wish he would fill out a pre-season bracket. upon second thought, no, I dont.

3. Appears to have been a struggling game for Duke. Probably could have used more Plumlee. or more cowbell. I again re-iterate, my favorite Plumlee is Cooper. (its a joke...like the Mannings....awww, forget it....)

3. Marquette enjoyed a delicious cupcake tonite as they build that preseason RPI. mmmmm...tasty!!

4. The big loser in the Mitch McGary sweepstakes? Wisconsin. Ummm....6-10...white dude...hello? Bo Ryan's wheelhouse, baby!!

I got no more. i just wanted in on the blog. later.

Maui Invitational

Live from North Carolina? I'm so confused.

Oh, what the hell

Here Brian-

A stab in the dark, aka, Final Four picks....

Baylor
Arizona
Syracuse
North Carolina

Carolina to win it all

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remember?

When B1G fans were always so sanctimonious about cheering for schools that run "clean" programs?

How naive

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Season Begins


Tonight the 2011-2012 College Basketball season tips off. I've finalized my bracket (posted). My Preseason Final Four are the following

Duke Blue Devils
Syracuse Orange
UCLA Bruins
Kentucky Wildcats

I, of course, picked Duke to win it all but I can see a scenerio where the Orange or Kentucky get the job done.

Let the games begin!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Penn State

Legend or Leader?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Conference Preview - Big East


Conference: Big East

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Syracuse Orange

Projection: #1 overall seed - My pick to win it all and send Boeheim off to retirement

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Duke eats it

Mitch McGary to MEEECHIGAN. Beilein steals one from Coach K. Who knew? They have Glenn Robinson III in next year's class, too.

Conference Preview - B1G


Conference: Big 10 (currently with 12)

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Ohio State Cheating Sweater Vests

Projection: 1 seed - Elite Eight

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Conference Preview - ACC


Conference: ACC

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: North Carolina Douche Bags

Projection: 1 seed - Potential National Champion (Dear God, please no!)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Conference Preview - SEC


Conference: SEC

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Kentucky Wildcats

Projection: 1 seed - Potential Champion (more likely Elite Eight upset)

Conference Preview - Big 12


Conference: Big 12

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Baylor Bears

Projection: 3 seed - Possible Final Four Team

Monday, October 31, 2011

Conference Preview - Pac 12


Conference: Pacific Athletic Conference - 12(PAC12)

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: California Golden Bears

Projection: 4 seed - Sweet 16

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bielema Windbreaker

That thing rocks. #POONASASSIN

Friday, October 28, 2011

Conference Preview - Atlantic 10


I couldn't agree with you more Kurly.

Conference: Atlantic 10 (currently with 14 members)

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Temple Owls

Projection: 5 seed with potential of an Elite Eight run

$&%^ You, St. Louis

Just die. Sorry, Brian. Continue

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Conference Preview - Conference USA


Conference: Conference USA

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Memphis Tigers

Projection: 4 seed, potential to be upset early

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Conference Preview - WCC


Conference: West Coast Conference

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Gonzaga Bulldogs

Projection: 6 seed, with Elite Eight potential

Conference Preview - Mountain West


Conference: Mountain West

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: UNLC Running Rebels

Projection: 10 seed

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Conference Preview - Colonial


Conference: Colonial

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Drexel Dragons

Projection: 12 seed - and who doesn't love a 12 over 5 upset?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Conference Preview - Horizon


Conference: Horizon

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Butler Bulldogs

Projection: 9 seed living off of last years success.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Conference Preview - Missouri Valley


Conference: Missouri Valley

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Creighton Blue Jays

Projection: 11 seed

Friday, October 21, 2011

Conference Preview - MAC


Conference: MAC

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Kent State Golden Flashes

Projection: 13 seed

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Conference Preview - WAC


Conference: Western Athletic Conference (WAC)

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Nevada Wolfpack

Projection: 13 seed and blown out. The WAC is awful this year.

Conference Preview - Atlantic Sun


Conference: Atlantic Sun

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Belmont Bruins

Projection: 13 seed; Capable of an upset

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Conference Preview - Ivy


Conference: Ivy

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Harvard Crimson

Projection: 13 seed; Could give a 4 seed a scare

Conference Preview - OVC


Conference: Ohio Valley

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Austin Peay Governors

Projection: 14 seed; One and Done

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Conference Preview - Big West


Conference: Big West

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Long Beach State 49ers

Projection: 14 seed; Possible 14 over 3 upset

Conference Preview - Sun Belt


Conference: Sun Belt

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Florida Atlantic Owls

Projection: 14 seed; One and Done

Monday, October 17, 2011

Conference Preview - Summit


Conference: Summit

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Oral Roberts Golden Eagles

Projection: 14 seed; One and Done

Conference Preview - MAAC


Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Fairfield Stags

Projection: 15 seed; One and Done

Friday, October 14, 2011

Conference Preview - Big Sky


Conference: Big Sky Conference

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Weber State Wildcats

Projection: 15 seed; One and Done

Conference Preview - SoCon


Conference: Southern Conference (SoCon)

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Davidson Wildcats

Projection: 15 seed; One and Done (sorry, no Steph Curry, no wins)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

March Madness 2012

The season hasn't even started yet and I think I found this year's theme song. Listen and enjoy.

Conference Preview - Southland


Conference: Southland

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: U of Texas-Arlington Mavericks

Projection: 16 seed; One and Done

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Conference Preview - Big South


Conference: Big South

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: UNC-Ashville

Projection: 16 seed; One and Done

Conference Preview - America East


Conference: America East

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Boston Terriers

Projection: 16 seed; One and Done

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Conference Preview - NEC


Conference: Northeastern Conference (NEC)

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Long Island Blackbirds

Projection: First Four; One and Done

Monday, October 10, 2011

Conference Preview - Patriot


Conference: Patriot

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Bucknell Bison

Projection: 15 seed; One and Done (but scaring a 2 seed)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Conference Preview - MEAC


Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Hampton Pirates

Projection: 16 seed; One and Done

Friday, October 7, 2011

Conference Preview - SWAC



Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)

NCAA Tournament Auto-Bid: Texas Southern Tigers

Projection: First Four; One and Done

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Season Preview


As a lead up to the 2011-2012 College Basketball Season each day I'll highlight a conference and the team I believe will take Automatic Bid come March. The preview selected each day will start with the weakest conference working our way up to the top conference of the year (can anybody unseed the Big East?)

Today's Conference is the Great West. I went with the Great West because their conference does not get an auto bid. So in other words, who cares who wins this league.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

33 Days To Season Tip Off

November 7, 2011 I can hardly wait.

William and Mary vs St. John's

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

R.I.P Big East

Without the 'Cuse and probably UConn, you just ain't the same.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Congratulations to UConn

And Dick Bennett & Tom Izzo would like to thank both of you for removing them from coaching the most recent worst Final Four game of all time.

That wasn't so pretty. It's probably a refelction of a much larger issue of bad basketball from the lower levels up to the NBA but I'll let Billy Packer use the soapbox for that.

Also, I'd be curious to find out who was the one coach that didn't vote them #1 in the final poll. That's laughable.

'Til next year...BIG EAST, Chuck!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Back from Jamaica

Just in time to watch the Brewers blow another game in the last couple innings. However, we do have the National Championship tonight. Here's where I'm going with it. Ronald Nored holds Kemba Walker to 17 points and Uconn continues it's cold outside shooting. Shelvin Mack has 20+ and Matt Howard, dispite foul trouble posts a double double including a last minute putback to lead the Butler Bulldogs to victory.

Butler 61, Connecticut 55

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday reflects on Saturday

It's probably appropriate that Butler and UConn will meet on Monday for the National title. Butler last lost to Jim Tressel's Youngstown State, er, tOSU, and UConn last lost to Notre Dame, 2/3 of the axis of evil.

And both played Michigan State in the previous Final Fours, Axis of Evil complete.

UConn's run is pretty remarkable. I thought they were much better than their 9-9 Big East record indicated (Final 4ish? Not necesarily but look at my picks). To me, it was more a reflection of a balanced, tough conference. I'm not saying the Big East was the greatest conference ever, but it was a meat grinder. Winning 5 in a row in the Big East tourney and following it up by winning 5 straight in the Dance is a feat we'll look back on in awe. If they win Monday and I'm Old Gangster Jim Calhoun, I walk away, tell the NCAA to kiss my backside and turn it over to Dave Leitao.

As impressive as UConn has been, Butler matches them. I texted a friend last night that watching Butler was a joy (Let bygones, be bygones dude. You get one trip on this rock and celebrate your friends. We all make mistakes.). No panic whatsoever. I want to be Brad Stevens. Calm, cool, collected and prepared. Whatever the opposition presents, Butler is not phased. And Shelvin Mack is going into my pantheon of great college basketball players with the likes of Laettner, Battier, Cleaves, O'Bannion, May, etc. I'll pay to watch him.

I don't know who will win on Monday. The stats say UConn is a prohibitive favorite but you betting against Butler? Rarely do we get a Championship game between more deserving teams. Butler and UConn truly earned this game and reminds us of why college basketball is so great and why we love March Madness. Kemba's ankle breaking shot against Pitt, Butler's decimation of Milwaukee...to this. Methinks Monday night will go down to the wire and whoever wins will have my, our admiration and kudos for making this another March/April run to remember.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

CBS adds a third to the booth

CBS is bringing Steve Kerr on to call the Final 4 with Vanilla Clark Kellog and the increasingly self-important shill Jim Nantz.

America has spoken.

Gus. Gus. Gus. Along with Bill Raftery. That's onions.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Buzz stays!

Buzz decides to stay in Milwaukee and at Marquette. Matt Painter does likewise at Purdue extorting an 8-year deal from the University and their thrifty alumni.

Sounds like Buzz's deal is just an one-year rollover in excess of $2 mill/per so his name will likely continue to get kicked around but I'm not sure what jobs in Texas other than Texas would appeal to him. Maybe A&M, I guess.

A few thoughts on the other searches and hires. I think Mike Anderson fits well at Arkansas and they finally find their guy to recapture what "Cowboy" Nolan Richardson built. Tennessee's hire of Cuonzo Martin underwhelms but with the NCAA sniffing around, I doubt they do much better and Martin has a lot of people that think he can do a good job (Though Stephan Pearl, he of nepotism fame disagrees tweeting "LOL" and "Good Luck" after the hire). Georgia Tech's hire of Brian Gregory underwhelms, too but his reputation is pretty strong.

N.C. State is shooting for the stars supposedly going after Billy Donovan and Sean Miller, both of which kindly rebuffed them. Who do they think they are? Oregon? Now they're suppose to be hot and heavy after Shaka Smart. Cool your jets, Wolfpack. Guy can take any job he wants and he's going to take that job? You guys should just beg for Herb Sednek to com back or you can go on and keep missing the dance.

As for the Big 12 duo, the latest scuttlebutt (YEAH) has Oklahoma leaning towards vagabond Lon Krueger (Actually would be a good hire) and Missouri left at the alter by Painter. Didn't see that one coming, huh?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Final Four

Some discussion if having no #1 or #2 seeds dilutes the Final Four. Of course it does. But that's a product of no great teams this year.

Some BCS proponents claim this as a victory for College Football's system. After all, we don't have #1 playing #2. Nevermind the fact such things are arbitrary, mind you. Was Auburn and Oregon the two best teams in college football for sure this past season? Beats me. The Packers were a 6 seed, so tournaments sometimes lead to the hottest team winning but it takes a good regular season to get in. Some say that makes the regular season irrelevant but I'd much rather have an opportunity than polls and a computer decide who will play for it all. Sure, RPI & SOS are realities in deciding the field but it MAKES the regular season relevant. What's the bonus for playing a tough schedule in college football? Your SOS might be weak but why risk losing when one loss kills you in the eyes of the human? The NFL manages to be relevant. The Packers sweated out until week 17 to get in. How would college football's season end if more teams had a chance to win it all? The days of great non-conference action is OVER. Why take on Oklahoma when you can get a W against Roast Beef Tech? Give me the early season tournaments and the yearly conference challenges of college basketball.

Does this Final Four run the risk of being 2006 ugly? Possibly. And if that's the case, so be it. For three weeks, college basketball has ruled the airways and made casual sports fans care for more than one mere game. And that's why we love March Madness and wish we could have it every Saturday on December, too.

Bill Self

http://www.tauntr.com/content/bill-self-choking-procedures

Funny!

Early Final Four Prediction

Butler 68, VCU 66
The dream dies here for VCU.

Connecticut 71, Kentucky 68
Kemba Walker continues his best Danny Manning inpersonation.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Most Impressive Run?

Which team's Final Four run has been the most impressive?

Connecticut - Has won 9 games in the last 18 days after finishing in the bottom half of the Big East

Kentucky - Has the entire roster basically turned over from last year.

Butler - Tiny university loses it's best player but returns to the Final Four for the second year in a row

VCU - Doesn't even belong in the field has beat 1 team from each power conference except the SEC (which they might have the chance to do in the final).

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kentucky note

I think it's worth mentioning what Jim Nantz said about this Kentucky team losing 6 games by a total of 11 points on the road. They were probably better than their record and better than a 4 seed.

I think this is their first Final Four since 1998. What an interesting gathering of coaches. The old vets Calipari and Calhoun and the new guard, Stevens and Smart.

CBS couldn't be happier

Butler vs. Virginia Commonwealth

The poster child for 96 teams!

Bet this is the first game...

Butler > George Mason

Not that it was all luck on George Mason's run but to be able to do it two years in a row, after losing your best player to the draft is unthinkable. A Big 6 conference team that makes two straight Final Four's is on an incredible run. For an Horizon Leage team to do it is amazing.

Today's predictions (and I must toot my own horn on nailing both Butler and Kentucky wins)

Kentucky 77, North Carolina 71
UNC plays too dumb and fast to win this game. If Marquette could have made more than 12% in the first half they could have hung with them

Kansas 85, VCU 71
A hot tempo in this game gets the blood going but the Morris twins are too much. I hope I'm wrong...

Sunday Elite Eight Picks

Kansas 75 VCU 60

North Carolina 70 Kentucky 68 (This could go either way like yesterday's games)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Question

Let's go back to when we all started watching this tournament together, 1990 when UNLV beat Duke. This question isn't about before but since.

Is Butler's back-to-back Final Four trips the most unlikely accomplishment we've witnessed?
Understandably, George Mason's run in 2006 was amazing but for a Horizon League team with a school enrollment of 4,000, I don't think we can undersell how unbelievable this really is.

Discuss...

Others considered: Duke over UNLV in 1991 Arizona in 1997

EDIT: Outsde the top 30 in KenPom efficiency on both offense and defense. It's an unwinnable argument but I'd pontificate that Brad Stevens is the best coach in the nation.

Elite Eight

Butler 71, Florida 66

Connecticut 79, Arizona 74

Saturday Elite 8 Picks and a Funny Story

UConn 73 Arizona 70

Florida 65 Butler 62

Here's a great quote from Thad Matta on Jared Sullinger coming back:

"Oh, he's been telling me that all along," Matta said. "And I believe
it. He told me draw up a contract, whatever you need to do. I
believe him when he says it."

Of course he said contract at THE OHIO STATE



Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Sweet 16 Thoughts

A. I wanted to post Neidermeyer's "Pledge Pin" video to highlight Matt Howard but I can't find it anywhere. Damn. WTF America!

B. Marquette went down like I expected by getting owned in the paint. It's not a problem when you hit your shots and don't turn it over but when you go 16 minutes like that, game over.

C. Carolina is good but there's a lot of stupid basketball they play.

D. Best of luck to Jimmy Butler. Great player for the Warriors. Buzz's 1st recruit. Please stay Buzz!

E. Stupid Richmond. I'd have liked to have actually picked a score right and missed this one by a hoop.

F. Calipari outcoached Thad Matta. See, Thad...your athletic department spends more per victory than any school in America and the least you can do is outcoach Cal.

G. Brandon Knight with two winners. Lebron is not impressed.

H. On the same day Sweater Vest gets more exposed and closer to removal, tOSU basketball team loses. Too bad.

I. SEC sends 2 to the Elite 8 for the 2nd straight season.

J. KenPom has been touting Kentucky all year arguing that their losses have come mostly on the road and by small margins and not to dismiss them. Yet, Butler is still rated like the 40th best team in the land. Stats....

K. FSU with two gut punches in two weeks. Still, great season for them.

L. VCU, 11 seed, CAA...just sayin....

M. Brad Stevens uses statistical analysis more than most coaches in college and likes to play 2-for-1 at end of game situations while most college coaches don't (FSU in overtime). He has a pretty good resume, dontcha' think?

I'm Still Cranky...

So no writeups, just scores.

North Carolina 77, Marquette 72

Kansas 81, Richmond 62

Kentucky 71, Ohio State 70

Florida State 63, VCU 60

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rock Solid 1-3 Tonight

A. Never underestimate the ability of a Steve Fisher coached team to astound you with stupidity.

B. Kemba

C. UConn's "others" outshine.

D. Florida should have won by 30 but were sloppy, stupid and stupider. They owned the inside but kept swinging. Dominate inside. Jump shots and long boards played into BYU being in the game. No wonder Billy Donovan is exasperated by this group.

E. Derrick Williams. Holy carp.

F. Don't underestimate that 3 before half.

G. Singler & Smith are still great players at Duke that helped restore a great program.

H. But Arizona was more physical, athletic and tougher.

I. N.C. State thinks they can land Sean Miller. Yeah, no.

J. Bo Ryan flameout. Shocker. Idiot me.

K. Leuer has no future in the NBA.

L. Taylor has to be hurt.

M. Sideshow Mike was the best player the Bagders had.

N. Hacker night.

Sweet 16 Friday Picks - Southwest Region

12. Richmond vs. 1. Kansas -

Would Richmond winning stun the world? Well, yeah and stranger things have happened. It's not inconceivable. They play a Princeton style offense which makes sense since Chris Mooney went there so that may give Kansas problems and Kansas guard play is sketchy at times, so....

Kansas 77 Richmond 59

11. VCU vs. 10. Florida State

Here's a contrast in styles. As we've seen, VCU likes to get up and down and have been wildly successful thus far beating a beat-up Georgetown team and a very good Purdue team. Florida State grinded out a win over offensively-challenged Texas A&M and then completely outclassed a great shooting team in Notre Dame. I like FSU in this game because I think they can do a better job taking away VCU's game than VCU can make FSU outscore them. BUT, FSU does turn the ball over and VCU is pretty good at making steals. Also, FSU is pretty mediocore at the line so in a close game, that could be an issue. FWIW, VCU found a way to outgrind USC, so they can win a slugfest and USC is similar to FSU.

Florida State 63 VCU 61

Sweet 16 Friday Picks - East Region

11. Marquette vs. 2. North Carolina

At first blush, we assume it'll take a pretty outstanding performance for the Warriors to win this game but a closer look reveals Marquette probably has more than just a fighter's chance in this game. Obviously, Marquette will have issues with the duo of Zeller and Henson. Typically, Marquette will get to the line far more often than their opponent and typically, UNC will not allow their opponent to the line (Nice to have some shot blockers). The one difference is, UNC is about average in how much it gets to the line. And when they do, they're not very good, only shooting 67% with John Henson being the weight bringing them down. Another concern is UNC gets a lot of points within the arc, Marquette's shakiest spot on defense. But if Marquette can make their 3's, UNC typically won't outshoot them there and is their weakest spot on d. Most models have this a pretty close game and some show this game as the one producing the best chance for an upset (based on seeding). I'd like to think so but it'll take a pretty solid effort.

North Carolina 80 Marquette 72

4. Kentucky vs. 1. Ohio State

How can Kentucky beat the Buckeyes? Defend the arc. Ohio State does so many things well but if Kentucky can harass the shooters, they can make the Buckeyes sweat. On offense, Brian has pointed out the Buckeyes depth issue, so Kentucky needs to be wisely aggressive. Get OSU to work hard on d and see if they can't tire them a bit. Watch it early, if OSU is getting open shots deep, game over.

Ohio State 82 Kentucky 70

Region Notes - Marquette last played North Carolina in the tournament in the 1977 NCAA title game. If Marquette and Kentucky were to advance, it would be the 4th time since 1994 that they'd have met with Marquette winning them all.

Sweet Sixteen Predictions Cont.

Thursday Late Game Addition

Butler vs Wisconsin
The darlings of the NCAA tournament are back looking for their second straight trip to the Elite Eight. In their way this time are the Mighty Communists of Madison, Wisconsin. Like Stalin through Georgia, Bo Ryan's Red Army will conquer and defeat the Bulldogs. Don't expect to see a pretty game, or even basketball for large chucks of minutes but a win is a win.
Wisconsin 57, Butler, 51

Duke vs Arizona
The one real question here is how does Duke contain Derrick Williams? The answer is they can't and probably won't. However, I see Williams getting his normal 20 points and 12 boards but the rest of the team being stymied by the Duke defense. I see a hot pace in this game as both teams will get up and down the court. Duke cruises out to a solid 6-8 point lead in the first ten minutes and outside of a few Wildcat runs lead the entire game. By the buzzer we're looking at a blowout. Irving looks better and piles up 15 points to go with 6 assists.
Duke 83, Arizona 67

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sweet 16 Thursday Picks - Southeast Regional

3. BYU vs 2. Florida -

The numbers actually favor BYU in this game but those numbers are skewed towards BYU because they had Brandon Davies for most of the season. Florida really dominated the SEC and though that conference is down, there is still something to be said about winning those games, including plenty away from Gainesville. The nation awaits Jimmer-time and he might get off, but give me the more well-balanced team in this game. I, too, like Florida by a bigger margin.

Florida 72 BYU 64

8. Butler vs. 4. Wisconsin -

Like Arizona, Butler is a "Team of Destiny" or a "Team of Luck". They, like BYU have somewhat skewed numbers based on mid-season garbage basketball. They get dragged down because of bad losses and truly ugly performances but they have won 11 in a row, including wins at UWM to knock them out (When Butler was already considered in) and a win over a Pitt team that had no reason to lose that game, but...they're playing a team that can "outscrap" them and "outhustle" them, I mean "white-out/out-white them". I think the key to this game is keeping Matt Howard on the court for Butler. Wisconsin is actually pretty bad on defense, their saving grace being they don't give many second chances or foul. I know that sounds weird but teams get good looks and shoot above average against them. If Howard stays out of foul trouble and Butler commits to him, there isn't anyone that can guard him. Leuer is a defensive sieve and Sideshow Mike is a nice player but he can't guard him. Ultimately, I think Wisconsin wins this game at the line and not being forced to play tight like many other higher seeds have against Butler. I suspect a lot of solid possessions and few turnovers (Neither team forces many). I just like Wisconsin on the defensive glass and unless Butler burns the nets it'll be a Bag of AIDS game.

Wisconsin 66 Butler 59

Region Notes - Bo Ryan has only one win against a higher seed as a tournament coach but that won't be an issue until Saturday. The Southeast/South has historically been a region of great unpredictability.

Sweet 16 Thursday Picks - West Region

3. UConn vs. 2. San Diego State -

Statistically speaking, these teams are pretty similiar and I suspect a close game like Brian does where each possession will be important. UConn traveling West is interesting considering the hectic schedule of the last few weeks, but like I noted earlier, UConn came out of the West in all of it's Final Four trips. Ultimately, I think this game isn't about Kemba Walker or Kawhi Leonard but who gets more out of their other players and I like the players on SDSU better, namely Billy White and Malcolm Thomas. If UConn can get significant games from Alex Oriahki and Shabazz Napier, they can certainly win this game. I suspect Kemba will have to work hard against SDSU and he'll need some help.

SDSU 62 UConn 60

5. Arizona vs 1. Duke -

We could argue Arizona is a "Team of Destiny" or a "Team of Luck." Duke has to travel and Derrick Williams is coming home to Anaheim (Sort of). But I have a feeling this one isn't close. All the numbers point to a Duke rout. That close Michigan game probably wakes them up and gets their attention and the come out flying.

Duke 80 Arizona 70

Note - Duke has an interesting bracket here. In their first game, they get Arizona who they beat in the 2002 Final, a possible matchup against Steve Fisher who they beat in the 1992 Final or a possible matchup for the 4th time against UConn who they beat in the Regional Final in 1991 and lost to in the 1999 Title game and lost to in the 2004 Final Four.

Sweet Sixteen Predictions

Thursday Early Game Edition

Connecticut vs San Diego State
The toughest of the Thursday games I can see this going either way. On one hand I can see Kemba Walker going off for another 30 point game willing the Huskies to the Elite Eight. On the other hand I can see exhaustion setting in and a 3 for 21 shooting night. San Diego State's defense is going to hound him that's for sure. Either way I expect this to be a close game from tip off to final buzzer. I'm guessing at this point but let's go with a late Aztec bucket for the win.
San Diego State 63, Connecticut 61

BYU vs Florida
As slow as the Uconn-San Diego State game will be this one will be as fast. These two teams played last year as BYU won a double overtime thrillfest. With Florida looking for revenge and BYU down their best post player I envision Chandler Parsons, Alex Titus, and Vernon Macklin having a field day in the post and on the boards. BYU comes out hot but eventually Florida wears them down turning a close halftime score into a double digit Florida win. Unless, of course, Jimmer scores 40+
Florida 78, BYU 64

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bye - Bye, Bruce...

Here is a good Bruce Pearl story to read.

Monday, March 21, 2011

COACHING CAROUSEL

Rumors ran rampant this weekend that Mike Anderson of Missouri was taking the Arkansas job but now it sounds like he is staying in Missouri leaving Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee & Georgia Tech as the seemingly plum jobs available.

Don't dismiss them based on perceived bias. Both Oklahoma and Georgia Tech have been to Final Fours in the last decade. Arkansas and Tennessee are SEC schools considered capable of being national players. There will be concern about Tennessee sanctions and a another NCAA mess at OU.

Buzz Williams as mentioned before, will get a long look at OU and if the Anderson story plays out like expected, Arkansas will probably sniff around, too. But given his run this year and the recruits he has coming in, it's not a given he'll just move on. If he does, it's expected VCU'S Shaka Smith would be a lead candidate at Marquette since he is from the state (who knew!).

The Losers of the First Weekend

A few quick thoughts on Big East bashing. For starters, they deserved 11 seeds because the conference had 11 teams that deserved to be included. There wasn't one team in the field from those 11 who hadn't earned their spot. 37 best at-large teams. 10 of them were Big East teams. But, they had teams that were definitely losers of the first weekend.

EAST - The East was largely chalk with only Marquette surprising some. If we looked at KenPom and other stat sites, Marquette was actually a favorite in that game if not in Vegas against Xavier. They had already beaten Syracuse and pretty much did it the same way this time. That said, Xavier was never in that game and that was pretty disappointing. Marquette was never ahead less than 9 in the 2nd half.

WEST - Again, largely chalk. Arizona - Texas was a toss-up IMO. Missouri's season was a disappointment as was their opening round loss to Cincinnati, even as an 11 seed. Tennessee's performance was an embarrassment.

SOUTHWEST - Where to begin? Louisville probably outperformed expectations but an opening round loss is tough to swallow. Does the game turn out different with Preston Knowles on the court at full strength? Maybe, but the best player on the court that day was Kenneth Faried.

Vanderbilt and Kevin Stallings lost for the 2nd straight year as a higher seed. Ouch. Murray State and now Richmond but Richmond is a lot better than Murray State. Chris Mooney will be taking a BCS job this off-season. Still, Stallings might want to get a win. He's done it before and he'll do it again.

As for Purdue, can someone explain to me what happened to this team? Inexplicably, they lost 3 of their last 4 and didn't look competetive at all in any of them. And the win over St. Peter's was no work of art. At about the 10:00 mark last night, VCU hit another dagger and no one stayed back to inbound the ball for Purdue and the look on Lewis Johnson's face said it all as he looked back on his teammates with a mix of disbelief and anguish.

Finally, Notre Dame may have been a victim of a tough regular season if that does exist. Never much more than 7 deep, they looked gassed and lethargic against Akron. Florida State simply dominated them and ND looked shell-shocked the entire night.

SOUTHEAST - Michigan State should just erase this season from the record books. There's been a lot of conjecture about Jamie Dixon and his run at Pitt not ending in any Final Fours. A fair criticism but it took Jim Calhoun longer at UConn. He'll get there but he had a team more than capable of getting it done this year and they spit the bit. I'll be curious to see what Butler does against Lucky. They've won two games at the buzzer. Let's see if the clock don't strike midnight this Thursday.

Febuary 14 Post Revisited

Everybody's been talking about how dominate the Big East has been but if we take a look at the last 6 years of the NCAA tournament since UConn won it all, it paints a different picture:

ACC - 4 Finals Fours, 3 Championship Games, 2 National Champs

Big 10 - 5 Finals Fours, 3 Championship Games, 0 National Champs

Big East - 5 Finals Fours, 0 Championship Games, 0 National Champs

Big 12 - 1 Finals Fours, 1 Championship Games, 1 National Champ

Pac 10 - 3 Finals Fours, 1 Championship Games, 0 National Champs

SEC - 3 Finals Fours, 2 Championship Games, 2 National Champs

Mid Majors - 3 Finals Fours, 2 Championship Games, 0 National Champs

The question that lingers is this: Is the Big East overrated come Championship time or does the strength of the conference lead itself to teams wearing out by the end of the year? Discuss....

Congrats!

And a big congratulations to the Big East who was able to get one more team to the Sweet Sixteen than the Atlantic-10, Horizon, and Colonial. Way to make the most of those 11 bids.

Which conference has the most Sweet Sixteens? The ACC baby!

Opening Weekend Thoughts

There were a ton of solid games; one of the better opening rounds in awhile. Ohio State looks great...might have got that one wrong. Hopefully they peaked against George Mason. Pitt ended up doing what I thought they would but didn't have the heart to predict. Duke is still struggling when Irving is in the line-up. I know he scored 14 and 11 but they don't look smooth offensively when he's in the game. Time and practice should hopefully do them wonders. I think they win on Thursday but you can pencil in Derrick Williams for at least 20 and 12. In the last region it's Kansas and 3 double digit seeds. VCU and Florida State should be an interesting matchup as you have one team who would prefer to keep it in the 50's and another who would prefer to have more than that in one half. I'm going to go out on a limp here and say who ever controls the pace wins.

Lastly, 7 quarterbarrel's on opening weekend...a new record. The 8th will be tapped around 6pm Thursday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The success of VCU

Since we discussed this yesterday over the uncommonly smooth Red Dog, I wonder if VCU's success won't make it easier to sell expansion of the field. If one team can come out of the "First Four", actually the play-in games and make a Sweet 16, why couldn't other teams?

Michigan - Duke thoughts

In mid-January you never would have guessed that Michigan would rout Tennessee in the opening round and take Duke to the buzzer in North Carolina in the second.

I thought Duke played too hesitant in the second half not showing their usual killer instinct as Beilein brushed off the 1-3-1 (No, Andy Katz, that isn't what they have been doing). With Smith and Irving, Duke should have been able to eviscerate that with kick and pops but what a great job by Michigan to seal that off. The other key was their ability to hold onto the ball and not give Duke any cheap shots off turnovers.

I think Texas will be a tough game for Duke should the Longhorns win but I think this could have been Duke's toughest game on the road to Houston. Congratulations to Coach Beilein and the Wolverines on a very good season. Picked to finish dead last by nearly everyone, they can hold their heads high. Depending on what happens on any potential early departures, this team comes back nearly intact next season.

EDIT: Duke gets Arizona. I don't think Arizona wins without a strong game from D Williams. It is interesting that Duke as a 1 seed gets to travel across the country along with UConn to take on Zona & SDSU in Anaheim. Sidenote on that is UConn's two title runs came from the West region.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Most Vunerable #1 Seed

So, which #1 seed is most likely to go the Kansas-Northern Iowa route on Saturday/Sunday this year?

I think the safest of the #1's is Duke as they matchup well against either Michigan or Tennessee. The next safest would be Kansas as I see Illinois as a pushover. UNLV could give them a run but I would see Kansas pulling away in the second half.
That leaves Pittsburgh and Ohio State. In my bracket I have Old Dominion over Butler and George Mason over Villanova. Quite frankly those don't matter as much because I could see both Butler and Villanova getting hot as well. Pittsburgh and Old Dominion would be close but Pittsburgh's shooting and toughest would win out at the end. This leaves Ohio State as my most vunerable #1 seed. George Mason or Villanova could very easily get hot on Sunday and pull off the upset. With a bench that only goes 7 deep OSU could get into foul trouble early and fall behind. Because of these reason I give to you my Second Round upset pick:

George Mason/Villanova over Ohio State

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Swearin' Kevin O'Neill

Curious as to the appeal of Kevin O'Neill, I looked up his record and it's not very impressive, 205-207 overall.

His best tenure was when he was at Marquette coaching the Anthony Pieper's of the world, going 86-62 in 5 years and making 2 dances and a Sweet 16 in 1994 where Duke beat them.

At Tennessee, he went 36-47, not even sniffing a bid. Before getting canned, he bolted for Northwestern of all places going 30-56 in 3 years including a snazzy 0-16 in conference in his last year. After 2000, he was an NBA vagabond before returning to the college game and Arizona where he got his start as an assistant under Lute Olson.

After a messy year at Arizona where he went 19-15 replacing the allegedly sick Olson and getting beat in the first round, he was shown the door and two years later was hired by USC where him and his drunken wife got into an altercation with 'Zona fans allegedly named Hacker.

What's the appeal? Sure, he's better than Tim Floyd but this was the guy USC wanted to challenge Ben Howland?

Finally, I'll give Marquette this, they've had a few doozies since Al left. Dirty fat man Majerus, Piano Man Dukiet, Drinking Man O'Neill & Angry Man Deane (I never knew he actually recruited Dwyane Wade). Now add TV man Crean and the circle is complete. I bet Indiana fan loves seeing their coach break down play-in games!

I see your Brooks Thompson...

And raise you one Chianti Roberts.

This Year Picks!

A great start to the tournament last night as UNC-Ashville sends the game to overtime on a late three and pulls away for the win. Clemson and UAB was blah!

I'm finalizing my bracket and here's what I have.

Elite Eight:
East: Syracuse over Ohio State
West: Duke over Missouri
Southwest: Kansas over Purdue
Southeast: Pittsburgh over Gonzaga

Final Four:
Duke over Syracuse
Kansas over Pittsburgh

Final:
Duke over Kansas

A couple upsets in the first round I'm picking:

East:
None in the first round.
Washington over North Carolina in Round 2

West:
Missouri over Cincinnati, Uconn, and San Diego State

Southwest:
Richmond over Vanderbilt

Southeast (here's where it all blows apart):
Utah State over Kansas State
Michigan State over UCLA and Florida
Gonzaga over St. John's, BYU, and Michigan State

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kyrie Irving

Coach K is saying he might play on Friday. This is the first positive statement coming directly from the coach. Could he be ready this time?

96?

I'm thinking of going to Madison and protesting until it gets up to 256.

The Play-In Games!

Started!

Can't wait for the play-ins when they expand this sucker to 96.

Funny...

In my preseason bracket posted in November I have UC-Santa Barbara upseting Florida as a 3 and 14 seed. Now, they are a 2 and 15. Can it happen?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Buzz's last week?

Andy Katz reported Buzz Williams would be Arkansas' second choice after Mizzou's Mike Anderson to take over for the recently dismissed John Pelphrey.

Williams name also came up in regards to the Texas Tech job.

Of course, Andy Katz also called Michigan a tough matchup because they play a 1-3-1 defense which they have done almost none of this year, so...I guess that Madison journalism degree doesn't mean much.

Bracket Thoughts

I've seen experts calling every Region the toughest one out there. I tend to think the Southwest is the toughest (Kansas, Louisville, Notre Dame, Purdue) while the West is the weakest (Duke, San Diego State, Texas, Connecticut).

I like upsets in the Southeast as I can make a case for the #9 ODU, #10 Michigan State, #11 Gonzaga, #12 Utah State, and #13 Belmont. I wouldn't sleep on #14 Wofford either if Fredette has a bad game.

Can't disagree with Kurly's assessment of bad seedings. The B1G got overseeded all along the way while some of the mid-majors got lower seeds than they should have (Richmond and Utah State).

My first glance Final Four came out as Duke, Pittsburgh, Kansas, and Syracuse. That's a little too chalky for me as I see this being a very crazy year. I reserve the right to change any or all of those except Duke.

The last question is as to whether anybody thinks George Mason can beat Ohio State in the second round. That's the big question in that region as we all know the Patriots will crush the overseeded Wildcats of Villanova. Will Mason pull a Northern Iowa this year?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Schedule.

Gus is calling Marquette.

http://www.awfulannouncing.com/2011-articles/march/your-full-2011-ncaa-tournament-rounds-1-2-announcing-schedule.html




Well....

I had UAB in. Still don't get the VCU pick and I'm a Colonial guy. USC bugs me as well. Colorado got screwed. Virginia Tech can go back to complaining and scheduling North Carolina A&T.

The wow...

Seedings that make me scratch my head...

EAST
#9 Villanova
#10 Georgia

WEST
#3 UConn
#8 Michigan
#10 Penn State

SOUTHWEST (WTF? NO MIDWEST ANYMORE?)
#9 Illinois
#11 VCU or USC

SOUTHEAST (WTF? THEY GOT RID OF THIS FOR THE SOUTH)
#10 Michigan State
#12 Utah State
#13 Belmont

I see none of the B1G teams were on the bubble. That's nice. They were CLEARLY better than the other "bubble" teams. tOSU AD chaired this thing, huh? Hmmm....

Georgia as a 10 boggles the mind. Boggles it. VCU and USC get mentioned because they both got in before Colorado. Also, I think Richmond is better than both and I think Utah State is better than both. Boggled.

I note Utah State and Belmont because both are top 20 teams in KenPom and Utah State is ahead of Kansas State their opponent in the first round.

There isn't criteria anymore. There are so many things that contradict one another in the seedings, I don't think you can credibly take what the committee says.

Also, can we quit seeding mid-majors in the 8-9 games? I have zero doubt they get seeded in those games so they have to play a major power in the 2nd round. Northern Iowa won last year, so that backfired but ODU-Butler takes one of the good mids out and GMU gets the #1 overall if they beat Villanova. This goes back quite some time. In '96, UWGB got an 8 seed when many thought they were way better than that (Sure, they lost to VA Tech and Ace Custis but you get the drift) and a win meant a 2nd round game against the #1 that year, Kentucky.

And of course, it won't matter and the teams that should win will and the teams we feel overseeded will probably win and the underseeded teams we feel strongly about will crap their pants so big whippty fizz. I'm just cheering harder than usual against the criminal Buckeyes now since their AD is obviously a spineless sycophant.

4 initial thoughts. .

1. Florida a #2. Hmm..

2. Ohio State has a long road.

3. Arizona will lose to Memphis.

3. I'm already sick of Barkley.

FAIL

This is why anyone associated with the B1G and particularly Ohio State shouldn't be allowed to make any decisions.

And way to answer the questions by talking in circles.

By the way, neither Wisconsin team will make it to the second weekend. Hell, neither is making it out of the first game.

Committee can eat a bag of di&Ks

Bracket - Final



1 seed vs 16 seed
Ohio State (Big10) vs UTSA(Sland)/Hampton(MEAC)
Kansas (Big12) vs Ark-LR(Sbelt)/AlabamaSt(SWAC)
Duke (ACC) vs UC-Santa Barbara (Bwest)
Pittsburgh vs UNC-Ashville (Bsouth)
2 seed vs 15 seed
Notre Dame vs Boston (Aeast)
San Diego St (Mwest) vs Akron (MAC)
Connecticut vs Wofford (SoCon)
North Carolina vs N. Colorado (Bsky)
3 seed vs 14 seed
Texas vs St. Peters (MAAC)
BYU vs Morehead State (OVC)
Kentucky (SEC) vs Indiana State (Mvalley)
Louisville vs Bucknell (Patriot)
4 seed vs 13 seed
Syracuse vs Long Island (NEC)
Purdue vs Princeton (Ivy)
Florida vs Oakland (Summit)
St. John's vs Belmont (Asun)
5 seed vs 12 seed
Wisconsin vs Memphis (Cusa)
Texas A&M vs Villanova/UAB
West Virginia vs Virginia Tech/St. Mary's
Arizona vs Clemson
6 seed vs 11 seed
Vanderbilt vs Illinois
Kansas State vs Penn State
Xavier vs Colorado
Temple vs Michigan State
7 seed vs 10 seed
Washington (Pac10) vs Richmond (A10)
UNLV vs Michigan
Georgetown vs Butler (Horizon)
Cincinnati vs Tennessee
8 seed vs 9 seed
George Mason vs Florida State
Utah State (WAC) vs Gonzaga (WCC)
Old Dominion (Colonial) vs Marquette
UCLA vs Missouri

First Four Out
Alabama
Georgia
Boston College
USC
Next Four Out
Harvard
Missouri State
VCU
UTEP

So....

Georgia beat UAB this year, Alabama beat Georgia twice this year, Alabama has an RPI of appx 80. Maybe USC does get in?

Note:

Since 1999, the lowest RPI to earn an at large was No. 70 Air Force in 2004.

My Current Last 4

Virginia Tech
Villanova
St. Mary's
UAB

I hate putting in UAB but I don't see who else replaces them? Georgia? Alabama and their 77th RPI? Missouri State? USC?

Villanova Bashing

I've been called out for my take on Villanova. If you go back to February 9, you'll see that I had Villanova pegged as a Big East team on the rise. They, quite frankly, have underachieved this year. They have the talent to be a top 10 team but when you lose 7 of your last 9 games you don't deserve to make the dance. Never mind that the only two wins came by 3 against Seton Hall and by 2 in overtime to DePaul. If the Wildcats get anything higher than 12 seed I'll be disapointted in the selection committee.

Most Impressive Thing of the Weekend

Bill Raftery is calling the A-10 game this afternoon after doing the Big East final last night. Wonder who he went out drinking last night with, Sean McDonough or Verne.

Kyrie Irving

CBS.Sportsline has him in the game but my DirectTv is out. I'm guessing Sportsline is wrong....

Double Standard

I've been reading a bunch of Bubble Watching today and I noticed the double standard for the mid-majors. On SI they have St. Mary's out since their only great win is against St. John's but that was before St. John's "figured it out". In the same breath they don't even mention Illinois or Villanova who ended the season losing 10 out of the last 15 and 16 respectively. Maybe all the other teams figured them out. I'd like to see both 'Nova and Illinois in the NIT.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Night Before Bracketology

Evan's got a basketball tournament tomorrow morning so I'm not sure when I'll have time to update. I'd really like to see Dayton win and have the A-10 get 4 teams. That would push UAB out but really, who cares!

1 seed vs 16 seed
Ohio State (Big10) vs UTSA(Sland)/Hampton(MEAC)
Kansas (Big12) vs Ark-LR(Sbelt)/AlabamaSt(SWAC)
Duke (ACC) vs UC-Santa Barbara (Bwest)
Pittsburgh vs UNC-Ashville (Bsouth)
2 seed vs 15 seed
Notre Dame vs Boston (Aeast)
San Diego St (Mwest) vs Akron (MAC)
North Carolina vs Wofford (SoCon)
Connecticut vs N. Colorado (Bsky)
3 seed vs 14 seed
Texas vs St. Peters (MAAC)
BYU vs Morehead State (OVC)
Florida (SEC) vs Indiana State (Mvalley)
Louisville vs Bucknell (Patriot)
4 seed vs 13 seed
Kentucky vs Long Island (NEC)
Purdue vs Princeton (Ivy)
Syracuse vs Oakland (Summit)
St. John's vs Belmont (Asun)
5 seed vs 12 seed
Wisconsin vs Memphis (Cusa)
Texas A&M vs Villanova/UAB
West Virginia vs Virginia Tech/St. Mary's
Arizona vs Clemson
6 seed vs 11 seed
Vanderbilt vs Illinois
Kansas State vs Penn State
Xavier vs Michigan State
Temple vs Colorado
7 seed vs 10 seed
Georgetown vs Richmond (A10)
Cincinnati vs Michigan
Washington (Pac10) vs Butler (Horizon)
UNLV vs Tennessee
8 seed vs 9 seed
George Mason vs Florida State
Utah State (WAC) vs Marquette
Old Dominion (Colonial) vs Gonzaga (WCC)
UCLA vs Missouri

First Four Out
Boston College
USC
Alabama
Georgia
Next Four Out
Harvard
Dayton
Missouri State
VCU
Also Considered
UTEP

The BIG East

I don't know how the conference will perform in the next few weeks butI'll say this, the season and the conference tournament was fantastic. What a great ride.

I'm in agreement with Brian on USC and Lunardi. I can't fathom any way they get in. If it were a tournament of drunken coaches, they'd be one seeds but it isn't.

Also, I agree with Brian on the 64/65 teams (Would be 66 next year anyway). How anyone can justify 96 or 128...I don't see it. I can't wait to see how the NCAA sells us 96 for next year.

In Case You Didn't Know

These last 5-6 teams in are garbage. I'd like to petition the NCAA to go back to 64 tomorrow. Really.

Still going through numbers and I'm starting to lean towards UAB as the last team in. They stack up alright against Boston College, Alabama, and USC. Lunardi has USC in and I just don't see it. I'm back on Villanova being in but they won't have a good seed.

Here's my rankings along with my confidence:
In:
Michigan 95%
Richmond 95%
Colorado 85%
St. Mary's 80%
Penn State 80% - as long as they don't lose by 25 tomorrow
Illinois 75%
Clemson 75%
Michigan State 75%
Virginia Tech 60%
Villanova 60%
UAB 50%

Out:
Boston College 35%
Alabama 35%
Georgia 30%
USC 30%
Harvard 15%
Dayton 15% - still has the auto-bid in the A-10 available
VCU 5%
Missouri State 5%
UTEP 2%

PS; Utah State better win or the bubble drops by one anyway.

That was freaking awesome....

that is all.

Of course Gus Johnson calls this game

Just a teaser...

It's Not Getting Any More Clear!

The back end of the Bubble is getting even more confusing. Memphis is in but what to do with the Bubble teams that lost games today? Clemson, Michigan, Alabama? Do they stay? Do they go?

I'll be honest, I'm really starting to lean towards dropping Villanova out. I don't know how you can make a case for a team that finished the season 5-10? Of course, Illinois went 6-10 in their last 16 so maybe they will be the odd team out.

Still got a couple more games tonight and then it's time for pouring over the numbers.

Memphis IN

If the games of the next two weeks match this weeks games, this could be a classic March. Memphis gets in by making 2 FTs with :08 left against UTEP to take their first lead of the game.

I'd feel bad for UTEP but their head coach is Tim Floyd.

Saturday Morning Bracketology

1 seed vs 16 seed
Ohio State (Big10) vs McNeese(Sland)/Hampton(MEAC)
Kansas vs Ark-LR(Sbelt)/Grambling(SWAC)
Duke (ACC) vs Boston (Aeast)
Pittsburgh vs UNC-Ashville (Bsouth)
2 seed vs 15 seed
BYU (Mwest) vs St. Peters (MAAC)
Notre Dame vs Wofford (SoCon)
Texas (Big 12) vs N. Colorado (Bsky)
San Diego St vs Long Beach State (Bwest)
3 seed vs 14 seed
North Carolina vs Kent State (MAC)
Syracuse vs Bucknell (Patriot)
Florida (SEC) vs Morehead State (OVC)
Louisville vs Long Island (NEC)
4 seed vs 13 seed
Kentucky vs Indiana State (Mvalley)
Purdue vs Harvard (Ivy)
Connecticut vs Oakland (Summit)
St. John's vs Belmont (Asun)
5 seed vs 12 seed
Arizona (Pac10) vs UTEP (Cusa)
Wisconsin vs St.Mary's/UAB
Texas A&M vs Virginia Tech/Alabama
Temple (A10) vs Clemson
6 seed vs 11 seed
West Virginia vs Colorado
Xavier vs Illinois
Vanderbilt vs Richmond
Kansas State vs Michigan
7 seed vs 10 seed
Georgetown vs Florida State
UNLV vs Villanova
Cincinnati vs Butler (Horizon)
George Mason vs Tennessee
8 seed vs 9 seed
Utah State (WAC) vs Michigan State
Washington vs Marquette
Old Dominion (Colonial) vs Gonzaga (WCC)
UCLA vs Missouri

First Four Out
Boston College
Memphis
Penn State
Georgia
Next Four Out
Missouri State
USC
Dayton
Princeton

Teams that I Don't Think Are Locks Yet

Trying to summerize the Bubble their appears to be no less than 18 teams playing for 11 spots. Here's the teams that I would put on the bubble, ranking in order of most secure. I have this weird feeling that there will be a huge surprise come tomorrow and right now I'm leaning towards one of these three teams: Villanova (5-10 in last 15), Florida State (missing Chris Singleton), St. Mary's (been screwed before).

Bubble In:
Florida State
Villanova
Richmond
Michigan
Illinois
Colorado
Clemson
Virginia Tech
Alabama
St. Mary's
UAB

Bubble Out:
Boston College
Memphis
Penn State
Georgia
Missouri State
USC
Dayton

Today's the Day

Tons of action today and lots of movement all through the bracket. Who's a #1 seed? Who's on the bubble? How far do Illinois and Florida State fall after losses last night. Stay tuned.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Brian's Basement and toes

I'm bringing Dom this year. Last one's standing on Thursday get some. Unless I'm not standing. Then no one gets any until I drive home after a "nap".

I thought the UW-PSU game was a well-played defensive basketball game. Plenty of fundamentals, dribbling and white guys making chest passes. UW really got their hands up on defense and moved their feet. Good game.

Duke - As a veteran of toe surgery, haha!

EDIT: Possible surprise visitor

DOUBLE EDIT: Not Gay Rudy

Bo Ryan

Jimmer scores 52, Wisconsin scores 33. Here's a tip for the Badgers...don't pack your bags for more than 1 weekend.

Coming to a Basement Near You

If the tournament fails to entertain, we can go hang at the trailer park.....

Take that FIBS. Michigan PUNCHES its ticket to get beat in round one!

This has nothing to do with Michigan or basketball. I stole it from my favorite Michigan football blog, so it sort of fits. Plus, the angry polar bear destroys part of the Axis of Evil (OSU, MSU).

Scott Drew and Baylor aren't the Vest and TOSU

Not that Baylor was going to make the dance, but their chances took a big hit when the NCAA ruled 6 hours before tip-off that super Frosh Perry Jones would be suspended for infractions.

I linked deadspin since they told the story succinctly and nicely and though they didn't say it's horse bleep that 5 ineligible players can play in an exhibition game by the prodding of an atheltic department and league commissioner so as to "protect the fans", I'll say it.

It's horse bleep. Sugar Bowl far outweighs a chance to play in an actual playoff.

Nice Job Miami

Come back from 10 down in the last minute yesterday and blow a 15 point lead in the last 5 minutes today. I hope Frank Haith gets fired.

Bubble Games This Morning

Georgia - Alabama - 12pm
Loser is out, it's that simple

Boston College - Clemson - 1pm
Winner is in, loser will be sweating

Illinois - Michigan - 1:25pm
Illinois can afford a loss, Michigan not so much

Tulsa - UTEP - 3pm
Loser is out, winner still needs a lot of help

Auto-Bid Today:

Patriot League:
Bucknell vs Lafayette - 3:45pm
Lafayette would end up being a bad 16 seed while Bucknell is probably a 14 seed. Everybody loves Bucknell!

Friday Morning Bracketology

1 seed vs 16 seed
Ohio State (Big10) vs McNeese(Sland)/B-Cook (MEAC)
Kansas vs Ark-LR(Sbelt)/TexSo(SWAC)
Duke (ACC) vs Boston (Aeast)
Notre Dame (Beast) vs UNC-Ashville (Bsouth)
2 seed vs 15 seed
BYU (Mwest) vs St. Peters (MAAC)
Pittsburgh vs Wofford (SoCon)
Texas (Big 12) vs N. Colorado (Bsky)
San Diego St vs Long Beach State (Bwest)
3 seed vs 14 seed
North Carolina vs Kent State (MAC)
Purdue vs Bucknell (Patriot)
Wisconsin vs Morehead State (OVC)
Syracuse vs Long Island (NEC)
4 seed vs 13 seed
Florida (SEC) vs Indiana State (Mvalley)
Louisville vs Harvard (Ivy)
St. John's vs Oakland (Summit)
Kentucky vs Belmont (Asun)
5 seed vs 12 seed
Arizona (Pac10) vs Tulsa (Cusa)
Texas A&M vs Michigan/Clemson
Connecticut vs Virginia Tech/Georgia
Xavier (A10) vs Boston College
6 seed vs 11 seed
West Virginia vs Colorado
Temple vs Richmond
Georgetown vs St. Mary's
Kansas State vs Michigan State
7 seed vs 10 seed
Vanderbilt vs Villanova
UNLV vs Butler (Horizon)
Cincinnati vs Tennessee
George Mason vs Marquette
8 seed vs 9 seed
Utah State (WAC) vs Gonzaga (WCC)
Washington vs Illinois
Old Dominion (Colonial) vs Florida State
UCLA vs Missouri

First Four Out
Alabama
Memphis
USC
UAB
Next Four Out
Missouri State
UTEP
Penn State
New Mexico

Friday Morning Update

Yesterday had a lot of games but not a lot of movement. Let's bullet point what did happen.

-Pittsburgh lost which moved them from a 1 seed to a 2 seed. Taking their place for now is Notre Dame but BYU, San Diego State, North Carolina, and Texas are all looming large. The Irish and Duke need to continue to win if they want to stay on the top line

-UAB lost to East Carolina which bumps them from the bracket as Conference USA's auto-bid. For now Tulsa get the bid as the #2 seed. UAB is listed as one of the final four out but even with a top 30 RPI I don't see them getting in.

-Colorado had a big win over K-State and bump Alabama out of the bracket. I think the Buffs are secure at this point as long as they don't get blown out today.

-As mentioned above Alabama got bumped out without playing. They get Georgia today which is shaping up to be a play out game. Loser seems to be out while the Winner looks like a lock.

Tons of games that will be highlighted later, plus a new Bracket by 10am. Rock on

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday Afternoon Championship Week Thoughts

  • Fab Melo finally made an appearance today providing another post presence for the Orange. The pre-season pick for Big East ROY, Melo found himself in Jim Boeheim's doghouse all season. But, unlike Hubert Davis, let's not jump to any conclusions and assume he's "gotten it". (But if he did...the 'cuse got a lot more interesting..)
  • LOL @ that Virginia game recap. Tony Bennett, your next UW Head Coach.
  • If Michigan State loses to Iowa, I don't care how their SOS stacks up, they do not belong in. Still 9 minutes left.
  • My Sporting News had a few writers still picking K-State to make the Final Four. Am I missing something with them? Colorado beats them and shouldhave secured a spot.
  • Nice seeing you UAB. Enjoy the NIT.

UConn was good but...

Not that it'll matter in the NCAA Tournament but Miami came back from 10 down with 42 seconds left to beat Virginia in overtime. Read this last 40 second blurp. Talk about falling apart:

Trailing 53-43 with 42.5 seconds left, Durand Scott hit a 3-pointer. Then Sammy Zeglinski missed a pair of free throws and Miami came back with another 3, this time from Grant to cut the deficit to 53-49 with 23.1 seconds left.

The Cavaliers turned it over in the backcourt and Julian Gamble (11 points) dunked home a basket on the inbound play to cut it to 53-51. Then Scott stole Jontel Evans' inbound pass under the basket and scored on a layup while being fouled to tie it with 13.9 seconds left.

He missed the free throw, but Zeglinski couldn't control the rebound as it bounced off his foot and out of bounds with 11.6 seconds left.

Grant lost the ball when it slipped out of his hands on a shot attempt, giving it back to Virginia with 1.3 seconds left. But again, the Hurricanes stole the inbound when Gamble jumped in front of Will Sherrill's pass near midcourt before missing a desperate heave at the horn.

Copyright 2011 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press.

Kemba: Sick

Pittsburgh Loses

Pittsburgh loses and Kansas is on the ropes. Does this open up a 1 seed for Notre Dame to grab if they win the Big East? What about Purdue or Wisconsin if they win the B1G 10? Even North Carolina might be creeping a bit.

Two More Bids and Marquette

Long Island and Northern Colorado grab auto-bids while it's now safe to say Marquette has done enough. It's all about seeding now. How about a 9 seed with a second round match-up with Ohio State?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Rutgers Screw Job: Big East Tournament 2011

That was brutal. Doris Burke is not amused.

BRIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


There's no 10 in B1G. Only Leaders and Legends. Like "Teflon Vest" Jim Tressel. Or Bartime Bert Bielema. Come on, get with it!

Two More Bids Tonight.

Northeast: Long Island vs Robert Morris
Not much going on here. Long Island might be better equipped for a first round tourney upset but I wouldn't bet on it.

Big Sky: Montana vs Northern Colorado
Even worse here as both are probably going to be seeded as a 15 seed. Long Island at least has a chance to be a 14.


And see ya later Nebraska. Have fun next year in the B1G 10.

Today's Bubble Watch

All bubble action will be in the Big 12 and it will be from the outside looking in. 3 teams play today and will be eliminated if they lose. A win today doesn't necessarily get them in but a loss drops them from consideration.

11:30am Oklahoma State vs Nebraska

2:00pm Iowa State vs Colorado

6:00pm Oklahoma vs Baylor

Also d'Avis pointed out that I have Marquette playing Cincinnati in the first round. Obviously that's against the rules of the Tournament and I will be making sure those things don't occur in my final bracket on Sunday. For now, I'm just keeping it as is on my S-Curve.

Wednesday Bracketology

1 seed vs 16 seed
Ohio State (Big10) vs McNeese(Sland)/B-Cook (MEAC)
Kansas vs Ark-LR(Sbelt)/TexSo(SWAC)
Pittsburgh (Beast) vs Boston (Aeast)
Duke (ACC) vs UNC-Ashville (Bsouth)
2 seed vs 15 seed
BYU (Mwest) vs St. Peters (MAAC)
Notre Dame vs Wofford (SoCon)
Texas (Big 12) vs N. Colorado (Bsky)
San Diego St vs Long Beach State (Bwest)
3 seed vs 14 seed
North Carolina vs Kent State (MAC)
Purdue vs Bucknell (Patriot)
Wisconsin vs Morehead State (OVC)
Syracuse vs Long Island (NEC)
4 seed vs 13 seed
St. John's vs Indiana State (Mvalley)
Florida (SEC) vs Harvard (Ivy)
Kentucky vs Oakland (Summit)
Louisville vs Belmont (Asun)
5 seed vs 12 seed
West Virginia vs Alabama
Arizona (Pac10) vs Michigan/Clemson
Xavier (A10) vs Virginia Tech/Georgia
Texas A&M vs UAB (Cusa)
6 seed vs 11 seed
Temple vs St. Mary's
Kansas State vs Richmond
Georgetown vs Boston College
Connecticut vs Michigan State
7 seed vs 10 seed
Vanderbilt vs Villanova
G. Mason vs Butler (Horizon)
Cincinnati vs Marquette
UNLV vs Tennessee
8 seed vs 9 seed
Utah State (WAC) vs Gonzaga (WCC)
UCLA vs Illinois
Old Dominion (Colonial) vs Florida State
Missouri vs Washington

First Four Out
Colorado
Missouri State
Baylor
USC
Next Four Out
Memphis
Colorado State
Washington State
Nebraska
Also Considered
UTEP

Tuesday's Recap

Congratulations to Oakland, Arkansas-Little Rock, and Butler who all punched their tickets last night to the big dance. With UWM losing there is now an opening at the bottom of the bracket. I'll be pouring through some numbers this morning to see who grabs bid 68. I figure it will come down to Colorado or Alabama.

In Big East news; I believe Marquette is now a lock with a big win over Providence. Congrats to the Warriors. As for Villanova, that 5 game losing streak may push them to the NIT. 5-9 in the last 14 isn't exactly what you want going into Selection Sunday.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Championship Week Super Meltdown

North Texas blowing a late 7 point lead and turning the ball over like Brett Favre in a playoff game or Villanova losing 5 straight to end the season?

Bracket Busting 2: ODU

Back to wreak havoc on your bracket, the Monarchs are riding a 9 game winning streak into the Dance. ODU finished the season at 27-6 with wins over Xavier and Clemson on their resume and a 3 point loss to Georgetown. With a rock solid RPI of 23, Old Dominion won't be a first round cake walk.

KenPom has them 48th overall (69th in AdjO and 49th in AdjD). But make no mistake, ODU's calling card is their defense. They're 4th overall in scoring d and 46th in FG% defense. They're also 3rd in fouls per game. They'll grind you. They can effectively board as well. On offense, they get to 45% of their misses which is best in the land and on defense, opponents can only get 27.5% of their misses, good for 17th. You can shoot the 3 against them, 297th in 3pt PG% defense but they make up for it with limiting free throws and holding you well under the national average from the line in.

Offensively, eh, they board better than anyone so if they can match up with a team that struggles with defensive rebounding, that'll be a huge advantage for them. They are weak at the line, as their 2nd and 3rd most prolific foul shooters shoot 60 and 67% respectively.

The star player is Senior F, Frank Hassell who scores 15 ppg and gets 10 boards per. He's a horse in the paint. Kent Bazemore is the other forward. He shoots 51% from the field and gets 12 and 5 per.

ODU beat Notre Dame in a dogfight last year 51-50 and one suspects, it would take a game like that this year to get another win. They were in it until the end against Baylor, losing 76-68 after Baylor finished the game on a 8-1 run. No doubt, they won't be intimidated by March and shouldn't surprise anyone if they win a game.

Holy Mackerel! We miss you, Al!

Today's Bids

Sun Belt - Arkansas LR vs North Texas
Meh, not much to say here...seems like some 16 seeds battling it out. Let's hope for North Texas since they wear some awful all green jerseys. That'll be nice on St. Patrick's day.

Horizon - UWM vs Butler
The game of the day, can the Horizon secure two bids with a UWM upset? I think so!

Summit - Oral Bob vs Oakland
If you got time try and watch this game. Oakland is a very dangerous 13 seed, very capable of beating Syracuse, St. John's, or Kentucky in the first round.

Tuesday Morning Bracketology

1 seed vs 16 seed
Ohio State (Big10) vs McNeese(Sland)/B-Cook (MEAC)
Kansas vs MTennSt(Sbelt)/TexSo(SWAC)
Pittsburgh (Beast) vs Boston (Aeast)
Duke (ACC) vs UNC-Ashville (Bsouth)
2 seed vs 15 seed
BYU (Mwest) vs St. Peters (MAAC)
Notre Dame vs Wofford (SoCon)
Texas (Big 12) vs N. Colorado (Bsky
San Diego St vs UWM (Horizon)
3 seed vs 14 seed
North Carolina vs Long Beach State (Bwest)
Purdue vs Kent State (MAC)
Wisconsin vs Bucknell (Patriot)
Syracuse vs Morehead State (OVC)
4 seed vs 13 seed
St. John's vs Long Island (NEC)
Florida (SEC) vs Indiana State (Mvalley)
Kentucky vs Harvard (Ivy)
Louisville vs Oakland (Summit)
5 seed vs 12 seed
West Virginia vs Belmont (Asun)
Arizona (Pac10) vs Michigan/Clemson
Xavier (A10) vs Virginia Tech/Georgia
Texas A&M vs UAB (Cusa)
6 seed vs 11 seed
Temple vs St. Mary's
Kansas State vs Richmond
Georgetown vs Boston College
Connecticut vs Gonzaga (WCC)
7 seed vs 10 seed
Vanderbilt vs Marquette
G. Mason vs Michigan State
Cincinnati vs Butler
UNLV vs Tennessee
8 seed vs 9 seed
Utah State (WAC) vs Illinois
UCLA vs Florida State
Old Dominion (Colonial) vs Washington
Villanova vs Missouri

First Four Out
Alabama
Colorado
Missouri State
Baylor
Next Four Out
USC
Memphis
Colorado State
Washington State
Also Considered
UTEP
Nebraska