Wednesday, November 7, 2018


- Duke is UNLV, circa 1990. That was a ridiculous display last night. Really, both games were quite refreshing. Good basketball comes from good offense. Bad basketball comes from bad offense. Nobody is pining for the 2000 Final Four. They are pining for the 1990 Final Four, though. Of course, local dipshit, Tom Oates of the Madison State Journal used it as an opportunity to bash Tyler Herro and Kentucky, saying good thing Herro didn’t keep his commitment to Madison because he’d have to play defense. SB Nation Marquette blog, Anonymous Eagle did a great job destroying the stupidity of it based solely on the fact, Wisconsin beat Kentucky in the 2015 Final 4, despite Kentucky having the better defense. Guess who had the better offense? Also, take a gander at who had better defensive efficiency numbers since Coach Cal has been at Kentucky, insert tea-sipping Kermit.

- Back to Duke. They won’t go undefeated, the ACC is too much of a meat grinder but they have the right mix this year. Enough vets and frosh hungry to win. Last years team wasn’t far off and was a coin flip from the Final 4. Prepare for lots of Duke hate.

- Florida State’s evisceration of Florida sort of got lost last night but we could look back at that as a significant win and perhaps a harbinger of things to come. The SEC and ACC will jostle for top leagues. Let’s see where these two end up. All the caveats apply, its November and good teams get better, mediocre teams can peak early.

- Finally, haven’t said much about Marquette. Last night was a good win in the sense they won with defense. UMBC isn’t good. Still, Marquette happily let bad teams cut through their Swiss cheese defense last year. Theo John could be the sophomore that takes a big step for them this year.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

First Bracketology

1 seed vs 16 seed
Kansas (Big12) vs NCCU (MEAC)/St.Francis(NEC)
Duke vs Grambling(SWAC)/Radford(Bsouth)
Nevada (Mwest) vs Lipscomb (Asun)
Duke vs Rider (MAAC)
2 seed vs 15 seed
Gonzaga (WCC) vs LeHigh(Patriot)
Virginia vs Montana (Bsky)
Michigan St(B1G) vs UNC-Greensboro(SoCon)
Tennessee (SEC) vs N.Kentucky(Horizon)
3 seed vs 14 seed
Villanova (Beast) vs Vermont(Aeast)
Kentucky vs Belmont(OVC)
Auburn vs UC-Irvine (Bwest)
Kansas State vs Harvard (Ivy)
4 seed vs 13 seed
Virginia Tech vs New Mexico St (WAC)
Texas Tech vs SFA (Sland)
Florida vs Georgia St (Sbelt)
Purdue vs South Dakota St (Summit)
5 seed vs 12 seed
TCU vs Northeastern (Colonial)
Butler vs Buffalo (MAC)
Clemson vs W.Kentucky (Cusa)
West Virginia vs Davidson (A10)
6 seed vs 11 seed
Oregon (Pac12) vs Illinois State/Creighton
Nebraska vs Seton Hall/Maryland
Florida State vs Wisconsin
Syracuse vs Loyola-Chi(Mvalley)
7 seed vs 10 seed
Cincinnati (AAC) vs Marquette
Michigan vs UCF
Indiana vs Arizona
Miami vs Texas
8 seed vs 9 seed
UCLA vs Houston
Ohio State vs Xavier
Mississippi State vs Notre Dame
NC State vs LSU
First Four Out
St. John's
San Diego State
Next Four Out
Iowa State
Penn State
Wichita State
Also Considered
Oklahoma State
St. Mary's
Arizona State
Old Dominion

Brian's Predictions

Elite Eight
Kansas over Gonzaga
Tennessee over North Carolina
Duke over Kentukcy
Nevada over Kansas State

Final Four
Kansas over Tennessee
Duke over Nevada

National Championship
Kansas over Duke

Conference Previews - #1

The ACC is #1 due to two facts; they have multiple teams capable of making the Final Four and sheer volume.  North Carolina gets the nod over Duke and I look forward to Virginia losing as a 2 seed a year after losing as a 1.

Conference: ACC
Rank: 1
Conference Champion: North Carolina

At-Large Bids: Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida State, NC State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Miami, Maryland

Monday, November 5, 2018

Kurly’s Bold and Fearless Predictions

Elite 8

Kansas over Villanova
Duke over Tennessee 
Kentucky over UNC
Nevada over Gonzaga

Final Four

Duke over Kansas
Kentucky over Nevada

National Championship

Duke over Kentucky

Player of the Year: Luke Maye, UNC


Luke Maye
Zion Williamson 
Reid Travis
Phil Booth
Caleb Martin

3 Teams Overachieving: Butler, Ohio State & Notre Dame

3 Teams Underachieving: Kansas State, Michigan State, Florida State

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Conference Previews - #2

The SEC comes in as a close 2nd.  I debated between the ACC and the SEC but ultimately went with the SEC 2nd as the ACC has a couple teams that could be Final Four bound.  As for the SEC I have Tennessee edging out Kentucky and Auburn for the conference title.  I love the Vols this year and see them as a team that has Final Four potential and not a lot of buzz.  Kentucky will be great again and both teams could make a deep run.  Mississippi State will surprise a lot of people

Conference: SEC
Rank: 2
Conference Champion: Tennessee
At-Large Bids: Kentucky, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Mississippi State

Conference Previews - #3

Now we start to hit the real contenders.  The Big 12 looks to be somewhat deep but once again the class of the conference is Kansas who enters the season as the favorite to cut down the nets in March.  Kansas State returns most of their lineup from last years deep run and *should* push Kansas.  TCU is a sleeper here.

Conference: Big 12
Rank: 3
Conference Champion: Kansas
At-Large Bids: Kansas St, TCU, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Texas

Conference Previews - #4

The Big 10 looks to be good but not great conference this year.  I think they get a lot of bids but I ultimately don't know if they have anybody capable of making a run in the tournament in March.  I'm picking Michigan State to win the conference but it would not surprise me if Michigan, Purdue or even Nebraska push them.  Wisconsin is a First Four team if I've ever seen one.

Conference: Big 10
Rank: 4
Conference Champion: Michigan State
At-Large Bids: Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin

Conference Previews - #5

The Big East starts our top 5.  Villanova still looks to be the class of the conference but I don't think they have that Final Four talent that they've had in the past couple years.  The league is deep and I have them projected for 6 bids.  Most of these fall in the 9-11 range but they are still better off than the Pac-12

Conference: Big East
Rank: 5
Conference Champion: Villanova
At-Large Bids: Butler, Xavier, Marquette, Seton Hall, Creighton

Friday, November 2, 2018


I don’t know Brian’s actual top 5 conferences,  but I’ll guess and give you some bold and fearless predictions for the Top 10 leagues.

10. Mountain West

Champion: Nevada - Final Four good

Sleeper: UNLV - The Athletic has a nice article on UNLV this week about chasing their history. The gist is, it’ll be very hard to recapture the Tark days. That’s probably true but keep in mind, Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the country. No one is dominating out west. The best program is Gonzaga in Spokane. Marvin Menzies is doing good work. Keep an eye on UNLV over the next few years. They’re my new Rhode Island.

Player of the Year: Caleb Martin, Nevada

Coach Getting Left on the Tarmac: Dave Pilipovich, Air Force

9. West Coast

Champion: Gonzaga - Probably would have been my national champion pick but losing Killian Tillie for the first month plus makes me nervous. Still stacked, it’ll be curious to see how Tillie comes back. They’re still the class of the west coast.

Sleeper: San Francisco: Could see them challenge for 2nd place in the league. St. Mary’s and BYU should be better but it’s not a lock. 

Player of the Year: Zach Norvell, Gonzaga

Coach Getting Left on the Tarmac: None

8. Missouri Valley

Champion: Illinois State - Loyola is the easy pick and they could win it, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise but, with expectations come new challenges. A lot of magic was expended last March.

Sleeper: Bradley - Brian Wardle has slowly built a program that can soon challenge for Valley titles. With the departure of Wichita State, I think the league may benefit in the long run with more balance and competitiveness. Bradley is trending in the right direction.

Player of the Year: Malik Yarbrough, Illinois State

Coach Getting Left on the Tarmac: Greg Lansing, Indiana State

7. AAC

Champion: Houston

Sleeper: UConn - There is talent in Storrs. Danny Hurley isn’t walking into a mess like he did at Rhode Island. Don’t be surprised if they get on the right side of the bubble.

Player of the Year: Jalen Adams, UConn

Coach Getting Left on the Tarmac: All should be safe but Brian Gregory probably has a short leash at South Florida 

6. Pac-12

Champion: Oregon

Sleeper: Colorado - I contemplated Oregon State here but I’m very bullish on McKinley Wright, their point guard. This is a very young team but return a good chunk of their minutes. With the league as wide open as it appears without any great teams, Colorado could sneak into the top 4 of the league.

Player of the Year: Bennie Boatwright, USC

Coach Getting Left on the Tarmac: Wyking Jones, Cal

5. Big East

Champion: Villanova

Sleeper: Butler - Georgetown could be a pain in the ass this year as well but Butler is squarely on the bubble entering the season and that seems preposterous given their history. 

Player of the Year: Phil Booth, Villanova

Coach Getting Left on the Tarmac: Dave Leitao, DePaul; Chris Mullin has no reason not to get St. John’s back into the tourney. Failure to do so and he won’t be back.

4. Big 14

Champion: Michigan - John Beilein is the best coach in the league

Sleeper: Ohio State - After Beilein retires, Chris Holtmann will be the best coach in the league. They’ll be sloppy early given the talent drain, but I bet by time you get to mid-February, they flash the brightness of their future.

Player of the Year: Carsen Edwards, Purdue

Coach Getting Left on the Tarmac: Richard Pitino, Minnesota; there are a few options here but if he fails to dance, I’m not sure why they keep him

3. Big XII

Champion: Kansas

Sleeper: Texas Tech - Most see them on the outside looking in and they lost quite a bit but I’m a believer in Chris Beard. Keep an eye on freshman Khavon Moore. 

Player of the Year: Dedric Lawson, Kansas 

Coach Getting Left on the Tarmac: Maybe Mike Boynton but I’m not sure anyone has a hot seat.  If Kansas State underachieves, Bruce Weber might be in trouble. I’ll make one bold call, Bill Self is coaching his last year in Kansas.

2. SEC

Champion: Kentucky - This whole year is about Tyler Herro averaging double figures and Badger fans grumbling about it

Sleeper: Arkansas by default because 9 teams will end up dancing. Also, they have Daniel Gafford

Player of the Year: Reid Travis, Kentucky - he’s exactly the kind of player Kentucky could have used the last two years

Coach Getting Left on the Tarmac: Mike Anderson’s seat will probably get hot with such a deep league. Frank Martin probably has another season of good will from his improbable Final 4 run but South Carolina is mired in the bottom half of the league and he hasn’t recruited all that well

1. ACC

Champion: North Carolina

Sleeper: Notre Dame - They look like the last of 9 ACC teams that should dance but I won’t be surprised if they end up better than that. Love their veteran back court:

Player of the Year: Luke Maye, North Carolina 

Coach Getting Left on the Tarmac: Maybe Danny Manning but he has the luxury of a very good recruiting class this season, so he can preach patience. Won’t be surprised if this Jim Larranaga’s last go-round in South Beach. 

Conference Previews - #6

The Pac-12 was bad in the tournament (thank you Arizona) and this year won't be much better. Three bids seem to be their limit with a lot of NIT sprinkled in.  No potential Final Four teams to be seen here.

Conference: Pac-12
Rank: 6
Conference Champion: Oregon
At-Large Bids: Arizona, UCLA

Conference Previews - #7

The American Conference falls in next at 7.  I predict 3 bids but none will be higher than a 6 seed.  No potential Final Four teams at all.  A good conference but not great.  I have Cincinnati winning the conference but I could see Houston and possibly UCF getting there.

Conference: American
Rank: 7
Conference Champion: Cincinnati
At-Large Bids: Houston, UCF

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Conference Previews - #8

We start to hit some At-Large Bids.  The Missouri Valley is looking like a 2 bid league.  Loyola made waves last year on their Final Four run but Illinois State looks to be good enough to give them a run.

Conference: Missouri Valley
Rank: 8
Conference Champion: Loyola - Chicago
At-Large Bids: Illinois State

Conference Previews - 12 seeds

We are now getting into conferences who "could" have an at-large bid.  They could....but won't. 

Conference: Conference USA
Rank: 12
Conference Champion: Western Kentucky
Potential At-Large: Marshall, Old Dominion

Conference: Atlantic 10
Rank: 11
Conference Champion: Davidson
Potential At-Large: St. Louis

Conference: West Coast
Rank: 10
Conference Champion: Gonzaga
Potential At-Large: St. Mary’s

Conference: Mountain West
Rank: 9
Conference Champion: Nevada
Potential At-Large: San Diego State